Friday, 5 May 2017

My contribution to INTO THE FOREST -2017

I was added to a closed group called Into The Forest by my friend and talented artist Leila Bidler. It took a couple of posts, before I realised that the members, which had almost all the stalwarts of the clay world, and other mixed media artists, were invited to participate in a collaborative mixed-media art installation !

It started as a combined effort of three artists, Laura Tabakman, Emily Squires Levine, and Julie Eakes. As mentioned in the blog,
The initial result was INTO THE FOREST: Early Growth, an installation at Park Towne, a mid-century historically certified apartment complex in Philadelphia. From the exhibit program, “The immersive installation, made specifically for Park Towne Place, is reminiscent of a grove of aspen trees. The handmade forms mimic nature without attempting to retreat it. Certain elements are pleasantly exaggerated, such as the leaves made from translucent clay. Allowing for creative departures, the artists’ styles complement one another as an environment is created that blurs the line between natural and man-made.”

It all began in the August of 2015 You may read about the history here. Since then, Laura suggested that the istallation be given a wider scope, and make it a collaboration of artists on a global level. The invite was for clay and mixed media artists to contribute flora and fauna to make the forest.

It seems like there is a representation from almost all the countries, and most of the USA. The final tally is yet to be done!

As for my humble contribution, I made two types of mushrooms, and two variety of leaves. For the mushrooms, I tried to go for ones that were not common to me.

The first one I made, was the Sparassis mushroom, commonly known as the Cauliflower mushroom. I made small ones, on a rock, the rock, and the moss are also clay , over a thermocol form. A few more of the fungi have been made. they can be attached together to form a whole big mushroom, or left in pieces.

The second , i was just going for some shade of mushroom , that was not the usual red caps, or creamy, off-white ones. I settled for yellow, and I loved a few that grew in bunches, but had these cute sort of indents in the middle. And I dotted shades of brown, for added interest. Given below, are the results of my online search, that inspired me.

Next came the leaves, and I made a few green leaves, but gave them parallel veins. The next were some pinkish leaves with yellow markings, that were a memory from our childhood. Those leaves flanked the gate of my mother's ancestral home, where we spent some great vacations. The actual leaves were much longer and thinner. But I was not sure if they would survive the trip from India to Pittsburg Pennsylvania in one piece. So I made them shorter and a bit wider. But the pink hue, is exact, if my memory serves me right.

And the whole set

The whole installation will be open to the public in November. This is the invite.

I will be posting the progress of the installation, as we are updated of the same..

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Miniature Cold Porcelain House - The Process

March of 2017 already ! One thing I wanted to do this year, was make more pieces that would challenge me. I started with a tiny base, and shaped up a piece of clay, in the most basic for of a house.

I first tried various positions for the house and then added some steps and cobble stones. I speckled the clay with bits of dark grey and black paint flecks (scraping a dried paint palette before washing, works!) after tinting it grey.

I decided to add some grey and black microbeads too, to give it some rough texture.

I added a very thin layer of dark greenish - grey clay as the roof, and textured it to make it resemble roof tiles/ shingles. Added a tiny rhinestone for window glass and Brown clay as window frame , and door. I also made a big urn style flower pot, with

The next step, was adding the moss, ivy, hedges long leaves to fill the pot. Mainly used ball tools and silicon tips for texturing.
Then added miniature mushrooms with white clay for stalks, and red for the caps. Added white dots on the cap.

Used some chalk pastels for shading. They are half pastels, and a single pastel is about an Inch long ! So you can have an idea of the size of the miniature.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Assymetric Earrings, And Updates.

After a post in the beginning of the year, I have lagged with posts. It is not that there has been nothing to post about, but I have been on an attempt to get healthier. Finishing the third phase of my Ayurvedic treatment.

Finally rid of nearly a decade and more of swollen joints, water retention, perpetual pain, a bloated body and weight gain! Well, not yet there with the last aspect, but hopefully now, weight loss measures will not end up being futile !

Anyway, with the treatment and resting that is mandatory, I had not been able to do a lot of work, but I still have something to show

These are some earrings I did out of marbled clay. Totally hand shaped and loved the assymetry of the designs. I did not want to tamper too much with them, so just gave thrm tiny silver floral accents and ear wires.

Another pair I made, this time the beads came assymetric, and i just teamed them up with some tiny wooden beads and golden accents.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Origami Pyramid - Gift Packaging

It has been a while since I posted any tutorial links . While I have been checking out tutorials and inspiring works, I had been largely trying to create things by experimenting. I had a big order for Diwali. Jhumkas as gifts.

I will be posting about the jhumkas in a later post, but in this one, I wanted to link an origami tutorial. Here is the work in progress.

I wanted a relatively simple design , which could still be made festive. I tried to ger some stock paper in a design, but then i decided that it was better to customize it. Here is the link to the origami tutorial.

Easy Pyramid Box tutorial by Henry Pham.

I did check out quite a few tutorials, and found this one fairly easy to follow. I just used white stock paper and painted one end with a feather design in metallic bronze. the only other thing was to write 'Happy Diwali' at the base of the tiny packages. it was perfect to nestle a single pair of jhumkas in each pyramid box. Then held it together with Maroon ribbons.

The result was none too fussy, and elegant.

And finally, for a sneak peek at the festive Jhumkas, which are a traditonal Indian design of earrings. Just that personal touch to make the commissioned gifts that much more special!!

What say you?.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Sea Lion Miniature

My daughter wanted a sea animal for her class exhibition, and she suggested a sea lion . The grey sea lions were fairly common, and did not excite her much. Then we saw a picture of a white sea lion and decided to go with that.

'Cute' was what she wanted. So I made a few sketches, got her approval and got to work. Did not use any armature. I did the neck to tail in a single piece of clay, and attached the head separately.

Gave some light grey beauty spots all over. I gave it slightly lighter eyes to add some interest. Then highlighted areas like the flippers, tail and around the eyes in light brown.

Since the flippers were relatively fragile, I decided to add a perch. Nothing would do, but a bit of ice. And decorated the edges with stylized waves.

This little guy is less than 3 inches from head to tail.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Feline Finger Puppet

This one was a gift for my little nephew, who was not yet 2 ! He loves cats, and wearing caps on his is not possible to see him without atleast one finger cap.

I used a sketch pen cap to use as the measure needed to hollow out the cat from the bottom. rolled out yellow clay and molded around the cap, after a serious dusting of powder between the surfaces. the clay surface was smoothed in first .

The head was attached next, and the features sculpted on bit by bit. Then attached to the cylindrical body. the feet, hands and tail were sculpted and attached.

The heart was sculpted and attached. And left to cure for 24 hours. the outside was given a glossy finish while I left the inner side as it was.

A perfect fit !

Monday, 26 December 2016

Hand-formed Rose Earrings

This was a special request and actually not easy when there are no molds used. To make handcrafted roses which are nearly identical . Also Cold porcelain, if not rolled out in the same thickness, dries differently.

My precision work actually leaves a lot to be desired, though I can do minute details. I do not like the idea of molds or cutters and work free form as much as possible. I tinted the clay a light peach and decided to colour as the flowers were cured.

So I did each corresponding petal on the two roses, simultaneously. But I had to wait till the roses dried to make sure that they could be used as a pair. Finally, I tinted the centre a deeper rose, and microbeads to give a pop of interest.