Monday, August 8, 2016

Fall Filigree - How I Made It

I was digging through some old folders of pictures on my computer today and I came across the photos below.  I don't think I ever wanted to make a tutorial of them - just wanted to show some of the progression of the project.  I thought my readers might like to see them so here they are:

First I drew a pattern.

Then I extruded a bunch of strings of clay.

I made a colored version of my pattern and impressed onto a sheet of black clay.

Then I started adding strings of clay to my background.

After the strings were all done, I cut it out and baked it.

Then I pressed it into a new black background that I had rolled out and textured.
So there it is.  Just looking at these photos is making me want to do another one.  That may have to be my next project...


Saturday, April 9, 2016

Fairy Flower Pendant Tutorial

Months ago I started a series of blog posts about the projects I was teaching in our local homeschool co-op.  Well, I accidentally deleted a bunch of photos and those projects were among the casualties.  So, next fall, when I teach the class again, I will make a second attempt at finishing the tutorials.

Meanwhile, I am starting a new series on my "Polymer Clay 2" (creative name, huh?) projects.  There will only be a few projects in this series as we have 10 weeks in the term at co-op and each project will take multiple weeks. (I originally intended for each project to take 2 weeks but we are 3 weeks into the term and have only finished this project, so we'll see how the rest go.)

The first two weeks were a couple of canes.  Since awesome tutorials for both of these are found elsewhere on the web, I won't bother making new ones.

 The leaf cane tutorial is found here: (This is part of a more complicated rose cane but you only need this page to do just the leaf.)

And the lace cane is found here: 

The supplies for this project are simple:
1 lace cane
1 leaf cane (don't make it into a leaf shape for now, keep it round)
solid-color bits leftover from the lace cane
1 eyepin

And the tools needed are basic as well:
pasta machine
circle cutters or the paper template pictured below
needle tool
jewelry pliers for bending the eyepin

I took a lot of photos for this tutorial and they are pretty self-explanatory so I'm not going to use a lot of words.  There are two pendants here.  The first one is the one (pictured above) we did for the class.  The second one is a little too difficult for small, inexperienced fingers to manage.

In order to keep the need for tools to a minimum, the kids used a paper template to transfer the shape we needed for the base of the flower to the clay.  I have included a copy of that template at the end of the tutorial.  Print it as a full-page image and it should be the correct size.  If you are using the cutters, the template can still be helpful in seeing where the smaller cutouts need to be placed.

Medium-thick sheet of clay, 2-inch cutter.

1/2-inch circle cutter or use template at end of post.

Cane same size as small circle cutter, sliced to same thickness as black sheet
We skipped this step in class but it can add a little interest if you choose to do it.

Pinch the top, so it resembles a leaf.

The bend in the wire will help it stay in place between the layers of clay.

Make sure your cane is the same diameter as the small circle cutter.
Some of my students had theirs bigger or smaller and it messed with the design of the pendant.
(Still turned out well, though.)

Try to go "follow the design."

Impress veins in the petals.

We also skipped this step in class.  (Sorry for the lightbulb glare)

Pinch to make the second row fit better between the first.

Roll each slice into a ball.
A tiny ball tool will work here, too.

About the size of the center hole.

Press it in there to fill up the hole.

More tiny balls.

Another ball for the center, and you're done!

And the second flower:

Begin the same way as the first...

Same as the other, but with red instead of black.
Make part of the cane into a leaf shape before slicing.
I stretched each slice a little more to make them long and narrow.
Roll tiny black ropes into points, then spiral the pointed ends. These can also go under the leaves.
The puff petals were made by pinching round cane slices as for the leaves, then pressing in the round edge to form sort of a triangular cup, then turned upside-down  and pressed into a circle.
Fold the upper leaves over the top petals.
Add a black dot with a red dot on top of it for the center.

The handout I gave to the kids.  Print as a full-page photo to use as a template.