Nov 2018 - Poppy Workshop - The Bead Base Basingstoke

I was recently invited by The Bead Base to run a full day poppy making workshop at their Basingstoke store, which took place on Saturday 03 Nov.

We were all enjoying ourselves so much that cups of tea and coffee went cold on several occasions, and no-one wanted to stop for lunch!

Even though a few ladies had never used polymer clay before, everyone made some beautiful poppies and I think we all left feeling pleased with ourselves and with a happy spring in our steps.

This is what I aim for with every class that I run. There is so much joy in creating something new, and sharing that creative experience with others.

If you are interested in beading and jewellery making, do pop in to see Holly and Sue at The Bead Base store, or visit their website here. They have some gorgeous beads, and run regular beading and jewellery making workshops.

Thank you to all who attended on Saturday, and well done!

Heather

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Oct 2018 - Popley Craft Group opening night

I want to thanks everyone who attended the very first Popley Craft Group session which started at St Gabriel’s Church in Popley on 24 October.

I’ve been wanting to start a craft group for ages, and I now wish I’d started sooner.

We all had such a good time making our sock gnome, with lots of laughter and creative flair, and it was wonderful to see everyone helping each other with some of the tricky bits.

I hope you’re all looking forward to the next session on Wednesday 07 November, starting at 6:30, where we’ll be having a play with polymer clay and making a simple a poppy pendant or brooch.

I look forward to having more creative fun with you all and seeing the group grow.

Please tell your friends and family about it and contact me if you or anyone you know would be interested in joining in the fun.

Happy crafting!



Book Review: How to sculpt your own Goblin by Moisés Espino

This is the recent book review I wrote for the British Polymer Clay Guild’s Monthly POLYNEWS newsletter (October 2018)

Book Review

How to sculpt your own Goblin: by Moisés Espino – E-book

About the Author

Moisés Espino is a story teller, creature fantasy sculptor and artist living and teaching in Spain. He brings his characters to life with Polymer clay and mixed media, as well as in the wonderful and magical stories that accompany them.

Why this book?

I love creating posable fantasy dolls, but I found that there aren’t many resources available that teach the techniques required to make one. There are only a small handful of books on the market and Moisés e-book is a must-have resource in any collection, as it answers many of the “How on earth do they do that??” questions, as well as taking us on an amusing adventure into the goblin world.

Containing 93 pages with detailed instructions and over 300 step by step photos, this book is perfect for the beginner and experienced artist alike.

Moisés spent many hours creating his wonderful book in Spanish, (even having to restart the project at one point when his computer crashed), but he finished his wonderful book and still took the time to translate it into English for us all to enjoy.

Contents and a sneak peek:

Moisés takes the reader on a creative journey with his book.

He starts by introducing the reader to the goblin world, goes through all the materials required and then takes us step by step through the process of sculpting all the bits required (head, ears, hands feet), building and assembling the armature, painting your character, creating their wardrobe and dressing them.

The book flows really well from one chapter to the next, taking us on a progressive journey, without the need to flick backwards and forwards between chapters.

In conclusion:

This book is easy to follow with its detailed images and simple instructions and puts you at ease when attempting to sculpt your first (and subsequent) characters.

This is a must-have book for all those interested in bringing their own characters to life, and helped me to create a recent commission of a Viking doll, which was very well received by his new owner.

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Where to Purchase and links to the artist:

Although not available in printed form, Moisés’ book can be purchased as PDF e-book from his Etsy store:

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/GoblinsLab

His work can also be found on his Facebook page, Blog site and Deviant Art page:

https://www.facebook.com/Goblinslab/

http://thegoblinslab.blogspot.com/

https://www.deviantart.com/goblinslab

Pop on over to The Goblins Lab, and be prepared to be amazed, amused an inspired…

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Sept 07, 2018 - Tip of the month: How to make clay go further

Here is a copy of my Top Tip of the Month Article I wrote for the British Polymer Clay Guild‘s August 2018 POLYNEWS Newsletter….

How to make your clay go a little further

I like to sculpt larger sculptures, but this does use up a lot of clay, even when using a foil armature or covering a box or jar.

When I first started sculpting larger pieces, I started by using Super Sculpey (flesh tone) as I could buy this in large 8lb (3.6kg) boxes, which was much more cost effective than buying small or large blocks of Premo or Fimo, however I found that it was often too soft for the level of detail I required (especially in warmer weather), and wasn’t as strong as I would’ve liked after baking.

I learned that by mixing Super Sculpey and Super Sculpey Firm together (50/50 mix) I had a lovely strong and medium blend of clay. Not too hard and not too soft.

This also works well with Premo and Fimo Professional clays, and I often mix Super Sculpey with either black, burnt umber, red or green Premo clay.

The process of combining the two clays evenly can take a lot of time, a job which is made a thousand times easier and a lot faster with a motorised pasta machine, but well worth the effort.

