Tag: pandemic art

Material Shortages and Weird Supply Issues

There’s no secret – my preferred clay is Sculpey Premo and the related Sculpey stuff. With the COVID19 pandemic Polyform, the parent company, has had all sorts of issues with keeping up stock at distributors and my already shaky supply chain has become hit or miss. Living in rural Canada has always made getting materials a bit of a mess but there’s nothing like a global pandemic to mess up shipping and production.

It means that I’ve started stockpiling when I do find materials and I’ve been buying bits and pieces of other brands to use. I’ve cranked through some of my very, very old Fimo clay and I tried Cernit for the first time in… a very long time.

I have enough scraps and bits and pieces I’ll be able to keep making stuff for ages yet but I’m out of some of the colours I use for specific pieces in my shops … and of course they’re my most popular sellers. I hope they show back up as restrictions and shortages begin to ease. It has been a weird year and a bit!

The Quarantine Birds

I love little birds as a theme for my work – beads, drawing, sculpture… whatever form. Before the outbreak I already had a fair assortment of bird themed beads in my shop but I guess other folks decided now was the time to see what they wanted, as far as bird beads go.

As far as themes for the outbreak go little, mostly cute, birds is a pretty mild one I think. Anyone else got a recurring visual element in their pandemic art practice?

Refining Designs and Making Round Beads

Last month before the world ended – I’m joking here but it feels like it, some days, with the complete disruption from the pandemic – I revamped a cane design I had in my shop. I had made what I called zinnias, previously. They were perfectly good canes but they did not look like the crazy, multi petaled fluffs that are regular zinnias. Then, while trying to decide what to do with some blends in my box, I realized I had a better idea of how to approach it. Turns out I did have a better idea! I made four new zinnias in pretty much one go and they make me so happy. You can grab them in my Etsy shop, too (insert mandatory plug).

The fourth is a little muddy because I made it with this fabulous 3 colour blend rather than the higher contrast you get with a single colour to white. Next time I’ll do 3 blends. It’s still beautiful… just not the same style as the others.

Then it got a little crazy in the real world as #flattenthecurve got going, markets started collapsing, and we all started gluing ourselves to the news. A few weeks later it’s not less stressful but there’s starting to be mental space to be creative again as I adjust to the new reality. I cranked out a few zinnia themed round beads and I have to say they are such cheery little things. And I took photos while making them because I’d resolved I would be writing a lot more on my blog and the internet while we were social distancing. The photos now make up the revamp of my Making Round Beads tutorial which is what I point out to everyone who asks me how to use the canes I sell.

I hope all you guys out there are able to hold onto the creative spark, whatever that looks like for you!