Friday, October 22, 2010

Paper: Cyan Haunted House Vignette

Haunted House: Paper, tea lights, feather boa, fake spider web

This haunted house photo has been saturated with blue, resembling a cyanoprint. Checking on a cyan fact, I ran across some spooky information on the color


Cyanoprint - a technique of photography developed about 160 years ago that used a mixture of chemicals including Prussian Blue pigment and no silver.

Prussian Blue was one of the first synthetic pigments and is called: Parisian Blue, Berlin Blue and Cyan. From Prussian Blue was derived Prussic Acid and ferrocyanide, (meaning a blue substance with iron in it).
It is used in photography, blueprints, paint and inks.

On an electronic display device, it is called Electric Cyan. Printing ink is Process Cyan. Add white to it and you are back to Electric Cyan.

Web Color Aqua is another name for Electric Cyan.
Cyan has been called, "Aqua" since 1598, because it looks like tropical water. That is why it is used to paint the bottoms of swimming pools.

Some cyanides are toxic and some are not. In plants, cyanides are found in seeds, like almonds and stones such as peaches and defend the plant against herbivores, though in minute amounts. Cyanides are produced by some algae, bacteria and fungi. The popular blue-green algae owes it's color to these compounds.

The most dangerous is hydrogen cyanide and it's derivative salts.

Lack of oxygen results in cyanosis, because the skin turns blue.

Kyanos is the Greek word for dark blue, from which the word comes.

Is cyan a beautiful color of aquamarine blue, the sweet scent of almonds, or deadly poison? You decide. Mmmmwwwhhhaaahhhhaaahaaaa.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Beadwork: Citrus Florals

Citrus Floral Necklace, polymer clay, glass beads, nymo thread

Polymer clay leaves, blossoms, pods and coins in sunny citrus colors might seem an odd choice for the fall season. But what day wouldn't be brightened by this smash of candy hues?

Premo is the polymer clay used in this piece. It stays somewhat flexible, which gives it great endurance. And the brightness is obvious. The blossom in this detail shot shows the sparkling effect of the metallic clay tips. Notice how the metallic clay is not blended in - the design is rather chunky. The leaves are bold, but softly variegated using the Skinner Blend technique of shading. Two colors roll through a pasta machine over and over, until an Ombre effect is achieved. The Skinner Blend is named for Judith Skinner, a pioneer of polymer clay art. This technique is the backbone of many a polymer designer.

Again, I am thinking candy. I just want to eat this up. What flavors would it be? Mango, lime, kiwi, lemondrop and just enough cherry to be the prize.

I like the black tiger spots on the blossoms and inside of the pods. These are tiny pieces of clay. The pods are made of a slice of a kaleidoscope cane, cupped in my palm and rolled with a ball stylus. My version of this kind of cane is not very symmetrical, which is fine for this "organic" approach. Aren't the cane edges fun - the yellow and orange stripes?

The coins have a central hole with a slight recess. This is done with a very small ball stylus. A single bead can nestle down into the sew-on. The cane for this one is in a very loose style. The color seems splashed on.

Here are the "greasy" yellow beads, again. The tropical colors brighten them up. The greasy quality is suggestive of a juicy fruit. The mango colored accent beads are actually pearlized, which is not apparent in the photos.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Beadwork: Red Floral

Red Floral Beaded Necklace, polymer clay, glass beads, nymo thread

Polymer clay floral blossoms in red and black make for a dark romantic necklace. The combination of red and iris beads are an exotic mix. The red cranberry colored glass beads are a nice compliment to the sparse sprinkling of red coral pieces. The matte iris berry beads reflect the matte finish of the florals.

Iris describes the multi-colored finish of glass beads. This necklace has a mix of blue and purple iris beads as it's foundation. Notice the few spots of blue mixed in.

This is a good example of the fringing that the blossoms are nestled within. Fringes are branched beadwork, each knotted at the base to allow for easy movement, as fringe should have. Branched fringes become shorter and more spaced on the necklace itself, completing the statement.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Paper: Haunted Witch Card

Haunted, my newest set of paper silhouettes combine for a spooky scene, shot to be a card front. Two main challenges befell this arrangement: standing up of the props and getting the right focus with the camera. The grasses and picket fencing are excellent for interlocking, allowing for some features, like the pumpkins, to stay put. The grasses and fencing are curved so they will be free-standing. The trees, however, require some stand of their own. These are held in place by luck. And, it may be time to borrow a better camera.

What I love about this scene is the layering and dimension. The central character is a large rocking witch. Her hat has a nice bend and the bat is charming. The background paper makes for different effects with different lighting. It has a pearl layer that reflects the light.

Another version of the witch card. This one is less defined, but much more moody and dramatic. The lighting is achieved by placing color-changing led tea lights around the scene.

I like this one best. It has good contrast of color, light and dark. The colored light shows up, but is subtle. This witch is holding a crystal ball. She is much smaller than the witch above. The corkscrew willow in gray is a nice effect among all the black. I like how the background pattern shows up and then fades out in the upper corner.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Paper Witch Rocker

Gazing into a crystal ball, this witch rocks. Really, she rocks! She's the newest addition to my Haunted collection, which is new too. The rocking witch is a layered paper figure. Her hair, hat, cape, arm and skirt are all separate pieces. She rocks with the tap of a finger.
The crystal ball is a miniature acrylic cabochon. She can also hold a Jack-o-Lantern. This witchy girl would make a great place setting or cut larger, a centerpiece. I love her "Bewitched" collar and sleeves.
This view shows "behind the scenes" construction. The rocker is made of a rounded hem of her skirt in the front, (the jagged edged skirt is layered on top), and an oval glued onto the back. It is hard to see in this photo, but if you look closely you will see a notch taken out of the oval. This is no mistake. It is put there to keep the figure from rocking completely to the side. It is a catch, or a brake.

The quarter is taped inside the front bottom of the skirt to give it a center weight, allowing it to rock. I did three models. It cost me 75 cents. I figured out that washers cost the same or more than quarters. Why not just use quarters? Double stick tape holds them in place.