Thursday, February 13, 2014

Polymer clay heart (happy) accidents

When Christi Friesen taught classes for the Loose Bead Society, I took everything I could.  She has an enthusiastic personality, and her enthusiasm is contagious.  I learned so much from her, and I was able to sit down with her and have a one-on-one conversation about business that clarified a few things for me.  I see her every year at the Bead&Button Show, and she always has a big smile for me.

One thing that Christi is famous for is her hearts.  Yeah, she has a big heart, but I mean the hearts she makes with polymer clay.  That was actually my introduction to her in 2010.  I saw her table at the Meet the Teachers reception, and I saw "her":

Meet "Antoinette".  It's very simple, but it's purple (which is an automatic double-take in my book), and it has a Vintaj component embedded in it.  I liked the sheen of it as well as the simplicity.  I wasn't positive, though, so after a few looks I walked away.  I visited "my heart" a few times during the show and Christi teased me that the heart was waiting for me, so I gave in and brought it home.  It took me a while to make anything with it because I'm not used to working with anything but silver tones, but I finally did:

The one thing I wish I had done was to buy double the components so I could put them back-to-back.  They flip around, and I see the non-blingy sides more often than I'd like.

I wore the necklace to the Bead&Button Show last year so Christi could see, and she said I needed to post it to her Facebook group, CF Originals.  I haven't done that yet, but I'm going to post a link to this post there.  (Hi, Christi and Christi's friends!)

During class Christi was asked if we could sell our creations made with her techniques.  She said yes, as long as she's given credit for the inspiration.  That has given me a lot of thought about my own business, and I think that works for me, too.

This has turned into a bit of a review for her, hasn't it?  Well, I'm a day early for my review, but here goes:  Buy from Christi - books, products, whatever.  Take classes from Christi.  Talk to her at shows.  You will not regret it.

With that in mind, here are a few polymer clay hearts I made inspired by what I learned from Christi:

This heart is really blue, but you can't see that very well, even though the only lighting was my Ott light.  It must be the sheen from the PearlEx.

The title of this post mentions "(happy) accidents".  I'm not very good at completely wrapping up my clay when I put it away, and sometimes I'll get little stowaways of another color.  The stem of my heart flower was one such stowaway.  When I saw it and how it grew up from the tip of the heart, I wanted to make the tiniest little flower to match.  The batch of hearts I made today were all supposed to use gear and other "steampunky" components to sell at the Gardens and Gears Show I'm doing at the Mitchell Park Domes in Milwaukee on Sunday, but I didn't want to add anything to this one.

The next "accident" I'm showing you is with some spikes I embedded into the clay.  It wasn't until it was in the oven that I remembered that the spikes aren't metal.  Oops!  I was fortunate that the only thing that happened was that one spike curled up a little:

It's a little jaunty, and I respect its choice.

The final heart I'm showing you tonight has a more subtle accident:

Do you see the little indents around the inside of the gear?  Yeah, well, that wasn't planned.  I was using a tool to press the gear into the clay, and it slipped, causing the first dent.  Instead of trying to smooth it out, I went with it and made dents all the way around.  I could have tried to make another ring inside that one, but this one went so well, and I didn't want to tempt fate.

I made 9 more hearts today, but I'm not going to show you all of them today.  I will dole them out on Saturday and Sunday, and tomorrow's post will be the Valentine's Day cards that Steve and I made for each other, if I can convince him to exchange cards before he goes to work.

For now, I am done making product for Sunday's show.  The next two days will be spent inventorying and tagging.  Well, I might sneak one or two more projects in, but not until tagging is done!

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