Friday, January 6, 2017

Creating A Music Box! - "The Impossible Dream"

Polymer Clay Sheet


Fabric that inspired the project
Last week my post was about the process of making a polymer sheet of clay with design lines made from polymer canes.   The two pictures above are of the original fabric that inspired the idea and of the finished sheet.  The final sheet was so colorful and interesting that I wanted to use large pieces of it.   How to use it?  

A friend gave me several small wind up music boxes about 2" x 3" x 1"  and I've been wondering how to use them for a couple of years.  Now is the time!  I'd made a box that combined both the music and the design sheet.  


2 Finished Music Boxes
Making a rectangular box was more difficult that I anticipated. First I cut 4 sides and a bottom from the design sheet.  I used a cardboard corner and cured 2 corners at a time and connected the sides with Bake n Bond to cure the sides together and to the bottom.  It worked but was hard to control.  That's the box on the right above.  

The second box (on the left) was formed in scrap clay and cured around a wood box.  That held the shape much better.  I added the design line sides to the baked clay.  That obviously worked too.  I think I'm still experimenting with the best way to make a polymer box!  

Plans for Box 1
Making space for the music box to wind from the bottom

Inside of Music Box 2

Finished Box 2

My first video on my blog!  Please leave a comment on how you liked this post!


video



Friday, December 30, 2016

A Piece of Fabric Becomes An Inspiration

My polymer interpretation of a piece of fabric

A piece of fabric caught my eye in a fabric store and became the inspiration for my current project.  I started out wanting to make a lot of polymer canes (sticks of polymer with a design running through them) in colors that would go together but not match and would make me happy.  I also wanted to use up my Sculpey polymer clay that was getting old.  I used all the colors I had left and combined them in design strips of various sizes.   The wave design you see makes me think of fabric and gives a counterpoint to the structure of lines.  The piece above is approx 5" x 7" and it really does make me happy to see it.  

Canes made into design strips
Here's a little about the process:  The packages of clay were conditioned so they would be easy to work.  I made sheets of thin black polymer to use as wrapping for the finished design strips.  I think the black delineates the strip and pops the color. Each design strip is made of layers or rolls or extruded shapes of clay and put together.  Some took quite a bit of time and some not so much.  

All the design strips were made at one time so I knew what to select for each design story.


A sheet of black polymer rolled on the thickest setting became the backing for my mosaic. I selected design strips that were cut thin and placed them side by side until I filled the background. Since this was my first piece and I had lots of cane design left I decided to make buttons and beads.  This lets me see how the colors blend and change during the curing.  

Buttons after curing and polishing

Beads before curing.  I used some translucent/white swirls on some to get a different effect.

Cured Beads - See how the color changes with the heat.

The buttons and beads turned out nice but I was disappointed at losing the mosaic pattern.  I liked all those design strips!  

After sleeping on it, I figured out what to do with a large mosaic of design strips.  Check back next Friday and I'll have more to show you! 

Friday, December 16, 2016



 It's time for experimenting and sharing!  This week I played with silk screening metallic powder and am pretty excited about the results!

Starting with Helen Breil's silkscreen 'Pills and coffee' www.helenbreil.com/silkscreens, the tiny holes in the silk screen really make beautiful designs.  I used Ranger 'Perfect Pearls' powder  that come in a set of 4 metallic colors.(copper, bronze, silver and gold)  Little sponge applicators (in the package)  make rubbing the powder into the screen so easy.  If you brush the powder be sure to use a separate brush for each color.  Otherwise the colors mix together too easily.
I used black polymer as the base and screened on the copper shown in this picture.  It was also easy to screen the pattern on the rounded shapes.   Really a nice look.  The powder adhered nicely after curing.
Silk Screen I used

Metallic powders I used

Copper Metallic Silkscreen on Black Polymer Clay
Next I used this medallion stencil and brushed the metallic colors on the black polymer.  Then I used saran wrap over the clay and cut circles.  The pressure of the circle cutter on the saran makes the edges round.  These came out beautifully.  They would be great pendant, brooches or buttons!


