Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Flipside by Flip Flippen

Do you ever wonder "have I really been living to the fullest of my ability"?

This book refers to personal constraints holding people back.  The book takes you on a journey to help you identify your personal constraints, "which behaviors do I need to change and how can I change them?"

I can not say any of his descriptions explained my constraints very well but I definitely am aware of mine.

Starting in chapter 15 though he had some good advice.

"If we don't act-then we don't become".  As a woman, often things get so busy that being an artist gets set at the end of the list. One of the best things Flippen says is "live by design rather than by default and provide a systematic and steady path for growth".

I don't mind sharing some of my constraints and you can do yours alongside me as we walk through this.

Goal...more dedicated time for my art.

List of strengths...passion for sculpting.

Top constraint...lack of self discipline.

Steps...begin by organizing my days not around life but my art taking priority.  If scheduling a calendar that is visible constantly and has set goals that help keep you on track all week, great.

Do you want to be like a racket ball bouncing off of life's little outcomes or do you want to have a definite direction and intention.

Know in your heart that you are doing something you love and want to accomplish.  Acknowledge the fact you want to learn and continue learning all you can about your passion.  Push yourself and learn to say no when something else tries to interfere with your schedule.  Lastly be proud of yourself and accomplishments.

In order to strengthen my integrity as an artist I must grow and act like an artist in all facets of life, creating, marketing, and continue to educate myself in the process.

When you arrive at the end of the week and realize you are living the life you dreamed you can be proud to call yourself an artist.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Tried it, done it

I don't guess I have ever said what I have tried and what the outcome was when I did.

When I first began eighteen years ago I belonged to my home town art society and began showing in the two annual shows they had each year. I got the bug and began hearing about other shows in a certain radius which meant I thought I could afford the gas and motel and could work up the courage to enter the shows.  Back then the shows were probably 20.00 to enter and 35.00 to be in the show if accepted.

I recall that one particular year I entered and participated in 10 shows, one being Casper and the other  DuBois, Wy.  These were both shows that no one I knew had experienced so I learned a hard lesson, one had no traffic and the other was in a house that looked like it should have been for sale instead of being called a gallery.

After years of showing and entering both those that worked and those that did not I had an accumulation of ribbons and was ready for the big time of larger shows and that was when I realized that shows had changed and I had to pick and choose because of the greater expense (plus the fact that I haul 12 pedestals on a trailer and a truck full of art).

Galleries, I have been in what seems like a lot of galleries. My first  experience was a gallery in Georgia.  I had taken a piece of work along on a vacation and got up enough courage to stop in a gallery and explain that I was hoping to help pay for my trip by finding a gallery that wanted my work. Well she out and out bought it and that let me into my first gallery which was a thrill and that was probably 16 years ago. I have had so many different experiences with galleries since then, some I was invited, some I paid for space, some requested 70% others 50 and 45%.  Some had great managers, some hired people that had forgotten what there job really entailed. I have had some that I enjoyed doing the monthly art walk, pouring wine, doing demo's and baking others that I never hardly heard from.

The last few years I have picked out my favorite shows and limited myself to them. My feelers are always out for new shows so by December I am searching the applications for Colorado and surrounding area. I have also been asked to be featured artist for a gallery for a month this Spring so I stay optimistic about each year to come. Exposure and marketing in a new area is always exciting.

The internet has made it possible to get feedback concerning shows.  What you want is reputation over several years and thousands of future patrons.  You will always have to talk to hundreds of lookers before finding an excited patron.

I have also used the internet for referring patrons to new work or ongoing work.  I have always said I am all over the internet like a bad rash but that is just about what you have to do to get attention. I use multiple sites free and paid for so all I can tell you is use the internet the way it was designed to be used social and marketing.

Be knowledgeable and friendly and not have a cars salesman personality.  You will come away with friendships and sales.  Now purchase that 2014 calendar and start setting goals and marketing somewhere every month.  "It is only through the door of risk that growth can enter". author unknown

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Commissions 2013

Often commissions are a delightful surprise during the average working year...they not only add to your creativity because maybe it might be something you would not ordinarily try but they also give you money that is unexpected along with your average edition sales.

