Thursday, May 12, 2011

Meet my light tent- Studio Tour Part 2

My light tent has become one of the most important tools in my studio. Even during the winter when it's gray (and completely dark at like 4:30) I can take consistent bright photos.

Now I know a lot of you have your own light tent/box solutions (and I'm not saying this is better or worse) but I really like this set up and I'll tell you why.

  • First- It's collapsable. For the most part the tent lives on that counter. But the whole thing folds up into a tiny little circle and fits inside it's own storage bag. Whenever I've needed this counter for extra work space I can fold it up and put it away.
  • Second- Setting it back up is easy. All you have to do is unfold it.
  • Third- It came with lights. One stand has a clip light and an overhead light, the other has a single light. Both are adjustable tripods so I can position the height and angle.

There is one downside- This setup is short on background options. It came with white and black background cloths (which can get wrinkled- also a problem) but sometimes I want color. So when I'm not using white I typically employ an oversized sheet of paper to get color or pattern.

I guess I could always make my own backgrounds out of fabric... but that seems like a bigger than my sewing abilities can handle.

It's also a little big- I considered a smaller version with two table top lights instead of tripods but in the end decided to sacrifice a little space to get a larger tent and more powerful lights. And I'm glad I did- even with this size I sometimes run into things that I can't photograph without getting bits of the tent edges in the background.

So there it is my light tent. I purposefully did not want to make this a commercial for the people who made this (not that there's anything wrong with them- they were great I just didn't want to make this a commercial) so if you're interested in what kind it is (or have any other questions about it) leave a comment or send me an email and I'd be happy to give you a link.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Polymer Potted Plants Tutorial

I had a few of these mini clay pots hanging around and thought I'd like to try and add flowers to them using polymer clay.

I needed a dome shape on the pot to built my plant off of so I started by balling up a piece of aluminum foil and sticking it into the pot so it fit snugly.

Then covered it with brown clay.

I used a push mold to make enough leaves and flowers to cover the entire thing. But if you don't have a mold like this you can easily make leaves and flowers using this technique.

And added brown centers to each flower, which I then textured by poking with a toothpick.

I baked the entire thing (mini pot and all) in the oven according to the package directions for the clay.

You could stop here and have a cute little plant. Or add wire around the lip to fashion this into a hanging plant ornament (I might make a few of these for Christmas to give to the gardeners in my life). But I wanted a plant stake so I used wood glue to attach a dowel into the hole in the bottom of the pot, then I painted the stake green (you could skip this step and leave the dowel natural- it looked nice this way too).

Here's my finished plant stake in a plant on my deck.

I think I'll make a few versions of these with all green leaves- no flowers to mark the herbs. I can write the names on the pot with a permanent marker.
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