Saturday, January 26, 2008

Welcome to INDIA (new piece)

The new piece I have here was made when I happened upon this wacky elephant which I decided I had to own, I thought it was interesting with its obviously sculptured shape and seemingly arbitrary placement of a mosaic of tiny mirrored pieces of glass or plastic, beads, sequins, and a chain.; its outrageous and I saw a vision of one of my figures sitting on it. So I began sculpting a little brown man and after placing him atop the elephant I knew something was missing, he needed a companion, and they both needed more pizzazz to match the elephant. I really like the couple, they have a sense of togetherness the way they are sharing the world together, wherever I place this piece, I feel like they are on a journey and how they look off into the same direction is really touching. I imagine that she just whispered something about a scene they just passed, or maybe they are just sitting looking out over the water at the sunset or in a jungle. I love it. The figures mesh so well because they are both so different, his stone personality and aged features contrast with her youthful face and mischievous nature. They are both well-dressed in polymer clay. You can see some rolled out pieces of colors in the photos below of clay, some of which I used on them. He was made purposely thin to indicate they are in some other country and a natural people. They look like they may be from India or the vicinity. He has baggy light blue shorts on with a belt made of multi-colored clays. She wears a pink dress adorned with beautiful clear crystal stones embedded in it. She has a multi-colored top on, and a scarf of blue and red links the two, blue for tranquility and red for love. The elephant also mirrors these colors, he has some pink and a blast of red on the mouth part. I placed a chain to further link the couple together and also relate them to the elephant who is super encrusted as if a mosaic. The girl has heavy eye copal on since I wanted her to look eastern, and the man is bald… I later etched lines in his forehead to make him appear older. I also added a polymer clay flower handmade by me to her hair for a touch of femininity since she’ straddling the elephant like a real trooper.
This entire piece is just under 3.5 inches tall, the figures will amaze you at their trinket size… they would look great in some kind of glass display.

I know I usually narrow the pictures down to just a few best, but I had to show every angle of these two precious stones.

Friday, January 25, 2008

New Piece - "Race: Juxtaposition and Reposition"

The piece I was talking about on the lower half of yesterdays blog has been COMPLETED! I love it, its purpose, to make you think about preconceived notions of race which I myself have even been a victim of accepting. Obviously this could be turned into a series of pieces called “Race: Juxtaposition and Reposition” It could be a series because there are so many other things to reposition which are stereotypes, this one basically deals with hair and eye color, another could be to reposition the features such as large lips and wide nose opposed to slender nose and thin lips and even body type, but this is what I have now, it gave the black woman blue eyes and blond, straight hair, and it gave the white woman dark eyes and textured locks of dark hair. They are not facing each other, they are sitting next to each other, both in a polymer clay-formed toga or primitive dress, their hands are joined together to ensure this piece is not taken negatively, it is not a battle of the races, it is a co-existing and blurring of racial lines in a way.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Giving for a good cause (and thoughts on the next creation)

(This blog will not have any photos)

Last year I donated a butterfly person to a geriatric foundation in Florida which was doing a silent auction to benefit geriatrics and I reasoned that if we live long enough we would all be geriatrics so I thought it was a good cause.
Well, today I was contacted by a volunteer community fundraiser called Relay For Life which will hold a silent auction on June 20th in Woodbury, MN; and all proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society. They are seeking unique, distinctive items and I am going to actually make them a special butterfly person, she may read: “Relay For Life” but that may be unnecessary, I will think about it. Either way she will be beautiful and probably faceless since cancer doesn’t discriminate.

Im thinking about a new piece, it is going to involve racial stereotypes and juxtapose two female figures, facing each other as if looking into the mirror. Im not sure how to make this piece without contradicting myself because there are going to be a brown figure and a white/lighter figure, it will represent African Americans and whites, however the white figure will have the bushy afro-style hair while the black person will have straight, light-colored hair. The thing is speaking about race and also wanting what the other race has such as hair and features, but I don’t think I want to switch the features because then the white one would just look albino and the brown one would look like a person from India. Should I even attempt it? I’m thinking keep the traditional “African” features on the brown figure even though this is continuing with following stereotypes which I wanted to address, but the hair will be switched and perhaps eye color… I want to do this because (in New York at least) you see many white girls with dreadlocks now and African-American girls with straightened and colored hair. I’m not against any of it, I just want to speak about it, how the different races want what they were not born with, with what the other one has. This could be done as early as tomorrow sometime if I get offline and start working on it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Thoughts, New Gypsy, Blue-Eyed Blonde, and Tiny Mary

