Friday, May 4, 2012

Fur and More Fur Everywhere!

by Janet Alexander
Technical Advisor

I have a black lab that is determined to have her hair in every one of my metal clay pieces. I know she is doing this on purpose. She comes into my studio and waits until she is right next to my bench and then gives a good shake. The hair flies into the air and stays suspended waiting for me to get my wet clay out!

Ah, but I have gotten a little smarter these days and have greatly reduced the hair problem by using a plastic report cover. They are sold at the office supply stores.

I remove the brightly colored plastic binder (saving it for something else) and then apply a light coating of olive oil to both inside pages. Now it’s ready for use. The report cover lasts until I dent it up with my pin cutter.

I like using this for several reasons.

 1.  I place my cards and texture inside the cover’s pages and roll out the moist clay. The cover keeps the hair out. Now I don’t need to worry about my roller being dirty either.

2.  While teaching, I can stop what I’m doing, close the cover, and then come back to my still moist clay.

3.  If needed, I can re-hydrate the clay (because I talked too long) by simply painting some water on the surface of the clay, closing the cover, and allowing it to sit for a minute.

 4.  If mixing some newly opened clay with some used clay, I can easily roll the two very flat mixing them together between the cover.

5. I also re-mix ground clay inside the report cover without any waste.

6. After I cut out a shape, I can bend the page the clay is attached to, flipping it off the cover without hurting the shape.

7. I like to save all of my scraps, shavings, and clay powder. I grind it back into dust using a coffee grinder. But you know that dog hair sometimes still gets into the clay. Sieving the powdered clay through a screen helps rid some of the stray hair. I can’t guarantee it’s foolproof, but it does keep the peace between me and my dog. It works for you cat owners too.

Oh, the report binder, I use it to cover the sharp end of my blade.

Until next time, happy claying around!  


Libellula Jewelry said...

I'm definitely going to use your idea! Thanks.

Julie Cannariato, ArtZcat Creations said...

With an indoor German Shephard and a long hair cat (Mainecoon)this will definately come in handy. Thanks Janet, for once again, great tips!
Julie Cannariato
ArtZcat Creations

Janet Alexander said...

Hi Libellula and Julie,
I hope this works as well for you as it has for me!