This was a delightful mastiff that I grew to like in the days doing her in clay and meeting her mom and dad. Sadly she passed away (she was old for such a large dog) several months into this project which made the piece I did hopefully more precious to them.
If you notice I put her favorite stuffed toy into the sculpture also making it more personal.

This was a piece of three dogs belonging to two brothers in the process of being deployed  before I would get done. This depicts a Samoyed, Siberian husky (male and female) and as you can tell by the pictures behind each piece, turned out as they wished.

This shows three different views of a colt that was full grown when a Canadian woman commissioned this piece of the mare as a colt.  It had a particular blaze and coloration and turned out just as the pictures she sent me. 

This was what is considered a Colorado Red and was a mothers dog and her son had a piece commissioned for her after the dog had passed away.
As you notice I have a little paving and brick look beside the dog so that it looked as though he was laying in his favorite spot at home. Hopefully it gave her some comfort.
This just gives you a few examples of what I have done as commissions and how to make it personal for your patron, whether it be in coloration or position or familiarity of surroundings.   Do not ever be afraid to attempt a commission, just think of it as an adventure and you get to meet some really nice people that love the subject matter just as much as you do re-creating it.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

"you have eternity to think about it"

Remember the line from "Out of Africa" where Robert Redford said "I don't want to find out someday that I'm at the end of someone else's life."

From now until January 1, 2014 we all need to make a list of all we dream of for 2014.  Remember "Dreams only become reality when we keep our commitment to them." 

Tack that list up in your work space.  Whether it be take a class, finish a piece we have  had covered up for 6 months, break out into a new gallery or enter a new show.  Throw that challenge out there for yourself (often if you aren't pushed 6 months can fly by far too fast). Get yourself outside of your comfort zone. Each day look at that list and try to work toward that goal in some way even if it is just to make a phone call for that class or sketch out an idea for a painting or sculpture. Take that piece you are hung up on and turn it on its side cover it up and do not look at it for a week, then take a peek, something will grab you and off you will go again.

If there is something that you would like to do to refill your well then contact a "who" on your list and plan an artist date with them to do it.  (If you do not know who your "who" is then you must go backwards and read my post on Another great powerful read). They are the most integral part of a creative persons life...if you do not have "who's" it will be hard to become the person you want to become.

Just remember it does not matter what you put on your list no one will see it but you and it can range from the most simple thing to one of the most important things in your life....own it, it is yours. You can re-invent yourself every morning of your life and become the person you dream.

"Don't be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin." author unknown

"Live like tomorrow is a GIFT and you have eternity to think "what did I do with it." author unknown

Friday, November 8, 2013


Well it is approaching a new year and a new experience in creating and I may be quiet for the next month or so because of obligations to family and a gentler time of the year, one to give thanks and also one to reflect and rejuvenate oneself.

Wish all a great Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas and hopefully you are all looking forward to a new adventure in shows and creating new work and having the gratitude in your life to appreciate the fact that you can work at something that gives you such joy and purpose. Keep in mind also that shows are already showing online for 2014 and the deadlines are approaching as we speak. Myself I am hoping to get into several new shows this year and have already said yes to showing for a month in a gallery in Evergreen...more details later as it is not until April and joy...see you on down the road.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tools of the Trade

In order for any sculptor to be able to complete a piece they must have proper tools even though I have seen amazing work done from stone with no pneumatics.

My work is very detailed and it is due to the many tools that I use,

This tool is so versatile that it is a great choice

 but honestly 90% of all my work is done with one tool I have had over fifteen years. The one is shown above and has a rounded flat tip and the other a pointed end (the wood is soft so it does not scar an area it smoothes it just as your finger might if it could reach that spot.)

when you are working it helps to keep clay warm

nice for adding a crisp straight edge

I use anything for texture, here lava rock
At the beginning of a work your most constant tools are calipers.  You will end up with several different sizes and use all of them.

great for tiny eye detail

You are constantly forming and measuring the piece in its infancy.   Your clay is kept warm so it is easily worked. I show a picture of a heat box that I warm my Chavant with in order to keep working.  This is easily constructed out of an old box with a hole cut into the side and the little heater you see sitting in the box. Chavant is great when warm to get texture and detail and also strong enough when cold to hold a fine edge when being molded.