Yesterday was interesting, after posting the blog I walked to a friends house, the walk was over ten miles and took two hours to complete. My soul was filled with a sense of being apart of everything, the sunset, the cold weather, the human race, I feel much better. My feet are not in such great shape, they really hurt and the left one is swollen.
Off topic stuff for a second, I saw Cloverfield and it was AWESOME, I loved it but can definitely see that it is not a movie for everyone. Also Heath Ledger died today, that's really sad, he lived up the street from us in Brooklyn (before he split with his girlfriend/wife) so its weird and kind of closer than just another celeb.

I did have a great day today, I must talk to you and this is just me rambling, don't worry the blog will have pictures so if you want to skip the mumbo-jumbo, just scroll down this chunk of text. I must talk to you, I must reveal my feeling about things. Okay, this art thing is crazy, but I can feel success right around the corner. All I need is exposure, not even a lot of it, maybe just publication in a magazine or newspaper and of course my self-promotion on the street. I do now sell online from my website so I hope people actually start buying soon... its going to be a very interesting spring and summer for me! I need a few good custom orders to do and then just to sell my stuff as I want. I cant wait until the summer when the days are long and the art is colorful and tourists are in NYC parks! I have plans to do what I did last year, to take two tables out to Union Square, one to display and sell the pieces, and the other to actually make the stuff there on the street! Its a great way to 'prove' that I actually make the pieces since many have their doubts believe it or not. So, this is the year of the rat, it is a year where new enterprises that are begun will affect the rest of your life (if you happen to be a rat... a person turning 12,24,36,48, 60, 72, 84, 96 etc this year), so this is the perfect time to actually do it! I feel like all of my little sales and making them over the last few years has all led up to this, that I will be able to fully blossom into an artist now. You know I also used to practice creative visualization, this is manifestation of things you want. I used to do it all the time as a kid but not too long ago decided I was too powerful and basically decided to let God/the universe take the reigns of my life. I even knew that woman that made news recently for finding the painting in the garbage ( Miss Elizabeth Gibson was known to me as just Betsy and worked across from me in Pier 17 and wanted me to help her with manifestation of something she found in the garbage but I refused... I know I have the power, I have dreams and I just need to focus and plan well and trust me, this art form or craft will carry me very far this year... maybe even for the rest of my life, who knows. I hate to sound materialistic but I need to make money doing it, because I have been homeless once, and its not fun, I don't want to loose my apartment but also don't want to get another 9-5, my art is more important so I will take the risk.

Alright with that out of my system, I must say today was uber productive and I'm so happy! I made six new pieces, I will show you three of them. The first is a woman I made that (as the blog before last said) was supposed to commemorate hard working women. She was going to be some kind of village woman carrying a basket on her head, however something changed along the way and she became a gypsy, I make Gypsys a lot, I love them, but she was unplanned. Her skin is a light brown so I decided to make her eyes shades of brown and make them very large and creature-like so shes not really human, shes more a little fairy-gypsy-butterflyperson thing. She has a rather ethnic nose and full red lips which I washed over in brown to tone down the crimson. Everything about her is 100% handmade by me without the use of molds or anything! I wove the basket myself from pieces of clay and also made the minute little red flowers in her basket and on her head. I really enjoyed making her clothes because my last few pieces have not really had the intricacies of folds in the "fabric" which is made of clay. My gypsies usually have a head scarf but her hair was done with such craftsmanship that I decided I couldn't just cover it up, shes got LOTS of hair (as seen from the pic showing the back). So since her arm was still in the position of holding the basket on her head, I just altered her hand to be sort of adjusting the flower on her head. She is a beauty, I ended up actually painting the basket brown so its brown now.

