The Philippine Polymer Clay Guild just completed another challenge for the month of August...The Pinoy Challenge. We were suppose to choose materials that is indigenous to the Philippines and incorporate it into polymer clay. I wasn't planning to join the challenge this month. However, when everyone began to post their projects, a little rumbling inside me started. It swirled around in my head until one morning it turned into a thought...an inspiration. That very same day, I took out my pen and paper and started on a design.
So, what is my inspiration for this piece? The Ocean...in particular, the bottom of the Philppine seas. I was reminiscing about memories from a past summer when we went to Bohol. We went snorkeling there. The beautiful sandy floor and its rich flora of corals along with the myriads of marine life swirled around the bubbles of the ocean as we were pushed and pulled by the swaying of the waves. It was full of life and beauty..and that is a part of the Philippines that we can all be proud of.
It took a few days to get my materials together. I wanted to used something beautiful and colorful. So, I decided to use Pearls and shells. The iridescence of the materials alone would be sure enough to make the project awesome! And to give it an extra kick, I decided on a "Jewel Tones" palette. I wanted the shells and pearls to be the main source of color of the piece. As for the clay, I selected the turquoise, blues and a touch of green...just as you would see in the ocean.
And for the canvas...i decided on a wooden picture frame. I wanted this piece to be something impressive, just as the ocean is. So, although I know it would take a lot more time and patience, I selected one of the larger sized frames that I thought would fit in my small sized oven.
So, I got to work and started on my project....
I was hoping my picture frame would fit nicely in the oven so that I could create my embellishments right on top of it. Unfortunately when I got home, I found that the frame was way too large. So, I had to figure out a way to work in pieces. I had to make four separate pieces baked separately, then assembled it together by using glue and finally gluing that on to the frame itself...
|This is how to join looks for the separate pieces. They interlock and will be glued together once finished.|
I also had to worry about securing all the beads that I had incorporated into the clay. There were so many that I really did not want to use glue on each and everyone. So I tried to somehow secure the pieces by making sure to put a piece of swirl on top of the bead and also by using liquid clay (as suggested by a fellow clay artist..Thanks Ghie!)
In the end, I went back over the beads and for those that weren't secure, I still had to go back and use E600 glue...just to be sure...
It took about 6 movies to finish the 4 pieces... that's about 12 hours. That doesn't include the baking time, of course. Then a bit more time to assemble the pieces. Here's the progression of the work...
And finally when I completed the last piece..I was jumping for joy! This was the biggest piece I ever attempted..and, happy to say, tackled!
I do plan to add a few more things to the finished piece... a few more oysters and more marine life. So far I added a few as you can see in the detail pictures...
|White fish detail|
|Orange fish detail|
|Hello little fishy...|