Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Clay and Customer Service

Each week I will see 75+ students in the studio. Each year we work on  a 3-D project for the art show. This year we are creating an aviary full of wonderfully exotic birds. We had the armatures all ready for the Sculpey clay.  I don't have a kiln nor do I have room for one so I come up with alternative 3-D projects.

Imagine my dismay and the disappointment of my students when the 8LB box of Sculpey I bought at Hobby Lobby was hard.

As. A. Rock.


So I changed plans and went out to my local Wal-Mart and bought a tub of Crayola Air Dry Clay.  Maybe I should have bought it in the first place because it was way cheaper and I didn't have to take the pieces home and bake them. And you can't go wrong with Crayola brand right?


The Crayola Air Dry was awful! The birds cracked so bad they looked like they had a skin disease.

Now the kids are not only disappointed but discouraged. They worked hard on their armatures and the really FUN part would be painting and embellishing their sculptures and now it looked like we might have to scrap the project and do something else. And we already spent two extra class times on the birds. I did come up with a quick one day art lesson for them to do while waiting for the clay debacle to be solved.

On a whim I decided to email Sculpey and tell them what happened. I spent $52 (including tax) and drove 140 miles round trip to buy the clay. Within 20 minutes of emailing them I got this wonderful response:


Thank you for contacting Polyform Products Company and your interest in our products.  I am so sorry to hear about your experience with our Original Sculpey clay.  It sounds like the clay was exposed to heat at the retailer or during the shipping process (perhaps last summer or fall) when it arrived at the store or distribution center.  We would like to replace the clay and send you new clay. Thank you for including your shipping address and we will get the clay out to you.


 Best regards,
I received this box via UPS one week later
 was NOT expecting the extra products at all.
So what did we do about the Crayola product? I ordered some Creative Paper Clay
 for us to go over the birds that were covered in Crayola clay. So far the results have been good. I won't buy Crayola Clay ever again. We will stick with Sculpey and  Creative Paper Clay in the future.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

It's a give away! Collage/Mixed media paper pack

I am giving away this packet of hand painted, gelatin printed papers to one randomly selected lucky winner.
leave a comment on this post on blogger= one chance to win
follow the blog = one more chance

Pretty simple for pretty cool papers! Good Luck :)
You will receive everything you see in this picture- plus a few extra goodies to collage with

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

It was too damn cold to do anything else so....

This past weekend was my 3rd annual ITDCSWMAWMA Retreat
(It's Too Damn Cold So We Might As Well Make Art)

My sister Cecelia from Chicago flies in - she works in water color and mixed media collage

My friend Shari drives across town- she is also a mixed media artists and right now she is into encaustic

I host the event here in the studio.

Here are a few pieces we worked on:

we experimented with color mixing ( Thank you Mary Beth Shaw  for color mixing 101)

we made some really cool art papers!
(Thinned down gloss medium, tissue paper and string, Golden acrylics)

I purchased some Derwent Artbar crayons and we got to play with them. We used Tattered Angels Pure Mistable Paper Frayed Cotton

I think the Artbars are my new favorite wet/dry material to use. I like them better than watercolor pencils.

Shari Kratoska  played with encaustics- I think I need to just spend one whole day with her and the wax
   I revisited an old canvas and added more to it
We played, experimented, discovered, laughed, ate, talked and bonded. My daughter Biz was home unexpectedly and spent Saturday with us working on a project for school. I have been after Cecelia for several years to try her hand at an altered book. Last year I got her to start one using an old record album book. She painted the sleeves and did some stenciling on the cover and then abandoned it. This year I showed her an up-cycled book I had made using just a cover and filling it with new pages. She made this beautiful book with recipes in it to give as a gift. I was slightly jealous because hers was way better than mine.

    I started a new canvas. I am trying to paint faces. I am only brave enough to do this since I bought the Stencil Girl face map stencils. I have a long way to go before this one is finished. It was a great weekend and one we look forward to each winter when it's just too damn cold to do anything else!