Friday, November 29, 2013

Making My First Polymer Tubes

Tubes – what to do with them?

Recently I took Cynthia Tinapple’s class ‘Extrusions’ at CraftCast.com.    They have great classes!  https://www.craftcast.com/recordings/learn-make-extraordinary-polymer-clay-extrusions-cynthia-tinapple  
One of the new tools I learned about was the tube adapter for the Makin’s Extruder.  I would tell you the make etc. but after I unwrapped the three adapters (each was for a different size tube), I threw away the packing. I think I got mine from Cool Tools.  I did not find this video until after I made my tube and even though it is for metal clay, it is a good demo by Cool Tools to show how the adapter works in the extruder http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTdD8MVifWc

This is what it looks like.  It’s the circle with the raised stem.  There were few directions so I played around with it and put the clay in the extruder, put the adapter with the stem side out next to the clay and the round disc in the cap and screwed it all together.  I extruded!  A long tube came out and I was so excited. 


Then I wondered what I was going to do with the tube!  I played!  And here are a few ideas I came up with.  Not bad for my first tubes!  What do you think?

vertical tubes with retro extrusions wrapped around the tube

Horizontal tubes become beads

Fun necklace with curved tube beads in different sizes


Friday, November 15, 2013

Colds, Rest, Seed Pods and Wild Animals!

http://www.etsy.com/listing/124597313/go-a-little-wild-brown-black-necklace?ref=shop_home_active

Having a cold really slows a person down.  I rested, drank liquids and ate chicken soup.  Finally I just had to play.  

Since seedpods have been on my mind lately, I made a polymer cane that I think looks like the inside of a nut!  I made earrings, beads, and buttons with it.  I made a bangle bracelet. 






Then I decided to play with animal skin canes.  Leopards, zebras and giraffes!  More beads and buttons and bracelets to add to the collection. 


Animal Skin Bangle




It is probably a good thing I just had a cold because I could really get carried away with wild animals and even nuts!


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

My First Lizard!



Basking Polymer Lizard

Today I needed a distraction and as I was browsing through tutorials on the internet, I came across Kathy Weaver’s “How to Make Fimo or Sculpey Polymer Clay Lizards”. http://creatorsjoy.blogspot.com/2010/02/how-to-make-fimo-or-sculpy-lizards.html 

Sounded like fun and I remembered a bordered cane in browns left over from another project and decided to make my first polymer lizard.  Since I have the real things it was easy to see how legs and feet and heads really look.  They made great models.  And my first lizard was fun to make.  

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Mating Dance of the Sand Hill Crane - Another of Nature's Dramas


Taking a side trip to Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, we made a sharp right turn off the highway onto a side road and were treated to one of nature’s dramas.  Fortunately I had my camera ready!


A group of Sand Hill Cranes were in a farmer’s wet field and I started taking pictures of them.  I was so excited that they were close enough to get some details.  








All of a sudden two of the cranes started jumping in the air spreading their wings and dancing.  The mating dance can take place all year and is quite the athletic event! 


Sand Hill Cranes, their take offs and landings, their calls and dances and their sheer group numbers make them unforgettable and one of my favorite birds.  Read more about them at




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 29, 2013

Making My First Polymer Tubes

Tubes – what to do with them?

Recently I took Cynthia Tinapple’s class ‘Extrusions’ at CraftCast.com.    They have great classes!  https://www.craftcast.com/recordings/learn-make-extraordinary-polymer-clay-extrusions-cynthia-tinapple  
One of the new tools I learned about was the tube adapter for the Makin’s Extruder.  I would tell you the make etc. but after I unwrapped the three adapters (each was for a different size tube), I threw away the packing. I think I got mine from Cool Tools.  I did not find this video until after I made my tube and even though it is for metal clay, it is a good demo by Cool Tools to show how the adapter works in the extruder http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTdD8MVifWc

This is what it looks like.  It’s the circle with the raised stem.  There were few directions so I played around with it and put the clay in the extruder, put the adapter with the stem side out next to the clay and the round disc in the cap and screwed it all together.  I extruded!  A long tube came out and I was so excited. 


Then I wondered what I was going to do with the tube!  I played!  And here are a few ideas I came up with.  Not bad for my first tubes!  What do you think?

vertical tubes with retro extrusions wrapped around the tube

Horizontal tubes become beads

Fun necklace with curved tube beads in different sizes


Friday, November 15, 2013

Colds, Rest, Seed Pods and Wild Animals!

http://www.etsy.com/listing/124597313/go-a-little-wild-brown-black-necklace?ref=shop_home_active

Having a cold really slows a person down.  I rested, drank liquids and ate chicken soup.  Finally I just had to play.  

Since seedpods have been on my mind lately, I made a polymer cane that I think looks like the inside of a nut!  I made earrings, beads, and buttons with it.  I made a bangle bracelet. 






Then I decided to play with animal skin canes.  Leopards, zebras and giraffes!  More beads and buttons and bracelets to add to the collection. 


Animal Skin Bangle




It is probably a good thing I just had a cold because I could really get carried away with wild animals and even nuts!


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

My First Lizard!



Basking Polymer Lizard

Today I needed a distraction and as I was browsing through tutorials on the internet, I came across Kathy Weaver’s “How to Make Fimo or Sculpey Polymer Clay Lizards”. http://creatorsjoy.blogspot.com/2010/02/how-to-make-fimo-or-sculpy-lizards.html 

Sounded like fun and I remembered a bordered cane in browns left over from another project and decided to make my first polymer lizard.  Since I have the real things it was easy to see how legs and feet and heads really look.  They made great models.  And my first lizard was fun to make.  

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Mating Dance of the Sand Hill Crane - Another of Nature's Dramas


Taking a side trip to Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, we made a sharp right turn off the highway onto a side road and were treated to one of nature’s dramas.  Fortunately I had my camera ready!


A group of Sand Hill Cranes were in a farmer’s wet field and I started taking pictures of them.  I was so excited that they were close enough to get some details.  








All of a sudden two of the cranes started jumping in the air spreading their wings and dancing.  The mating dance can take place all year and is quite the athletic event! 


Sand Hill Cranes, their take offs and landings, their calls and dances and their sheer group numbers make them unforgettable and one of my favorite birds.  Read more about them at




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!