Saturday, January 29, 2011

Polymer Clay Valentine's Magnet Tutorial #2


Okay, I know I promised this for yesterday but, you know, stuff gets in the way.  I've started back on my antidepressants again after 5 years and they always make me a little loopy the first couple of days.

Anyway, so here's the second magnet tutorial I promised:

Valentine's 4-Heart Magnet Tutorial

Supplies needed:
pink clay
pearl clay
gold clay
gold metallic powder
iridescent glitter
magnet

Tools needed:
tissue blade
pasta machine
heart cutter
stamp with the word "love" or blunt needle tool

Step 1: Prepare the Base
Condition the pink clay and roll it out on a medium-thick setting:

I can see I had some air bubbles in this sheet but the magnet is so small and there will be enough stuff covering the base that it doesn't really matter right now.  If you really want to get rid of the air bubbles, you can pierce them with a needle tool, then flatten them a little with a finger, then fold the sheet and run it through the pasta machine again.  I keep doing this until I can't see any more air bubbles in the sheet. 
Anyway, now cut an irregular shape out of your clay for the base of the magnet:

Now use your stamp or blunt needle to put the word "love" across the bottom.  Next, get out your gold metallic powder (I'm using PearlEx- I think it's the antique gold.)  and very gently touch the surface of the powder with your index finger.  You just want a micro-thin layer of the powder on your finger.  Touch the pink clay with your gold-plated finger a few times.  Keep touching the powder and then the clay until you have a sort of splotchy gold design on your pink clay.  I made the gold fingerprints a little thicker around the letters to make them stand out more:

Step 2: Make the hearts.
Now condition your gold clay and sort of knead in your hands a little to disalign the mica in the clay.  Roll it out really thin and cut out 2 hearts.  I didn't have a heart cutter the size I wanted so I used a leaf cutter and trimmed the wider end so it looks like the top of a heart:

Next, condition your pearl clay and either roll it into a long string or extrude it through a fairly small hole in the extruder.  Take a piece 4 or 5 inches long and fold it in half.  Kind of squish the fold between your fingers a little.  This will be the top of the heart:

Now bend the two long ends back around to each other and pinch them together to form a heart with two tails:

Trim the tails and reshape the heart the way you want it.  I think the next time I do this one, I will curve the point at the bottom a little so it matches the gold hearts better:

Step 3: Put it all together.

Lay your gold hearts on the background and press them down a little:

Now add your string hearts:

Now you get to add the glitter.  See my notes about the glitter here.  (Scroll down about 3/4 of the way.):

Step 4: Bake and finish.

Now it's time to bake.  Put your piece on something flat (I have several pieces of broken stone tile that I can bake small things on.)  and bake at 265 degrees (or whatever the clay manufacturer recommends) for about 30-45 minutes.  I like to err on the side of caution and bake longer than may be necessary.

So now you're ready to add the magnet to the back.  I'm just using what I have on hand, which is some of that thin, flat, rolled-up magnetic strip with the sticky back.  This is not my first choice but as the magnets are light and I seldom hang stuff on the fridge with my magnets, it will suffice.  I cut a piece slightly smaller than the back of the magnet, peeled off the paper, and stuck it on.  If I were to sell these, I would use the stronger round magnets and adhere them with a suitable glue. (And here you get a preview of the other magnet I'm going to tutorialize- Is that a word?):

Reverse side:

There you go!  Make a bunch and give them away for Valentine's Day or keep them for yourself.  If you do, feel free to send me pictures and I will post them here.  I think I might give mine to my sister who has a magnet collection dating back to her junior high school days.
Korrina

P.S.  Do yourself a favor and don't sell any of the stuff you make from my tutorials.  When people buy handmade, they want a story and "I followed some instructions online" is really a lousy story.  Do feel free to use my ideas as inspiration or a "jumping-off point" for your own creations.  Besides, if anyone is going to make money off my ideas, shouldn't it be me?  :)

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