I present her:

Yay, I'm so happy about her, she was an accomplishment for the day for sure, but it didn't end there, I also made a pale girl. My vision was to mix the beige clay and the white clay to get an in-between color but she came out really pale. Her face is very interesting and quite different from my usual proportions. She is cute but in an unusual way. Her eyes are blue so I decided to mix clay like I used to (blue and white) and make her a blue ice Butterfly Person. After painting, I made a body but the clay was soooo uncooperative that it reminded me of my early pieces, floppy arms and legs and just not holding up without a skeleton. I then put the clothes on and I formed toes on her feet, and made hair on her head, I knew she was going to be blond before I made her, but her hairstyle was my typical over the shoulders free style, but I decided why not make a butterfly person with a pony tail! I don't think I ever did that before so it was pretty cool to see what it would look like. She is holding a stone, and I've often been asked why are they sometimes holding stones, the answer is that they are offering you the stone, they are offering you something, they have a treasure to give, kind of like my talent, I feel I am giving my talent to people when they come by to see my art, Its my way of giving them something to give. Does that make sense? I really like her except her hands, they are really big but the clay was just too soft so I couldn't do really good detail work on her. She is a pretty white girl though :-p

Shes not that big, but not that small either.

Okay, honestly she probably matches a bit too much, but I love her, gotta give her some blue wings so a blue lover will snatch her up!

Not all butterfly people are made with colored clay! Other pieces are made with a plain color of clay and painted. The painted pieces have different look to them, they look more artsy if that's possible because they are messy and you can tell they are hand painted, there is something more play-dough-ish about the colored clay ones, but I love both. This TINY figure was hand painted by me today, here is a picture of me putting on the final touches to the figure.

Here she is with just the white part of her eyes painted on...

Next I painted in the pupils...

and painted the girl with red and blue, the blue was too much so I added some yellow for a greenish effect.

Bushy eyebrows rock!

Done! And giant hand to put into perspective how small this treasure is. She reminds me of a Catholic devotional doll, except she is showing midriff.

Check out EVERYBODY made today, all baked and with real wings (except the two smaller ones, their wings are plastic but I will further discuss this next time).

Monday, January 21, 2008



Today is a dark day, I don't know why, not dark as in the weather because it is very bright and sunny but its 3:40pm right now without a cloud in the sky but I'm thinking of Ashley, Sherree, Miguel, Matthew, Sterling. The people who no longer walk with us in the world of the living. I haven't been at Union Square in nearly two weeks and have made no online sales... yet I believe sometimes things cannot be rushed so I think I will be exiting this house soon and take a walk, a very very long walk.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Mermaids, the water potter, a mother, and sunflower trees

I have finished nine of the couples I discussed in my last blog, they are cased and I decided after much deliberation, not to put any sort of wings in the case or anything but the figures themselves, they are very sculptural little things in their wash with brown paints, they should remain simplistic like that. Here are three pics that capture the action of pouring the diluted brown onto the raw figures.

Fun stuff!

The next pieces I made were supposed to be different, I wanted bright, bold colors and that's just what I got. The blue guy was supposed to represent two things, for me my life, life as a potter which will hopefully be my future in ceramics, also that of water. Water is the fundamental element of our world, he is green-blue like water because that's what he represents. The color also brings to mind Hindu gods as does the facial structure and hair. He has no wings.

Finished he doesn't have the little lady on his leg, I only put her there to show scale when discussing her role in the next piece which is a Sunflower-plant thing with roots and branches with flowers on the ends and leaves on the stems. This piece is very small and started out with just some green coils... see for yourself:

First I made the face of the piece in green clay, fastened triangular petals with yellow around it and set it aside for later use. I then formed several coils of green clay and propped it up as seen below. I then twisted each paired coil together for a spiral vine effect.

next I attached the head, further twisted the branches, and made leaves to also smooth on, smaller closed flowers were made and put on as well.

The roots are still green at this point but I plan on painting them brown, the bases is more like a tree trunk to support all the weight on top.

Below is the actual finished version as it appears in its case, a tiny yellow butterfly was attached to appear on the back of a teeny tiny figurine I made (with the aid of a magnifier), the green roots are painted brown, it is signed and dated, and little seed pods which look like cute little pumpkins have been scattered about the bottom of the case... a natural scenic-looking composition all in a 2"x2"x3" cube, its like having a little part of nature in your hands.

