Picking up on something I designed a couple of months ago, it’s time to start posting these decorative dishes! They are one of the things you’ll see at my in-person and virtual Open House coming up in October—more information below.
These Decorative Dishes are roughly 6″ in diameter and about 1/2″ deep, made of polymer clay. Each dish is formed by hand and individually painted. Each one is handmade, hand-painted and unique.
The flower design was adapted from a popular photo, “Three Sunflowers”. Each dish is formed and painted individually. I roll the clay thin, then hand-cut each flower and add the texture to the petals with fingers and tools. Each bowl is constructed from three individual flowers inside a cereal bowl to give it the raised shape. Here is what the dishes look like after baking but before embellishing.
After baking, I paint and/or embellish it to represent the given flower, like the daisies above and woodland sunflowers that inspired the design, and variously pink cosmos or blue chicory or violet asters. I need to get to the other colors, more on that below.
Scroll down for notes on use.
ABOUT THE ARTWORK
I initially called this the “Woodland Sunflowers Bowl”, inspired by a popular photo of three woodland sunflowers, below.
New studio space around the house
My hands have been busy with what you see above, and more, plus I’m still catching up on indoor and outdoor projects and upkeep around my house that have been waiting a couple of years. I’ve been putting my new hip to work every day with something new.
I finally have the space to make a large number of things at once without shuffling things all over the house and all over the studio. This enables me to work on two projects at once without the need to put the first one away to work on the second, as I have in the studio.
One of my indoor projects has been to slowly transform a section of my basement into a studio that’s intended for things like making polymer clay objects with more space than I have in my studio, and baking them in the little oven I bought that, especially in summer, is best used in the basement (with no air conditioning). Prior to this I either made them in the studio and carried them down to the kitchen to bake in my regular oven, or made them in the kitchen and baked them in that oven, then took them back up to the studio to paint and finish, and hoped the cats didn’t walk on anything during the process. At any point I could damage things with handling and it could all take days. Now I could spend an evening in the basement making these things and leave them to cool while I was also sewing in my bedroom and framing in the studio the same day.
Care and use of polymer clay items
Polymer clay is a flexible plastic that is baked in a moderate temperature to create a bond that strengthens its shape. The clay will retain some flexibility even after baking and larger pieces may even seem downright floppy. A finished piece may also soften a bit when it comes in contact with high heat so don’t put your polymer clay item in the dishwasher or on the stove. This may distort the shape of your dish, tile, or coaster. The benefit of this is that your polymer clay item is nearly unbreakable. They’ve hit the floor in my home and at vendor shows, and sometimes they bounce! Rarely, they will chip.
WASH BY HAND IN WARM WATER WITH MILD DISH DETERGENT
The entire piece is waterproof, though gentle washing is still in order. The clay itself will always keep its color, it’s what I’ve added onto it that might be damaged with harsh detergent or heavy duty scrubbing. Let it soak a bit to loosen surface dirt from the varnish, then use a sponge or a washcloth.
DO NOT use UNDER CONTAINERS heated in oven or microwave
These cannot be used as a hot pad for items taken out of the oven or microwave or off the stove, any item which has been heated by cooking—the polymer will soften from the heat. But if you want to put your mug filled with a hot beverage or your soup bowl in there, that would be fine!
DO NOT use to serve food
I add a light coating of matte varnish to all my polymer clay items that are painted, have an image impressed on the surface or have any sort of decoration. Neither the clay itself nor the varnish is food safe. You can put some chips or nuts or candy in or on your dish, tile or coaster, but not dip or ice cream or sweet pickle relish, anything wet that will interact with the surface. Likewise, no pet food, at all, so they don’t lick the dish.
AS A DECORATION
Whether on your countertop, desk, wall, or sink, or wherever you use your polymer clay item, whatever the color, shape or design, I hope it makes you smile every time you look at it.
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Join us for an Open House!
In person or virtual, you’re invited to our Autumn Open House, October 3 to 10! You can shop either in person or online, which means if you are nowhere near us you can still choose from all the stuff AND get the 25% discount I always offer at my open house events. For in-person attendees, it’s a week long so that people can spread out their visits and we can socially distance. I’ll have things set up in my house as well as my front and back porches and at least one of my tents in the back yard, and for our friends at a distance I’ll photograph or video the setups.
I’m celebrating this year too—can you believe it’s been almost a year since my hip replacement? What a year it’s been! I’m celebrating my hip surgery, my recovery as well as surviving this past year with patchy income and limited ability for part of it, following two years of even more limited ability and more patchy income. You can’t take me down too easily! And it’s also had to believe that October 19 is my 30th anniversary of the day I closed on this house! Thirty years, I never intended to be here this long but here I am, and it’s another thing to celebrate.
I won’t have as much as I had planned since I’m still settling out my studio spaces and finally receiving things I’d ordered, but I’m also planning at least one more open house in November, December, or both.
If you shop in person, I give you a 25% discount on your entire order. If you shop online, you need a discount code. Either way, you need to sign up for my Open House notifications so that I can email you the information, or send a snail mail post card, whichever works best for you.
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