Friday, February 23, 2018

Hopeful Sun by Kersten Christianson

Hopeful Sun
#MakeSun #MixedMedia  #Ephemera  #Rubbermoon #Spirit


  • Jane Cather’s Lady’s House Stamp, JC453D
  • Jessica Sporn’s Hot Star Stamp, JS5441I
  • 5 “Spirit” Sticks found on outdoor walkabouts
  • Beads and ephemera 
  • Larger washers to serve as ephemera base
  • White Gesso
  • Polymer Clay
  • Acrylic paints:  Red, Yellow, Copper, Blue
  • Glitter Spray 

Winter has kicked my butt this year.  So many blues.  Living in a rainforest with 132 inches of annual precipitation doesn’t help, so I plan and play my days accordingly.  When the forecast calls for sun, I clear my desk the night before and plan to spend a fair chunk of the next day outdoors.  When the forecast calls for anything but sun, I make my own, and in this case, it rises in the form of a funky mixed media sun.

When I started this project, I worked out the clay and chose a couple of different stamps for different impressions.  The first I tried was Jessica Sporn’s Hot Star stamp.  I thought this would be the perfect sun center and in many a way, it is.  However, once I assembled the sun and added the ephemera, Sporn’s image proved just a little larger than what I had anticipated.  Large enough to overshadow the trickle of beads and ephemera.  

The backup image I stamped into the clay was Jane Cather’s Lady’s House stamp.  This winter, I thought a lot about what I would pack in my runaway bag, given the chance to do just that.  With each day that passes, running away becomes a less viable option, but it inspired the idea of Lady’s House becoming the center of this sun piece.  Her whimsy and flair set the tone for perfect placement.

Both images were painted for possible use. I covered the images in white Gesso and painted each accordingly. Now I have the Sporn design to work into another upcoming piece.

In past summers, my family and I would stop at Kluane Lake, a beautiful lake in the Yukon.  We’d spend days camping along its cerulean shore and beachcomb for what I lovingly named “Spirit Sticks.”  My husband would groan at the name, but he’d always stop and help my daughter and I gather.  We’d fill bags of the wave-worn wood to work into winter art projects back at home.  For this sun, I joined five sticks at their ends, attached them using E6000 glue and twine.  I let them sit until good and firm.   From there, I attached a washer between each “ray.”  I used E6000 for the washers and later the spill of beads that cover the washers.  

It has been a slow and meticulous project, really.  Gathering the ephemera for the washers.  Taking a step forward and allowing the piece to settle and dry before moving on.  This is a process my heart knows all too well.

Tomorrow the sun is expected to shine.  Once again, I work diligently to add the finishing pieces to the sun.  The last piece to add is Lady’s House.  I look forward to finding a fine sun-splashed tree branch tomorrow from which to hang my hopeful sun.


Kersten Christianson


  1. love it all! so wonderfully imaginative. btw, what clay are you using?

  2. Wow, awesome project! Thanks for sharing your creativity.