Monday, February 24, 2014

The first MATS Bootcamp assignment

Wow! It was an adrenaline filled week for this bootcamper! Our assignment was to design a cell phone case with a cuckoo clock theme. We started off with a "mini" assignment of researching and guessed it....cuckoo clocks! At this point we had no idea what the main assignment was, so the sketching was super relaxed and we had the freedom move in any direction with our sketching process. I didn't do a ton of sketching due to time constraints, but I did come up with a few icons that I liked.

I was partial to the traditional Bavarian-style clocks with their cute little animals and mushrooms, but I had come across some unconventional ones on Pinterest like a cuckoo clock teapot and crazy brite pink or teal clocks and was inspired to go with something completely whimsical.
After a few days of floundering about with markers, pencils, and paint, I turned to my old friend polymer clay. Here are some pictures of the process, which took 2 days of working  here and there in-between making pieces for orders from my Etsy shop and life (4 kids at home on feb vacation). Photographing and editing in photoshop took another full day and a half.

I went with a cupcake theme, made the sketch and then photocopied it to make some templates for the pieces of the clock which I cut out in clay….super soft sculpey III.

The challenging part was choosing the pallet. Lilla had given us 2 on-trend pallets that I liked, but I felt that neither of them would work for this piece, which I envisioned being totally candy-shoppe-lollipop-sugary-sweet.
I chose to work in my sunny kitchen instead of my studio, so that I could be at "command central" for the kids. I gathered up all my supplies and spread out on the table. Normally I work with colored clay that I mix, much like paint, to get shades and highlights, but I wanted more control with this pallet and opted to paint the clay after it was baked. I worked in layers and edited my original sketch as I went along, adding some elements and discarding others. I used super glue and hot glue to hold everything in place.
Time to photograph! I set it all up in my lightbox, arranging all of the candy swirls, hearts and sprinkles each time I changed the background color, which was at least 10 times!

I had fun taking some informal shots with my iPhone and documenting the progress on Instagram.
The next step was the most challenging as I am still in the infant stages of learning photoshop. This is the finished mock-up that I submitted to Lilla's gallery.

I really enjoyed this assignment and got some valuable feedback from my classmates (whose work blew me away)….you can view all of the submissions (about 350+ artists participated) on lilla Roger's
website tomorrow. I can't wait t see them all!
Thanks for checking out mine!


  1. wow, wow, wow! I loved seeing the process!! That must have been fun! love the translation between sketch and clay!

  2. Katie this is amazing I'm just blown away by your process from start to finish especially with the fact you used polymer clay to ! I love the final painted version its so cool and I tihnk the 3 dimensional properties the clay has really lended well to your cuckoo piece ;) x look forward to seeing more posts from you! kate x

  3. This is really amazing!! I love to see how you got this done. Such a great idea to do it this way. And such skills too :D

  4. Wow, I can't believe how amazing your artwork is - and all from clay. I haven't seen anyone do this type of process before. Thanks for sharing your art process and MATS Bootcamp experience (I'm a bootcamper too).

  5. Thankyou for the lovely comments ladies….means the world to me :) I have spent the last few years wondering whether I could actually use this medium for illustration, and all of the positive feedback is very reassuring that I am moving in the right direction. Thanks again and can't wait to see all of our work "officially" on Lilla's page!

  6. I really like the 3D from the polymer and the sweet colors, looks amazing!

  7. Your work is so totally awesome!


Thankyou for your comments!