I have also used non-tools, what I consider my unique texture tools.  It has so far consisted of waded up foil, lava rocks, tooth brushes and scratchy wash cloths as well as anything else I happen upon that leave an unusual pattern.

When you find the style and size of the work you like to do then adapt the tools to meet your needs.  But keep an open mind not all tools need to be purchased....even the rough edge of a bottle cap can work!
wire cutters are a have to have

magnifying device used for tiny details
Pedestal I use and lazy susan
This is my traveling pedestal my little brother made this  easy to throw in my Subaru forester and demo at shows
all sizes will be used

Just remember anything can be a tool, if you see the need just put your thinking cap on and more than likely it is in the garage or somewhere just begging to be used (even if it was not made for that reason, just don't tell the husband).

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Entering Show (Requirements)

 Kenai Crossing

Rimrock Muley
Many shows now require more than one shot of a particular entry therefore you should plan in the very beginning  putting your portfolio together to meet this requirement.
We talked earlier in another post about the requirements of the size of pixels  and this just further references the ongoing changes in the demands of shows.
This is another example of the type of requirement for the shows, it is a view of exactly what they can expect from my booth.  The only thing missing is the tall studio chair that I place in the back row that places me on the same level as my patrons so that I can actively participate in any conversation without moving into the patrons space. I actually have 12 pedestals that I re-arrange to complete the needed arrangement for my particular space. The arrangement is completely determined by the number of pieces I take to a show.

You don't want to overwhelm the viewer but you want them to feel welcome and able to explore the inner tent and your work.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sad Past Week

As some of you may know I was to be in Estes Park for their Art Festival this past weekend. Thurs. morning it began raining terribly and I communicated with one of the organizers of the show to get some feedback.  She decided that possibly she would contact especially those coming from out of state since they would be in the process of leaving if not already headed our direction that she felt that it was going to be too wet to even set up our tents much less have the traffic expected.

Luckily we did not make that journey up the Big Thompson Canyon that next day and also woke to find Greeley and surrounding area a virtual lake.  We watched as it crept closer to our hill we reside on and wondered about those unfortunate enough to live along the Platte River which was already well beyond its banks.

It has been so sad to see the homeless, the destruction and the death of several people caught in this completely unexpected experience.  We had been experiencing so much drought this summer that I don't feel anyone could have anticipated what has happened.

Today is the first bit of sunshine we have had since last Wed. but all it does is let us see the destruction around us.

The canyon I love so much is destroyed in places and people are dead, missing or have had their homes and all belongings wiped is almost too much to comprehend.  I pray that the people in small towns like Lyons, Estes, Evans and even Orchard and beyond can come together and let those of us that did not feel the lose help....right now though it seems so massive.  Those that were on the flood plain will probably not be allowed to rebuild and a lot did not even have flood insurance.  A count updated today was that it damaged 19,000 homes.

Please pull up the newscast on internet and even on Facebook for the pictures taken from the air, it will blow you over but hopefully it will also make you feel grateful....not for the possessions that you have but for the loved ones you have.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Look, look and look again!

I have probably spoken about this before but it warrants repeating many more times.

It is one of my worst faults, that of creating as if I am on a time slot and not paying attention to some of the most important rules - measuring then re-measuring and keep re-measuring until a piece is done and even then re-measuring.

I don't care how good you are, measuring takes all doubt away.

Often when you are working on a piece you get so lost in tunnel vision you forget the entire piece and just focus on the eye or neck or antler that you are interested.

Recently one of my "who" people that I love dearly went down to see what I was working on and "kindly put" explained how I had two different animals going on in one body. (If you missed my blog about the "who" in your life go back and read "another great powerful read".)

I realized I had been so intent on getting my favorite part just so that I had neglected to continue to re-measure to give it a balanced look.  Your eye is fickle when it comes to your work and convinces you all is well and all is perfect.

This goes back to what I have said about taking photo's of your progress (often photos make you admit something isn't right).  Use your mirrors in the corner (one on one wall opposite another on the other wall) so you can see it in the round.  Often just covering it each night can also spring the truth on you the next day.

This reminds me of the old saying "do what I say don't do what I do".  Why do I hurry, who knows, I think our world rushes so therefore.....


