Monday, March 5, 2007

Loose Ends

I have been playing a bit today. Trying to bring a few projects to closure, and just playing. One of the things I was playing with is one-inch squares. If you follow some the mixed media activity, one-inch squares are the latest thing since ATC's.

ATC's, for those who have not stumbled across them yet are Artist Trading Cards. They started out with artists creating small works of art; drawings, paintings, etc., on a playing card. So they were a standard size, perfect for trading and collecting. They have branched into many other media including polymer clay. We had an ATC swap at the Klay Karma retreat in 2005, and it was a big hit. Trading of ATC's in all sorts of media continues to be active.

One inch squares are just what they sound like. One inch squares decorated in a variety of ways. Usually when they are traded, they are traded in batches of ten or one hundred. The idea is to have a large enough collection to group them together in some sort of presentation.

So I decided to spend some time just playing with one-inch squares. I have lots of remnants of clay left when I am making cranes, so it was easy for me to come up with a nice assortment of squares. After curing them I had to decide what to do with them. I had a shadow box that would have been perfect....but last week that went to the masks I received in Sarajane Helm's miniature mask swap. (

Looking around the studio I found a few of those wide framed mirrors from IKEA. The mirror is probably only 4 inches square. But it has a big wide frame. Perfect. I covered the frame with black clay. Gave it a bit of texture and cured it, and then mounted the squares on the black clay. I finished it with a few smaller, textured squares around the edge. Pretty cool, huh?

There was a method to my madness, besides just playing of course. For those of you who are going to be going to Klay Karma 2007 in New Hampshire, in July, we are looking at doing a one inch square swap. Formally and informally. We have not finalized the details of the swap yet, but if you heading to the retreat this summer, it is not too soon to start thinking about what you might do on your one-inch squares. Texture? Mokume gane? Faux? Millefiore? Start thinking, and we will fill you in on the details later.

I will not be at the retreat this year. I will be doing the Guilford Craft Expo that weekend in Guilford, CT. I was excited to get into the show, but disappointed that it was going to conflict with the retreat. But I am working on the committee planning the event. So at least I will know what I am missing!

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