Polymer Clay Clock Tutorial
Perfect Heart Themed Clock for Valentine’s Day
With each and every monthly project that we do here, you will essentially be receiving TWO tutorials. There’s ONE tutorial that Lisa presents in her book. There’s another tutorial that I will present as a spin off of her project. You are welcome to do either one. This month, Lisa offers TWO different takes on a clock based project, see details below.
- Book Being Used: “Elegant Gifts in Polymer Clay” by Lisa Pavelka
- Project Page: Pages 44-47; 74-77
- Book Being Used: “Quick & Easy Gifts in Polymer Clay”
- Project Page: Pages 80-83
- Project Due Date: Feb. 28th, 2015
- Your choice of polymer clay – at maximum 3 total blocks for the project.
- Pre-plan your design, colors, & more so you now about how much clay you will need. My background alone took almost a whole block of black clay (plus scrap underneath).
- *Acrylic paint in a dark color (I prefer brown, but my tutorials use both brown and black so you can see the difference)
- *Acrylic paint brush
- Baby wipes or soft sponge
- *Tiny-medium sized beads and/or gemstones for embellishments.
- Clock Works Assembly
- *Blank CD or an old CD you are no longer using
- *Mica Powders (Several Options – My preference is Perfect Pearls as they are permanent & do not require a finish due to the resin )
- *Variety of Chalks to use as accents
- *Metal Craft Wire (I prefer 24-28gauge but any flexible soft wire will do)
- Sculpting tools
- *Salt scrub to clean your hands (Get my recipe HERE)
* Denotes optional supplies.
THREE Tutorials This Month:
Lisa demonstrates two fantastic projects in her books. The first project uses a traditional watch that you can make a millefiori background for. The second uses a wooden platform to create the clock. Since both of her projects use mixed media materials, I chose for a third option to make a clock all out of clay, except for the clockwork assembly. (See the notes above on where to find each project).
Making Your Polymer Clay Clock
Lay a Scrap Clay Foundation
- Fully condition about 2-4 ounces of SCRAP polymer clay depending on the expected finished size of your clock. I chose to use a 4″ round cutter to make my clock and needed about 3.5 ounces of polymer clay.
- Roll a sheet of clay on the 2nd largest setting of your pasta machine.
- Using a ceramic tile as your surface, gently ROLL the sheet of clay onto the tile with an acrylic brayer, without trapping any air underneath.
- Place your large cutter or template on TOP of the clay.
- Cut the shape you wish to use as your clock.
- Remove the excess clay before removing your cutter or template.
- Gently peel the clay away from the cutter leaving behind only the shape you will to keep.
- NOTE: You can make a square clock, heart shaped clock, or any other shaped clock you choose. I chose a circle.
Making the Background
- Choose a color of clay for the background.
- Fully condition your clay.
- Roll your clay through the 3rd largest setting on your pasta machine.
- NOTE: We want this clay to be thick enough that it is substantial since we are not using a base. Do you be shy about the thickness, it just means you may have to cook it longer.
- Place your sheet of clay on a sheet of waxed paper or label paper backing.
- Choose a texture stamp and gently ROLL it over the surface of your clay using an acrylic brayer.
- NOTE: You want this texture to be deep, so don’t hesitate to redo your texture if it doesn’t take the first time.
- When you are satisfied with your texture, cut a second round from this textured sheet.
- Gently remove the texture shape from the backing.
- Place this second shape directly over the first, try your hardest to be exact here so that cleanup is easier.
Decorating Your Clock
I will admit that this is going to be the hardest part for some of you and the easiest part with others. Here’s a few tips to help you. First, flip through Lisa’s books and see if something inspires you. Sometimes just seeing a picture of a beautiful color palette can be inspiring in itself. Second, write down some themes you’d like to explore. The technical term for this is: brainstorming. Since I was going on a mini trip with my Mom & my husband was going to stay home, I wanted to make him something special for Valentine’s Day. Knowing I’d have no time when I came home … so a Valentine’s Day clock it was. Once you have your idea it’s time to run with it. The picture at right shows a few of the steps I took in making mine. Yours do not have to be the same! Here’s a few tips:
- I used torn clay sheets on the top & bottom of my clock. I like the look that it leaves behind, like torn paper.
- I wanted a “scrapbook cutout” kind of a look, so that’s what I went with using Kemper heart cutters in three different sizes.
- I used stamps to texture the new pieces on the edge of my clock (they didn’t photograph well in the end, sorry).
- When adding your hold for the clock hand assemble, be sure that it goes EXACTLY in the middle. Otherwise your clock will look wonky. (PS: Mine is in the center, but the picture was at an angle).
Take Your Time to Add Details
Set your clock apart by adding some details. For me this meant Swarovski hot fix crystals, mica powders, and even some drops of “dew” on the clock itself. Think outside the box by following your instinct.
- Does something look off? Fix it now before it’s permanent.
- Have you overdone something? Try to remove it before baking to correct the error.
- Have you not done enough? Follow your texturization and embellish the obvious parts: centers of flowers, “dots” in the design, etc.
- Remember that making a mistake is just another great opportunity to cover it with something fun!
Your baking time will vary depending on thickness of clay & the brand that you used. I baked my clock for 90 minutes at 275 degree Fahrenheit.
***If you desire a border on your clock, bake your clock for just 30 minutes and let cool. Then remove from oven, add a border of your choice, and bake again for at least 60-75 minutes longer.
When your clock has baked & cooled completely, assemble your clock hands as directed on your individual package instructions. Each clock hands assembly might be different, so be sure to read your instructions first.
The Pavelka Project
The Pavelka Project is done in conjunction with Lisa Pavelka. All tutorials are retaught here with her expressed permission. Please make sure to read about the project here, sign up & join us, and get answers to the most common FAQS here.