Monday, June 14, 2010

Tales of A Polymer Clay Addict...

... or how I worked through the pain.

Last week I was working hard to finish up some pieces, and felt this ominous pain in my left wrist. I woke up during that first night to an odd feeling of needles and pins in the back of my hand. Uh-oh. Being a self-diagnosing fool, I researched online and felt it was the beginnings of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Crap! I high-tailed it to the drugstore for a splint, thinking I could head this problem off at the pass and skip the doctor's office.

The brace worked like a charm: after three days, the pain was gone and I felt well enough to work again. But, for now, I'm taking things easy, doing stuff that doesn't require a lot of pinching or sanding. This seemed like a good time to do some R & D.

One of my issues with the polymer clay is that the colors available are kind of brassy and bright. I know from my fabric dyeing experiences that I really only need six colors: red, yellow, blue, white, black, brown. From those colors I can mix anything I want.

This Research & Development project took about an afternoon, and I barely needed my left hand at all. It was a good project to do. I set up a database on my computer for keeping track of formuli. I carefully divided blocks of clay into eighths, and started blending, keeping track of proportions. I baked color chips and labeled them on the back with the color name.

Easy peasy! I no longer need to feel frustrated that I can't reproduce a color from a previous project. Thanks to a little bit of work and some organization, I can get pretty darned close to what I want. Of course, this is going to be an ongoing event - I started very simply by doing a color wheel, and haven't experimented with brown or black much at all.

copyright 2010 Shibori Girl


Snap said...

Take card of that hand! Loved your R&D post.


Snap said...

That's *care* .... don't have my glasses on!!!!!!!

Stephanie said...

oh you are good!


those wrist issues/carpel tunnel are the pits. I had luck with the brace, now have to pay attention to doing different types of work, not the same repetitive day after day. I know, easier said than done.


Createology said...

You were very smart to stop and treat your wrist right away. Great job on your color swatches. Amazing you can get so many variations on color with so few beginnings. Happy creating...

SweetbriarStudio (Christie) said...

Whoa, there, OC girl! Wise move going the R&D path for a while. What a very, very great idea on your colors. I keep saying I'm going to get fabric dyes and can never remember which you told me to get.
By the way, I've been meaning to send you this link: thought maybe you and constance could collaborate :).
Good luck with your wrist(s).

Alice Stroppel said...

ahhh Kate we all seem to come to the color crossroads sooner or later. Good job with the swatches.
Save a wrist, buy a motor for your!!!! Wish I would have bought one from the first crank. Not my wrist but my shoulder.

Snap said...

You won the box of cards! Send me your address and I'll get this off to you as soon as I can.

rochambeau said...

Hey Kate,
Good things happen to those who ponder during a left handed outage!
HERE you describe is a supreme example! May you continue to be surrounded with beautiful color and inspiration!!!!!!!!