Feb 29, 2016

Making scrap

There was a time, when I was beginner, when I used all the polymer clay I was working with. I could not understand how people made scrap clay or what are they going to do with it.
In time I got it, especially when I taught workshops frequently. It is so easy to produce scrap when you experiment for the workshop projects or demonstrate to your students.
It also made my frugal self frustrated so I had to find ways to use all that scrap. I looked up to other artists for example Melanie West, Ronit Golan, Alice Stropel, Artybecca, Cindy Lietz or found it by myself (Gypsy Nights).

Today I decided to clean up and organize my studio a bit. I found several metal boxes full of old clay. It's like a time travel! I remember clearly that some of it is from 2008 and the other parts are unused scraps from workshops and past projects, mostly from 2011 and 2012.

Well, it is Monday and the day is good as any to make some scrap.
I also found few blocks of very hardened translucent FIMO and decided to start with it. This is not scrap clay but I am happy to revive it.
I will use a food processor and pasta machine after that. Oh, this will be a long evening. Wish me luck.

Do you make a lot of scrap clay? How do you use it?

Feb 8, 2016


I have been ill for days, got a flu or virus or whatever that keeps me from breathing properly, getting up and doing stuff. Yes, I admit that I am a pretty lousy patient. Blessed with my health and immensely grateful for it, I rarely get ill but when I do I am cranky.
It's fine to catch up with TV shows and movies for two days but then it gets boring. I couldn't get out of a bed because I was really sick but as soon as my nose stopped running so badly I got myself paper and several fine liners. I was aiming to have some fun. And I did.

I always doodled something, since I was a kid. These doodles changed from flowers to hearts to lines to something mixed and matched. I don't have a clue about drawing but I love holding a pencil or fine line marker and using dots and lines to make patterns and "little drawings". I didn't think much of it.

Then I started working with polymer clay and everything else was forgotten including doodling, cross-stitching, crochet, decoupage etc. But then in 2009 it suddenly flashed back into my life. I made it in polymer clay. So funny how I forgot about this ceramic tile covered in polymer clay (I suddenly remembered while writing this story). Looking at it right now I can remember how much work I put into it, being an inexperienced self taught clayer and how happy and proud I was with my little tile.

I really started doodling again in 2011. I was traveling to nearby town to teach workshops and had spare time in train and bus, so I started drawing again. Most of these are small doodles or drawings in my notebooks used in that time but I have two or three larger drawings on A4 size paper. It was then that I learned that these drawings had a name and it was pretty cool one: zentangles!

Google says: "Zentangle is a self-help art therapy practice to enhance relaxation and focus. Zentangle is known to many artists and craftivistas as a way to create structured designs through drawing various patterns." How cool is that? There is a Zentangle Method, a step by step on How to make a Zentangle and also a great Guide to drawing pens so feel free to explore and try it yourself (if you haven't already).

I read about it but did not follow any particular rule. I follow my thoughts and intuition, draw and explore excited to see how will it end. It was actually zentangling that got me inspired to develop my Nambi technique in 2012. It is a lot of lines and some dots in polymer clay with some color on top of it. It was so much fun to add color and a lot of new possibilities occurred. In case you are not sure what am I talking about here's one photo:

There is a step by step PDF tutorial in my Etsy shop if you are interesting in learning this technique and it can be found here.

Back to present and my sick days: I made several drawings/ zentangles that I have been posting on my Instagram and FB account. Google is absolutely right, they are therapeutically! I had fun, my mind was calmer and I was feeling less guilty for staying in bed for days. I was creative. It made my soul sing. It made me happy.

Now I am better and I'll be leaving my fine line markers in a drawer because of a piled up chores and orders. So before saying goodbye to zentangles, for a while at least, I wanted to share my latest one: dancing flower girl or freedom or happy or retro. I couldn't decide about a title so it remains No name. The photo is not the best but that is it for now.

Let me know in the comments your thoughts on doodling, zentangling, drawing, nambi..... are you doing any of this?
Now, excuse me I have to go a lot of things are awaiting to be done.