Sunday, December 7, 2008

Skinner Blends for Botanical Color

I have had an ongoing love/hate relationship with the Skinner blend. I love how Judith executes it, using it with beautiful metallics or blending it to make it look like fabrics in her new book on clay quilts, but I hated the way mine looked, not quite blending as seamlessly as my perfection personality would like. I have tried using the blend on a few of my pieces with the botanicals from the farm, such as the Nasturtium soap dispenser, this pendant of Nasturtiums as well as this one done early last summer with Summer Savory. I choose the bright colorway for the Nasturtiums by their natural state, the orange-y reds, and deep butterscotch yellows. I think it worked, I sold a cheese shaker recently with that blend on there that came out really cute. In working with the materials sent to me from Pointy Paws ( as I wrote about earlier here ) I had started to make a brooch from one of the Live Oak leaves. When I got to the third stage of making it I decided it was a bit too big and it should be incorporated onto a vessel of some sort. My eyes fell on a prepped six sided horseradish jar and started pondering how to cover it to highlight the medallion best.

I decided to try a skinner blend again and choose a color palette I have not seen done before, ecru and a sagey green from the new line of Scupley, Studio. I mixed these a bit more than the usual runs through the pasta machine and am glad to report I am happy with the results. I had a bit left over and decided to try to do a covering for one of my new acquisitions, stainless steel money clips. I have had these savoy cabbage leaves from the farm ( believe it or not! ) and have been dying to imprint them and finally got the chance. I just knew they would impress, impressively! :) I took a few pics to show you, using my new(est) photo set up, a vintage ( I've had it for 30+ years) Tupperware cake holder and two reveal lights. I am happy with how both turned out and may just continue to experiment with how the skinner blend can work with my botanicals.

In my work I usually spend just as much time on the finishing of the piece with paint, pastels, or other color options to get the look I am trying to achieve as I do on sculpting the piece first in the clay. I used black paint over this skinner blend on the vase, a ecru on the Oak leaf and a medium sage on the black leaves surrounding the cameo and the rim. I think that they work well together and look forward to trying out more combination's to offer my customers.

I've also been working on a whole series of new buttons in various colorways. I think I shall try some soon in a skinner blend to see where that leads. Stay tuned!


  1. Just found your site today and I must say your work is stunning!! I love the organic look and feel you get to all your pieces. Can't wait to start poking around some more, and see what else you've got!

  2. That jar is freaking gorgeous. Every piece you add to your shop becomes my new favorite. I love those colors, and I love reading about your process -- it's so like mine! I no longer feel quite so crazy.



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