Love that little calculator, and what a great gift!
I know it's gross and lumpy, but I kinda just started to work with polymer clay. Any tips?
There are various ways to get a smooth/unlumpy surface with polymer clay.
First, it's essential to begin
with a smooth surface --which will usually be a sphere, a log shape, or a sheet. Then you can begin to reshape, add, cut away, join to other bits, etc. and still end up fairly smooth.
In this case, you could have started with a sheet (or doubled-tripled-sheet) which you cut into the rectangular shape, then rounded the edges with a finger... the bottom arc could have been cut with a long flexible blade or pin tool then rounded on the edges, or just by trimming off the corners then refining with fingers, etc.
A different way would have been to create a solid oval shape (by rolling a sphere in your palms in a wider
circle than a sphere), pressing the two longer edges fairly parallel, then pressing down on the whole shape with something rigid, flat, and translucent if possible. When she width is about what you want, remove the presser, trim the top straight and deal with the arc in one of the ways above.
You could then have added a long skinny rope of (silver) clay or a thin strip sitting on its edge. around 3 sides of the calculator to create a kind of frame.
You could use a pen tip to get the button depressions then add a bit of paint to the upraised area (or black clay), or you could make a hemispheric depression with something then press in a tiny ball of black clay, etc.
For the screen, you could add a thin
square of clay then roll it into the clay below, or you could impress a square shape first, then put the clay square down inside it, etc.
You could then (or previously) put the whole thing on another sheet of black clay, then trim it even at the top, but slightly wider on the 3 other sides.
(Using cool clay will also help to keep the clay from getting lumpy from handling, etc... so using a firmer clay from the start than Sculpey, or allowing to cool when it gets warm, can be good.)
Also, instead of painting over the clay, you could get the color from the clay. In that case, you'd probably want to make the black & screen area separate from the bottom keypad area, then join them before adding the exterior parts.
A pearly silver and gold can be created on the clay by applying Pearl Ex powder to the raw clay with a brush or finger (mask any areas you don't want covered, if necessary, or remove stray bits of it with alcohol on a q-tip), among other ways.
And btw, gel pens will write on baked clay pretty well (clean area with alcohol first to remove any oil/dirt), so you could also make little marks or actual numbers with those if you wanted.
There are loads of ways to have created this kind of replica though, and I think you did a fabulous job!
P.S. If you want more info on smoothing clay, using rollers and "pressers," applying metallic colorants like Pearl Ex, etc., check out some of these pages:http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/sculpture.htm
(...click on Smoothing, Fingerprints, etc
(...click on Rollers/Brayers
and on Pressers
(...click on Mica Powders
, or on Real Metal Powders
if you want a "harder" metal look)
And maybe these for making "framing" in various ways, and for cutting, blades, etc.:http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/sheets.htm
(...click on Pieced
(...click on Very Small Frames
for general ideas)http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/cutters-blades.htm
(...click on Freehand Cutting
, and on Long Blades