Friday, August 23, 2013

More good reads!

Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart by Gordon Livingston

"The three components of happiness are something to do, someone to love, and something to look forward to."

How many of us are living with all three??Those of you that are doing some type of creativeness I know are full filling at least two of these, hopefully...something to do and something to look forward to, if you are not then you need to re-think your creative outlook. You should get up every morning with an intention...something you are going to research, something you are going to create or something that you are passionate about that you are going to turn into an object of art.

"we are responsible for most of what happens to us"

"Happiness is not simply the absence of despair.  It is an affirmative state in which our lives have both meaning and pleasure."  Bruce Poon Tip

Living Big, Pam Grout

"What would I do if I knew I couldn't fail?"

"Not to dream more boldly may turn out to be , in view of present realities, simply irresponsible" George Leonard

Patch Adams "don't live in other people's ruts".

"we are visitors on this planet...during this period we must try to do something goo, something useful without lives" Dalai Lama

I am fortunate to have all three, something to do, someone to love, and something to look forward to and I wish that for all of you.

"There is no greater waste than to live an ordinary life.  There is nothing more tragic than a person who has lost their magic" Mark Eberra

All of us have a choice to be Happy, it is choices, choices, choices......make them wisely.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What and why do people buy?

I recently was reading Fine Art Connoisseur and there was an article from B. Eric Rhoads, publisher and he hit on some very basic facts.

"Though it is impossible to specify exactly why an artwork sells, I do know that when you buy a piece of art, you are usually buying what author Malcolm Gladwell calls the tipping point - the accumulation of 10,000 hours of experience.  You are buying the artists personality and passion, years of mentorship, study and experimentation, thousands of failures, moments of frustration and joy, and worries about how to make a living".

"Today more than ever, we tend to get caught up in status and resale values, when we should actually focus on the fact that art is personal, reflective of the person who created it, and appropriate for the person buying it.  Unlike most non-essential purchases, artworks are forms of expression and intercommunication that live on long after the maker and the consumer".

"You are also buying what that artwork does for you.  Its stimulation of an emotion or a memory is surely worth more than its investment value, though it is nice to imagine that someday your heirs may benefit tangibly from that value."

"So what are you buying, really?  I am not sure it can be articulated definitively, but you'll know it - feel it - when it happens."

Monday, July 15, 2013

Rimrock Muley

Quite often I find an animal that is just fantastic in every stage of life that you just want to do it over and over again celebrating each stage.

I have loved mule deer ever since we moved to Colorado and I saw my first one.  It was up in the Rocky Mountain National Park and it was only a brief, fleeting moment but it was enough to tempt me to search for them frequently thereafter.

There are so many ways to depict an animal, at young stage, in the early stage of development and muscle and antler growth but then as you watch the animal development in years to come the antler development is awesome.

There are often antlers that develop after injury in a young animal and create a particularly unusual shape that stays with them their entire life every time they develop that years antlers. There are particular animals that their antler development is influenced by diet or environment.  You find a six or seven year old deer that has been feeding well and developed naturally and you will find a prize worth a thousand pictures, paintings, and cries out to be sculpted.

 This particular muley had a nice set of antlers with stickers and added points to give him royalty and dignity.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

small work...loads of fun

I have several shows this year that have asked for donated work and at this day and age that is an expensive request  considering the price of copper.  However I feel that a small piece also gives a patron that either can not afford a large piece or has no room for a large piece the opportunity to purchase a reasonably priced piece that will fit anywhere.

Also I have learned that a lot of people are not aware of the love found in humane society locations (I hate to refer to them as pounds). So for the very three reasons above I have decided to do a piece that depicts the type of love and response one would find in adopting a dog or animals in need of a home.

I recently decided to replace my dog that I lost several years ago with another adopted dog, it was a tough decision because I really loved Snookum (my cocker) and had lasting memories that did not fade easily. This is actually my third adopted dog, one was a Cockapoo, one a cocker and now a Lhasa Apso.  They all were a little older than a pup and some have had either medical problems or emotional problems but they were all so worthy of loving.

In this piece which was as I was trying to make up my mind as to whether to adopt another or not (yes it is hard to love and suffer that lose but it is harder to have an empty hole in your heart), I wanted to depict the type of dog that is of no particular type of breeding but just lives to hear your voice and play with you.

