Friday, November 1, 2013

Another Experiment with Translucent Polymer Clay


One sunny fall day while walking by Willow Lake I took some photos of lovely translucent white seed pods.  They were worn by the wind but still standing.  Their shapes were ragged and lantern like.  They hung from straight white dried stems and I just had to see if I could recreate them in translucent polymer clay. 

I've been thinking about how to do that for a few weeks and decided it was time to jump in and experiment.  I thought I’d share some of the steps I took.

First I bought my 3 packages of Pardo Translucent Clay at Hobby Lobby (all they had).  I had not worked with Pardo before and I love it!  Not sticky like some of the other brands of translucent.  I’m hooked!

After making the lantern pattern, I found a great texture plate to give a cell like organic texture to the clay.  The clay was rolled to #6 on my Atlas machine because I really wanted the translucent quality. The first time I did not use wire and I like the look but it was not strong enough.


The next time I used thin wire at the edges to give some structure and I used Sculpey Bake and Bond to attach the wire to the clay.  It was fairly difficult to control 4 pieces of the lantern to meet at the edges but I managed to get it together and stood it in an egg carton for support. The first one I made like this broke in   tiny pieces.  The second one worked much better.

wire on edges
.
using egg carton for support while curing
too opaque

Then I tried painting screen wire white and layered the clay between the texture sheet and the screen wire.  Lightly rolled the clay and make a pod with the clay and wire.  It was the best shaped but of course the finished product was gray and not translucent enough.
layering
painting the screenwire
curing in the egg carton
Sometimes I do my best thinking on walks!  I came home and tried another technique.  I covered thin wire with translucent polymer and baked it. 

polymer covered wires -cured

Then I textured and cut more sections for the lantern pods.  Using the Bake and Bond, I glued the covered wires to the sections.  The wires were flexible enough to bend to the lantern shapes and I was able to put the 4 sections together with the help of a center ‘ball’ that looks like part of the pod.  Then I baked them in the egg carton.

covered wire on edges
I am happy with the result and if I were going to do a collection of ‘seed pods’, I would keep refining the technique…..but I’m not!  I just wanted to see if I could!


I used brass wire to make the seed pod dangles and the chain to remind me of the stems of the pods.  I added some amber chips for a little more color and interest.  Yes!  I wore it and it is very comfortable, definitely strong enough and a one of a kind creation!!


Now I want to make it in metal clay for a totally different experience!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Another Experiment with Translucent Polymer Clay


One sunny fall day while walking by Willow Lake I took some photos of lovely translucent white seed pods.  They were worn by the wind but still standing.  Their shapes were ragged and lantern like.  They hung from straight white dried stems and I just had to see if I could recreate them in translucent polymer clay. 

I've been thinking about how to do that for a few weeks and decided it was time to jump in and experiment.  I thought I’d share some of the steps I took.

First I bought my 3 packages of Pardo Translucent Clay at Hobby Lobby (all they had).  I had not worked with Pardo before and I love it!  Not sticky like some of the other brands of translucent.  I’m hooked!

After making the lantern pattern, I found a great texture plate to give a cell like organic texture to the clay.  The clay was rolled to #6 on my Atlas machine because I really wanted the translucent quality. The first time I did not use wire and I like the look but it was not strong enough.


The next time I used thin wire at the edges to give some structure and I used Sculpey Bake and Bond to attach the wire to the clay.  It was fairly difficult to control 4 pieces of the lantern to meet at the edges but I managed to get it together and stood it in an egg carton for support. The first one I made like this broke in   tiny pieces.  The second one worked much better.

wire on edges
.
using egg carton for support while curing
too opaque

Then I tried painting screen wire white and layered the clay between the texture sheet and the screen wire.  Lightly rolled the clay and make a pod with the clay and wire.  It was the best shaped but of course the finished product was gray and not translucent enough.
layering
painting the screenwire
curing in the egg carton
Sometimes I do my best thinking on walks!  I came home and tried another technique.  I covered thin wire with translucent polymer and baked it. 

polymer covered wires -cured

Then I textured and cut more sections for the lantern pods.  Using the Bake and Bond, I glued the covered wires to the sections.  The wires were flexible enough to bend to the lantern shapes and I was able to put the 4 sections together with the help of a center ‘ball’ that looks like part of the pod.  Then I baked them in the egg carton.

covered wire on edges
I am happy with the result and if I were going to do a collection of ‘seed pods’, I would keep refining the technique…..but I’m not!  I just wanted to see if I could!


I used brass wire to make the seed pod dangles and the chain to remind me of the stems of the pods.  I added some amber chips for a little more color and interest.  Yes!  I wore it and it is very comfortable, definitely strong enough and a one of a kind creation!!


Now I want to make it in metal clay for a totally different experience!