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1  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Lepocampus (or Merhare) sculpt on: December 15, 2014 02:13:45 AM
this was based on one of my swap partner's pins. im still learning how to sculpt and i find it hard to think it 3d Undecided but im really peased with how this came out. she sits about 5 inches high and is sculpted from polymer clay and painted with acrylic paints and a hint of mica powder then finished with satin varnish. i wanted a mottled paint effect so i used my finger, rubbing the paint until it was almost dry and dabbing it over the clay. i used a wash of dark brown to get into the details and then went over again, dabbing with the paint to highlight it. the eyes were given a coat of gloss varnish over black paint to bring them to life







i forgot to take any wip pic until i had almost finished the sculpting Undecided i used scrap clay covered with a thin layer of white mixed with translucent clay for the body, i had used dark scrap clay for sculpting before and it can be hard to cover even with good quality acrylics hence the thin layer of white, it makes the painting easier Wink
the tali i simply used dark blue scrap clay since the colour was close to what i wanted to paint it.
i proped up the head and ears with cotton wool pads during baking to prevent them drooping.



2  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / ancient history swap on: September 17, 2014 04:55:19 AM
 interested in ancient Egyptian art? got a passion for medieval cooking or fashion? could cover a really broad range of subjects and interests with one.
would anyone be up for something like this?
3  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Completed Projects / hand carved rubber stamp and printed Dodo fabric on: September 16, 2014 11:28:36 PM


i wanted some Dodo fabric for a swap project but i couldnt find any in U.K and the shipping/import tax/other random fees just made it too expensive to get it anywhere else so  when i found some large rubbers in my local store i knew just what to do!
ive never  tried stamp carving before so i went for simple design.
i tried out a few patterns on some scrap fabric first just using my stamp pad to work out the spacing before i started the actual fabric using fabric paint. i drew the grid using dressmarkers pencil (thats what the blue lines are) which washes out



heres my finished cozy Smiley

4  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / rooster cane and ornament (loads of W.I.P pics) on: September 16, 2014 11:01:28 PM
i made this wall art for the 3d bird swap. my partner iisted chickens as one of her favourite birds so i decided to try and make a a rooster cane. im thrilled it came out so well, i ended up mading a faux wood frame as well as the subtle mix of colours worked much better than a single colour frame.
unfortunatly it was really hard to photograph the frame as it has a large amount of mica powers and guilders paste mixed into the clay which gives it a high shine Undecided
 there were a lot of textures i had never tried to replicate in clay before so i really felt i learnt a lot from this cane Smiley





the back: i embedded large jump rings to secure the  string/wire used to hang the piece


this is how i start my complex canes, its not a step by step tutorial as such but i hope it will give you some idea of my process Smiley if anything is unclear or if you have any questions, just ask Smiley
a rough line drawing with a few notes on colour any fiddly areas such as the beak i often draw a second larger sketch so i can see the detail.


the eye cane, basicly a log of black clay which i indented with a knitting needle and a small log of white wrapped in a skinner blend of yellow to orange. the whole cane was then wrapped in a thin sheet of very dark grey.


begining to build the skin around the eye using a few sheets of maroon and a skinner blend of pale to dark rose




i used this same method to create most of the wattle and the comb, except i used a blend of rose to maroon instead of the blend of light grey to white you see here.






all still made using a rolled skinner blend. here i cut pieces of both sides of the roll as well as cut it in half and squashed the shapes a bit.


the beak cane: i made and stack a skinner blend of very pale to medium to dark grey.


the whole beak is made from one stack, the right hand side is made with a slice from the middle of the stack (ie cutting off the palest and darkest grey) cut to an 'L' shape and filled with a slice from the bottom (just the darkest to middle greys)




hes begining to look a lot more chicken like at this point Smiley


starting to create the feathers:


lets add some more:


starting on the comb:
this skinner blend will form the basis along with  a few logs of solid colour




the comb from above: yep, its just stacked logs Smiley


the finished cane ready for reduction. its about 7 by 5 inches and about 1.5 inches in depth (flater canes are harder to reduce, which is something i didnt remember until i went to reduce it so try to make your canes at least 2in deep...it makes life easier.)  ive packed it out with white and scrap clay around the edges. i find that the edges of my cane tend to warp more than the center, especially with largge canes like this so this helps me reduce my waste




i also made a few brooches with the cane


these i made  with the scrap ends, i didnt want to make another scrap clay cane with them as they were warped but not useless Undecided i thought the contrast in textures would be an interesting focal point
5  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects / octopus coasters on: August 26, 2014 10:13:02 PM
my partner asked for some fun coasters. she loves octopus so i made these coasters for a swap.
i covered the pottery with first a layer of white glaze then a layer of black. when it was dry i scratched of areas of black glaze to create the design. the coasters were then coat in clear glaze.
the technique leaves a slight textured 3d effect (depending how big and deep your scratching is) which i like but unfortunatly dosnt photo well Sad



the whole set, my favourites are the 2 on the right Smiley






6  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Halloween pumpkin sculpt with tutorial on: August 26, 2014 12:33:32 AM
i made this for a swap and half my family wanted one too so i ended up making a patch of them.
i hadnt really done much in the way of sculpting before so this was a sharp learning curve for me but im really happy with how they turned out.



back view



i started with a core of kitchen baking foil. i just screwed up a large sheet and hit it with a wooden rolling pin until it was roughly the right shape then wrapped it in another smaller sheet to  smooth it off a little


you can either mark the segments on the core by indenting with a biro/ large knitting needle etc or do this once you have covered the core in clay.


