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Friday, September 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Cindy Mickey Friedman!

Cindy Friedman Mosaicon
When I was 9 a new family moved into the house two doors down.  The Mickeys consisted of a mom, Trudy, a dad, Skip, three boys, Dave, Dan and little Rich, and a girl, Cindy. Within months, Cindy and I were becoming best buds. Although we were different in many ways, I was a tomboy and Cindy sewed Barbie clothes, we shared an interest in art, drawing and design.  Our lives continued to intertwine as we grew into adults and 48 years later, Cindy and I are still best buds. Although we've shaped very different lives we have grown together.  We are no longer just friends we are family. I can’t imagine my life without Cindy and I feel confident Cindy feels the same. 

The sun's features are molded from the face
of an antique bank.
    Many years ago, I shared with Cindy my enthusiasm for American folk art quilts and quilting.  She ran with it and now is an exceptional fabric artist, well-known in the Philadelphia area. As I’ve gotten involved in making jewelry and polymer clay art, Cindy has been my biggest supporter and promoter. This year I wanted to do something really special for her birthday.  I decided to make a Cindy Mosaicon based on the work of artist Laurie Mika. I constructed a mosaic of glass tiles and my own polymer clay tiles. For some tiles I used image transfer to show some of Cindy’s fabric art pieces. Other tiles were made with a variety of stamping, coloring and texturing methods. The sun compass represents our shared astrological sign, Leo, and Cindy’s travels around the world.  
Artist: One who professes and practices an imaginative art.
   To learn more about Cindy and her art, go to her website at  Also, if you are interested in creating a Mosaicon of your own, look into Laurie Mika’s book, Mixed Media Mosaics, Techniques and Projects.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

ColorSmash Beads: Polymer Clay, Color and Maggie Maggio Part 2

At the end of my class with Maggie Maggio, I gathered together my leftover black/white canes and mixed rainbow colors used for my split ring bracelet.  In a rush I just smashed them together into one big lump of clay, wrapped it in Syran Wrap, threw it in my carryall with my tools and headed for home. A few days later, I pulled out my leftover clay with the intent of using it for scrap. I sliced it in half and what I saw was a great mixture of black, gray and white stripes mixed with blocks of color--way too cool to turn into mud. So I made what I call “ColorSmash” beads.  I cut slices of clay, wrapped them around wooden beads, punched holes and strung them with brightly colored rondelles to make a necklace, bracelet and earrings.  What fun. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Polymer Clay, Color and Maggie Maggio

Where's the Yellow?
I am a member of the Philadelphia Area Polymer Clay Guild (PAPCG). In August the Guild held a class with Maggie Maggio, co-author of the book Polymer Clay Color Inspirations. Maggie studies color and believes polymer clay is the best medium for exploring color.
    For the class we were asked to bring color clippings we cut from magazines.  First Maggie had us sort through our clippings, pull the colors we liked and put aside the rest. Then we created a collage of our liked colors based on value. Maggie showed us it is possible to make any color from three primary colors plus black and white. Using Premo the primaries we used were cobalt blue, zinc yellow and magenta.  We chose 4 or 5 colors from our collages and mixed clay to match.  From our mixes we made a skinner blend which we stretch to almost transparency. My skinner blend was made of the rainbow colors of yellow, orange, red, purple and dark purple.  Maggie had each of us lay our blends on top of black and white striped canes. Then we stretched it all again. Making long snakes with our striped blends we formed them into split rings to create split ring bracelets.  Although my skinner blend had shades of yellow and orange when you look at my bracelet you will see greens. What I discovered thanks to Maggie is that in the polymer clay world, when you add yellow to black you get green. Surprise! Black is really a blue. Who wudda thunk? I didn’t know.
    Although I left the class with a really cool bracelet, my real take away was in my head not on my wrist. I learned that before I start a new project I need to take the time to consider the colors I think I want use, mix and experiment with them first to determine how they work together and move forward from there. Maggie encouraged us to play with color. So the next time I’m just in the mood to smash around with clay with no real objective in mind it’s OK. I know now to make note of the new colors I’ve created in the process and not only have I relieved some stress, I’ve done color studies. Thanks Maggie!