Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Okay, so I have actually done the challenge for two straight days.  Go, Dakotah!  Let's see how I'm doing on day 117, hmmm?  This is another experiment.  The one side is just a crackle effect and the other is the silk screen.  I am using the Daler-Rowney pearlescent white on black for this one.  I am very happy to report the paint does not need to be sealed after baking.  I took a palette knife to it and the clay came loose before the paint did.  I'll see if I can come up with something more interesting for tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Happy All Saint's Day to everyone and to myself the beginning of the new year of challenge.  I have chosen B-B-B-B-BAD as my challenge.  Originally the challenge was barrette, bead (focal), bracelet or brooch.  I have since expanded it to include any items starting with "b" such as box, basket, bowl, etc.  The challenge?  Create one item each day which fits the category.  Most items will use polymer as at least part of the component.  However, as a mixed media studio artist I may add other items to the mix or even leave out the polymer from time to time.  I may list technique and inspiration on the blog as well.  The photos will also be posted to flicker under the B-B-B-B-BAD CHALLENGE heading but with a minimum of written information.

Today's offering is a focal bead showcasing my first ever experiment with silk screen printing on polymer and utilizes some of Gwen Gibson's screens I purchased years ago.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Work, work, work

Today is getting started with a bang.  I got up early and did my writing and now have been in the studio for about two hours setting up my production of the dark with bright highlights type of polymer.  the piece showing is for 51 beads and takes up most of the long end of a 5' table in the studio.

I am trying a bit of a twist by adding verigated red and copper metal leaf before I start adding all the other debris, aka powders, clays, inks, etc.

This second photo is a closeup of all the stamping and texture I have already added.  I chose the dragonfly for several reasons.  First for many Original Peoples it is a sign of rebirth.  It symbolizes hope to me.  I love dragonflies and always have, even as a small child.  And last what says "hot" more than a dragon or the dragonflies flitting all over the place during the hottest months of summer?

Enjoy.  I will post the light color raku tomorrow.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011

As you know if you read the last post I am headed for the IPCA retreat/conference in Chicago in less than a week. I have signed up for all three swaps and then hit a road block. I wanted to create beads that were uniquely me and still met the requirement of the two swaps to focus on "hot" colors.

I have been attempting for a while now to perfect my faux raku and have bought two books featuring ceramic raku to use as guides, and as this photo shows, I think I am almost there.

I still have a little bit of tweaking to do to make me completely happy. And I am trying very hard to use only supplies that are easily replaced so I won't have to remake my recipe later on.

This next photo shows all the bead backs I made last night. All 160 of them! I am using a method I learned from Louise F. Cozzie with alterations to fit my needs. Thank you Louise.
So today all these beads need fronts and it is time to return to the studio to do that. I will not show the finished bead sets until I am at the retreat just in case anyone wanders in to my posts. I wouldn't want to spoil the surprise for the other swappers.

So until next time it is off to the studio....and the sewing machine...and the housework...and the garden....etc., etc. At least I shouldn't get bored.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

My Favorite Polymer Pieces

Long time no write. My bad. But today a treat. I am listing my biggest and best "jewelry jar" to date as well as a sample of my faux raku.

The jewelry jar is built around an odd shaped glass bowl/vase. It features faux turquoise, coral and bone/ivory. The spots around the lower edge are handmade with the buffalo motif and are the type usually reserved for better women's western wear. Around the lid is the necklace and it has faux and real turquoise and coral. The earrings are featured as a tassel. The inside of the jar is lined with velvet so it can be utilized to hold other jewelry items.

The faux raku bracelet is one of my favorites because I have worked so hard to imitate raku in a realistic manner. I have a lovely raku piece on my wall from a trip to San Antonio years ago. When I hold this bracelet up to it, it looks the same.

I hope to be posting photos and delightful encounters for the next few weeks. I leave next Sunday or Monday (depending upon how well I can contain myself) for Michigan to see my grand daughter and then to the IPCA retreat and conference in Chicago. I am buzzed about the trip and hope to be disciplined enough to share it properly here.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Guild day and demo

Today was our guild (Houston Polymer Clay Guild) meeting and I was to do a demo. The original demo was for using raw clay in paper punches and what to do with the punched out shapes once you got them. And I decided to be sure I had all ready on Thursday. My pasta machine had other ideas. After about 15 minutes at approximately 8:30 AM November 18 that puppy gave a loud, a very loud metallic roar and stopped going around and around. First I thought it was the pasta machine itself so I got the old one down. But the motor did not go. Okay, I have a spare, just for such occasions. Nope, didn't run the pasta machine - and it was only 6 weeks old. Whatever broke, broke really bad.

