I was introduced to this concept by an amazing artist a few years ago when the Hubs and I were traveling full time around the country. Annie and I immediately hit it off, and she told me that she and her husband, Craig, have lived their entire married lives following their creative flirts and let me tell you, their home was filled to the brim with their creative treasures! Following Your Flirts is a concept that I decided to carry with me from my visit with Annie and Craig, and I am so grateful for the one day we spent together. It was a lifetime to me.
Since Shayne is a computer programmer and works remotely, it doesn't matter where we hang our hat as long as we have reliable internet service. So, about a month before he turned 40, he declared to me that he wanted to pack up our apartment in Chattanooga, TN and hit the road for a year, living in cities that promoted great music. So, we did just that. We have a Subaru Outback, and we packed that sucker to the gills with our most important things...like my favorite morning coffee mug!
I have a small, small jeweler's bench that could sit on a TV tray and that, along with 2 plastic boxes filled with my other tools was all I took with me work-wise. It was crazy! But it was a blast, too! We rented short-term rentals that were all inclusive for up to 4 months at a time, and then we were on to the next destination.
Well, we decided to winter in Eugene, Oregon for four months, but the tiny, tiny house we rented didn't have enough room for me to work.
So, I found a great studio to rent at Clayspace and I bought a beater bike and biked to my studio for four months. It was heaven. I have always wanted to learn how to work with clay, and in addition to learning how to throw pots, I wanted to see if I could make some clay jewelry too.
|These have been coated with Ice Resin|
I saw a box in the office that was made from low-fire clay, and asked the studio manager about it. It was heavily textured, and stained, not glazed. I was obsessed about trying to make jewelry from it. So, I bought some low-fire clay, rolled it out and textured it with my jewelry tools. As you all know, I am passionate about oxidizing my metal, and decided to stain the clay and then wipe it off, in a similar fashion to using Liver of Sulphur. Well, the effects were just what I wanted, but the integrity of the pieces were not jewelry worthy in my opinion. So, I fired them and kept them...figuring that one day, something would come across my path that I could do with them.
Last year, I was introduced to Ice Resin by my friend Diane Cook, and I bought 3 tubes of the stuff, and then promptly put them into a drawer and forgot all about them. But one of the joys of moving is finding treasures (like a gold opal ring I thought I had lost!) and luckily I found the resin on the same day I found my stash of low-fired clay jewelry. I had a peanut butter and chocolate moment! An answer to the low-fire clay jewelry question? Yes!
Excited, I hurriedly typed a quick note to Deryn Mentock on Facebook to see if she thought it would work to coat the clay with the resin. Her answer was to give it a try, as she didn't think it would react to the clay as long as it was fired.
So, I did. And it worked! Beautifully!
|The darker area cutting diagonally to the middle has been coated, but not the remaining. See the difference?|
Following Your Flirts is important, and even if you don't think your flirt will go anywhere, follow it anyway. With time, those flirts can turn into a full time romance...and before you know it, flirting with new creative and artistic methods of expression becomes a way of life! And what a life it can be!