May 282015
 

Hello and welcome to the 20th in my year-long series of polymer clay dragons.

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

dragon #20 Gwenda 4

This week’s dragon is Gwenda, which means “white wave.” She’s a pretty girl, with her pink, green & silver swirls, and she likes pretty things. As you can see she’s found this pink heart shaped stone.

dragon #20 Gwenda 2

If I were you, I would not try to take it from her. In fact, I’d suggest you not even look at it. Just in case. You wouldn’t want to lose a finger.

faux leopardskin jasper beads

Gwenda was made using the faux leopardskin jasper technique from Kim Schlinke and Ranee Ketzel’s book Polymer Clay Gemstones: The Art of Deception. These are some beads I made in the same way.

dragon #20 Gwenda 3

I think I like the swirly pattern better than the spotted. Also, I’d like this better in different colors. It was a fun technique to play with and I’m looking forward to experimenting with bolder shades and different shapes.

dragon #20 Gwenda 1

“Mine. All mine.”

To learn why I’ve challenged myself to make a dragon every week in 2015 check out this post on Errol, dragon #1.

May 212015
 

Hello and welcome to the 19th in my year-long series of polymer clay dragons!

dragon #19 Qinglong 1

Meet Qīnglóng (pronounced “chíng-long”) the second dragon encountered in Tiger’s Voyage.

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

dragon #19 Qinglong 2

He is an ocean dragon and has a rather unpleasant attitude, which I hope I conveyed by his expression. He is described as being perched atop a castle ruin on a rocky island jutting out of the ocean, so I had some fun creating that.

dragon #19 Qinglong 3

To keep him from being top heavy I buried a lead fishing weight in the front narrow part of the island. Tricky, eh?

dragon #19 Qinglong 4

The book gives quite a detailed picture:

  •  bearded, with a long sinuous body
  • water dragon
  • scaly skin is brilliant blue
  • yellow eyes, purple tongue
  • head is longer, narrowing more at the nose
  • fleshy, fat & lazy
  • grouchy, irritable
  • cheeks and brow covered with feathers that sweep away from its face and shimmer like fish scales in brilliant blues and purples
  • similar feathers flow down the spine of its back and fan out at its tail and limbs like the hair around a Clydesdale horse’s hooves
  • sharp golden talons
  • when annoyed feathers along the back & top of the head stand up like crested cockatoo

dragon #19 Qinglong 5

I’m starting to understand what movie-makers are talking about when they adapt a book and say they feel they need to change things and not do them exactly as described on the pages.  There were details that seemed important for the character, and other details that just didn’t translate well from page to visual.

dragon #19 Qinglong 6

Anyhow, I kinda like Qīnglóng and his grouchy attitude. :-)

To learn why I’ve challenged myself to make a dragon every week in 2015 check out this post on Errol, dragon #1.

May 192015
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday once again.

2015 05 20 woyww kumihimo beading.JPG

Today I’m working on prep for an upcoming video tutorial on kumihimo braiding with beads. I first gave this technique a try over a year ago and decided it was time to add a couple tutorials to my YouTube channel.  Be watching for the series on kumihimo in a few weeks.

On my mp3 player this week are the podcasts by the producer of the Outlander series telling all the interesting behind-the-scenes bits about each episode. Fascinating! Are any of you watching? What did you think of the last episode?

That’s all I’ve got for this week. If you wonder why I’m sharing a photo of my desk, it’s this fun little blog hop game we play over at Julia’s called What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday. Join in, all are welcome!

May 142015
 

My dragon for this week is a character in a favorite book series of mine. Meet Lóngūn, the star dragon. (His name is pronounced “long-gín.”)