I hope you are taking some time to play during this busy month of December!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Creating A Music Box! - "The Impossible Dream"

Polymer Clay Sheet


Fabric that inspired the project
Last week my post was about the process of making a polymer sheet of clay with design lines made from polymer canes.   The two pictures above are of the original fabric that inspired the idea and of the finished sheet.  The final sheet was so colorful and interesting that I wanted to use large pieces of it.   How to use it?  

A friend gave me several small wind up music boxes about 2" x 3" x 1"  and I've been wondering how to use them for a couple of years.  Now is the time!  I'd made a box that combined both the music and the design sheet.  


2 Finished Music Boxes
Making a rectangular box was more difficult that I anticipated. First I cut 4 sides and a bottom from the design sheet.  I used a cardboard corner and cured 2 corners at a time and connected the sides with Bake n Bond to cure the sides together and to the bottom.  It worked but was hard to control.  That's the box on the right above.  

The second box (on the left) was formed in scrap clay and cured around a wood box.  That held the shape much better.  I added the design line sides to the baked clay.  That obviously worked too.  I think I'm still experimenting with the best way to make a polymer box!  

Plans for Box 1
Making space for the music box to wind from the bottom

Inside of Music Box 2

Finished Box 2

My first video on my blog!  Please leave a comment on how you liked this post!


video



Friday, December 30, 2016

A Piece of Fabric Becomes An Inspiration

My polymer interpretation of a piece of fabric

A piece of fabric caught my eye in a fabric store and became the inspiration for my current project.  I started out wanting to make a lot of polymer canes (sticks of polymer with a design running through them) in colors that would go together but not match and would make me happy.  I also wanted to use up my Sculpey polymer clay that was getting old.  I used all the colors I had left and combined them in design strips of various sizes.   The wave design you see makes me think of fabric and gives a counterpoint to the structure of lines.  The piece above is approx 5" x 7" and it really does make me happy to see it.  

Canes made into design strips
Here's a little about the process:  The packages of clay were conditioned so they would be easy to work.  I made sheets of thin black polymer to use as wrapping for the finished design strips.  I think the black delineates the strip and pops the color. Each design strip is made of layers or rolls or extruded shapes of clay and put together.  Some took quite a bit of time and some not so much.  

All the design strips were made at one time so I knew what to select for each design story.


A sheet of black polymer rolled on the thickest setting became the backing for my mosaic. I selected design strips that were cut thin and placed them side by side until I filled the background. Since this was my first piece and I had lots of cane design left I decided to make buttons and beads.  This lets me see how the colors blend and change during the curing.  

Buttons after curing and polishing

Beads before curing.  I used some translucent/white swirls on some to get a different effect.

Cured Beads - See how the color changes with the heat.

The buttons and beads turned out nice but I was disappointed at losing the mosaic pattern.  I liked all those design strips!  

After sleeping on it, I figured out what to do with a large mosaic of design strips.  Check back next Friday and I'll have more to show you! 

Friday, December 16, 2016



 It's time for experimenting and sharing!  This week I played with silk screening metallic powder and am pretty excited about the results!

Starting with Helen Breil's silkscreen 'Pills and coffee' www.helenbreil.com/silkscreens, the tiny holes in the silk screen really make beautiful designs.  I used Ranger 'Perfect Pearls' powder  that come in a set of 4 metallic colors.(copper, bronze, silver and gold)  Little sponge applicators (in the package)  make rubbing the powder into the screen so easy.  If you brush the powder be sure to use a separate brush for each color.  Otherwise the colors mix together too easily.
I used black polymer as the base and screened on the copper shown in this picture.  It was also easy to screen the pattern on the rounded shapes.   Really a nice look.  The powder adhered nicely after curing.
Silk Screen I used

Metallic powders I used

Copper Metallic Silkscreen on Black Polymer Clay
Next I used this medallion stencil and brushed the metallic colors on the black polymer.  Then I used saran wrap over the clay and cut circles.  The pressure of the circle cutter on the saran makes the edges round.  These came out beautifully.  They would be great pendant, brooches or buttons!


I hope you are taking some time to play during this busy month of December!