Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Polymer Clay Tutorial: Applique Easter Egg

Last week I showed you how to prepare a plastic egg for covering with clay.  This week I'm showing you just one way to decorate your prepared egg.  This is the egg I am making in the following photos:

These are some other eggs I've made with this technique:

Okay, so here we go:

pasta machine
tissue blade
various small cutters
needle tool
acrylic roller

clay - 3 or more colors of your choice
liquid clay or white glue
prepared plastic egg

Condition all of your clay colors and roll them out on a medium-thick setting on the pasta machine.  I'm using red, teal and purple.

Pick a medium-sized cutter and cut out a shape in the first color.  This piece will be the top of your egg and its shape will change quite a bit so I usually just pick a circle for this one.

Put some liquid clay or white glue over the end of the egg.  Cover a little more area than the circle will cover so the edges get sealed down well.  Place the circle over the end of the egg and cup your hand over it to form it gently into place.  Try not to squish too hard because you don't want to change the thickness of the clay sheet.  That's what keeps the sanding to a minimum later.

Pick another cutter - any shape you want.  I find the simpler shapes look best so use your judgement.  I'm using a smaller circle this time.  Make cuts in the edges of the first shape at equal intervals.  You can cut away a lot or a little - it's up to you.  I'm cutting about half-circles.  I made four cuts.  Make sure you press down all the way with the cutter and then remove the cut out pieces.

Pick a different color and use the same cutter to make the same number of shapes as the cutouts you just made.  So, four cutouts, four circles.

Use some liquid clay in the holes and place the cut out circles in there.

That's really all there is to it.  Just keep cutting out chunks from the egg and then use the same cutter to cut shapes from your clay sheets.  Liquid clay, then place the shapes.  Here I found that my diamond-shaped cutter fit perfectly between the circles, so I used that one next.

Four teal diamond shapes.

There was too much blank space in the top so I used my tiny teardrop cutter there.

Red teardrops and then the tiny circle cutter and a teal flower center.

Next I used the football shape in the background here.  I didn't need to cut much for this one.

And since the cutouts are on both sides of each of the four diamonds, I needed eight shapes.

Next I used the square at the base of all of the circles.

I placed a teal square in there and then cut another football shape between the purple ones.

Red footballs and then the purple square.  I didn't need to cut anything for the second square as there was nothing on the sides and I lined up straight sides from the two shapes.

 Next I cut a heart shape from the middle of the two squares.

And of course I had to use red for that.

I skipped photographing a few steps here but you can see where I added the teal footballs on either side of the hearts, the purple circles at the bottoms of the red footballs and red squares below the purple circles.

I did a red teardrop below the heart next and then the next one's a little different.  I used the square cutter and lined a straight side of the cutter up with the straight side of the teardrop.  Make sure you don't leave any places where there will be gaps later unless you want to go back with a tiny cutter and fill them in with other shapes.

I put purple squares in there and then added the teal diamonds.  I cut those ones so that they just fit in there without cutting the corners of the purple squares.  Next I added the red ovals.  I didn't notice the nick in that one until later.

Here's where I left the gaps between those shapes.  I used my tiny circle cutter to add black circles.

As the top of the egg got larger working toward the middle, you had to add more and/or larger shapes.  Now we're having to use fewer/smaller shapes.  I'm down to four circles here.

Purple clay and then the circle cutter again.  I used teal clay in that one and forgot to photograph it.

Since I hadn't planned on using the black and then used it to fill in the gaps a minute ago, I decided I needed to add another row of black somewhere.  This looked like a good spot.

This step is optional.  You can use your acrylic roller to roll all of the seams out of the egg or you can just roll it between your hands to help even things out.  I personally like the latter choice but I had some flaws in this egg that kind of forced me to roll out all of the seams.

 Bake it on something soft as described in the preparation tutorial as per your clay manufacturer's directions.

I made a stand by putting two thick sheets of clay together and cutting out a donut shape with two circle cutters.  Then I pressed the baked egg into the stand to indent the middle a little.  Bake it.

Now you can sand and buff or glaze the egg however you'd like.


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