i rolled a thin sheet of scrap clay and covered the core with it. then bake at the recomended temp and time for the brand of clay you are using. dont roll it too thin like i did here or you end up with foil pokeing trough and have to patch it and bake in again.


time to start the fun part!
making the eye: i just rolled two balls of clay and flattened them slightly


to make the eye lids i rolled out two small sheets of clay and placed them over the eye balls

then cut off the excess as shown.
then smooth, i used as thick wooden knitting needle and my finger to do this

i added cheeks and eye brows in the same way. just building up sheets of clay and smoothing to shape.






when i was happy with the face i made the stalk. i rolled a large thin cone for the main part and several thinner cone and snake shapes. dont try to get them all the same length and width the more uneven the more natural it will look


place the smaller shapes around the large cone


now gently twist


i smoothed the stalk onto the pumpkin then shaped and curled it into the desired shape


once you are happy cure him in the oven again for the recomended time are temp for the brand of clay you are using




i then undercoated the pumpkin in a few coats of white acrylic before painting





7  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / mokume gane broochs and foil experiment on: July 26, 2014 12:00:19 AM
i came across this tutorial: http://www.sculpey.com/project/premo-magnificent-mokume-gane-pendant/ a while ago and wanted to try it out. finally got round to it! though i turned them into brooches and made a template from thick card of a heart shape instead  (when cutting the shape out the blade rips up the cardboard edge so its okay for one or two uses but becomes pretty much unusable after that) i baked the heart shapes on a large ceramic round bauble to give them a bit of a curve. it took me a while to work out how curved i could make them while still being able to attach the brooch finding (i also filled in the back with a little scrap clay befor covering it with dark blue to make it a little flatter)



ive seen a lot of gorgeous pieces done with foil and inks so i wanted to have a go.i smoothed a sheet of gold foil over a sheet of black clay then ran it through the pasta machine to crack the foil a little then added acrylic inks (i used a turquoise, dark blue and purple). i covered it with a thin sheet of translucent clay to protect the inks and stop the foil from tarnishing. i should have used varnish because i can never get the translucent as clear as i would like some parts are cloudy and i over sanded at one point taking off the ink and foil Sad and had to patch it with a little guilders paste Embarrassed still love the colours, i might try covering it with a layer of liquid clay next time Undecided





8  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Completed Projects / first fused coasters on: July 25, 2014 08:57:57 AM
was treated to a fused glass workshop for my birthday this year. i wanted to make a set of coasters to match those i was lucky enough to recieve in a swap last year but the studio didnt have the same glass so i had to improvise. i had great fun melting the strings of glass in the candle flame





i also had a go with the paper technique. he was ment to be a penguin, his feet are too small but i think hes probably my favourite despite the fact there is more than a hint of 'friendly ghost' about him  Cheesy





 if only i had the space for a kiln of my own Sad
9  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / D.I.Y extruder disc with shrink plastic on: June 04, 2014 06:45:58 AM
obviously its not going to be robust as the metal disc but good for custom shapes or one that you will only want to use once or twice.

 i used 'shrinkles' brand shrink plastic (this stuff: www.wizardtoys.com/ )



i drew a circle 3.9cm in diameter (my gun is a cheap and basic with discs that are 1.5cm in diameter) with a simple scale shape in the center and cut it out.

(other brands may shrink by a differant % or if your gun is larger you may have to experiment to find the size you need)

bake according to the manufacturs instrcutions.

you can sand shrink plastic too so if it dosnt fit exactly or if your shape is a little rough grap some wet/dry sand paper (i used 400 grit) and sand away!

the shrinkles disc is thicker than the metal discs but still fits securely.

however shrink plastic dosnt react well with unbaked polymer clay even after 24 hours it started to go stringy and change consistancy (see photo. bottom right) so you will want to clean the disc thoroughly with wet wipes etc to remove any clay after each use.
10  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects / baby hand imprints and outprint tutorial with air dry clay and plaster of paris on: March 05, 2014 07:53:03 AM
just the thing to melt the hearts of grandparents for mothers/fathers day  Wink



you will need:
*air drying clay
*plaster of paris (+an old plastic tub and lollipop stick or similar for stiring)
*rolling pin
*sharp kitchen knife
*newspaper
*old gift box larger than your childs hand
*scissors
*very fine wet/dry sand paper (i used 1200 grit)

step one:
use fresh clay for this as you need it soft. i found my airdry clay to be too firm to get a good deep print so i added a few table spoons of water to the bag, resealed it and left it over night then gave it a good knead. you might want to experiment.
roll out your clay on newspaper/scrap paper to about 1.5 -2 cm thick. i used marzipan spacers to get an even thickness but its not essential.
press the hand or foot in firmly you want a nice deep print





Step two:
cut a hole in the bottom of your gift box. dosnt need to be perfect Smiley



step three:
position the box over the print and push down firmly (otherwise the plaster will leak. if it does quickly push a few strips around the edge)



step four:
mix the plaster and pour it over the print. tap the sides to get rid of air bubbles and allow to dry.



step five:
gently pull the cardboard from the clay (if you are carefull not to damage the print you can get multiple castings)



the plaster has formed a ridge but this can easily be sanded off

step six:
gently (otherwise you can leave marks) sand down the plaster using the wet dry sandpaper and water. do NOT sand the print itself, just around it or you will sand away detail.
you can see the differance between the unsanded print on the left and the sanded one on the right.



here the imprint and outprint together (i trimmed the clay imprint to the same size using the gift box as a guide) think im gonna frame them like this Smiley you can off course paint the prints i would recomend sealing the airdry clay with a varnish too

if you have any questions please ask Smiley

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