March 9, 2008

Green Swirl Vase

Filed under: Art and Drawings,Polymer Clay,Science and Art — sarah @ 4:58 pm

green swirl

This vase was partially designed from leftovers and partially based on mineral textures you find in rocks. It was made using a Sainsbury’s Basic’s glass; orange, egg yoke yellow, mint green and forest green fimo soft. I also used another glass with straight sides as a rolling pin, a chopping board, a plastic sculpting tool with an angled flat blade, and a penknife – plus our oven and baking tray.

To make the green swirls I actually used the off-cuts from around a Christmas tree cookie cutter. I was using the tree shapes primarily, and then when I saw the off-cuts I thought they would look perfect as the sort of ‘veining’ you get in mineral formations – though I must say here I was thinking more about how rocks look in thin slices under the microscope with various filters on them. I was also working with meteorites specifically at the time and so had unusual patterns lodged in my head that begged to be used artistically.

To get the texture I simply cut up the dark green fimo and then squidged it all back together to get it in a nice manageable consistency; I then did the same with the light green. I rolled the colours into two different sausages which I then put next to each other and rolled together. Then I folded the two tone sausage in half and half again. I rolled it into a smooth shape, pinching the ends where I had folded it off, in order to make beads and shells. I then cut the sausage into discs about 1.5mm thick which I arranged into a sort of wonky square. Obviously there were gaps between each of the discs but I used my fingers to try and squidge the discs a bit without distorting the colours too much. This sort of fuses the edges of the discs together.

Once this was done I took a high-sided glass and used it as a rolling pin, making sure that I moved the now sheet of patterned fimo around, otherwise it sticks to the glass rolling pin or the surface that you are working on. The rolling action helps fuse the discs into a sheet nicely – some people use a pasta machine to roll sheets of fimo but I have never tried this personally, so have no idea how well it works.

As I said earlier I then cut out Christmas trees from this and used the off-cuts for this vase. I had lots of bumpy stripes which I wrapped around a glass as a series of rings – I wanted it to be quite natural-looking so the rings were quite irregular. A bit of gentle pressure with a finger pad meant I could blend the fimo into nice continous rings rather than having an abrupt and obvious join, but you have to be careful not to blur the colours in doing this.

Once I had done this I made an orange and yellow fimo sausage which I again cut into discs, but this time I put the discs straight onto the glass and squidged them, smoothing over the bits where they touched each other and the green rings. I covered the entire glass at the rim, overlapping the edge of the glass so that the fimo disc went inside. Once it was entirely covered I took the sculpture tool and ran it around the inside of the glass to get rid of the excess fimo – this left a nice neat rim around the top with a clean interior. I then signed the bottom of the vase and using another high-sided straight glass, I rolled around the vase to help remove fingerprints. Then I placed the finished vase onto the baking tray.

I then baked it for 30 minutes at 130 degrees C.

One response to “Green Swirl Vase”

  1. […] Geo-Vases are probably the closest I come in the visual arts to this kind of thing (not sure that loo roll […]

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