Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Baseball Necklace from polymer clay for MLB Opening Day 2013

"Tribute to Baseball" necklace"
I originally designed the prototype for this new baseball, bat and glove necklace many years ago to wear to a baseball game when the symphony orchestra I performed with was invited to play at a game (complete with Fireworks and the "1812 Overture"). The team colors were red, white and blue, so I made the necklace to jazz up my regular boring black and white summer concert attire (and managed to sneak it by the management dress code enforcer!!!). 

I've continued to wear the necklace over the years and whenever I do it gets a lot of attention.  I decided that this baseball season it would be fun to put an updated version into production to sell at my online shops. The bat, mitt and balls are all made from artist quality polymer clay. The sand colored bat is designed to be a mini reproduction of a model 125 Louisville Slugger and the ash wood grain is drawn on with a light umber Prismacolor pencil, made permanent with a light coat of matte indoor use Varathane varnish. The bat is faux "autographed" by my favorite player and can be special ordered with the "autograph" of the customer's favorite player. The bat logos and autograph are added with Sakura Microperm black pens in 01(thinnest), 03 and 05 (thickest) pen tip sizes .

The brown glove is molded and then antiqued with burnt umber Liquitex Heavy Body Acrylic paint, most of which is rubbed off with T shirt jersey material. 

The baseballs are hand rolled from the new whiter PREMO white clay. Once cured, the tiny characteristic "V" stitching is applied by hand with a 01 red Sakura Pigma Micron pen........with my nose resting on a stationary magnifier. The archival ink from the Micron pens is prone to smearing until it's VERY dry, so I hastened the drying process by heat curing the balls in the oven at 200F. for 10 minutes. Then it was further sealed with a very light coat of matte Varathane varnish that was also heat cured for 10 minutes at 200F.   One of the features of the necklace that I really love is that the baseballs are mounted on spirals of golden wire that allow them to dangle freely creating eye catching motion as the wearer moves about.

(Edited: No LONGER AVAILABLE):  I thought would be a nice feature to offer the necklace in a Custom Order format where the customer can choose the colors of the necklace beads. It's a great way let people know that you are baseball fan and it's a conversation piece that's bound to attract attention. They also make unique and special gifts for fans.
This Black and Orange version .
The Red, Navy Blue and White version.
The Navy/Midnight Blue and White version.

This 4th of July colored version also makes a very Patriotic necklace to wear for ANY occasion.

Baseball earring complete the homage to baseball/softball and and now we're all ready for Major League Baseball's opening day, March 31, 2013.
Please click here for my blog post on the Arizona Diamondbacks version of the baseball necklace I designed for myself as a tribute to the team (my home state team). For a blog post on the making of the neon yellow softball necklace

Sunday, February 17, 2013

In Celebration of St Patrick's Day, Grandmother Connolly, Shamrocks and Polymer Clay Cat Jewelry

St Patrick's Day Angel Cat hanging ornament sporting his emerald green shamrock
When I was growing up I loved to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. I'd carefully choose my green outfit weeks in advance. I'd decorate the house with shamrocks and Leprechauns, play Irish music with my sister, and wear special St Patrick's Day jewelry that I'd make, myself. I was grateful that I could claim my Irish heritage from my great grandmother Connolly who had immigrated from County Cork.

A lot has changed since those days so long ago, but I still enjoy the celebration and our little town even has a St Patrick's Day parade. As part of my celebration this year I designed two St Patrick's Day additions to my Cat Collection. The first is an Angel Cat hanging ornament of emerald green and white with a shamrock dangling from his collar. The companion piece is a convertible pendant necklace/brooch.  Both are available at MelodyODesigns at Etsy
I always love to see other people's behind the scenes studio photos, so below I'm including two to share:
Kemper Heart Cutters make wonderful shamrocks. I use a syringe to more precisely place tiny appliques.