Sunday, May 10, 2020

Shrinkets, knitting, stay at home, and other thoughts

The biggest new thing I have found is shrinkets, shrink plastic art has come a long way since the shrinky dinks of my youth.

I did stray into the medium a few years back when I met a gal at a local craft fair and took a class from her.  Susan's art circus a quck check and she's still doing shrink plastic.  I didn't pursue it much but I did use it to make 'the dream' which fit into the dream keeper vessel ring.  It was the perfect material to personalize the ring, be a secret inside message, and to make it sturdy.

This past February before we were all required to stay home, I went to Tucson for the first time in many years.   I ran into Gail Crosman Moore who was making these amazing shapes and told me to go seek out Julie Isaacs Haymaker and she'd set me up.  So a set of molds, some die cut shapes, some 8 x 10 sheets of shrinket material and a heat gun came home with me, and then I got busy with other things.

I attended a wedding, I met some deadlines, I knit and then on March 12th the Governor of California put in place a Stay at Home order.  Time was now my gift, time and anxiety and worry all of which needed to be managed, so I got out my shrinket and joined Julie's facebook group.  For me it is a really calming medium, basically it's like coloring when you were a kid, only grown up.

I soon found that I needed better pencils than I had and some alcohol ink pens and a sharperner and maybe some more molds, and a gold leaf pen, and then more gold leaf pens because they are magic.

The facebook group, and Julie's website offered inspiration as well as some challenges and so I began in earnest trying to learn the medium.

My first set of shrinkets were ho hum....but then I got the hang of how I liked them to look and soon I had a big group.

Here's detail of a charm/trinket that I made.  Julie's molds are what make it possible to get the three dimensionality which changes the medium so much!

Here's a sweet pair of earrings with just a little touch of shrinket at the top.

 Here I've given a go at fairy wings, someday there will also be a fairy....I hope.

Each of the grand daughters got a heart pendant.  Bella is a huge lover of everything rainbow so here's hers.

Here is a Poesie pendnat in progress.  I love the combination of molded shrink plastic with beadwork and in this case a piece of German glass.

This one I offered as a kit and more people than not opted for me to make their shrinkets to include in the kit.  So a weeks worth of work happened.  

This one was done for a monochromatic color challenge.  The material itself started out pink and I used deep fuchisa and orange pencils to color it.  The sweet heart at the bottom is from bead artist Patti Lakinsmith.

I think this was also a challenge but at the moment I can't remember what the challenge was....hmmm... But I like it.  

This was a tide pool challenge.  I made each of the fronds separately and then underneath the fossil was two layers of shrink plastic, one smaller than the other, creating a channel.  The fronds were curved over a bowl while shrinking and then glued into the channel.  The gold leaf pen is a game changer.  This is about 4 inches across and I use it as a decorative item on my etagere.

Desert flowers was another challenge which I met with a large flower, petals stitched to bead backing and a rivoli center with golden head pin 'stamens'.  I placed all of that in a shadow box.  This is a process shot of coloring the leaves.  

Here it is resting on the etagere, but I've since mounted it on a dining room wall

I have a current piece in process and ideas for more.  Looking back over that, it's a lot of work in one medium in a short time.  The process however soothes me.  It's a combination of doodling and coloring and reasonable instant gratification, at least in comparison to a fully bead woven pendant.  It lends itself to bead embroidery and also to all the little bits that live in my studio and have waited to find the perfect use.

I'm also knitting.  I finished a love notes for a six year olds birthday, and am in process on my own love notes.

Mark and I also made in excess of 75 masks for friends and family.  

Days run together, worry is still a problem, I want my kids and my grandkids to be safe and not have serious financial effects.  I want myself and my husband to stay free of the virus and I want the same for all of my friends, well for everyone.  But that is not what is happening and it's worrisome.

We missed a long planned family outing that I was desparately looking forward to, two visits from dear international bead friends, our summer airstream travel plan to Seattle and weekly get togethers with friends.

What we do have is each other, a house that cares for us really well, nice weather, weekly zoom meetings with family and friends that I cherish.  I have needed art/fiber and bead supplies to sustain all my interests. I have  yeast!  yes, that is exciting, bread and pizza dough are staples here.  We're busy planning some veranda/yard upgrades to give us a beautiful space to spend the summer.

Stay safe and well, I love you.  Marcia