I did this quickly while working on another piece and because of my love of dogs and my loneliness and also my love to work with warm clay it turned out just as I wanted. Notice how I had fun working with the warm clay in making the hair look like it is begging to be smoothed.

I call it Just One More Please and people respond to it just as I wanted them to but I also mention that next time they are looking in pet stores for animals to remember the shelters and all the love just waiting to be had.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Good Photography versus Bad photography

Just a little note to try to show just how much a great photo can show off your work versus just how bad a terrible shot does and to tell you that regardless of how you show your work...Internet, galleries, magazines etc. you just have to have great shots.

This is a photo done years ago and at the time the world required that you have nothing behind a piece of work (especially no shadows).

See how the photographer used photo shop to delete everything in the background making it stand out to the viewer or judge approving or disapproving to get into a show.

We were actually told we would be thrown in the trash if any shadows were visible.

Recently I had a few new pieces done by a great photographer in our area of Colorado.  I had seen his work in several art magazines showing the talent of some pretty well known artist so he has been on my bucket list for quite a while.

See the way Jafe captures the light only in areas that show off an angle not just making it shiny.

To me Jafe Parsons is the best of the best in showing the pieces to your advantage and catching the attitude of a work and all the little subtle texture that I do.
If you want your work to show professionalism then give 110% in your work and hire only the best.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Applying to Shows

Wow, this year I decided to expand my shows and get into a few more new ones farther away and did I have an enlightening moment.  Shows have changed since I used to try to do 6 or 8 a year.

For one thing a lot of the good shows are outside and you provide your own 10 x 10 white tent, complete with sides and weights to hold it down in the wind.

Secondly, most good shows are managed by sites such as Zapplication, which require pictures of your work and tent set up in a defined pixel size.  If you are not fortunate to have  Photo
Shop you have to either hire someone to change your pictures and to also realize not all shows are requiring the same size some are 1000 pixels some are 1920 pixels etc.

Thirdly, I was shocked when I realized almost all of the shows I chose had a very early deadline date in either January, February, or March 1st.

So this  year being late because of all the needed requirements I failed to get into all I wanted but I will get back into the game.  I will continue to be in the Loveland Sculpture Invitational (my 6th year) and also the 17th Street Art Festival (my 2nd) in Cheyenne (which has entertainment daily). Thirdly I added a new show, Estes Park, which will be in September (my favorite time of the year in the mountains anyway). It is always exciting to see new shows open up therefore giving you another venue.

As usual after walking on my bottom lip I realized there are always future years and shows are a delight because of your ability to talk to patrons and I have met so many really sweet and interesting people.  Some come back year after year and some even feel like extended family.

So if you are interested in getting into outdoor or even indoor shows this next year, start applying early and make sure you have all your ducks in a row... Jafe Parsons gave me quite a management tool for entering multiple shows with multiple requirements...his cd of pictures gives me multiple sizes to meet all demands.

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Recently I had a bad experience in a gallery because of what I consider an important reason.  I always supply not only a biography to my galleries but also my artist statement and sometimes a story that goes with a piece. This particular gallery is in a heavy traffic area during the tourist filled time.

If you ever want to know what your gallery is doing for their 50% or more, have a friend go and inquire, just basic and listen.  The statement was "nice piece", "do you know anything about the artist?" "No nothing, you know people are so into texting and using their iphones they just aren't buying."

Now is that not a marketing ploy? Confuse the poor patron so badly that they forget what they asked about.

You know what I wish galleries would do is realize they should know everything they can about each artist in their gallery.  Yes, I realize there are those that do and I applaud them but this person was as interested in selling art in that gallery as I would be watching paint peel.

You know if you are a gallery owner reading this I am sorry but we give you our work to exhibit and expect some type of accountability (as with us). 

We as artist should work hand in hand with the gallery in doing demo's, art walk nights etc. to keep visual in the patrons mind.  Exposure is exposure but what is the difference in being in my home versus in a business that has forgotten it is a gallery.  Pay a visit to galleries you wish to be in before you make a commitment then offer help in any way to aid in marketing your gallery.