Since I had a few pennies from the successful show I called Rob at polymer clay express to overnight me a new one. Over 65 dollars the UPS people charge for that and it didn't show up until after dark last night. By that time I was feverish, literally. My sweet husband has given me his common old cold and I was miserable. So I went to bed and got up at 4 this morning to finish preparing for the demo. And the punched paper part of the demo went well.

But...there was a request for me to bring my big PCE ( extruder because one of our members wanted to test it thinking she might Santa herself one during the holidays. Now, it says right on the written instructions not to remove the second nut on the plunger assembly. I read it. I still removed the nut, before leaving the house to go to the demo. So there I am, pulling the plunger to show how easy it is. And it was. Really, really pull the plunger completely out of the handle which let loose a spring which let loose some metal pin which let loose part of the handle assemble which let loose the, well, I'm sure you get the picture. Luckily, no one had a camera on me in that disastrous moment. Our president who is an analytical engineer type, Bob, tried valiantly to fit the pieces together but in vain. So that part of the demo was not so good for my ego.

Can we say "Murphy" children? Remember the husband who so sweetly shared his cold germs with me? Well, he had the tools poor Bob didn't have at the meeting and was able to put my extruder back together after he took it further apart to get the sprung out pieces back in. Now it works. Now I have a fever again. But I have no obligations past folding clothes and continuing to work on the website until the weekend after Christmas. Oh joy. I love polymer clay. It is exciting to have a sale and sell my creative efforts. It is good for the ego to have a positive feedback from showing new or at least my twist on a technique. But I am ready for a break. And my tools have pretty much stated they want a day or two off as well.

Tomorrow, Harry Potter. Monday? Back to the grind. Have a safe and clayful rest of the weekend.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Checking in

Sorry to take so long with another post. I got so wrapped up in Lindly's class and getting ready for the Houston Bead Society November sale/show I just didn't make it back here.

First, the class was wonderful and so is Lindly Haunani. I learned a lot about color and enjoyed stepping outside my comfort zone. I'll have photos for that in a day or two.

Second, the show/sale was fun and, I feel, very productive. I sold a little over 10% of what I had available and traded some glass bead artists for some very special bead sets.

I'll have photos and more by Monday. Right now I am off to the studio to be sure all is ready for my demo at the Houston Polymer Clay Guild tomorrow. If you are interested, I'll be showing tips and techniques for using paper punches with raw polymer clay to add detail as well as how to use the "left over" hole from the punch. I'll be using dragonfly, flowers, frog and sea creature punches in the demo. For more information and directions to our meeting place go to . And, as an aside, the bead society meets in the same location, the same day at 10AM. Hope to see a new face there.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Just wanted to get in a post before I went to bed even though it is late.
I think I mentioned about the way many of my bracelets looked good in person but the photos showed all the mistakes? Well, if you look to the left of this inventory photo it is clear what I mean. See the bent over piece of the edging? Yech. And yet, every person who sees this cuff just ohs and ahhs over it.
The lesson? Make sure my finishing techniques get much much better.
I did attempt a couple of new ways with clay today but I don't have any photos to upload yet. One effort is drying and after I cure it tomorrow I will call it a success or a lesson learned. I'll let you know.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

