Saturday, April 16, 2011

D.R.E.A.M. Machine

Well I finally saved up my money and was able to order my "dream", D.R.E.A.M. Machine from Polymer Clay Express. I have wanted this from the day I set eyes on it making a clay order. When I received notification about my shipment from UPS as to its arrival date, I was worse than a child waiting for Santa Claus. The notice from UPS said it would arrive by end of day, when I noticed it was 6:30 pm and UPS still hadn't shown up, I contemplated looking for the truck. Finally at 6:45 p.m. the UPS truck was making its turn down my driveway I almost behaved like a dog that had been locked up in the car for an hour and it saw its owner coming. After listening to the UPS driver give me apologies for his lateness in delivery because of his bad day I grabbed that box up and brought it into the house and left him still talking in my driveway. I truly don't believe I may have left a very good impression on him because I did not extend any sympathy to him for his string of bad luck.

I brought that baby in and set it on the floor of my workshop and started to tear into it. First thing I pulled out was the sheeting tray. I felt like someone had just given me the hope diamond, man was I excited, then it was time for the bigger box. I carefully opened it and there it sat the most awesome looking overgrown pasta machine I had ever set my eyes on. The sheeting tray and the D.R.E.A.M. machine was so pretty and shiny silver I just sat and stared at it in amazement. I rearranged a few things on my work table and had to take my little atlas pasta machine and put it away. I felt sort of bad for my atlas we had been through a lot together but I think it needed some rest. I placed the new guy in the little guy's old place attached the sheeting tray, clamped the machine to my table, put in the handle and sat there and stared at it all the time thinking "WOW" and believe it or not it sat there for 2 days and never got used just stared at. I dusted it, I polished my fingerprints off of the pretty shiny metal but never put a bit of clay through it. I truly think it intimidated me. Its not that I was afraid to use it, I just did not want the pretty silver machine to get messed up.

Well the other night I finally run clay through it and started making some canes and it was awesome. I know, I know, its an over sized pasta machine but it is just great. I felt like there was no clay thick enough this big boy could not take on. I absolutely just LOVE IT! I feel its the best thing I have spent my money on. I can make an over sized skinner blend, or I can set the clay guides and make a real narrow one as well. I am truly sold on this machine and I feel everyone should at least use one even if they feel like they don't need to buy one.

The rollers are easy to clean it has 10 settings as opposed to 9 and maybe its just me but it seems to crank smoother. The atlas machine was not hard to crank but there was a few times the handle came out of my atlas when I was cranking away. This machine the handle somewhat locks in. I guess I am probably over playing this machine with the praises I am giving it but I don't regret spending the money on this. I think this machine will live up to its praises plus some. I really enjoy shopping at Polymer Clay Express I will always sing their praises, I don't know them personally but I have spent a small fortune at that store but they have always treated me as if we had been friends for a long time. They have taken the time to call me about orders which I have made that they needed to substitute something, or they always leave a note on the invoice and believe me that means a lot. I feel good shopping at a place where they acknowledge you to a point and do not treat you just as just another buck being made.

Friday, April 8, 2011


Well, I was able to get a few things in, not as much as I would have liked. Still dealing with family crisis and
as I mentioned before it is somewhat taking a toll on my creativity as well as my energy level.
Started to get my daughters more involved with clay. They are so excited and so am I. Right now they are at a standstill with employment. They have been laid off and its a little difficult to find work. I encouraged them now that they have time on their hands between job hunting to learn more about clay. Hope I can put some of their stuff to show maybe we can make it a family thing.

Any Who, I was playing with a pendant design the other day and was looking for something and come across a Bedazzler someone had given me for a gift. Remember them? You could put studs and rhinestones on your levi's, denim jackets, etc. So a faint light went off in my head (remember I am tired) and decided that I should put it to use since it was just laying in its box never been touched. I decided to use it as part of the design in a pendant.

I think it looks okay. Made a mokume gane on one side and of course I am into stripe mode right now, so of course I added some stripes to set it apart. They are fairly easy if you set them in before baking, take them out bake the pendant and put them back in with some of Donna Kato's glue and they stay quite well. The prongs on the back leave reference points in the clay, so after baking you can press them back in. Of course when initially setting them in the raw clay don't push the stud setter too hard because you will flatten the prongs on the back and the stud setter leaves a large imprint in the raw clay. All in all I think it worked okay. Will try to play with more that came with my kit.