Thursday, May 6, 2010

Beads, beads, beads...

Well I finally got some white clay and created the beads that were in my imagination after visiting the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas.  This shot taken at night captured all the texture and designs in the stone face of the main building.  I love the wrought iron over the window also- another inspiration for a future piece. The intricate hand carving was just gorgeous with this lighting. 
This is not the clearest photo because I did not have a tripod and this is a night shot but it shows the type of intricate detail in the hand carved stone around the front doorway.  

I can never resist playing with my photos in Elements so here it is converted to a pencil sketch.

So after blending white, ecru, a pinch of brown and translucent clay I rolled out two sheets on the thickest setting of my pasta machine.  I layered them and then stamped the front with my tile style stamp.  I roughed up all the edges and the backs with crinkled aluminum foil to mimic stone.  I applied butterscotch, latte, and caramel alcohol inks which effectively enhanced the edges and crevices in the clay then into the oven they went. When I apply alcohol inks before baking they tend to fade a little but I really liked how they turned out. 

The next set had more translucent clay on the surface which soaks up the alcohol ink a little differently.  Very interesting.

 After quite a few of the old stone looking ones I decided to try alcohol inks in brighter colors on the white clay.  Happy accidents sometimes are the best.  This first combination of lettuce and watermelon inks was stunning before I baked it and a little more subtle after.
Then I made two sided flower beads by squeezing the clay between two different stamps and went crazy with yellow, orange, pink, purple and several green inks to create these beads.

I really like the way the inks sink into the textures in the clay and bring out all the little cracks and crevices. Here is an instance where looking old is really looking good!!! 


  1. These are spectacular, Heather! Love the colors and textures.


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