Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fair Winnings Part Two: Polymer Clay

This is going to be a long one...

In my last post I showed off my crochet/quilt that I entered in the fair and won a few ribbons for.  This time it is all polymer clay (which I did much better on).  So here we go...

First was my cube necklace:

I didn't get a ribbon on this one.  I don't think the judges realized that the cube beads were handmade.  On the other hand, maybe it wouldn't have made a difference.  There were a lot of necklaces and this one really could use a nicer clasp.

How it was made:  I made some cube-shaped cores and baked them, then laid a raw clay veneer over each side and impressed each side of each bead with a different tool or found object.  Just before they were baked I finger-buffed on a bronze powder.

Anyway, moving on...

So, I got second place on this one.  They hung it with a couple of other patriotic pieces- looked very cool!  I actually made this for one of the Polymer Clay Central challenges back in July,  seen here.  The theme, of course, was "red, white and blue" and this idea just came naturally to me considering this is the view from my kitchen window.  The piece is based on this photo (taken from my back yard):

How it was made:  I printed the photo above in the size I wanted the sculpture to be.  Then I drew lines across, following the terrain, marking where I wanted the layers to be.  Then I rolled out some black clay and used the pattern to make several graduated layers of clay.  You can see the layers better in this photo:

I textured each layer with various tools as I put them together:

After it was baked, I finger-buffed the colors on and there you are!

Okay, next was my watermelon pen: 

I don't know how they judge this unusual stuff  'cause there's nothing to compare it to.  The only other pen I saw was a wood-turned one and they aren't even in the same category.  Anyway, I was happy with the results.

How it was made:  Simple, cane slices over a black sheet of clay covering the barrel of a Bic Round Stick.  Then I took a fat slice of the watermelon cane and cut it into quarters to make the beads attached to the end of the pen.  It's easier to see in this photo:

Okay, so here's the other piece of jewelry I entered:

I love making these pendants!  There's not really a whole lot to say about how it was made.  Cane slices and bits of clay that I just sculpted into a flower shape.  I call them my "Kaleidoscope Flowers."
Here's a better photo:

Next is my paisley filligree:

I made this to match the quilt I'm planning for my bedroom.  I really like the way it turned out.  This was another piece I entered in the Polymer Clay Central Challenge seen here.

How it was made:  I photocopied a swatch of the fabric I wanted to duplicate, rolled out a sheet of white clay to the size I wanted, and traced the pattern from the paper onto the clay.  Then I ran all of my colors through my extruder to make a ton of long, skinny strings of clay.  Then I started laying out the strings according to the pattern. 

Took probably 10-15 hours total.  Then I added the dots, the double frame and some white strings for border. 

And last, but most definitely not least, my lighthouse:

I know, you can't even tell what it is from here.  Does this help?:

(Man, that photo needs redone.)  Okay, now you can tell it's a mosaic but how about a little perspective?:

Every year in the hobbies and crafts building they do a "Fair Challenge"  where they give you a picture to recreate in your own medium.  This year it was a lighthouse and this was my contribution. 

I figure there are more than 7,000 tiles between 1-2 mm in size, (except the grass, which is narrower and longer than that), around 45 colors, and took between 20-30 hours to complete.  The entire piece is 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches. 

Not much to say here about how it was made, either.  Tiny square strands of color, a very sharp craft knife, a sheet of background clay, and lots of hours logged on Netflix.  It was all done in raw clay and I stressed every minute that one of the little kids would get a hold of it and destroy all of my hard work. 

Anyway, there it is.  I hope if you actually made it all the way through this post that it didn't bore you too much and that you gleaned something useful and/or informative from it.

Next time, I will show off my daughters' work...


  1. Congratulations! Wow, you are definitely into the details (are you a Virgo?) LOL!! Thank you so much for sharing how you did things, that is interesting. You did great work on all of these, I can't pick a favorite. I like what you do with textures.

  2. Thanks, Jackie! Nope, I'm a Gemini. I've always had an eye for detail. When I was about 8, I went to Bryce Canyon with my friend and her parents. Later, the mom told my mom that they kept having to stop so I could look at the tiny wildflowers and pretty rocks along the path. My friend just kept running ahead to the next "attraction."

  3. What lovely work...ALL of your items! The lighthouse colorblends are exceptional! Congratulations on all of your awards...your PC efforts surely "paid off"!