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Ramble Index What Was That All About?

Wednesday, September 26, 2001 3:01 AM


That subject line is what Marlon Brando wants to say as his last words. "What was THAT all about?"  For some reason it always breaks me up. Ok, So what was that all about, them two tutorials, and why shoot them through so quickly? Oh the old timers will tell ya, there's a method to my madness.
The mini Plumeria inspired flowers littering the Hawaii Tin  




or this bigger than a lot of real orchids flower on the Rumble in the Jungle tin

they show one thing, it don't matter if you mini or not. The trick is not to limit yourself to one size or the other automatically. I'd like to get some miniaturists to think... "Hey, life size magnolias, wouldn't that be pretty?" Yes it would and it would be easy too. No one is stopping mini makers from thinking life size with their clay.

I made this orchid for more than tempting Paulo to come out and clay ( Hey honey!) , although that would be cool if it did. As our CoPeepstress Michele/luny reminded me that she had once said, "If it ain't life size, it's miniature." Ask yourself, is what you do, make flowers this honking big? Are the embellishments you put on tins, pins, pendants, earrings life sized anything? I wonder. This flower could be life size, although I've seen many orchids much smaller. Even though life size is doable, can you wear it out and about? Put it on a shelf maybe. Practical it's not, can't really slip this big orchid into my schlepping pouch. The mini that tin can travel, the mini flowers cluster close to one another and make a good strong structure.
These two tutorials were thrown together in quick succession to show you also that it doesn't take all that much time to do these things. Using some of the Easy Breezy techniques of making your life easier it goes by quickly. Quick enough to satisfy the most impatient of clayers. I still got chores done and family time enjoyed and goof around time as well as nattering on the list and got these puppies done, up and shown. The hardest part of writing is....come on you know the answer...putting the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.
It's more of a matter of having your work space set up for the spur of the moment clay run and going with your flow.  I'm hoping that these tutorials will give you a shove in the general direction of your work space chair. When you get there, set on down. Think of the last thing that filled your heart, touched you in some way. Let that thing come out in your clay.
The next thing that brings you delight or fills you with awe: a sunset, a kitten sleeping in the dappled sunlight of a fall afternoon, a humming bird, or a really nice bug, note it. Bronze the moment. That moment of awe or joy is our natural space. Those moments are what makes our lives enriched and there's truth to those things that will most likely resonate in other humans if they saw the things you made inspired by it.
The next thing that gives your heart joy, use that as inspiration to do something in clay. We can't order inspiration online and pay with PayPal. We can't find it in a box of candy like a surprise. We got to snatch it out of life. That's why I made the Plumeria mini flowers right after Jainnie showed us her back yard. I wanted to show you that you too can go from seeing some picture and slap dashing something out, fired on your own juice, your muse being goosed.  I thought...lopsided sunny side up egg with yolk broken, no problem. I wanted to show also that canes can be just two colors and used as elements like petals and not always some symbol on a disk. Nifty thing about three dimensional flowers is you can use just one color and get away with it. 
Clay Tip Troll Booth:
Oh some might ask what the mix was of the orchid. Remember those star flowers on the Hawaii tin? That cane was made of crimson and that Leigh rose made of yellow and orange fire rose cane, that is the button on the top of the tin. I took the scraps of that clay run and mixed it with pearl and then did a skinner blend of that mix with pearl. Accordion pleated it, not the jelly roll because I didn't want the pearl in the middle but at the ends of the petals. The cane was a large triangle, well sort of a over inflated heart that was triangular- ish. One could hold it between the thumb and forefinger of their hand. I cut thick slices and made a spoon shape. Then taking the outer crimson edges I pulled the clay into ruffles, grab a bit and pull in opposite directions, move on down the edge and do it again. Easy Breezy flamenco skirt fluting. Can get carried away with some Carmen Miranda ruffles if we wanted to, but I digress. The pearl end was bowled up from underneath to counter point the bowl going in the other direction with the crimson end of the petal.
The center of the orchid was the Plumeria scraps and end canes mixed to a pearl yellow and run into a sheet, the center was crimson with pearl and I made a bullseye cane and reduced it, sliced it and stacked until I got a good enough amounts of spots. The round shapes were just quick bowls stuck face down. Boink.
The spotted area of the orchid blossom was a bullseye cane that was in the shape of an elongated cone, wide at one end and narrow at the other. Then it was flattened from the middle going to the widest end. Sliced into equal sections of the same length they were stacked, little bullseyes with little, big elongated bullseyes with big. Mashed together and took two slices. Pulled the slices to tear shape and sliced off the outer edge, because the inside of the Orchid was like that. Top with a half moon of the matching crimson/pearl that was the spots and made the flutes. Think Julie Child, that's how I clay. A bit of this, a splash of that, sip the cooking sherry...well maybe not.
For our cane can use cane as an intermediate step to a larger object. A cane need not be the end of your clay trick, make a smiley face and then you have a hundred smiley face disks, but rather the beginning of something that incorporates that cane as one of many design elements.
That's all I can think of as to why I did this and now I'm off to winky nods. It's been a good couple of days.

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