Materials

Premo! Sculpey polymer clay: and scrap clay for a mold

Translucent liquid clay

Silver leaf sheets

Leafing adhesive

Piñata alcohol inks: Mantilla B Passion Purple, Sapphire Bl Rainforest Green, Lime Gr Sangria, Calabaza Orang Tangerine

Silver leafing pen (Krylon)

E-6000 contact adhesive

Soft-lead, white colored pencil

Hard pastel in ivory and black

Speedball no. 1 fine line "V" linoleum cutter

Soft, old toothbrush

Small circle template or stencil

Soft cloth or dish towel

Bowl of ice water

Cardstock

Potholder or piece of felt Extra-fine mist spray bottle Ceramic baking tile Craft blade knife Flat brush

Soft, round paintbrush Palette Ball stylus Paring knife Future floor finish Pasta machine

Silver-plated disk and loop bra Two-piece silver plated toggle

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1 Create the slab mold

Flatten a large ball of scrap clay and run it through at the thickest setting on the pasta machine. Cut it in half and stack the two halves so it is a ]A" (6mm) thick slab. Bake the slab on cardstock, according to its thickness, and allow the clay to cool. Using the template and a white colored pencil, draw a 5/e" (16mm) circle on the clay. Draw a W (8mm) circle opening inside the larger one, slightly off center.

2 Carve the design

Carve shallow lines with the linoleum cutter, and repeat until the depth is sufficient. Place your clay slab on a potholder or piece of felt and move the clay while carving, instead of your tool, for a smoother cut. This project has an organic look so try not to carve perfect circle shapes. Tip: Later you can use the back side of the slab for another separate mold.

3 Add texture to the mold

To add texture, carve very short, shallow lines, over the inside of both circles. This texture will later give the translucent liquid clay more depth and will reflect the light more effectively once the molded pieces are re-baked. Brush away any loose clay shavings with a soft, old toothbrush.

4 Mold the disks

Roll a sheet of white clay to approximately 3/32M (2mm) (third thickest pasta machine setting). Mist both sides of the white clay and the surface of the mold with water. Cut a small square of white clay and press onto the mold. Walk your fingers around the center area of the clay. Lift the clay sheet and secure it well to a ceramic baking tile.

5 Cut out the shapes

Place the tile onto a potholder so you can easily turn the tile while cutting the shapes. Cut around the outside of the raised circle rim, using a craft blade knife. Remove any excess clay. Repeat ste; 4 to create 10 more disk shapes, misting the mol with water before each use. Cut around each d:s Bake the disks for 10 minutes and allow them to cool. Do not remove the clay from the tile. Leave them adhered to it during steps 6 through 10.

Apply a thin even coat of leafing adhesive to the top and side edges of the disks with a flat brush and allow them to dry. This adhesive will becorrn clear and tacky to the touch when dry. Note: Eve though metallic leaf will stick to uncured clay, I gi a better coverage using adhesive.

8 Create the colors

Fill 8 wells of a palette halfway with translucent liquid clay. Add one drop of each ink color to a well and mix with a ball stylus tool. Add a small amount of black-tinted translucent liquid clay (no straight ink) to each color in your palette and the oughly mix. Using only a portion of each muted shade, create 3 additional colors in a separate palette or on a ceramic tile. Mix equal parts of Sapphire Blue with Rainforest Green, Sangria with Passion Purple and Tangerine with Calaba2 Orange (shown down the center of the photo).

7 Add the silver leaf

Carefully cut a 1" (3mm) square of the silver sheet, along with its backing paper. Carefully lil the leaf off the paper with your soft paintbrush and place the leaf onto a disk. Tap it down usii the paintbrush to cover the clay. You can add additional small pieces of leaf to any visible whi areas, if needed. Use the paintbrush to remove any loose excess leaf. Repeat for remaining disl

9 Add the translucent liquid clay and chalk

Scoop up the tinted translucent liquid clay with the ball stylus and allow it to drip into the disk sections. Move the liquid out towards the cell walls with the stylus until the section is full, but not overflowing. Hold a pastel stick 1" (25mm) above each disk and, using your fingernail or a craft blade knife, lightly scrape ivory, then black pastel particles over the liquid clay. The pastel particles add an organic feel as well as a 'salt and pepper' texture.

10 Cure the translucent liquid clay

Bake the disks for a second cycle according to the temperature listed on the liquid clay bottle for the full length of time recommended for this thickness of clay. Remove from the oven and—while pieces are still hot—immediately drop them into a shallow bowl of ice water. Slide a flexible paring knife under the disks to help lift them from the tile when sliding them into the water. When cool, carefully pat the clay dry with a soft cloth or dishtowel.

11 Finish and assemble

Apply metallic paint to the side edges and bottom of the disks with a silver leafing pen. Allow the paint to dry. Apply 1 to 3 coats of Future floor finish to the top and sides of the clay disk edges. When dry, secure a disk to each bracelet pad with the contact adhesive and allow the glue to completely cure. If desired, remove and replace the original fold-over clasp with a toggle clasp, attaching the pieces with oval jump rings.

It's interesting how mony metalworking techniques translate to polymer clay. These earrings, for example, have the look of champlevé, which means "raised plane or field" in French. Traditionally, cells are carved into a metal surface and then filled with enamel. (The results are similar to cloisonné, a technique where tiny metal strips are added to a metal base, forming walls to which enamel is added.) A bi-level polymer clay mold is used to create these earrings and tinted translucent liquid clay is added to the cells to simulate enamel.

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