Splattered & Twisted (whiterosesart.com)
Splattered & Twisted by Heather Miller

Title: Splattered & Twisted
No Longer Available
Year: 2013
Size: 11″ x 14″

Splattered & Twisted was made from polymer clay, acrylic paint, and ink on canvas

The Story:

I’m writing this story in 2016, the piece was created in 2013 so I’ll do my best to remember.

Splattered & Twisted was a fun experiment.  I started out by applying droplets of blue, purple, teal, and green inks to a canvas board.  Then I took an old blow dryer (an essential tool in my studio) and blew the inks around the board.  This was done repeatedly until the board was covered in the splattered texture.

While I loved the result of the experiment – and it was a LOT of fun (you could easily do this with older kids on a rainy day!!), I felt like it needed something more.  Several years earlier, I did a piece I called the Spires of Flannar that featured twists made of polymer clay.  I decided to do that again since I’ve learned a lot more about the process since then.

To create spirals, you first need to flatten out some clay, then cut it into strips.  Once that’s done, find something made of glass or metal that you can ‘spiral’ the strips of clay onto.  For this spiral, I had a long, tall, and perfectly straight glass cup I got free with a bottle of booze.  I often use it as a vase because it’s a great size.  It turns out to make really nice spirals too.  When baking polymer clay, it’s not a good idea to use your household oven – or any oven where you will be cooking food.  Polymer clay leaves a lingering smell, which can become a permanent lingering smell if you bake often enough.  It is highly recommended to get a toaster specifically for this task.*

Once I had my spiral attached to my glass, there’s a small problem:  the glass doesn’t fit in a toaster oven standing upright.  When I made the Spires of Flannar I just laid the glass on its side.  This results in a flat edge where the clay was laying on the baking tray.  Now I know you can purchase pillow stuffing (the white fluffy stuff) and rest your glass (or any dimensional polymer clay sculpture) onto the stuffing.  You can bake the stuffing without any fumes or ill effect (that I’m aware of).  This prevents the clay from getting flat edges.

After allowing the glass to cool completely, you can carefully removed the clay.  The clay will stick to the glass, so you often need to use something thin to pry it loose.  Once I did that, I painted the spiral with a glittery acrylic paint and glue it in place.

Why is this piece listed as “currently unavailable?”  Because I dropped it and broke the spiral.  The frame & canvas board are fine.  I was able to break the remainder of the spiral off the board cleanly.  I just need to see if I can get the glue up without ruining the board.  If I can, then I can remake the spiral easily enough.  I’m cautiously optimistic that I can save this piece and it will be for sale again soon.

*There are ovens being sold online & in craft stores that are supposedly made for polymer clay.  They are NOT, they are really just regular toaster ovens.  If you read reviews of these “specialty” ovens, people will often point out that they come with a pizza stone, just like their ‘normal’ counterparts.  I own a regular Black & Decker model.  It was cheaper than the “specialty” oven and it’s not some knockoff from China that could burn my house down.