Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Zentangles and Jewelry

I can't remember when I first became aware of Zentangles .. though I DO know that it was through one of the many jewelry magazine subscriptions I was receiving. There was an article on the art form which really intrigued me. Anyone can do it, and there are "Tangle" books of all sorts available with designs to try. Though the place to begin is at the Zentangle site click on the little "play" button at the bottom to see a slide show of various designs (or go to their blog link in the upper right corner to see what creative things people are doing with them!)

At the time I was interested in trying to make my own photo sensitive texture plates out of a Zentangle design for use with metal clay, then it occurred to me that getting a rubber stamp made from a Zentangle might be the better way to go. Helen Breil beat me (and probably a whole lot of others) to it. She took the idea and really ran with it. I have to admit, it was much easier to just buy one than to go through the whole process of making a bunch of Zentangle designs, and then send them off to .. where ever .. to be made into rubber stamps. I imagine it would take a whole lot more time and $$ than it did to purchase the five I have. Helen currently has twelve designs. You can see them here: I purchased Mambo, fandango, Conga Line, Tango and Watusi .. though now that I can see some of the newer versions, I may have to buy another one or two!

For the past four years or so I have been stocking up on various tools and materials with the intention of getting into Polymer Clay designing. When the price of silver and gold skyrocketed, it seemed like an interesting medium to play with; especially since I was seeing a lot of impressive jewelry being made with the stuff. I've been collecting books, tools of all kinds, acrylics, silk screen sheets, at least one DVD ... and clay. A whole lotta clay (after doing very well at several recent shows). Helen is a Polymer Clay artist - she's got a website (and a Facebook page) full of some of the fun stuff she's done with her own texture tiles .. and I had originally purchased the texture plates for polymer clay. 

However, I ended up using one for the first time a few weeks ago to make a fine silver (precious metal clay) clasp for a new Byzantine bracelet (for which I cut all those rings recently). It was the Mambo texture I used; and I have to say, I was initially concerned that there wasn't enough depth in the texture tile to really allow for a good impression. This is quick photo I took of the Mambo tile (they're all about 4" x 5").

And this is the bracelet and clasp that came out of the experiment! I thought it impressed quite nicely!! The finished bracelet is a little too big for me, which is just as well as I'd be inclined to keep it.

I have a couple of clay stamps I use with metal clay (and will probably use with polymer as well); one is just my business name, the other is my logo. The name seemed more appropriate for this piece.

I thought the finished design, as it appeared on the clasp, looked a little like a Nautilus. So that's what I call it.  It's much more impressive in person (did I mention I'm still getting used to this new camera?!?)  : )  


Ginger Davis Allman (The Blue Bottle Tree) said...

Good Morning! I've been toying with textures and trying to figure out if it's best to make them or buy them. So it's really great to get an honest (and positive) review of these texture sheets. I do love Helen's patterns. And I LOVE what you made with it. Simple, elegant, and very harmonious. Thanks for sharing!

2 Good Claymates said...

What a beautiful clasp you created! I am probably one of Helen Breil's biggest fans and own most of her textures. Her designs are incredible and work beautifully with polymer clay.