Friday, February 4, 2011

Polymer Clay Valentine's Magnet Tutorial #3

This is the third and final tutorial for my Valentine's Day magnets.  You can see the first one here and the second one here.  I think this one is my favorite and it was the most fun to make.  I love using texture in my clay work but for some reason, I don't use it very often.

Anyway, here goes:

Valentine's Cut-Out Heart Magnet
Supplies Needed:
gold metallic clay
pink clay
gold metallic powder
iridescent glitter

Tools Needed:
pasta machine
tissue blade
small heart cutter
ripple texture sheet
basketweave texture sheet
stamp with the word "love"
     or blunt needle tool

Step 1: Prepare your elements.
Condition your gold clay.  Run it through the pasta machine, fold in half and run it through again several times to align the mica particles.  Rip your sheet of clay into a bunch of little pieces and pile them on your  work surface:

Condense your pile of clay pieces and mash it until you can put it through the pasta machine.   

 Run it through the pasta machine on a medium-thin setting. (The tearing and mashing should have made a cool random mica shift design in your clay.)  Cut out a 1 1/2 inch square.

Cut a heart out of the center of your square.  (Turn the cutter a little so it's not perfectly symmetrical.)

 Now, condition and roll out your pink clay at the same thickness as the gold.  Cut a heart out of it.

Use the basketweave texture sheet on your heart.

Step 2: Prepare the base.
 Roll out some more pink clay at the thickest setting and cut out a 2-inch square. 

Texture your sheet all over using the ripple texture sheet.

 Lay your gold square over the background (turned about 45 degrees) so you can see where to put the letters.

 Stamp or carve the word "love" in the space inside the heart.  (You may need to move the gold square for a moment to do this.

 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.  Do this to the pink heart as well.  (I added some clay where the corners of the gold square will hang over to support them during baking and give them added strength.)

 Step Three:  Put it all together.
Lay all of your elements on the base and press down gently to get it all to stick together.
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.

 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.

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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