Author: Elaine

Week 6: A Valentine’s Day Photo Holder

Here’s a simple project that uses scrap clay, a little wire or a paperclip, and either a little red, white, and pink clay or some acrylic craft paint.

1) Partially unbend and kink the end of a paperclip or, twist a double loop in a 6″ piece of wire. Trim it until the tales are only 1.5 to 2″. Kink the ends a bit.

2) Slightly condition your lump of scrap clay – I used a round chunk about 1.5″ across – and then cover it in a thin sheet of your base colour. For me, that’s a nice red sheet at #5 on my pasta machine.

3) Trim your sheet to neatly wrap and smooth out any join lines and air bubbles.

4) Add your wire to the lump and heal the hole up around the wire stem. Add a little liquid clay to the join if you have it.

5) Roll out a few scraps of clay in fun Valentine’s Day colours at a nice thin setting. I like Sculpey 3 Ballerina Pink, Premo White Glitter and Blush Pink.

6) Use small heart and circle cookie cutters to cut out a few shapes from your sheets. Decorate your base with them.

7) Bake according to package directions. Because this is a thick chunk of clay that’s going to be a while in the oven. Time it to go in with other pieces or bake it with two other projects (yes, you can bake it more after you take it out).

Caturday: Ro and the Glass of Water

Our calico, Ro, was a stray kitten when we adopted her from the alley outside our shop. She’s always been much more flexible about what constitutes food than our other cat who was never anything but a house pet. This also means she wants to check what we eat and drink to make sure she’s not missing out. It’s a bad cat habit and we try not to leave stuff out for her to play with.

My bad habit is leaving random glasses of water around the house. This leads to one of my early kitten pictures of Ro trying to get a drink out of one. And today’s amusing 15 months later version. She’s much taller and smarter about it these days.

Ode to my Pasta Machine

If you’re a polymer clayer there’s a good chance you understand this post in a deep and emotional way. For the others out there let me tell you how much I appreciate my pasta machine and it’s good friend the pasta machine motor.

This fall my old machine – or it’s motor, rather – began losing torque. I love my pasta machine motor. It makes doing blends so much simpler. I use it most days. And they’re not cheap, especially shipped to rural Canada.

Long story short, my poor motor finally lost enough oomph that it wouldn’t crank my pasta machine. I spent a few days hand cranking and then broke down and ordered a new one. At the same time, I ordered a new pasta machine, as well, since they come in fun colours now and it’s always good to have backup studio equipment.

Isn’t it pretty?

My partner – a handy guy – tells me that the commutator in the old motor is a little off true and is repairable. This is out of my nerd wheelhouse but I think it means I may have a second, working, motor. I know my older one died differently and was NOT repairable.

Either way, if you need to find me, I am making blends on my shiny new machine with the loud, energetic motor.

Bonus weird fact: my studio is open to the public and the pasta machine is clearly visible. It has been the source of many conversations over the years with random customers. I am pretty sure in my small town I have the most pasta machines, period. And I am pretty sure people figure I am making beads by day and weird pasta in my off hours.