Check out this post on Errol, dragon #1, for the details on why I’ve challenged myself to make a dragon every week in 2015.

dragon #18 Longun 1.JPG

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

If you’ve read the third book in the Tiger’s Curse series, Tiger’s Voyage, you’ll remember he is the first one encountered on the voyage.

dragon #18 Longun 2.JPG

Here are the descriptions from the book:

  • looks more like a Chinese serpent with a long sinuous body
  • four short limbs with taloned feet
  • red, black underbelly, top is streaked with vermilion
  • seems to glow with red light
  • long black and red tendrils trailing from black bearded cheeks
  • shiny scales
  • long lashed eyes, red irises & black pupils
  • long red tongue
  • pointed black tufted ears
  • two reddish black spikes, more like horns protruding from back of the head
  • spikes are covered with black velvet like new antlers and are soft & rounded at the tips
  • coming through the sky like a sidewinder

dragon #18 Longun 3.JPG

It was kind of fun making a sculpture to match a particular description. I also tried to show some of Lóngūn’s personality, although he’s got the least strong personality of all five of the dragons. I’m looking forward to doing some of the others even more.

dragon #18 Longun 4.JPG

If you’d like to see my other dragon creations so far, I’ve made a Thursday’s Dragon Pinterest board just for them.

May 122015
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday everyone!

2015 05 13 woyww  dragon #18.JPG

Today’s desk finds me working on dragon #18 in my year-long series of polymer clay dragons. This week I’m attempting to create a dragon who is a character in favorite book series of mine.

If any of you have read Tiger’s Voyage , you’ll know from the colors on the table which of the five dragons I’m working on. 😉

(And if you have read the books, feel free to check back tomorrow and let me know what you think of my representation of him.)

The book on the left is one I use for inspiration, DragonWorld. It’s full of dragon art by a slew of different artists. I don’t try to copy any of them, but look for interesting details, expressions, poses, etc. that I can draw from.

Also in the shot are more faux glass eyes that I needed to make. I LOVE how much more life they give to the dragons, like in Wen.

And there’s my trusty mp3 player, don’t know what I’d do without it. I wear this Sansa Clip all the time to make tedious work (you know, like dishes or cleaning or weeding the garden) go by faster. Just finished listening to the sixth Outlander book. Are any of you following the TV series? It’s wonderful!

If you’re wondering why I’m sharing photos of my desk, well, it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday, the day we all get together at Julia’s and take a peek at each other’s creative goings on. It’s always fun and often inspiring. Join us if you have a the time.

May 072015
 

Hi everyone! Sorry I missed last Thursday’s Dragon last week, but I was SO sick. I’m much better now, and trying to get caught up. One of these weeks we’ll have two dragons to make it up.

Check out this post on Errol, dragon #1, for the details on why I’ve challenged myself to make a dragon every week in 2015.

dragon #17 Tymon (1).JPG

Meet Tymon, dragon #17 in my year-long series. He is done with a faux raku pottery technique I’ve been wanting to try for a long time.

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

dragon #17 Tymon (2).JPG

I saw Tim Holtz demonstrate the technique about 10 years ago, in his  DVD The Journey Continues. The raw clay is painted with Micaceous Iron Oxide and then baked. After it’s baked mica powders are applied and then rubbed in, which gives that glow of different colors.

dragon #17 Tymon (3).JPG

Tymon is a form of the name “Timothy,” which seemed to fit. :-)

The glass-like dots on his wings are done with UV resin, Magic Glos. After the holes were cut out and the wings baked, I applied packing tape to the backs of the wings and then added dots of the resin. Then it went into the sun to cure. The packing tape peeled right off, leaving the clear resin in the holes.

The resin can be baked, but it did turn a bit amber in the oven. That was fine for this project, but if I want it to stay clear I’ll have to remember to save the resin as a final step in future.

dragon #17 Tymon (4).JPG

The faux raku pottery is a fun and simple technique and I’m looking forward to using it on other projects.

If you’d like to see my other dragon creations so far, I’ve made a Thursday’s Dragon Pinterest board just for them.

May 052015
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday everyone!

2015 05 06 woyww patinas for garden decor.JPG

Sorry I missed the woyww fun last week, but I’m glad to be feeling much better today.

On my desk are a couple of garden decorations that I’ve had for several years. They’re both resin so the materials will last forever, but the finishes were a mess.

