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1  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






2  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





3  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





4  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
5  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.
6  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

7  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects / birch tree sgraffito mug on: January 09, 2014 12:52:48 AM
i made this mug for a craft swap.
i admired cinnamon teal's sgraffito goldfish bowls and wanted to play around with the technique as its not one i have really used much. i layered white then blue then black glazes then scraped the design using a sgraffito tool and a craft knife





close up of the coaster showing the blue glaze



really pleased with how this turned out Smiley
8  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects / game of thrones and the one eyed dog on: December 30, 2013 10:29:34 PM
a couple of pieces i did for christmas this year

a game of thrones pen pot for my O/H  Smiley


house Lannister and Greyjoy


house Stark and Arryn

this coaster was a pressie for my dad. he got into cider making this year so i came up with a logo (not that hes selling it commercially, the grand family tasting is new years eve.. he might yet be making cider vinegar) based on his one eyed Husky dog 'Wolf'
unfortunatly i had run out of carbon paper so i used typewriter paper to transfer the design onto the pottery, assuming it would burn away in the kiln...it did but it caused a wax resist like effect...repairable but it caused some of the detail to spread and kink particularly on the dogs ruff and the circle. my dad was thrilled anyhow so im happy Smiley

9  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Jewel thief christmas tree decoration on: December 12, 2013 06:16:37 AM


Polymer clay Magpie (well what other bird is going to match a black, white a blue themed tree? Wink.. )
id had the urge to make a magpie cane for a while, finally got there!
im really pleased with how well this reduced though the tail isnt as long as it could be and i missed the feet partly because i wanted to create a 'generic' bird foot cane i could then use to construct a number of other bird canes and because i wanted to try to limet the size of the cane. im still not comfortable reducing larger canes though im becoming more confident  Undecided
the diamond may be a little on the large side but i was reluctant to make it too small as i needed to drill a hole for the gold jump ring  Undecided the oramernt is roughly 7cm/7cm  so the diamond was a fiddle to attatch anyway lol


if anyone is curious about the diamond cane i used this tute: tranchedecane.canalblog.com/archives/2010/04/14/17573249....


10  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Granny Weatherwax pumkin (+sort of tute- marker method) on: October 30, 2013 11:09:44 PM


i came across some amazing pumpkins done using a similar method and wanted to have a go myself. learnt a lot from this.
remove the skin of the pumpkin (try not to take off too much of the flesh when you do this)
you need to hollow out the pumpkin much thinner than for a usual carved pumpkin so the design will show through. i made the shell of mine about 1cm. i then left mine to dry out for 24 hours (depending on your pens you may not have to do this but i found a slightly drier surface helped)
draw the design with an oil based marker pen (sharpie do one...try ebay) if you dont have one (i didnt.. Undecided ) use cd or permenent markers and keep scribbling on paper to keep the ink flowing. alternate pens frequently, even with frenzied scribbling its hard to keep the ink going. i went between about 6 pens.
a dry eraze white board marker works well but has a tendancy to spread so use sparingly on anything detailed. works wonders to cover large areas Grin (i only had one in green as you can see...but the colour wont show when lit)
i used a knitting needle to carve into the pumpkin to bring out a few highlights. because the skin is so thin you dont need to carve deeply with a knife or similar, a dried out biro works just as well Smiley



my second traditionaly carved pumpkin...lego wolverine! Wink
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