Words of late artist Frank Howell...I totally relate!

"There are few days off and no retirement from this entanglement of knowledge, passion and vision that will be molded and converted into creative expression. There are no guarantees of acceptance, understanding or reward, but...the noise inside the mind never ceases. I will paint today, tonight and for as many tomorrows as I am given..." Words of the late artist Frank Howell...

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Celebrating Easter

Hello friends!  I hope everyone is enjoying the Easter weekend and remembering the reason for the season. It has been an extremely busy week for us as we have been cleaning our entire property this week, both inside and out.  I wanted to take a little break and share an Easter project with you.  It's too late to make it for Easter now, but I like to keep a cross out at all times as a symbol of my faith, so if you are like me in that respect, maybe you will want to make one of your own.

This is the finished piece.  I have made several that I have given as gifts, but this one is mine.


Inside corner of frame, showing lining.

Outside view of shadow box frame...


This project started when I found this resin cross in the thrift store.

Back- Price tag still attached...

At the time, I was playing in polymer clay- And I decided to roll out some clay to about 1/4" thick, and then sort of pinch clay off to hand form the cross.  Then, I used the thrift store cross to "emboss" the clay one that I was making.  It sort of created a rustic rough edge along the outside of the clay cross when I pressed down into it, which I really liked.  I baked it according to clay manufacturer's directions and let it cool.  Then I watered down some off white acrylic paint and brushed it all over the cross, wiping some back off as I went.  I then put a coat of acrylic varnish all  over it and I was left with the antiqued cross pictured above in the first pictures.  You can use any color of clay, as it comes in almost every color imaginable- I chose a natural clay color.  

If you wanted, you could use the cross as a finished piece, without the frame.  If you choose to use it this way, you will need to make a hole in the top before baking.  Then, string a piece of ribbon or leather into the hole for hanging.

As co-owner of an art gallery with custom frame shop, the frame part was simple for me.  If you know anything about framing, it is appropriate for a DIY project.  Otherwise, you could take it to a frame shop at this point.  I used a shadow box type frame, which means that you have enough room to hang a 3-D object without it touching the glass.  I lined the back and sides of the frame with a pretty specialty fabric mat.  For this you will need a mat cutter or a really good straight edge and sharp Exacto knife/utility knife and cutting board.  I attached the *strips to the inside of the frame with double stick adhesive.   You can get this in the scrap-booking sections of craft stores now.  I then attached the clay cross with silicone adhesive.  

*The strips should be attached after the glass, as they are built up to hold the glass inside. 

Well, that's it!  It really is simple, and you can use the embossing clay technique with so many other projects.  If you've never tried polymer clay, go get a lump of it and play around...it's fun!  Just a tip..put the clay in your pocket for a couple of hours to heat it up a little with body heat.  It makes it easier to knead.

Have a great Easter, and I will see you again next week!


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