Spires of Flannar (WhiteRosesArt.com)
Spires of Flannar by Heather Miller

Title: Spires of Flannar
Year: 2009
Size: 11″ x 14″

Spires of Flannar was created using polymer clay, acrylic paint, and acrylic varnish on canvas board.

The Story:

Spires of Flannar was my first experiment with shaping polymer clay into large spires.  To do this, the clay must be wrapped around an object that can be baked in the oven at 275ºF.  When I created Harmony of Earth & Sky, I created the spires by hand, they weren’t wrapped around anything while baking.  For that piece, I needed the spires to curve and I was using rather small spires.  Large spires can’t be created by hand because they flatten in the oven.

My problem quickly became finding an object that I could wrap the clay around, and that could be baked, and that could fit in the oven.  I ended up at my favorite problem solving store:  The Home Depot.  I make a point to wander every aisle whether I need something or not.  You never know what you’ll find or what you can repurpose.  On this trip, I discovered dryer vent extension tubes.  They are made of aluminum so they are light and can be placed in the oven.

Admittedly, the spirals aren’t perfect.  They are bumps and dents in the clay from where the spirals touched the seam of the dryer vent extension and from where I dented it without realizing it – at least I’m assuming I didn’t see that dent on the top spiral because normally that’s something I would fix).   When it was all assembled, however, the spires seemed a bit “battle hardened,” which brings me to the name….

The name Spires of Flannar is made of two parts.  The spires is a bit obvious from the spiral that reaches over the top of the frame.  Flannar is the name of a city that I invented for a video game story that went exactly nowhere.  I discovered that I’m good at inventing names but terrible at telling stories.  I keep a list of all the names I’ve invented & use them when I’m stuck for a title.  Since my fictional city of Flannar was an ancient city, the damaged spirals I created seemed fitting.

The canvas board was coated with various colors of acrylic paint using a sponge.  Before it dried I took a brush & created random swirling patterns.  The spirals are painted with shimmery acrylic paints & then coated in a high gloss acrylic finish.  The frame was a random find at Michael’s Arts & Crafts. Normally I avoid colorful frames, but sometimes they really work well.  This was one of those times – at I think so.