Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit


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Welcoming a New Brood of Kitties…

Ah spring, when the flowers bloom and baby animals are introduced to the world. Here in my studio this spring I am “birthing” new artwork. So it seems rather fitting that today I introduce you to my newest brood of kitties.

Cat Ornimals In Progress

My large cat ornimals are sculpted with Super Sculpey clay over a glass base. There are several steps involved in the process from prepping the glass to the final curing of the paint. Here are a few in-progress shots.

Cured Cat Ornimal

Cat Ornimals after acrylic wash

Hanging out on the display

Cat Ornimals get some character

A New Brood of Kitties

Though I enjoy sculpting my animals, the real fun happens when I paint on their “fur” and add their eyes. Because each piece is hand sculpted, slight variations occur. That is the nature of sculpting for me. These fur balls were all sculpted in the same week, yet each one has a slight difference in its face that gives each cat its own personality. That personality becomes evident as the painting occurs. Between the sculpting and the painting, I hope to capture some of the humor in the animals.

Cat Ornimals 2012 Group Shot (Amy Crawley)

Grey Tabby Cat Ornimal (Amy Crawley, 2012)

Brown Tabby Cat Ornimal (Amy Crawley, 2012)

Siamese Cat Ornimal (Amy Crawley, 2012)

Tiger Striped Cat Ornimal (Amy Crawley, 2012)

Tuxedo Cat Ornimal (Amy Crawley, 2012)

This first group of five Cat Ornimals will be available for purchase in my ArtFire Studio in a few days. I’ll let you know when they have been added to my online studio.

Next I’ll share with you what happens when life gives you the wrong sized glass base and the creative muse is activated.

As always, thanks for your continued support on this journey. And thanks for stopping by….


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Welcome Spring!

Introducing my latest Bobble Totem, Spring!

Spring! 2012 Amy A. Crawley

Spring’s head is from the collection of heads that reside on my work table. He’s been patiently waiting several years for a body. His coat is a faux malachite cane. I took thin slices off the cane, applied them to a backing sheet, and added the other canes and seed beads for accent.

His birdy friend looks a bit like a robin doesn’t it? The bird was made with white clay and colored with alcohol inks. Spring! is another piece that that was created intuitively. I let the color of Spring’s! jade green face guide me in creating his body/coat. He hung out on my work table for a few days while we talked about how to finish him. The recent spate of warm days and singing birds must have spoke to both of us. Thankfully his friend is well-trained and promises not to leave a gift on Spring’s head or shoulder.

Spring is 9.5″ tall (base to bird).

Speaking of Birds

I was thrilled to learn that my pair of Blue Birds were featured on the blog Blue Morning Expressions. Thanks to Julie for the feature. The Blue Birds are available for purchase (separately or together) from my ArtFire Studio.


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Here Comes The Sun…and a Bird…and a Heart

The other day I took a break from making the bobble totems with bodies. I wanted to make something a bit smaller that was quicker to put together. I am planning to add the bobble totems to my line of work and having a range of price points is always a good thing. The “tiny totems” would fit that mindset.

This idea for tiny totems first popped up in my head while making my hearts last month. I wanted to find out how one of those hearts would look & function as a totem.

Heart Tiny Totem 2012; Amy Crawley

The heart looked pretty good. Of course, while this idea was ruminating in my head, I had to think about other sculptural items that might look cute as totems.

How about a tiny bird?

Bird Tiny Totem 2012; Amy Crawley

Bird Tiny Totem (Side view)

Of course, what bird doesn’t enjoy a bit of sun?

Sun Tiny Totem, 2012; Amy Crawley

And here is the tiny totem trio:

Tiny Totem Trio 2012; Amy Crawley

The heart is 4.25″ tall. The bird is 3.75″ tall (to his beak). And the sun is 4.75″ tall to his longest sunbeam.

Have an excellent weekend everyone!


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Summer’s Coming-Another New Totem

My totems have gone through a few iterations since I started playing around with this idea. First they were small and flattish.

Janus Face 1

Then I gave them a solid base and a hollow body.

Then I decided to add movement to the totems.

Bobble Janus Totem Front Side

Along the way I learned about the need for balance (not just in life but in artwork), sturdier wire, proportion, and overall design and construction.

Now I’ve come to this in my totem creations. A little smaller, still bobbles, better balance and design. This piece was created intuitively. That is, I chose a face mold, 3 colors of ink, a few textures, and let my hands create. I tried to approach this with as little internal criticism as possible (that inner critic doesn’t like having its mouth stuffed, believe me.)

Summer’s Coming

Summer's Coming (Amy Crawley, 2012)

Summer's Coming (Front-Close)

Summer's Coming (Back)

Summer's Coming (Back-Close)

The timing of this post is great. We’re expecting a snowstorm here. Summer won’t be too far behind.


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Janus Bobble Totem

I’m continuing work on the design & construction of my bobble totems. On my first attempt, the body seemed to be a good size, but the gauge of wire and size of the base were not ideal.

With this next piece I figured out a better way to attach the head to the body. However, I am still struggling with appropriate size bases for the size of the totem’s body and overall balance of the piece.

