Thursday, August 22, 2013

Weeds and Grasses

     Weeds and Grasses, something we drive or walk  by everyday and never stop to notice the color, texture, or the intricacy of these humble plants. But these should be revered for what they are, food for hundreds of animals around the world, including us. Have a sandwich today? Most likely if you are GF you had your bread made from a grass, wheat mainly.

      The seeds of many grasses make up a majority of the diet of birds everywhere including the songbirds we like to attract to our backyards.  But these are usually left growing in fields or mown down on occasion along roadways where they grow wild.

      The center stalks on the photo right (which shows my lay out for my texture sheet talked about in the PolymerArts Magazine Plein Air Article) are what I locally know them to be called: Indian grass.
    I remember as a child gathering the slender stalks in the field out back of my grandparents house and twisting them into garlands to wear on my hair or like a necklace. They are very graceful when growing, bending over with the weight of their tiny seeds bowing to the earth in the late summer sunshine.

     I also came across the outer grasses growing in close proximity to the Indian grass and decided to add them to this texture plate for variety.

     As I said in my last post I wanted to show the readers some ways these texture plates I made for the article can be utilized to make interesting pieces.  Here is the texture sheet right after impressing.

While a bit dark I did this in editing to show the deep impression these grasses made. Also notice the few grains that fell off during the process. They can usually be removed easily with your water spray bottle, letting the water droplets help wash them away. For more stubborn bits, using tweezers carefully to remove them will do the trick. I have just baked the clay first and then removed the debris but this doesn't always happen with all vegetation, some will stick and nothing will remove it so get off all you can before baking.  

Now, so what did I do with this texture plate of ordinary weeds and grasses?

     I made one experimental rectangle, keeping with my organic philosophy of not being perfect, baked it and then tried various coloring on it. I decided that it needed friends from the texture plate to join it and a bracelet seemed the obvious choice. I made them different lengths but keeping the width similar, pushed holes for stringing with care to denting the clay and textured the backs of all of them with my secret recycled texture plate.

     Each one was given the same coloring treatment and each on came out different, so not only are the textures different but similar on each tile, but the coloring is as well, very much like in nature!

That center one is my favorite and stands out among the others for it is the tallest and gives a full view of a stalk of the Indian grass.

What do you think, do you like the more natural organic shapes?

Acrylic sheets for making texture plates, swirl beads and assisting in all kinds of Polymer clay sculpting are available in my etsy shop .


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