Saturday, March 8, 2008

Darn, darn, drat, drat...

A friend of mine is getting ready to have her first child and I thought I'd do something nice and home-made for the baby. After realizing that a knit afghan would take way too long and after attempting to learn to crochet an afghan (I don't know how to crochet) I came back to clay. She had mentioned that they were planning on decorating the room in a Winnie the Pooh theme.

I remembered that I had a stained glass pattern for a Winnie the Pooh and thought that I could make it into some sort of night light. I scanned the pattern in and brought it into Microsoft Powerpoint. I had also bought a nightlight with a wire frame and used it as a template. An hour of playing later and this is the pattern.

I was finally able to use up the Pinata ink coloured clay from my failed snowflakes for the background and started cutting out the shapes. I free-form cut out clouds from the blue clay, placed them on the translucent white clay and was able to make the shapes of the clouds match almost perfectly.

For the Winnie the Pooh portion I put the template onto the clay and ran a ball point pen over the Winnie the Pooh and balloon. Once I had the pattern in the blue clay I was able to cut it out and use it for the template for the yellow and red clays.

Here's the final design and clay shape. I was so impressed with it until I realized that the legs and ears needed some definition. I'm not good at antiquing and ended up futzing around (what colour, how to antique, how thick should the lines be, etc) with it for another couple of hours until I was happy with it. Finally got the antiquing done the way I wanted it and then decided that I didn't like the cornstarch finish I had used on it (the antiquing mucked that up) so started to sand. It was coming along so well!

But, I forgot, somehow, that it's winter here and that the water I was using to sand with was cold, and it made the clay brittle. So when I went to see how I would like the light (at this point smiling happily to myself because I was so pleased with what I had created) and I tried to bend the clay to the light shape, it snapped! You can see the crack following the shape of the balloon and the bear.

Oh well, lessons learned. One thing that doesn't show up here but I'll watch out for next time is that I had put a small tile on the clay while I was baking it. It didn't cover the entire piece and the areas not covered by the tile were quite heavily plaqued. I had originally not intended to antique the words in the clouds but the ones on the right were so heavily plaqued that you couldn't see the words through the light.

So, darn, darn, drat, drat. I'll have to make up some more blue clay but I have enough red and yellow to do another one. It should go much quicker this next time.

More posts to come. I've been busy, just not posting.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you're onto something when you related the plaquing or I should say "less plaquing" with the tile on while cooking. You should investigate this further and enlighten us all as to how to eliminate it!!
Janice passing on the dirty work