I’m already working on my third trial piece and my approach to design & construction is getting better. I’m making notes in my sketch book on what steps I take on each piece; what worked, what didn’t work. Soon I hope to say “by jove, I think she’s got it!”

For now, please enjoy this second Janus Bobble Totem. Coloring was created with black acrylic wash and decorative chalks. Click on the first image to view the slideshow.


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A New Ornimal Revealed: The Graduate Owl Ornimal

Over the last couple of days, I shared with you two pictures of a new Ornimal that I created this week. I asked you to guess what you thought the critter would become.

You were on the right track when you guessed something in the bird family: a chicken, a duck, a goose, or an ostrich.

Today, I reveal the finished piece.

Here are the two earlier pictures that helped you with your guesses:

And here is the finished piece, the Graduate Owl Ornimal

Graduate Owl Ornimal 2012

I had fun creating this new Ornimal, especially adding his graduation cap and feet. The addition of the feet make him mult-functional; you can display him on a shelf or table or you can hang him from a hook. I’m contemplating the addition of a small tassel, perhaps making them individual to the graduate’s school colors.

The Graduate Owl Ornimal is available for purchase for $28.00. Orders happily accepted for delivery in time for May or June graduations. The Graduate Owl Ornimal is approximately 3″ tall.

Thanks to everyone who sent in their guesses and congratulations to Jean W who correctly guessed that this was an owl based on the part 2 image post.


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A New Ornimal In The Works: Part 2

You guys did a great job with your guesses about this new Ornimal. Some of your guesses included

  • a chicken
  • a duck
  • a goose

You’re in the right category, guessing that it is some type of bird.

The little guy has been cured, cooled, and given a wash of acrylic paint. Here is another picture of this new Ornimal.

Any more thoughts on what this critter is?

Full reveal happens on Friday.


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More Heart Art

I was completely surprised and honored to learn that my LUV heart was featured on Polymer Clay Daily this week.

I’ve been working on more hearts and since it’s Valentine’s Day, it seemed like a good time to share more heart art.

BE Heart Front

BE Heart Back

HOPE Heart Front

HOPE Heart Back

LOVE Heart

LOVE Heart Back

All of these hearts are made with polymer and alcohol inks. I’ve been experimenting with different techniques for applying the alcohol inks. Still learning which one I prefer to use. Have also tried mica powders as a base layer but am not sure if I like that approach.

Either way, it is all fun. Isn’t that what play and practice is all about?

The hearts measure 2″ long by 1″ at their widest point. I love the way they fit into the palm of your hand.


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Totem Experiments: Variations on a Theme

A couple weeks ago, I introduced you to some new work. You can read about those first pieces here.

Last week I continued playing with the totem idea and created some new variations on this theme.

This first Janus totem is colored with alcohol inks and has a square base.

Janus Totem Back

Sideview

I was a bit disappointed with the next Janus Totem. The colors aren’t great and one of the faces didn’t turn out as I hoped. However, the palette of decorative chalks that I used to color both faces gave me a new idea.

Janus Totem Front

Janus Totem Back (sad) Face

Side view

Since I wasn’t pleased with my second attempt, I decided to try something completely different in the body construction of the third Janus totem.

Instead of tube beads, I made a pillow bead for the body. I colored the entire piece with assorted decorative chalks. And then I used wire to pull all the pieces together.

Drum roll please….

The Bobbling Janus Totem:

Bobble Janus Totem Front Side

Bobble Janus Totem Front Face Detail

Bobble Janus Totem Back Side

Bobble Janus Back Face Detail

The Bobble Janus Totem stands 7.5″ tall (base to wire.)

And since it is hard to capture the movement of this totem in still pictures, watch this short video where the Bobble Janus Totem gives a little demo of his moves.


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Something Old Made New: Adding Text to Artwork

A few years ago I made a bunch of simple heart pins. The heart was made from textured copper polymer and accented with a gently accordion-folded strip of gold polymer.

Copper Heart Pin

I sold several of these hearts and had a few left in my inventory. I didn’t want to dispose of the last remaining hearts, so I started thinking about how I could give these hearts an updated look.

The other day inspiration finally struck when I decided to add a small banner of text to the surface of the heart. I’ve been working with a mix of white and translucent polymer, so that seemed like a natural choice to use for the text banner.

Not sure how this would look, I took one heart to be the demo piece. I rolled out the clay, cut a strip to fit on the surface of the heart, and stamped words into the clay with my metal letter stamps. I used tiny amount of liquid clay to “glue” the raw clay to the surface of the heart. After the banner of text was cured, I used a thin wash of acrylic paint to highlight the letters.

And here is the result:

I was pleasantly surprised with the results. The ivory polymer provides a nice contrast to the copper clay. And by adding text to some older artwork, I’ve updated the look and given the pieces new life.

Love Heart

Mine Heart

Sweet-heart

These hearts are currently for sale in my ArtFire Studio in the Pins section. Locally, you’ll find them at the Nashoba Valley Winery.

A New Heart Project

In keeping with this heart inspired mood, I started playing around with a completely new heart design. I have an idea of where I may go with these hearts. Until then, I’ll just share these two pictures.

Luv Heart Front

Luv Heart Back

What do you think? I’d love to read your thoughts on this new design.