In April, wanting to return to my textile roots, I thought it would be fun to make “ikat” cuff bracelets. Then I realized that some of the canes I had already been using could be translated into ikat. I pulled out the canes I had made late last fall using Melanie West’s tutorial for striped Skinner Blend canes. I had made or adapted four different canes from this tutorial and they had been wonderful to use in making brooches and other bracelets. Now they would be pressed into service as ikat “cloth”! But then, a funny thing happened when I used an extruder to make little ropes to edge the bracelets with. I had extruded stacks of color so that I could reveal dots of color to add to the ethnic feel of these bracelets then . . . It occurred to me that by making extrusions this way, but a little larger in diameter, I could make hoop earrings. And so, my “Circus Hoops” were born, some with polkadots, some without, but all with contrasting colors revealed at the ends! And the stacks of color in the extruder had also given me variegated earrings.
In the fall of 2013, learning to work with polymer clay had it’s challenges. I’ve had a lot of color theory and color mixing experience. But polymer is different and I made a lot of “mud” before I had much satisfaction in mixing my own colors.
Small, early projects helped in getting the feel of the materials and some mastery of the color mysteries began to come.
I also discovered some wonderful polymer tutorials online. Ones of special note were from Melanie West and downloaded from her Etsy site. I discovered that the wonky ends of a cane from one of her tutorials made wonderfully odd designs which I used on my early bracelets. . . . .
For the holidays, I began making one-of-a-kind heart pins from the scraps from larger projects. They were, and continue to be popular.