Nov 3, 2016

Cactus mania

I just finished an interesting project. It all started with a sweet email from a cactus lover wondering if I am willing to do a custom order for her. She admires my work and was willing to give me full freedom to make fridge magnets with cactus theme. Naturally, I was intrigued.

Once in childhood I actually had a window full of potted cactuses (or is it cacti, I am never sure) and I even sat in one, which was an unfortunate experience, as you can imagine. Once in my teen and young adult years I had a house full of pot flowers of all kinds. I loved and took care of them and they loved me back.
Suddenly, about 15 years ago it all stopped. I don't know exactly why but I lost interest in house plants. Fast forward to my recent project I realized as much as interesting this assignment might be it will be challenging. I had to familiarize with the house plants once again and with those with thorns!

So this project quite unexpectedly turned into a study. My customer wanted bright magnets to stand out so I decided to use my Nambi technique.

I found a book of flowers and actually made detailed sketches. Since I am not familiar with the material I had to see how it will turn out in clay within Nambi technique. Surprisingly, I had so much fun in the process of sketching. Most of the time, for my polymer clay projects I just use very primitive drawings. This time I took time to color the sketches too.
Since both customer and I were pretty happy with sketches, I used my template paper to copy the shape that will become a magnet.

I use this template paper for years, it is sturdy and somewhat transparent, allows making original templates made based on your drawings which can be used many times. You can find this template paper in my Etsy shop.

After that the whole project has gone awry. Right about Halloween my oven decided to play a trick on me and burnt me two batches of these magnets and a batch of beads for another customer. It was crazy! I was mad and cried and tried to eat my misery away.

By the time this third batch got to the oven, they were made quickly and looked great! It is proven that practice makes it perfect after all. I put two thermometers in the oven and sat in front of it the whole baking time. Tell me about being dedicated to the project! They were baked perfectly and were ready for finishing.

Cactus magnets are colorful and vibrant, I like them very much. My customer is happy, apart from purple color on the pot. But since she forgot to mention it in advance, she says she can live with it. Once they were finished I attached magnets to their back.

It is always fun to revisit a technique once developed and make something different with it then jewelry. Nambi tutorial is available in my Etsy shop if you are interested.

I hope you will find these magnets interesting as I do. Leave a comment or a question if you wish to.

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