Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Artfire Collection: Pink and Green

This gorgeous Artfire collection is made up of pink and green items all from the Checked In Today Guild on Artfire.  It was curated by CraftyDayDreams, a very talented Jill-of-all-trades.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Polymer Clay Tutorial: Faux Vinyl Flower Pendant

This pendant was a lot of fun to create.  They are inspired by a pair of black vinyl sandals that I bought a couple of weeks ago.  This pendant looks very much like the flowers on the shoes (hence the name).  My teenage daughter likes it so much that I am going to put it on a silver chain for her.  Of course, that means she'll have to borrow the shoes when she wears it!  (By the way, sorry for the lousy pictures - I'm in a new studio and haven't figured out the lighting yet.)

Faux Vinyl Flower Pendant

conditioned black clay
white Pearlex powder

pasta machine
paper to make the pattern with (you're welcome to print the photo of mine and use them)
sharp craft knife
tissue blade
ball tool or fat paintbrush handle with a rounded end
some sort of texture tool to simulate stitching (optional)
toothpick or needle tool
small soft paintbrush


Roll out a fairly thin layer of black clay in the pasta machine. 
(It's about a 5 on my Atlas.)

Draw some 4-petal flowers on a piece of paper. 
The biggest two need to be about the same size (or you can do two of the same
flower) and then a medium one and a smaller one.  Don't make them too uniform. 
The unevenness gives the flowers character. 
Cut around them as needed and lay the paper on your clay.

Trace around each flower gently with a ball-point pen. 
(I know the photo looks funny - I'm a lefty!)

Lift the paper and make sure you didn't miss any petals.

Use a sharp craft knife to cut along the lines.

Lift off the background and leave the flowers stuck to the work surface.

So pretty!

Use your finger to smooth and soften the cut egdes a little.

Get a tiny amount of mica powder on your brush and add it to the base of each petal. 
You don't want it in the middles 'cause then the layers won't stick to one another as well.

Smear the powder with your finger outward along each petal.

Use your tissue blade to peel the flowers off the work surface.

Get your ball tool (or paintbrush handle - ball tools are on my wish list)
and gently rub the end of each petal in a circular motion to cup the ends
of the petals slightly.

Use your texture tool to add stitching. 
(I used to sew a lot and it's driving me nuts that I can't remember what this
thing is called!)

Do the above to all of the flowers.

Now start stacking the flowers, turning them so the petals overlap in a pleasing way.

Get all 4 layers on there.

Use your ball tool again to press an indentation in the middle of the flower.

Make 3 balls of clay and press one onto the end of a toothpick or needle tool. 
(Don't make it go all the way through - the toothpick is just there to
make it easier to hold the ball.)

Dust the ball with the mica powder.  Repeat with the other two balls.

Use a little liquid clay to press all of the balls into the center of the flower. 
Bake the flower.

To make a bail, roll a thickish sheet of black clay and cut it into a strip 1/4 inch wide or so. 
(I textured it to match the flower.)

Fold it in half and press the ends together, leaving a loop about the size you want it to be.

Use a little liquid clay to press the bail onto the back of the baked flower. 
Use a sharp blade to trim the tail of the bail at a nice angle and smooth it out.

And there you have it! Here is the black pendant with a pink one that I left the texture out of entirely and dusted with gold on the edges instead of white in the middle and one that I made with the skinner blend scraps from my water dragon egg. It's all translucent and the colors turned out gorgeous! I didn't glaze any of these but I did overbake them a little which seemed to make them shine instead of brown.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Artfire Collection: Saffron Sunshine

Well, I had good intentions in posting all of the collections and treasuries my work has been in but I just can't seem to catch up.  So here is the most recent one I've been in.  It was curated by talented Artfire jewelry artist epicetera and is just gorgeous!