I have a gallery I love to visit in Ft. Collins and I am never disappointed when I inquire about the artist...who ever is there always gives me verbal background on anyone and then goes to get a brochure.  She also shows such pride in explaining all the artist are local.

Other options are doing a variety of marketing venues, a combination of online sites, 3 day shows and galleries leaving you in a sweet spot all year round. Granted I am still adding to my venues, daily but hopefully I am spreading myself like a good rash.....all over.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Artist Living Boldly

"What is the single illuminating thing which shines its light on all the elements of the best parts of your life (the sound of which makes your heart sing and your feet dance)? Answer that and then know, that is the thing you must do." Mary Anne Rademacher

As books before have inspired me Live Boldly by Mary Anne Rademacher
has sent me off to my clay after finishing one (the moose) and sharpened me for another round. I often turn to books for inspiration just as I do the outdoors and it always refuels my passion.

"Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." Pablo Picasso

"Every morning when the alarm goes off, we have a totally new opportunity to do what we want with the hours we have been gifted.  And we are gifted with that clean slate everyday for the rest of our lives". Hyrum Smith

Always remember:  "we should walk into life as if we are carrying a candle that only illuminates where we are and only lights up what is ahead of us as we walk, enjoy the journey and keep walking forward."

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Wax work

I realize that I have mentioned this before but wanted to go over some of the finer details of working your waxes because I feel that it is so important for an artist to do her own wax work if possible because no one knows your work better than you.

This is one of my most textured pieces and I decided it would be a great piece to explore the wax cleanup process.

Keeper of the Sacred Spirit
This piece is one that went fast in production and was produced using blue contractors foam underneath and then warm Chavant clay used to form model, especially in the hair area.  I really had it warm almost soupy where I could use my scratchy wash cloth to create the hair.

You must always think of how your patina will look on the surface chosen also, some patina's do not take well on a textured surface.

classic case of awful!

This is the time that you will look at your task at hand and panic because you think that you can not save your piece...relax. This was an example of a mold that deteriorated on me and I had to pour the remaining waxes so that I could salvage the edition. Notice the silicon stuck in the negatives of the wax. It was liquid but you could not wash it off and even when you used a wax tool you could just scrap it off very slowly and very carefully. It  was the consistency of syrup.

Some of my wax working tools, favorite are dental tools.

This shows the wall left during pouring between the two sections of the mold, it is best to not melt a lot of wax in this area because of the texture and only do minimal work with a tool to eliminate the thin wall of wax and repair area.

You definitely have to keep your sense of humor, some come out of the mold missing vital parts, such as this tail, you just have to refer to pictures of your completed ones to copy the tail in wax and replace.
This shows the bottom of the wax which was actually the top when pouring so it is never clean. I have a flat piece of steel that I place on an outside grill (very low) and put my wax onto the warm grill just long enough to level the base and make it suitable to sit flat on whatever base you have chosen, wood or stone. One thing that is important when laying it down on the warm grill make sure the entire bottom hits the grill at the same time or you will melt too much off one side. KEEP IN MIND THAT IT IS ONLY SECONDS THAT YOU LEAVE IT ON THE PLATE OF STEEL.

Just another view of the seam line left from the molding.

Sometimes as in this picture you will not have a wall you will have a ditch instead. This you have to gently fill with a minimum of wax.

These two are typical examples of tiny holes that are hollow and holes that have a fine layer of wax hiding them, both have to be done with minimum  damage to the surface. The tiny holes all over this hip area were terrible and only had one turn out that way, it was a major drag of your hot iron over the surface and repairing with new hot wax.  The second type were easier, just insert your hot tool into the covered hole to expose the cavity underneath then refill it with hot wax.
These last two examples were the worst that I have had in a given area and it could have been because of the change in wax temperature or the speed at which they were poured. I have learned when pouring my small pieces that some require that I pour 200 degrees for the first two pours and then almost 170 degrees for the second two pours then always check for any thin areas that might mean using a spoon full on a spot. (This is a trick to do also after you open your mold and have held it up to the light and find a hole or thin area, just be careful or you will bust through and leave a larger hole).
Hey also I was told by my mold maker that I could use rubber bands instead of the tape I was using to hold my molds together while pouring and it has been fantastic idea. They have large ones at Office Depot for cheap!