I don't know much about meditation except that it's supposed to be good for both one's emotions and soul. I've tried a few times but just can't seem to clear my mind. I thought it might help to have a little buddy to talk to, so I made this sweet, gentle bird. She fits perfectly in my hand and the glazed stoneware clay warms with the heat of my hands.
She seems pretty good at her job. She sits quietly and listens to everything I say. And sometimes, if I'm very quiet, she offers me her wisdom. So lovely, and so welcome!
Surprisingly, even though this bird is a very simple shape, she was more challenging to sculpt that a more detailed piece. But making her was inspiring, and I'll probably make more for my Etsy shop.
This month, I'm offering you, my precious subscribers, a 25% discount in my Etsy shop. From 12/1 to 12/15, just use discount code HOLIDAY25 at checkout. I ship the day after I receive your order, so there will be plenty of time to receive your purchases well before Christmas. Click on the image to the right to go to my shop!
A BURDZ Update
This is how the burd trio looked for last month's newsletter. Now they're finished and ready to join in the holiday fun!
It was such a relief to all of them to finally be whole and decorated. They especially exnjoyed the addition of bling - interference red, green, and gold paints, jewels, and pearls. I'm not sure that these shore burdz will be able to fly up into the branches of the Christmas tree, but I'm sure they'll find a prime place to look festive. I hope you used the instructional video in the November newsletter to make a few of your own. I you haven't, there's still time!
Another Reindeer from the Round-Up!
Some years ago I bought a mold with a running deer design and when I was thinking about making jewelry for the holiday season I remembered it. So I dug it out and used it to form this ceramic pendant. I used a celadon crackle glaze, which I love, and paired the pendant with milky quartz, snow quartz, and apatite beads. To me, it has a look of ice and snow. I'm looking forward to wearing it at our art club's Holiday brunch!
It's fun and easy to make these molds, and you can use them with ceramic clay, paper clay, and polymer clay. The brand of mold-making putty I use is Amazing Mold Putty. It comes in two separate parts - one yellow and one white - and when you knead equal parts of the two colors together you have about 5 minute of working time to press the putty around the object you want to mold. It cures in about 25 minutes and when you pull it away from the object you have a durable flexible mold - like magic! Give it a try!
An Inspirational Shrine
Commemorating a Special Sparrow
This little bird shrine is a great example of my favorite way of doing art. I see something amazing and I am inspired to commemorate and celebrate it.
Every day I go up and down the stairs from my deck to the driveway. Next to the stairs are several peony bushes, lavender plants, and overhanging tree branches – a spot that’s often lively with birds. One day something caught my eye. There was a sparrow who was somehow different from the others. Then I realized what it was - he had no tail feathers. I watched for a moment, concerned he wouldn’t be able to fly. But he was amazing, hopping and flitting with the others. I saw him for the next several days, always keeping up with the flock. And they accepted him, seemingly ignorant of his being different in any way.
I found him, and the rest of the flock, so inspiring. I saw God’s grace in his gifts of adaptation and acceptance. I decided to make a little shrine commemorating this amazing and inspiring sight.
The photos below show the process.
Top Left: I made the bird from paper clay and painted him with acrylics. I cut the main piece for the shrine as well as the overlay for the top from 3/4" thick pine, then primed the pieces. The first step in decorating was applying random text in image transfer. I've glued the pieces upside down and will finish the transfer when the glue completely dries.
Top Right: Here's the first layer of image transfer finished.
Bottom Left: I did a layer of painting using transparent colors so that the text would should through. But the way, with image transfer the text ends up as a mirror image which is fine because I just want it for visual texture. Next, I stenciled some leaves (from stencils I made) with gesso, added more light washes of color, and stenciled another layer of leaves.
Bottom Right: Here's the final result - more washes, a few collage elements of text including my handwriting telling about the experience that inspired this piece, and snippets of gold foil glued on. (The gold foil is from Ferrero Rocher candies - the perfect gold as far as I'm concerned, and the bonus is eating the candy!) I finished the piece by gluing the branch section and bird in place, then adding the branches along the edge. By the way, the branches have to be completely dry or they'll shrink and pull away over time.
This piece is special to me. I'm going to hang it by my bed to remind me of acceptance and adaptation.
This Month’s Free Downloadable Art - Santa Lucia
Click on the image and it will open in a new window (from dropbox.com). You’ll see the image, and at the upper right of the window you’ll see three little dots. Click on them to open a menu, then choose “download.” This file is 3.6mb. Please note that I’m sharing this image for your personal use only.
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