Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit


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Work in Progress: Tiny Totem Bobble Birds-Part Two

Last week I showed you a picture of my Tiny Totem Bobble Birds in progress. You can see that post here.  If you don’t feel like following that link, suffice to say that the birdies had recently been cured in the oven and were shown without any color. Just plain ol’ cured white clay.

Now, let’s see how I add color to these cuties.

First, you need alcohol inks, rubbing alcohol, paint brushes and gloves.

Luscious alcohol inks (not for consumption)

And here are the little birdies waiting to be colored.

Hi! We're Waiting

Because I will be teaching a class on how to make these little birdies, I can’t share all the specific details on how to create and paint them at this time. Please enjoy these process pictures as each piece is colored. Humming your favorite song while looking at the pictures might be fun. For some reason the theme song from Jeopardy, the one they play when people are writing their answers to the final question, popped into my head.

Do not, however, hum “The Girl from Impanea.” You know what will happen if you do. Just sayin’.

Tiny Totem Bobble Bird “Spike”

Coloring the top side of Spike

Add a Green collar

Gotta have fuchsia spiky hair

All done & waiting

Tiny Totem Bobble Bird “Wing”

Don't 'cha love my tangerine wings?

A nice warm yellow for the bod.

Heart-beat

Green hair & a yellow neck

Tout fait, for now.

You may have noticed that I use both Pinata & Ranger alcohol inks. On “Wing” above I decided to only use the Pinata alcohol inks. I noticed a big difference between the two brands almost immediately. The Pinata inks appear to dry with a glossy sheen whereas the Ranger inks appear to dry with a matte finish.

If you use alcohol inks, have you noticed this difference?

To continue this further, I’m going to put a coat of Kato liquid clay on “Spike,” dry it with a heat gun, and see what happens. Will he end up with a shiny coat or will all his colors meld and patina with the liquid clay?

Stay tuned for more pictures of “Spike” and “Wings.”

Oh, if you’re interested in learning how to make these little birdies, leave a comment below that you’d like class information & I can add you to my newsletter list.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!


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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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New Body of Work: Glimmer Spirit Messenger #1

Glimmer Spirit Messenger #1 is the first in a series that I am creating as part of a larger body of work. This first part is called Glimmer (of Hope.) The Glimmer series developed out of a series of  health issues that I have been dealing with since last November. Specifically, these health issues revolve around that change of life known as perimenopause.

Glimmer Spirit Messenger #1 embodies a time of contemplation, reflection and hope. Below are a series of pictures documenting her creation.

Glimmer #1 starts out with a solemn, contemplative face.

Glimmer #1 Cured Head

I have chosen to paint all the heads gold in this series.

Glimmer #1 Gold

Echoes of the song “Goldfinger” bounce around in my head as I paint. Each head receives two thin washes of gold paint and then a final thicker layer. A wash of burnt sienna acrylic paint completes each head. And then I realized I had a bit of a problem.

Each piece in this series will have an elongated neck representing my struggle to keep my head above it all. But it didn’t dawn on me to add more clay to create the elongated neck until after I had already painted the head. And matching the raw clay to the now painted cured clay could present a minor challenge.

After some measuring and finagling, I constructed the wire core and aluminum foil body and blended the raw clay to the painted gold clay as best as possible.

Glimmer #1 Body Core

Glimmer #1 Clay Core

Another issue I often face in body construction is dealing with balance. My Spirit Messengers seem to either lean forward or tilt backward which usually requires some readjustment of the base. In this series, the elongated necks also present an interesting challenge. I often have to bend and adjust the wire support to the right angle before securing the head to the body. However, I am letting these pieces develop naturally. By that I mean, if the head positions itself at a particular angle, I’m quite likely to go with it.

Glimmer #1 Head

All of the Spirit Messengers in this series will have black bodies. I decided to go with black because the “Glimmer of Hope” appeared at what felt like a very dark time for me. It was like a tiny ray of light poking through dark clouds. Each body will have different embellishments. The gold heads and black bodies will connect all of the pieces.

Glimmer Spirit Messenger #1

Glimmer Spirit Messenger #1

Glimmer #1’s body is embellished with peach colored size 8 seed beads, kernels of gold polymer clay and embossing metal. She has a lightly textured surface.

Spirit Messenger Glimmer #1

The word “Hope” is stamped into the embossing metal. The metal was tinted with a blend of alcohol inks.

Glimmer of Hope

Glimmer Spirit Messenger #1 is 9″ tall and 3.5″ wide at the base.

Next: Glimmer #2.