I'm just back from teaching in southern France, and am so excited to show you a bit of it!  The travel was a nightmare due to an Air Traffic Controllers strike, but we persevered and were rewarded with sights and memories we will never forget.



Those of you who know me, know I love to haunt flea markets and antique shops and garage sales to find treasures to use in my artwork.  Most of the time, I fall in love with antiques which I can't bear to part with, and so began my love affair with molding products that allow me to mold the object once, and then make as many clay replicas as I wish.  Sculpey has a wonderful product called Mold Maker that accomplishes this beautifully.




When I knew I was heading to France to teach, I knew that French flea markets were going to feature prominently in my teaching plan!  I decided we would spend the morning at le vide grenier- the 'clean out your attic' sales. 



We would all come back to the studios afterwards, show our treasures and make molds off of each other's goodies!  One person bought it, but we could all take a bit of it back home!




Since we were going to be using these molded pieces on the fronts of journals or canvases, I did not want them to be heavy, ((AND because the airlines are so stingy with weight limits!!!)) so I chose to have everyone cast their positive objects with Sculpey UltraLight.    


Mishaps in Baking Sculpey Clay

                                                                                                                                                                       ((Now normally, I would never show 'whoops' pieces, but I think this happens to the best of us from time to time, so hopefully this will encourage others:))                       


Things were going splendidly until it came time to bake.  We were forced to use the oven they had, since shipping to France is very cost prohibitive.  They assured me they had a wonderful clay oven, but to be safe, I took my own thermometer to test it.  Unfortunately, the oven only had one temperature-400 degrees.  It had lots of settings, but only one temperature!  Too hot for my Sculpey!  Now I NEVER reccommend baking any polymer clay at higher than the settings, but we were stuck!  So we did the best we could, since we were out in the middle of NOWHERE:)



We tried to shield the pieces as much as we could with foil, and we baked in a completely airy room with lots of large open windows and huge skylights, and fans.  They still scorched, but they set up fine, and were not brittle.  I knew the metal coatings would be the key to covering up the ugly scorch marks.  



We used Sculpt Nouveau's metal coating paints from Townsend Atelier on the baked pieces, and then used Traditional Tiffany Green patina and black wax on them.  The Gilders pastes added the final touches.   Here are some of my student Shelly Grim's brilliant work!  See what you think- I may be biased, but I think they are gorgeous!