Clay Ideas for Kim and Nancy  -- Diane Black (March 97)

                  ***Panel approach (3-4, or everyone)

                  ***Various themes using Nancy’s pick (category from can) and play technique


--flowers (sculpt., have steps,all kinds, all techniques but caning)

--”origami” (3-D exploration involving much or little folding/bending,surfaces)

--frames (types,techniques and uses, xmas ornaments,frig.magnets,pins,use with non-photo

            items, surface treatments)

--stamping into clay (uses,making larger patt’s from repeating;fill or not,surface tech,pigments

            vs. inks,powders,implements for indenting)

--making stamps and molds (techniques,my temp.adhesive trick,two-sided,bring a

                drawing/name/logo to send together to Cerebral Palsy for 1-2 sheets,storage,uses)

--odd uses (game piece/s,little cars,repairs,fan/zipper pulls,organizing spaces)


--vessels  (types,construction techniques, Kato’s balloon vessel, uses, hinges/lips, baking             instages, supports, potterly, tiny)

--gradations (uses, McCaw Method of cutting stacks of grad.blocks and recombining,how to

            get different effects,translucent)

--inlay (methods, grouts/glue/paint, negative space, using wire/cloissonne,funky,elegant,bargello,

            representational/abstract, framing; bring in baked sheet of marbled or marb/grainy clay

            and punches, scissors)

--translucents (types,uses/effects,caning with new lost wax method,making natural materials,

            diff. betwn using transluc./transpar/CFC natural--samples, tints, surface finishes,caning,

            overbaking yes/no, putting things/powders in)

--landscapes (anything, use a photo you’ve taken or you like, techniques,gradation/toning,

            observation, simplifying lines, most imp.idea, mood, frame?)

--carving (edges, interior, fill or not, underbaking, tools/techniques,relief, diluent will redarken,

            combine with inlay,shadow,using transfers as guides, other ways to transfer pattern,

            abstract and other pattern books,using as frame)

--drawing with pens (crosshatching, outlining, metallics & pigment pens,backgrounds, motifs,

            repetition, shadow, tiny, which ones work/bleed/fade, using Cold Gold)

--adding stuff to beads (Klew’s end caps et al.,long snakes, dots/shapes, attachers, surface

            techniques on additions,contrast consequences, metallics,

--attaching (beads to beads,cords to beads,pressing on a base/collage,mixing media)

--candies for gingerbread house or jewelry/motifs, also bushes, people/g’br.people, walkways

            (assign a diff. candy to ea. participant and have figure out how best and most quickly to             represent it in clay--cane or sculpt, with samples of steps--this ain’t as easy as it sounds;             we’re still working on a 2-yr old house takes so long to reinvent each candy).

            I would be willing to consolidate and photocopy the results for everyone, but would    need to be well before xmas timewise; Hanukkah, Kwanza, etc. ideas for some

--clay people (jointed or not, using face canes or donated ones or sculpt, hats, clothes             accessories or attributes, caricatures, attachment techniques, ways to hang--Grace)

--sculpt something from a thick cane/slice, OR cover a sculpted base shape with slices a la

            Grove or with other things

--nightlights (techniques, bulbs, testing colors for translucency--everyone do a few, then compile,

            themes, wiring, shapes, guy on the Net)

--”primitive” and/or diff. cultures’ ideas about faces or other representations/designs (char.’s,

            motifs, how-to’s)

--miniatures (buy several tapes--my Fil.Cab one and Sue Heaser; Klutz, uses, tools!/techniques

            for working small)

--stringing techniques and ideas (see crossovers with various ideas above)

--sand in clay (use white Sculpey/Mix Quick to un-stiffen, fine vs. coarse sands, rocksalt?,

            faux quarts cabochons (sp?), well sanded, buffing,stoneware,earthenware, adding

            herbs, tea leaves, spices, soil, seed beads, fibers, powdered chalks; peat “bricks”

--Elasticay (uses, properties, figures?, clasps?,wild ideas)

--tessellations (technique, my computer program, playing with paper first?, tess’s we already do

            but don’t realize)

--Half-Square Triangle possibilities (B. Johanna book, Klay Gun; compile?)

