POLYMER CLAY TUTORIAL
First, I must begin by saying that there are few things in this world that I hate more than bugs. This being said, I find bugs gross … they give me to heebie-jeebies! Because of this you will see that my take on bugs is nothing like Christi’s take on bugs (more on that next week) … but because I love each of you who are working diligently through Christi’s books, I too made an ugly bug *sigh* … but please know that there will not be another. You can make lots of ugly bugs, but I will leave it at this one (who will be given away soon an a semi-devious plot, read on for details).
In fact, in my ideal world, bugs would be cute and cuddly, just like Parker.
But that’s enough of my bug-o-phobia … how about we get started on our hearts & bug for another awesome Friesen Friday filled with polymer clay tutorials?
Let’s Get Buggy
Before I get too far into this … a note of apologies to Christi.
“Dear Christi – I love you & your books. However … I hate bugs. Therefore any bug that resembles a real one is ugly … even though it’s not (as in the case of most of your bugs). Sincerely, A Bug-o-Phobic Clayer”
You’ll see Christi’s bug example on page 15 (please remember that these tutorials are done using Christi’s book 2 from the Beyond Sculpture series, “Welcome to the Jungle“). Whenever I make something, I always wonder what I’m going to do with it. Well in the case of Señor Ugly Bug (yes, that is what I named the bug at right) … he’s going in a planter at my Mom & Dad’s house. I’m hoping that by sneaking in and leaving him there while my parents are gone, that an “eek” will escape at some point … which will be followed by a “Katie – I found your Ugly Bug and that wasn’t funny” phone call from my Mom.
Making a bug is an easy task. Again, using the photos in Christi’s book on page 15, or my abbreviated photo at right can be a great starting point to make any Ugly Bug. Just because I don’t like bugs, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t like bugs! (Please get ready for a CUTE bug tutorial next week). Sr. Ugly Bug (seen at right) was made entirely from scrap clay (why … my bug aversion, remember). You can use new fresh clay, marbled clay, or whatever you happen to have laying around. Here’s some ideas to do with your bug: put him in a planter, hide him in a terrarium, embed a piece of wire in the bottom about 1″ long to use as a planter pokey, hide him in your hubby’s oatmeal (okay, don’t do that), or add him to another jungle project! Come up with your own bug designs, or make Sr. Ugly Bug … but make a bug, and make it Friesen style by adding a little flourish and pizzaz!
Make a Heart Tutorial
Christi shows how to make very organic & natural looking hearts in her book on page 26. But, I’m going to show you a different way to make hearts, this heart tutorial is adapted from the tutorial on PCPolyzine.
- First start with a ball of clay (I used scrap clay from leftover leaf parts).
- Then roll that ball into a log.
- Now here’s where I vary my heart. Make the center of the log slightly indented and narrower than the rest of the log. I do this so that my heart has an eye-catching shape when it is finished.
- Then very carefully eyeball the center of your log and cut it an a diagonal, leaving equal portions on both sides of the blade.
- Cut through the log.
- Then take one side of the log and invert it (turn it over).
- Place the two sides together and wah-la … a perfect heart, every time!
- To finish your heart, use a knitting needle to close the seams.
- Then you can shape or reshape your heart as you would like. Give it a pointy end, make it swirl, the decision is yours!
Christi’s style is very organic and free, it’s not fussy. This heart may seem fussy, but if you are trying for the perfect heart shape, this is probably the easiest way to make a heart, in my opinion. But feel free to use any technique you are comfortable with to make your heart pendant.
Add Leaves to Your Heart
Using the leaf tutorial from last week (see this post for a synopsis), as well as Christi’s book it’s time to have some fun and decorate your heart. But don’t just use leaves, use some of the components that you learn in Book 1, Dragons. Add curls, swirls, beads, and simply textures with tools you have laying around your workbench.
At right you will see that I used the second half of the scrap sheet I made using scrap clay. I cut that sheet in half, using the first half to make my heart pendant. The second half (shown at right) I used to make my leaves, swirls, & culs from. I took the clay and sectioned it into four pieces. I then decided which “side” of that piece I wanted to use and then cut my leaves freehand. After all my leaves were cut (see pages 9-16) I then gently placed them on my heart and decided what would go where. I then added in beads, quartz, swirls, mica powders, and texturing to give it an earthy and lovable feel. After it had baked I added an antique finish and gloss sealer.
The Friesen Project
The Friesen Project is done in conjunction with Christi Friesen. All tutorials are retaught here with her expressed permission. Please make sure to read about the project here, and get answers to the most common FAQS here.