Moving along to discuss the girl in the above piece... she may not be a beauty, in proportion, or even have hands, but she sure is tiny! I made her using the magnifier on the light I use when I'm working with the clay (pictured below) and to show how tiny she is here is a pic of her in my hand.

The tree piece is very small (two inches tall), but can still be compared to two pieces I did in the past. Both were over five inches tall, but one done in 2006 depicting a tree spirit and the other dated 2007 also doing the same (the '07 was a re-make of the '06 actually). They are pictured below

The third tiny sculpture I finished recently is a Radical chick, she is bright orange with just crazy-colorful hair. She reads, "Create Art" because that's what I do!
She began as a orange-colored figure (she was not painted)

I later actually combined these four colors (blue, orange, red, yellow) as seen here and rolled them out into strands. Each strand was combined with a like color (orange-yellows with each other, blues with each other), and twisted for a spiral effect. This will not work with very soft or over conditioned polymer clay.

The twists were attached to the figures head.

She embodies bright and cheery which is what self expression is all about, well actually it can be dark, but its still a beautiful thing to be able to express oneself in a productive way.

This is the finished product, I will admit.. shes rather frightening with a face, but her message "Create Art" allows all of her other flaws to melt away.

Here she is pictured with the other two pieces discussed so far in the blog.

The next piece I'm pretty much in LOVE with, she is in my opinion my best mermaid thus far, and she just knocks my socks off every time I look at her. She was made from polymer clay but I painted it all over so the original color is hidden. She started out as you see in this first picture, was painted, then embellished. I combined white, blue, and yellow paints to do her tail, while white paint was alone used to paint her skin (mermaids wouldn't get much sun under the ocean right?). She is sitting on cernit polymer clay which is WAY too hard for me to use for faces so I use it as bases.

I used my gold lacquer to cover the tail with and create a iridescence like a fish would have and then pressed in lines to appear as if they were scales. Shells I collected on my trip to Puerto Rico two years ago were attached to the base to make it more presentable and ocean-like, she also holds one. Her hair is super long as would be expected from a mermaiden, it is the same pastel colors as her skin and tail so that the piece wouldn't have too much contrast. Speaking of contrast though, a bright stone was placed in one of her hands, a focal point of the piece. Clear christals are on her flanks. She will have no wings but is encased for protection.

She is the best mermaid ever, for reference, here is a picture of my very first mermaid made in 2006.

Whew, im tired of typing, but there are two more pieces I must show you!
Next up is a flower girl, she holds a bouquet of beautiful hand-made polymer clay flowers and they are scattered throughout the floor of her case. Her wings are REAL insect wings and are transparent. I only have one photo of her at the time being. Her skirt is colorful and purple, made from colorful polymer clay, and her shirt is red and blue. Her eyes are amazing and icy cold, she has little make-up on but the most time consuming part of creation with her was her hair, each strand was coiled around a needle and them positioned on her head, she has to have over fifty strands on her head! this gives a very fullness to her head though and it can be seen 360 degrees which is nice, no butterfly blocks the view from behind and the wings are translucent.
Check out the celestial light shining down upon her :-p

Keeping on the trail of textured hairstyles, we come to this young mother. Now, I already have a picture of a young mother here
but that young mother is too confident and sure of herself. This one is younger and less experienced, she is not sure what the future holds, but her far leaned back posture indicates her head is held high, whatever the future brings, she can handle it. The butterfly in the case is symbolic of change, and the stone inside is my birthstone.

As do they all, she began as a polymer clay figure in my hands, bald and naked.

I painted on her features and made her hands and feet... I wanted her in African colors so I chose yellow and red.

Now the fun part! Embellishing the head is one of my fav pastimes with the butterfly people! I used little rectangles of clay and twisted them into a fantastic textured hair. Its wild and crazy like my hair used to be. I also put some white "reflection" into her eyes so that they would "come alive". She holds her baby, but seems like shes not even sure about how to hold it! She just smiles and looks forward to the future.

That's all folks, stay tuned, my next blog will feature some brand new miniatures inspired by hard-working women, I also have a same-sex couple custom order to get started on.