Saturday, February 26, 2011

Button, Button...

There’s a blog I read on the daily called Polka Dot Cottage, written by Lisa Clarke. I first started reading this Jersey-girl’s blog somewhere around 2008, intrigued by the color choices in her creations. She’s ventured off into blogging about knitting and photography as well over the years, and I've learned some pretty nifty stuff from much so lately, that she inspired me to “up my game” in my choice of digital cameras. I recently indulged in a Canon Powershot SX130 IS as well as a book on digital mebbe some of that knowledge will make itself manifest in my future photos. But one thing that really has caught my eye over the years are her polymer clay buttons. She has made some awesome button sets (AND pendants, AND shawl pins, AND other stuff), and I always marvel at her choices of color! Nicely done!!

Lisa made a very generous offer on her blog this month – she offered a free (yes, FREE!!) five-week on-line button making class – she challenged one and all to pick three colors of polymer clay and to tune in on Monday mornings to learn how to make buttons. It may be Monday afternoon before I actually get there, but here’s the result of the first three lessons:

Pretty nifty, huh? I think my favorites so far are the striped snail shell buttons…easy to do, and quite unique. I’m kinda feelin’ the asymmetrical striped buttons as well. I’m working with black, gold and copper Premo brand clay - when this is done I’m gonna make one big honkin’ button for this kimono jacket I made awhile back. I just need to decide what type I’m gonna make.

I also learned (or re-learned) a couple of things during this exercise:

- When they say clean your work surface and pasta machine often, they mean it. I was covering pens with light blue pearlized clay before starting on the Week 1 buttons, and got some blue pearl flecks on the black clay and some gold flecks on the copper. Yuck.

- Metallic or pearl clay may not always be a good choice for a primary color for buttons. Mebbe it’s better to use them as accent colors. Some may say that the resulting striations in the solid gold and copper buttons give them character…I think they look a lil’ afflicted. But that’s just me.

- It’s important to thoroughly imbed added clay into the existing base. Otherwise you’ll be there sanding the raised clay for days. Not so much fun when you’re sanding something really tiny.

- Do NOT SAND ANYTHING WHILE STANDING UP AT THE SINK. Especially teeny-tiny things. It’s aggravating to you, your back, and it annoys the teeny tiny-thing.

Lisa invited those who will, to post their button photos on-line for one and all to see. So here goes.

THANK YOU, Lisa, for the blog, for the lessons, and for the inspiration! I enjoy your work, and if I ever get it together enuf to plan a poly clay play time at one of the conferences, I hope to meet you one day!