What I Made Yesterday - Steampunk, Grannie Style

Here is a photo of my experiment in the studio yesterday. It started out from two separate needs.
First, I have gotten quite a few of those Cricut type dies for embossing because I hoped to use them for subtle texture but was not having the results I sought so I wanted to work on that. Second, after seeing all the photos David took, I was really, seriously unhappy with the edges on most of my aluminum armature cuffs. They look okay on the arm, but not good at all in the photos. Since one of my main goals is to promote polymer clay as a fine art, art jewelry material, I have to find a better, more visually pleasing way to do cuffs. And these reasons were why I was in the studio.
The first problem took multiple conditioning and set up but I finally got the embossing tools to work exactly as I had pictured when I purchased them. So now I had a piece of clay, roughly 6" x 8" with a steel & copper metallic colored subtle mica shift type pattern of gears and sprockets.
Now time to try the new covering technique I thought up. And it worked well I am happy to say. It is even easier and less time consuming than the other method. But the cuff was very plain. So I dipped into my supplies and found some of those Tim Holtz sprockets, gears and game spinner pieces he markets for paper and collage (told ya "if it doesn't run away, I'll try it with my clay" is my mantra). Still looked too plain.
My understanding of the steampunk look is to have the mechanics of a new industrial age with the romance of Victorian times. What is more romantic than pearls? Back to the supplies. Numerous pearls were tried and discarded. Originally I thought I wanted them to match on each side and then I remembered about "Pearlies". In Victorian times, these were street type performers who were known for having all sorts of pearl buttons (mother of pearl) sewn all over their clothing in a random fashion. Hence the name Pearlies. So now I was looking for two very different looking pearls. I was very happy to find one in my stash which echoed the coppery color I had mixed and to also find one with all those lines on it. Almost as if it had been given a machined edging. Perfect!
After getting my components together I put a couple of "aged to imperfection" marks on it and into the oven. No sanding on this one. The metallic clay gives it just enough sheen. Voila, subtle steampunk any Grannie can wear. Or a radical steampunk girl/guy can have one not so flashy piece as a complement to the others.
And I have enough of the patterned clay left over to make some tile beads today. I think I like the look enough I will make several more pieces. I'm thinking of mixing up a dark, mildew/mossy/verdigris green with a brassy/dull gold for the under layer and a brighter/softer metallic green for the top layer. Then doing the same thing with blues. No pinks though. I am so tired of pink from all the mokume I did. Just can't face pink right now.
Enough rattling....back to the studio.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Small Jewelry Jar

This jewelry jar started its life as a small jar of Oil of Olay night cream. I liked the shape and wanted to recycle. I used faux malachite from one of the many techniques books out there but it has been so long ago I don't remember which one. The black "lava" was my own attempt and I a not to displeased with it. This jar is so small it really holds only the one pair of oval faux malachite earrings.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Favorite Piece of My far

Way back in the mid 1990's I started trying to come up with some way to showcase my jewelry work. It seemed so wrong, somehow, to spend all those hours designing a piece, creating the focal parts, scouring shows/stores/antique shops/internet for the perfect matching components and finally realizing a design on to then put it away in drawer or jewelry box. I really liked the work Ford & Forlano were doing incorporating brooches into wall pieces but didn't believe my skills were sophisticated enough for that. I also got inspired by all the differing shapes/sizes of glass jars. After pondering this for many months, voila, the "jewelry jar" was born.

Several of the prototypes are still only partially finished from running into technical difficulties I haven't solved yet. Some were not suitable for public consumption. Currently I only have two in stock. One is small, and I hope to get a photo of it tomorrow.

These photos (taken by my very supportive husband, David) show my favorite and best work, in my opinion, to date. This work started life in the clearance isle at Hobby Lobby. I really liked the off beat shape and pedestal. I covered it using the faux turquoise, ivory & coral master class offered by Tory Hughes in an issue of Ornament magazine. The large buffalo conchos are over the counter finds. The small ones are the dress type rivets usually found on better quality women's western wear and I found those at the Houston Livestock show & rodeo. The necklace and earrings also contain real coral & turquoise and are part of the outside design of the sculpture. The piece still looks okay without them, just a little plainer. The inside is lined with a deep burgundy velvet and is suitable for putting other jewelry items in as a jewelry box. And the lid has enough eye pins to hold another six pairs of earrings because I truly dislike having earrings jumbled and tangled up in the bottom of a jewelry box.

I hope you enjoy this piece and I look forward to any comments you have the time to share.

Now, back to the studio.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Found my way back

Okay, I am not the worlds most computer literate person but to loose one's blog is a bit much. I literally couldn't find my way back (navigation wise) until today I thought to google myself. Why google my name? I just uploaded photos to flicker and used "dlakotaqh" as one of the tags and wanted to see if it worked. How surprised I was to find myself listed first on Tory Hughes site from a comment last March and then to find my blogspot again. Oh yeah, oh yeah!!

Must be a sign for the beginning of my new year. I wonder if I can find my other blog "dlakotaqh's spiritual spot" as well. Can't hurt to try.

