February 4, 2011

From Sketch to Bead

Most my beads start out as a sketch, doodled in one of my many sketchbooks.  I keep them all over the house - one by my computer, a few in the living room, one in my bedroom, you never know when inspiration will strike!  It also helps to sketch down an idea when you are busy so that you can revisit it later.  After I have a page of sketches I pick the ones I think are working and hand carve polymer clay molds.

Here I snapped photos with my Ipod as I worked on these.  The first step is painting.  Yes, I recycle scrap paper and use them when making beads!

I bake my paint into the clay and go through the process several times with various colors and coats.

When the beads are finished baking I antique each one with acrylic paint and sand them.  They are then coated with a wax finish to protect the paint.

Here are my two favorites.  Do you see them in the sketch?  I'm in love with navy blue at the moment.  Can not get enough of it.

The robin is inspired by my childhood in Michigan.  You could always tell it was spring when the Daffodils started to bloom and you spotted a robin in the yard.  I'm longing for both home and the green that comes with the new season.

15 comments:

Nadiaher said...

Sublime, un chef d'oeuvre!

Emma Dilemma said...

When you paint before baking, what type of paint are you using? Still acrylic, or is that only after baking?

Malin de Koning said...

Thanks for taking me on such a nice and interesting tour.

TesoriTrovati said...

Thank you so much for sharing your process. It makes them all the more special in my eyes. Baking the paint into the clay, huh... I have to think about that a bit more.
Enjoy the day!
Erin

Alice said...

Seldom does the idea that is swirling around in my head ever work out. There's a disconnect somewhere along the way.

I've always loved the layers of your polymer beads and now I can understand how it gets there.

I would love to spend a day with you in your studio. Really--I'm serious!

Melissa Meman said...

I think that blue one is my favorite as well...beautiful! Thanks for sharing some of your creative process :)

Michelle Mach said...

I loved seeing your step-by-step process. Here's to an early spring!

Ashleigh Becker said...

Gorgeous, as always!

Ashleigh Becker said...

Gorgeous, as always!

Doreen said...

Beautiful!

quickcer said...

Wow--a step by step "birth" of a Humblebead. Thank Heather for the delightful information.

Rosanne said...

Amazing to watch a genious at work. You so inspire me. I carry notebooks and though I don't do a lot of drawing, I make a lot of notes.

Rebecca said...

What an interesting post - thanks for sharing how you go about making your lovely beads with us! I am always amazed and impressed when people sketch their designs before creating them - I can think of few things that would be more off-putting than my own sketches would be ;-) Let's just say, I'm not a drawer.....!

Heather Powers said...

Thank you everyone for your encouraging words today. I love reading your comments.

Emma - you will want to check out the Polymer Clay Central message board for tips on painting polymer clay. They have a great message board with lots of helpful folks.

Linda - that is funny, my original title to this post was Birth of a Humblebead. We must be sharing the same brain!

Rebecca - Rosanne isn't a sketcher either, but she is always writing down notes in that little sketchbook of hers! It helps to remember things and keep track of your ideas and inspirations.

Happy creating everyone!

Heather said...

Love the little birdy in the pussy willows. Great new beads. I am fortunate to work part time teaching music and crochet and my children are all grown up. I will probably be a homeless woman in my 80's but I am not there yet. So I don't have a lot of trouble finding time to play, create ect. Inspiration for me is a blessing and curse. I have so much of it I can't sleep at night sometimes- can't shut it off. But I am not complaining.
For me I do a great variety of arts and music so there is always something available to change up my process or fill the void. You always have great tips though and I enjoy reading about you and your process.