Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Concert in Clay

[caption id="attachment_977" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Billy Joel and Elton John in Concert Together"]Billy Joel and Elton John Teddies[/caption]

This has been a crazy month. Too many crises and too many changes to even remember to post. I can't believe Christmas has already come and gone. gosh 2012 will be here in less than a week. I was sorting throw my stuff and I found these two on my shelf getting dusty.

I made these two musical bears and their pianos after a Billy Joel and Elton John concert I saw almost 10 years ago. Basically at that point I  mostly made teddy bears. Billy Joel has always been my favorite singer, with Elton John also in the top 10 so this concert was a big thrill for me.

I really wanted to be sure I remembered just how much I enjoyed it, so I made a teddy to represent each. During the shop they had their pianos lined up end to end like this, so I have always displayed them like this.

[caption id="attachment_978" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Bears in Concert"]Billy Joel Teddy Bear in Concert[/caption]

In case you can't tell, Billy Joel is the one on the left, a grey bear with a black jacket and beard. Elton John of course has his sunglasses and his jacket is dusted with glitter. To be honest, it doesn't matter if anyone sees the men behind the teddies besides me. I added details like Billy's fingers on the keyboard and droopy eyes. I admit I put a lot more attention in his bear.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Polymer Clay Swirls Christmas Ornament Tutorial


[caption id="attachment_963" align="aligncenter" width="298" caption="Polymer Clay Red and Green Swirls Christmas Ornament"]Polymer Clay Red and Green Swirls Christmas Ornament[/caption]

I made this ornament by covering a plain glass ornament with red and green polymer clay using spirals and dots to cover it. It was actually a pretty easy project and kind of relaxing since you don't need to fuss to much about things being perfect. I used two colors but one color would be great too.

You'll need a glass ornament, green and green polymer clay, liquid polymer clay, and a sharpie (optional).

[caption id="attachment_958" align="alignleft" width="172" caption="Step 2 - draw a line around the center"]Step 2 - Add a line[/caption]


Step 1: Cover the entire ornament with liquid polymer clay. You just need a thin coat. This will help the polymer clay start on the ornament. Bake the ornament for about 15-20 minutes.

Step 2: Add a guide line.

When the ornament is cool, draw a line around the center as guide where the color changes. This helps keep you edge even.



[caption id="attachment_956" align="alignleft" width="175" caption="Polymer Clay Swirls"]Polymer Clay Swirls[/caption]


Step 3: Make a Few Basic Shapes

Roll out a few thin snakes, about 1 to 2 inches long and make some spirals or "S" shapes to start. It helps to also have to dots ready to apply to fill in any empty spaces. It helps to make a few to get started but you make more as you need them.




[caption id="attachment_959" align="alignleft" width="230" caption="Step 4: Adding Swirls"]Step 4: Adding Swirls[/caption]


Step 4: Add Spirals and Swirls

Starting at the bottom of the ball, start by placing a green spiral on the ornament and then another.Work outward, starting by adding pieces in around the edges and making a bigger and bigger circle of spirals and dots

Using dots or smaller snakes to fill in all the spaces. Sometimes it is easier to fill a narrow space, then add a curl.

Two things to keep in mind, keep the snakes a consistent width and don't over lap the spirals or dots. They don't need to be all the same size and use your imaginations to make squiggles. Continue with the swirls and dots and even teardrops to fill up all the spaces as you work your way around.

[caption id="attachment_964" align="aligncenter" width="270" caption="Step 4: Detail of swirls"]Step 4: Detail of swirls[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_960" align="alignleft" width="185" caption="Step 5: Changing Colors"]Step 5: changing colors[/caption]

Step 5: Changing to a new color.

When you have worked your self up to the guide line,it is time to change colors. Be sure you have reached the guide all

the way around. This helps keep it even and then you can put away the green clay and just work with the red.

Continue with the swirls and dots and even teardrops to fill up all the spaces as you work your way around until you reach the top

When you reach the top, bake the ornament according to the manufacturer's instructions.


[caption id="attachment_961" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Red and Green Christmas Ornament"]Red and Green Christmas Ornament[/caption]

You are all done, add a ribbon and hang it on your tree. I  added a light patina after baking to enhance the swirls.  Some other variations to try are using all one colors, adding some glitter or mica powders. I think for my next I will try using white clay with a blue patina. That could be an interesting effect. However for now I am just making these for gifts and they aren't for sale in my Artfire shop, FantasyClay