--using cutters & innovations (using parts/sides, combining, my simple faces, making

            stacks, inserting same shape/size cutout into hole left from other cutouts, impressions,

            quilt blocks/mosaics, making small canes)

--snowflakes? (method, using mirrors, my books, Kaleidoscope)

--using papers (under cutouts, framed,types to use, handmade, backgrounds,securing)

--collages (Vickie, uses, cutouts swapping, surface treatments,mixing media,design principles)

--bead shapes (Nancy’s myriad, wildest you can think of--see also origami--rolling,mimicing

            something else, texture, techniques/hands/tools,bicone, other “old” bead shapes,

            relation to substance)

--*find* a stimulating idea from a book, etc. you happen upon; look at until you come up with a

            way to apply something from it to the clay.

--colors/textures/shapes associated with . . . moods, seasons, cultures, historical periods

--plants, trees, viney stuff (no flowers in this one)--stay green (char’s,methods,greens/browns/

            grays/toning,highlights/shade--up/down color wheel; OR same thing with water, or air

--distorting (various methods, uses/effects created, post-cane manip.,pre-cane, faces, shapes,

            repetition, planned drafted distortion--my ____book,caricature,Dali et al.)

--sparkles/gleams/sheens/metallics (what’s available?Pearl-Ex,Fimo,foils,rub ons,glitters,Future,

            metallic clays; how look on diff. colors clay/textures; technique, pre-post bake,can

            change?;caveats; negative space,mokume gane/layers/translucents,natural materials

            like stones and other effects like highlights, illuminated millefiori,

--chalks (powdered kids’,ch.pastels,make-ups,on clay & in clay,blending, my heads,brush on/

            impress, sealing)

--bases (for figures, vessels, “pieces;” textures,construction,matching char. of piece, engineering)

--aquarium beads (article, mine, techniques for working small!, diff. things to use for glass,

            pebbles, pendant--counterweight nec?, mirror behind?, ecosystems/sunlight/botany)

--reducing methods (regular stuff, mine, odd-shaped canes/recreating exterior contours, pulling

            vs. rolling, roller/brayer, consistencies/temps/etc.,size of cane)

--face/accessory pieces for mini-pumpkins or Mr. Potato Head pieces--Klutz--or make your

            own “head,” adult toy mood indicator?, use with kid to identify emotion?

--Klay Gun possibilities (more than you think, vaseline/Sculpey/hot water, easy precision, 

            “zippering,” making canes with the various shapes--making your own?-- or combining

             first, working small, various helpers for squeezing clay out & what to do when it flies

            out!, borders, bases, pinchpots, automatic wrapping, slices for inlay or onlay, tiny long

            snakes             for surface/spirals, icing tips Yang Yang, marbelizing, kids, hair/texture,             leaning/having more than one, storing leftovers for later use)

--serendipity scrap canes (aka Crazy Salad, aka ________, monoprints;  a diff. way to work,

            multiples, framing, cut and use for inlays)

--cane making with “4 times anything” (triangle logs Voulkos et al, simple or complex canes,

            using unloved canes/colors, effect of size reduction, backgrounds, can result in single

            piece only)

--spirals, wraps, checkerboards, etc. variations (cut, bend, crosswise/ lengthwise, wrap, use             diff.colored-canes, and recombine; frames, backgrounds, African vertical quilt tech.)

--use spiral, wrap or other cane as realistic component (head, body, hair, animal, tree,


--transfers- all kinds (photocopy, color, etc.)

--Liquid Sculpey applications



--making simple heads, mostly by indenting with household items or adding balls, strips, etc.

            (and/or making finger puppets, pop-ups etc. with heads)

--small PVC containers with clay tops

--quickie star (Vickie does similar but not quite same?)

--reducing method with no waste

--tuna cans and juice lids

--(simpler) butterflies--with scrap canes or not

--balloon pot (Donna Kato’s)

--my photo method using natural light, a gray card, and two white boxes

            My way is simple, inexpensive and produces good results (ask Debbie A for her opinion)             but it does require a Single Lens Reflex camera (non-viewfinder type) and a macro lens. 


            It is possible to do the same thing with a non-SLR and a $15-20 set of “close-up”

            lenses, but would require a lot of experimentation and refamiliarization on my part--since

            when I was testing this idea before, I decided I had enough $$ for a macro lens and

            stopped the experimentation :-).  I have gotten a lot of use out of my macro, esp. for

            recording things I’ve made and for copying photos, etc, and have never regretted buying

            it one bit!    (flea markets may have old macros?)