30 September 2013

Fall Color Inspiration

If you are working on your polymer clay color palette for autumn, aside from Pantone, where can you look for the season's most popular colors? An almost foolproof guide to color forecasting is fashion, especially cosmetics. This year, fall makeup colors are anything but ho-hum. The season features subtle tones of bold shades. What?? How can a color be a subtle tone of a bold shade? By starting with a palette of bold, exciting colors and dialing back the volume a bit, the result is a happy medium of pizazz and don't-look-like-a-rockstar. 

Allure magazine offers detailed information about "The 8 Sexiest Fall Makeup Colors" in their online edition. Look for a list of brand names as a guide or go straight to the cosmetics department of your favorite store to pick up a few shiny eyeshadows. Use them to match colors with your clay, then add them to your collection of Mica powders. http://www.allure.com/makeup-looks/2013/sexiest-fall-makeup-colors#slide=1
Allure magazine: The 8 Sexiest Fall Makeup Colors"
1-Plum; 2-Chocolate; 3-Emerald; 4-Garnet; 5-Taupe; 6-Lilac;
7-Turquoise; 8-Violet
Color mix recipes can be found at www.pcPolyzine.com.

Image Credits: David Cook for Allure magazine

[Posted by Jeannie Havel]

25 September 2013

Remembering Gwen Gibson (1934 - 2013)

As the mystery of polymer clay unfolds for each of us, there are those who leave an indelible mark on our journey. Their spirit, skill, and ingenuity forge paths for us to follow that branch off in infinite directions. Such is the soul of Gwen Gibson. She died September 24th leaving a legacy of unique style, innovative techniques, and a degree of excellence for us to follow. In true Gwen fashion, what she wrote about "departing" on her website - although her meaning was about art, not death - is exquisitely fitting as we bid her goodbye.
"...'Departure' is about an impossible faith faced with the imposed limitation of gravity. Yet, the yearning to transcend is so strong that one is prepared to take off in the shakiest of contraptions."

Dear, dear Gwen, as you transcend, may your contraption be sturdy and your passage filled with peace.

Image credits: Gwen Gibson.com

[Posted by Jeannie Havel]

18 September 2013

Product Review: Lucy Clay Extruders

The older I get, the more I appreciate polymer clay tools that are kind to my hands. When I think back to the old syringe-style extruder, I shudder at the memory of how painful it was to use. I've talked to many clayers over the years who, like me, stopped extruding completely because it just wasn't worth the trouble. Then, a new little green extruder made its way onto the market and ta-da! I was extruding almost every day. Many of the old problems were solved - the extruder was easy to use, held a generous amount of clay, and was designed to be self-cleaning. Wow! Could things get any better?

Fast forward to 2013 and the answer is yes! Things not only got better, they got seriously better. The new clay extruders from Lucy Clay in the Czech Republic have most of the now-familiar features of the more modern extruders already on the market with one giant advantage: the Lucy Clay extruders are designed to work with an electric drill. This one feature pushes the Lucy Clay extruders into the stratosphere. While the extruders - two sizes: 10cm and 18cm - have a standard ratchet turning handle, the ratchet can be removed to fit the extruder with an electric drill. This makes the clay extrude quickly and easily, and for me, with no pain to my hands at all.

Although I know many people already use a drill with their current extruder, there is not an extruder already on the market - in my professional opinion - with the strength to withstand the torque of an electric drill over an extended period. In addition, any adaptations to existing extruders will, most likely, invalidate any type of warranty offered by the manufacturer. This includes devices added to make twisting or turning the extruder easier. Extruders from Lucy Clay, however, are heavy-duty in design and can hold up under strong use.

Lucy Clay extruders come in a variety of colors and are well packaged. Currently, there are four sets of extruder shape disks available. Of note is the shape sometimes called the "kitten nose." Clay extruded with the kitten nose shape disk fits perfectly in the crevice created between two round logs of clay. This means fewer air pockets and better-looking canes.

Extruder add-on tools are in the works including a cleaning brush, vise, and more extruder disks. If you are serious about extruding clay or have been avoiding extruding for whatever reason, extruders from Lucy Clay are the answer.

Visit the Lucy Clay Facebook page to find a distributor in your country: https://www.facebook.com/LUCYpolymerCLAY

Image Credits: Lucy Clay

Disclosure: One Lucy Clay Extruder and one standard extruder disk set furnished to pcPolyzine for review by Lucy Clay, Czech Republic. Extruder shape disk with "kitten nose" shape purchased at full retail price by pcPolyzine.

[Posted by Jeannie Havel]