The rock had faded to white and the paint on the butterfly had peeled off, so I decided to see if I could rejuvenate them with some Swelligant metal paints and patinas. I’m rather happy with how they came out.

If you’d like more info on the paint I used, this video is very helpful: How to Use Swelligant with Christi Friesen.

ombre flowers bracelet.jpg

In other news, this week another of my classes at CraftArtEdu was released! This is my Ombré Flowers Bracelet class. (For more info see yesterday’s blog post, Learn a New Technique to Create Gorgeous Color.)

You can see a preview of the class over at CraftArtEdu.com.

That’s all I’ve got for this week. If you wonder why I’m sharing a photo of my desk, it’s this fun little blog hop game we play over at Julia’s called What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday. Join in, all are welcome!

Apr 232015
 

Two of the dragons so far have been bracelets, and I decided this next one should be a necklace.

Check out this post on Errol, dragon #1, for the details on why I am making a dragon every week in 2015.

dragon #16 wyatt 1.JPG

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

hollow lentil beads.JPG

I had a little fun the other day playing with leftover bits of polymer clay cane and the Sculpey Hollow Bead Maker.  The largest lentil bead is 1 3/4-inch in diameter and the smallest is 3/4-inch in diameter.

dragon #16 wyatt 2.JPG

My favorite bead was this blue, green and pearl one from some leftover mokume gane. The little dragon looks happy hanging out there, doesn’t he? Swelligant metal paints and patinas give him the look of an old cast sculpture.

dragon #16 wyatt 3.JPG

The silver wire Beehive and Ball of Yarn links are from Cindy Wimmer’s The Missing Link.

I was so happy to find that two of my old lampwork beads went nicely with this project, the green & white cylinder and the failed green & blue hollow bead. :-)

dragon #16 wyatt 4.JPG

I’m really pleased with how it all came together and think this necklace will get a lot of wear!

If you’d like to see my other dragon creations so far, I’ve made a Thursday’s Dragon Pinterest board just for them.

Apr 162015
 

You can tell by this week’s dragon that I’ve been thinking about warmer weather. Meet Ciro, whose name means “sun.” I think it works perfectly with his ocean blue colors, seashell charms and bright golden sparkles. Just like a day at the beach. :-)

If you’d like to see my other dragon creations so far, I’ve made a Thursday’s Dragon Pinterest board just for them.

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

dragon #15-Ciro 1.JPG

To get all those lovely crackles the gold leaf is applied to a sheet of polymer clay. The thickness setting on the pasta machine is turned down by one notch and the sheet with the gold is run through, producing crackles that go in one direction.

Then the thickness is turned down another notch and the sheet is run through again, turned 90 degrees. This gives the even, all over crackles.

dragon #15-Ciro 2.JPG

The dragon is from a mold I made of a dragon cameo I sculpted last year. This time I only molded the body and wings. It was so delicate, though, that I put it in the freezer for 30 minutes before trying to unmold it.

dragon #15-Ciro 3.JPG

After crackling the gold leaf on the clay I pressed into it with a rubber stamp to add some detail. It was hard to see the impression until after adding the brown paint, and it’s not as deep or consistent as I’d like.

But I do like those little gems dangling from the corners!

dragon #15-Ciro 4.JPG

What treasures will he be guarding in that little box? I wonder…

Check out this post on Errol, dragon #1, for the details on why I am making a dragon every week in 2015.

Mar 262015
 

This week’s dragon is a practical little guy.

Click on any of the photos for a closer look.

dragon #12 Virgil 1.JPG

His name is Virgil, can you tell what he’s doing?

Check out this post on Errol, dragon #1, for the details on why I am making a dragon every week.

dragon #12 Virgil 2.JPG

He’s guarding my pen for me! Such a clever fellow.

dragon #12 Virgil 3.JPG

He may look cute and innocent, but just you try to steal it….

dragon #12 Virgil 4.JPG

If you’d like to keep up with my dragon creations this year, I’ve made a Thursday’s Dragon Pinterest boardjust for them.