Studio Wednesday

About a year and a half ago, I took a Talisman workshop at the Center at Westwoods in Westwood, MA. In the workshop, we did an exercise to find a word that would best represent the talisman we were going to create in PMC. The exercise involved choosing images we were drawn to from a large pile on a table and then meditating and journaling about a word that we thought of when gazing at those images. My word was “connect”. I then created a small charm for each letter and later made a bracelet with my letter charms. Whenever I wear my talisman bracelet, I am reminded of my word and its special meaning for me. It represents the authentic connections I have in my life, both inner and outer, and how important those connections are to me.

Here is the definition of a talisman from the Merriam Webster dictionary.

1 : an object held to act as a charm to avert evil and bring good fortune
2 : something producing apparently magical or miraculous effects

This past summer I found an old stash of faux jade polymer clay I had created years ago at one of my polymer clay guild meetings. I created a pendant with the Kanji character for “beauty”. When I sat down at my worktable today, I pulled out the faux jade again with the intention of creating some more Kanji inspired pendants. Instead, I thought of my talisman bracelet and took out my letter stamps and created some word charms. I also made one out of black clay and Pearl-ex powders.

The charms are pictured above before sanding.  They’ll have much more of a green jade color once I sand away the red paint. Right now the paint gives the clay a pinkish cast. After baking, I drilled a hole in the top and bottom of each charm.

I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do with my charms but creating them today in my warm, cozy studio next to a roaring fire lent a sweet magical feeling to my day.

My finished Mosaicon

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I recently put the finishing touches on my mosaicon, “The Way of Tea”, created in Laurie Mika’s workshop last weekend. I cut a couple of small tiles to fill in the small areas. For the very skinny areas, I poured various size seed beads and then filled the space with Judikins Diamond Glaze to glue them in place.

Here is a closeup of the glass vial I filled with green tea leaves. It’s one of my favorite China greens called Tian Mu Qing Ding. The hand rolled leaf is just beautiful. You can see my review on this tea here.

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My friend Amy has also written about our wonderful workshop adventure here.

Laurie Mika Workshop

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I had the honor and pleasure of taking a workshop last weekend with the Mosaicon Goddess, Laurie Mika. I’m so glad that it was a 2-day workshop because it was chock full of learning and creating. Using polymer clay, paints, powders, beads and various ephemera, we each created a mosaicon on a piece of wood. There were 12 of us in the class and everyone created a piece both wonderful and unique.

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Laurie has a great informal right brain way of teaching which I warmed up to immediately. She’s patient and sharing and was a great help to me as I tried to manifest what was in my head into a mosaic piece of art. It was a fabulous group of ladies who were encouraging and quick to share stories and art materials.

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The first day we concentrated on making our center piece and various sizes of tiles that reflected our chosen theme. The second day we created painted tiles and then put it all together.

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I love how each piece draws you in with its story.

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The powders and paints lend a very rich look to the polymer clay.

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I didn’t get a chance to finish my mosaicon in class. My idea was to create a temple called “The Way of Tea”. As I laid the tiles out, it just didn’t look finished to me. Then Laurie came up with the great idea to give my temple “wings”, turning it into a pagoda. Here’s the almost finished piece.

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I still have some small areas to fill in with beads (oh joy!) and skinny tiles. If you don’t already have it, I highly recommend Laurie’s book, Mixed Media Mosaics.

I’m already happily planning my next piece!