One of my goals is to use my last container of Hadar’s Steel XT clay! I want to start on some of the new clay and am determined to use patience as I deplete my stash of the older clay. Here goes a new project!
Usually I just thumb through my new book Art Forms in Nature book by Ernst Haeckel but for this project I wanted to get serious and really think about the underlying structure or skeleton forms in nature. Focusing on a couple of pages that reminded me of what sea creatures might look like under their shells, I sketched some ideas, closed the book and started to create.
Mixing Hadar’s clay is so easy – as long as I creep up on the amount of water and not get it too wet - and it has a reasonable working time. After mixing the steel XT clay it went into the refrigerator as I made the molds for my creation.
Several months ago, this muffin pan, a treasure from a thrift shop, was sawed in half to fit into my convection oven for polymer clay. It worked great. Time to use it again. I formed a half circle with polymer clay for the lower body of my creature and then fashioned the top part using a spoon for a form. Then I baked the polymer for the creature’s mold.
|POLYMER MOLD FORM|
The steel clay was rolled 4 cards thick and draped over the molds. It was fun to use my many oval and circle cutters to create the bone like pattern. I let the clay dry slightly before lifting out the circles. Now I have accent shapes for something in the future – tiny circles of varying sizes. I put those back in the steel XT bottle to help me remember what they are.
|INSIDE BEFORE FIRING|
|OUTSIDE BEFORE FIRING|
Once everything was dry, I made sure the head and body were solidly connected. I thought I had everything connected but after firing one of the added circles came off. It sintered but was not adequately attached.
NOTE: Be sure you attach pieces enough with water and paste. These metal clays need a solid join.
After sanding the edges and attaching the oval for hanging, I fired the piece in coconut carbon over night. I opened that kiln the next morning before coffee! There were a couple of slight cracks but nothing major. In fact, I thought they added to the overall effect.