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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Baby Fairy Polymer Clay Tutorial





I decided to revisit this tutorial. It's been a while since I first wrote it. I made a few corrections and a few clarifications, as well as explaining some of my reasons for the directions.

Materials

  • about and once of  flesh colored clay - Premo beige or Super Sculpey will work quite well

  • seed beads for eyes

  • fuzzy yarn for hair

  • cane for wings

  • toothpick

As for as tool, a needle tool and a blade.

A few good tutorials for simple wing canes are a lace cane or angel wing cane. I like to use light colors and translucent. The cane just needs to be about about .5 to 1 inch wide.

I start at the bottom and build up upward. Start by making a 1/2  inch wide ball,  Roll a  teardrop shape and press it on your workspace. It should look just like a Hershey's kiss now. This will be the pixie's body.



[caption id="attachment_205" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Sculpt legs Sculpt legs[/caption]

Now we'll work on the legs. Make 2 logs about a half inch log. . Make the top of the leg a little point. This reduce the bulk when we connect them to the body. Let them widen out to foot. Use your fingers to make the foot. Start by pressing on the top and then molding it. Pinch the backs a little to make heels.

It's not show but using 4 balls on each foot it my favorite way to make the toes. When they are done attach the legs to the body, smoothing the seams. A few things I have to note here: my legs often need reshaping several times and they get too long. That's an easy fix but shortening at the pointed end, just pinch off the extra length. Also do one last check to be sure the legs are still round. God knows why but after shaping mine seem to get squarish.




[caption id="attachment_224" align="aligncenter" width="294"]Sculpt Arms Sculpt Arms[/caption]
Next comes the arms. The arms are made pretty much the same as the legs, 2 logs with a point on one end.

You probably want them a little thinner than the legs, but not much. Flatten the end where the hands will be just a little bit. You still want then to be kind of thick.

We're not going to separate the fingers but we will add a thumb. You just need a very small snake. Attach it on the side of the hand, making it kind of look like a mitten. Then, using a needle tool, draw line to indicate fingers, to make it easy, I usually just add three fingers.



[caption id="attachment_265" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Attach legs and Arms Attach legs and now Arms[/caption]

Now attach the arms to the body,  positioning the anyway you like but the legs should really stick straight out. Now you can see why we made the ends pointy, it eliminates the bulk. The pixie won't have a neck but we do want the body to narrow to the top. Add a belly button using a taper end tool. With a toothpick, you may want to rotate it a little to widen it up.


Add a toothpick to the body where the head will go, it should only stick up abut a quarter of an inch, so you'll want to break the toothpick first.



[caption id="attachment_309" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Sculpt the head, flatten the  forehead Sculpt the head, flatten the forehead[/caption]



To make the head roll a ball about 1/2 inch wide. The size of the head will determine how old the pixie looks. A larger head makes him look younger. Heads are exactly round. Pinch the top of it gently to flatten the face where the eyes will go. The profile should look something like this photo.



How to make a Pixie
Now for the face. The eyes will placed on the flattened part of the head. They should be placed about half way up. Using a needle, put the beads in for eyes. Put the beads in side ways, so the hole is not facing out. Go in from the outside of the head  Use a needle to to add some crinkles for the eyes.

For the nose, roll a very tiny ball, right where the checks start to bulge out. Use your needle tool to draw a mouth. I add a little dot to each end

How to make a Pixie

For the ears make two small flat teardrops  Don't make them  too thin. Position them of the head,between  the eyes and the mouth. I always need to adjust the size of the ears once I get them on. Just pinch the points a little for emphasis. Use a tapered tip tool to add add earhole, it also helps to keep the ears secure.

How to make a Pixie
Ears are one of the most complicated parts of the body but we can keep it simple. Then very gently etch two lines just inside the edge it you want to get fancy.

Just a note, when I do these pixies, all too often the faces seem to make themselves. Often I get silly faces just by allowing the clay to take the lead
How to make a Pixie

Now it's time to attach the head to the body. Add a drop of polymer to the toothpick you added to the body and press the head onto the body. This will keep everything secure.

At this point I usually add a little pink blush to his (or her checks) cheeks.

How to make a Pixie

Now it's time for the wings. Cut 4 slices of whichever cane you decided to use. Make them a little thick for strength. Pinch each one so it looks like a teardrop. Position then as below, then squeeze the points and edges together.Before attached to the pixie, I connect the 2 wings in a butterfly shape.

I just press the unbaked wings to the back of the pixie. They're little enough and thick enough not to have bake them first. Here's what the pixie looks like from the back. Once again make sure they are secure so they won't break off later. That was my biggest problem in the beginning until I discovered making them thicker make them more secure.

Now it's time to bake the pixie. It should take about 45 minutes. Most flesh colored clays tend to darken when baked. Tenting it and putting the temperature a little on the low side help to stop it a little.

Wait for your pixie to cool off completely. To do the hair, just use a very fuzzy yarn or roving wool or anything fluffy.  Rub a little glue on the head and glue in on.How to make a Pixie



You now have a cute little pixie to keep as your own. I also have used this basic shape to create witches, mummies and Santas and more. You're only limited my your imagination.

[caption id="attachment_698" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Polymer Clay Pixie Polymer Clay Pixie[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_879" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Polymer Clay Mummy Figure Polymer Clay Mummy Figure[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1170" align="aligncenter" width="300"]FantasyClay's Tropical Santa FantasyClay's Tropical Santa[/caption]

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Oil Paints and Polymer Clay

[caption id="attachment_1462" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Polymer Clay Little Lamb Christmas Ornament Polymer Clay Little Lamb Christmas Ornament[/caption]

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I went to a workshop earlier this month with Doreen Kassel. I learned a new technique for polymer that I never would have thought of - using oil paints to add the color. The main focus was on making Christmas ornaments with this technique. It consists of covering a glass ball with white clay and then sculpting the features.

After you bake the clay, then the fun starts. Take out the oil paints and make a mess literally. The first step is painting the entire ornament dark brown. Then you wipe it all off, just leaving enough to show off the texture. Then you add the color, wiping off most of it so you just have soft colors. I love the gentle vintage look. I really love an old fashioned look especially for Christmas.

Most of these ornaments are going to my family for Christmas presents but I did list the lamb in my new shop. My next step will be to use this technique to make a few cake toppers.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Some Zentangle Jewelry

[caption id="attachment_1362" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Red and Black Tribal Earrings Red Zentangle Earrings[/caption]

 

I have been playing around with Zentangles - it's called yoga for the brain. Basically it's doodling using repeated patterns to fill in the space. I decided to try in polymer clay. In my tutorials, there is a link for making Zentangle designs using caning but I wanted to try something different. I made these earring in red with black patterns. After I finished, I realized they also have a tribal look to them.  I just listed them in my new shop here.