But, let's catch up. I am working to get a website up...Dakotah's Polymer Place to showcase artwork, ideas and to sell items. I'm going through intuit and they say I'll even be able to take credit cards for a reasonable rate. I have been in a juried show with moderate success. I attended and sold, with much less success, at the Houston Covenant House Fall Coffee. I will be sharing a table with Bob Wiley (work shown in Polymer Cafe, 400 Polymer by Lark books) at a bead show in three weeks. I have a flicker photo stream. All on their today is some bracelets, 4 rings and 2 necklaces but David is working hard to help me get all my inventory photographed and on to that site. I communicated w/Cinthia Tinapple about ongoing projects and she was most supportive and helpful. I just have to get my things done before I contact her again. I don't want to be a bother. I will be attending a class by Lindly Haunani hosted by the North Texas Polymer Clay Guild in two weeks. And lastly, the third Saturday of this month I will be teaching a demo at our guild (see for more info. I'll be turning in the photos and material list to Betsy by the end of this week) on my paper punch technique. But since I just now learned how to upload photos, if not put them where I want them to go, above is a tile bracelet using my technique and my technique for faux raku. Enjoy and I'll figure out how to make a more cohesive post before I come back.

So...oh fired from my nursing job because a co-worker stated she was afraid of me r/t my spiritual beliefs. And I haven't been able to find a job since then that I qualify for and don't have to drive 1.5 hours to (one way) each day. This is why I am pushing so hard on the polymer right now. I know when I find another nursing job I won't have near as much time. If I can get all this in place before then I should be able to keep up. At least I hope so.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Another day closer

Progress has been made! No, no photos yet but we get ever closer. David thinks he has figured out how to take the flash off the point and shoot. I have painted the box and bought a nice piece of fabric for a backdrop. We have a full schedule for tomorrow so maybe by Saturday we'll be able to take photos.

One caveat though...I am taking the laptop in tomorrow. It has 3 ports. One is unable to recognize anything in it and the other two are on the same side right beside each other. Since I use Cricket and since the attachment is so big, this means I cannot do anything except Internet when I am on the Internet. Not good. I am hoping the fix it place knows a quick fix. If not, I may be computerless for a few days and that will slow things down. But, if it is a relatively quick fix, I should have photos up by this time next week.

I also actually put my hands on clay today. I was able to cure 2 pendant/earring sets and 2 additional pairs of earrings. I have a set of necklace components, a pendant and 2 matching earring sets ready to fire and am almost done w/another bracelet. What I am doing this week is finishing up old pieces/ideas that are half done so that I can get on to the new ideas fermenting and rolling around my noggin. I also cured the first part (an accent band) on a vase.

So, the polymer goes on. Once I have photo capability I'll get on to polymer clay guild of etsy and 1000 markets as well as ebay store. I am planning to use all three venues as I have at least 3 separate types of goods with 3 different price points. So I'll use one for each market. More about that come Monday. I have a little bit more research to do before I choose which venue for which price point.

Clay on!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Still Getting the Hang of it All

So, today is the first day I am responsible to blog and nothing polymer to add yet. My husband is assisting me by putting together a photo box to take photos of polymer work already done to post but it isn't quite there yet. I have painted the box white on the interior and will get a couple of pieces of neutral fabric this week. His problem is not knowing how to shut off the flash on his point and click camera. The flash leaves a great shiny spot in a less than desirable spot on the jewelry he is currently attempting to get a photo of,

My huge task today is to get off my procrastinating behind and get the studio clean enough to function in. My current space availability, due to the clutter, is less than 2 foot square. Not much room to lay out supplies and projects. By tonight though, look out! I will get this done, I Will Get This Done. I WILL GET THIS DONE AND I WILL DO IT TODAY!!!!!!!!!

It is my hope that by next Monday I will be posting photos. Until then, I have a lot of work to do so I will sign off for now and go get after it.

Oh yes, my scheduled polymer post days are Monday and Thursday. See you in a fee.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

So, I am new to this and have very little to start with. My page may be sparse to begin but as I learn more and add more, perhaps we will all have a good time. I am inspired by "Polymer Clay Daily" and the "Daily Art Muse" blogs although I have no aspirations to ever rival those fantastic sites. Just to attempt to continually push myself and, in time, maybe to inspire others just a tiny bit as well.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Brand New Day

I have tried to blog in the past without success because of poor internet connections where I live (out in the boonies) but I think I have that problem fixed so I am going to try again.  From this blog you can expect polymer clay and mixed media items and lots of photos (starting tomorrow).   For now my profile pretty much says it all as far as what I am about.

I am working hard right now to spend at least 40 hours each week in the studio either designing or realizing designs and will be posting photos of both current pieces, older pieces I like and pieces that simply did not make the grade with reasons why.  As time permit, tutorials will be added.  For now, check back in tomorrow, same dlakotaqh time, same dlakotaqh channel.