Monday, June 23, 2008

Microwave Paper Clay

I finally got around to trying out a new product today: microwave paper clay. This product has only been on the market here in Germany for a few weeks, and when I stumbled across it, I knew it was something I wanted to try out.

The perfect reason presented itself over the weekend. I picked up a small framed African mask, about three inches high, at the euro store. I took the frame apart to get at the mask. I knew that I wanted to try to replicate the mask for use on art dolls. So, today I rode up to the craft store and purchased a package of the new paper clay.

The clay is so easy to use. I rolled a ball and flattened it, then I pressed in the mask and created a reversed impression. To "fire" the paper clay, you simply pop it into the microwave for 10 minutes at 600 watts, along with a half full glass/beaker of water. If you inadvertently set the microwave to a more powerful setting, or fire the clay for longer, that's no problem.

After firing the reverse impression, I used it as a mould to make copies of the mask. It worked like a dream, and it was quick and easy.

According to the instructions, you can also add to work that has already been fired simply by moistening the fired object and attaching new elements before popping it into the microwave again.

Once done, the pieces are light but tough and can be sanded, drilled, painted, or whatever.

I purchased terracotta coloured clay, but the product also comes in white. Further colours are planned.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Tagged by Val Foster

Valerie Foster tagged me this weekend. So, I have to tell you three things about myself. Hmmm... let me think...

1. I almost always wear black. Why? It suits me. I also used to work in a designer job, and everyone wore black. I like black. Everything goes with everything else, so buying clothes and getting dressed in the morning is easy. I mean, why waste time on stuff that keeps you from your art? The funny thing is, the way I dress tends to unnerve people, but what the heck. If I'm having a really upbeat day, I wear something grey. It suits me...

2. I used to know a lot of somewhat airy folks who liked to sit around talking about their past life regression therapies and previous incarnations, usually as queen of this or emperor of that. I thought I'd skip the regressions and simply think about some things I might have been in the past. I decided I could easily have been a librarian in the Great Library of Alexandria, the mistress of some king or other (the power behind the throne), or -- and this is the one I tend to like a little more than the others -- a priestess in a Mesopotamian city temple. Those wise ladies invented writing and beer, among other things. I'm told the above still show through...

3. I love sushi. I used to live in Berlin, Germany, where sushi bars abound and each of them has a happy hour. I could write "A Guide to Eating Sushi in Berlin" with no trouble at all. My problem is that I now live in a small town in the German boondocks. There are no sushi bars. Get my drift? All I can get is frozen sushi, which is ok. Good, but not great. Better than nothing in a situation... In fact, I have a box of frozen sushi defrosting in my kitchen right now. I intend to visit Berlin soon, both to stock up on art materials (also not available here) and to eat some decent sushi.

Val Foster's Altered Heart Journey blog:

I've tagged

Suzy Pierce -
Tamy Bollar -
Chris Bennett -