What used to take me a day (and a lot of arm and shoulder ache) when mixing manually, now takes me a morning.

Happy claying.

Sept 06, 2018 - Meet the Artist Article for BPCG Polynew June 2018

As a new starting point for my blog, I thought I’d begin by posting a copy of a recent “meet the artist” interview I wrote for the British Polymer Clay Guild‘s monthly news letter, POLYNEWS June 2018. 

Meet one of our Guild Members - Heather Robertson

Hi Heather,

Do you have a trading style?

I trade under the names of Frosty Feather Fae, and Heather Robertson Art.

How long have you been working with Polymer Clay?

I’ve known about and played with polymer clay on and off, since I was a little girl, but never with any real success, until I picked it up again about 3 years ago, and I’m now hooked!

What sort of things do you make?

I started making posable fantasy dolls, boxes and Paintbrush pots – I’m a wildlife painter and illustrator and was bored of seeing my paintbrushes in old tins and glass jars. I wanted something fun and unique.

I now also make book covers, dragons and fantasy creatures, and now jewellery (despite saying that I’d never make jewellery). I also create outdoor sculptures with Pal Tiya Premium, and self-hardening outdoor clay.

Do you sell your work? What social media sites do you have?

Yes, I do sell my work, but most of the work I sell is custom made, commissioned pieces.

I have a website, which is finally going through its final updates, so I can now make changes to it myself and add my polymer work to my site, and start my blog properly.

I also have a Facebook page, Instagram page and Etsy shop (my Etsy shop is currently on holiday while I create some stock).

They can all be found here:

http://www.heatherrobertsonart.com/

https://www.facebook.com/FrostyFeatherFae

https://www.instagram.com/heatherrobertsonart/

How were you introduced to Polymer Clay?

I honestly can’t remember. I feel like I’ve always known about it. But I remember using it when I was about 10 (I think) to make some dolls house accessories with the help of one of Sue Heaser’s books (Making Doll’s House Miniatures with Polymer Clay), which I’d borrowed from the local library.

I didn’t have much success, as the clay I had was hard and crumbly and not easy to work with (this was before they changed to the clay formula they use today, and in a very hot country, so I think the clay was part baked). 

The clays we use today are definitely much nicer and easier to work with.

What do you use for inspiration?

I guess I draw inspiration from everything around me. Nature, stories, even an old rusty tin can. 

My family always encouraged my love and passion for all things creative, be it woodwork, sewing, dancing, drawing, ceramics or painting, and if it weren’t for them nurturing my creativity I never would have gone to art college, and never would have explored how far I could push myself.  I’m still pushing myself and learning something new every day.

I grew up in South Africa, and as a family we visited many nature reserves, went on game drives, hikes, horse rides and would go camping in the mountains, by rivers or by the sea to go fishing. So I have a deep love for nature, which never fails to get my imagination going. I love it when my children and husband bring me odd stones, twigs and feathers they find.

I’ve also always loved fairy tales, and find the mountains and woods to be magical places to be. I have always been inspired by the works of Brian, Wendy and Toby Froud (Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, Lady Cottington’s pressed Fairy book), Grimms fairy tales, and more recently the Spiderwick Chronicles, and the world of Harry Potter.

I love fairyland, but not pretty fairies. I prefer the cheeky, grubby-toed, matted hair and berry juice covered hands and faces of hedgerow fae folk. And Dragons, I love dragons (who doesn’t?)

Anything can inspire my work. An old story, a found pebble or shell, or a lost and found button or earring. My mind never switches off, and my family all agree that I’m completely nuts and still a little girl inside, who refuses to grow up!

What would you like to say / share with members of the British Polymer Clay Guild?

  • Never grow up, never give up and keep having fun!

  • Find out what inspires you and create the things that YOU want to make.

  • Don’t give up when you don’t get something right the first time (or the 2nd. 3rd, 4th) I have a box full of pieces that didn’t quite work out or weren’t up to scratch.

  • And keep having fun. Polymer clay is so versatile, and there is so much that you can do with it, so just keep playing and rediscovering its magic.

Any other information you think our readers would like to know?

I have recently started teaching and selling my work on a professional basis, and I’m also a certified teacher for Pal Tiya (an outdoor clay that doesn’t’ require firing).I never thought I would reach this point in my life, and it’s taking a lot of hard work. It’s the most challenging and rewarding thing that I have ever done, and I love getting to work every single morning.

Keep an eye on my website and Facebook pages for more information, as I’ll be posting regular updates and upcoming workshop and event dates.

I have also teamed up with Debbie Bulford and Lisa Walker for the upcoming Middle Earth Festival in Birmingham in September, where we will be running some workshops and selling some of our work. Keep an eye on our websites and Facebook pages for further updates.

Thank you so much Heather, for telling us your Polymer Story.