Polymer Clay Owl Picture Frame – Version 2

I’ve been trying to find a way to make the clay more “regular” by trimming the back and the front “picture frame hole”.  It would require another layer of polymer clay to “trim” the edges, but not necessarily another process, as I can bake it in when I do the wings and the other embellishments on the face of the frame.

You can see in the picture below how I had added an orange border on the picture hole, and how I had cleaned up the back to have it fit the circular cap I baked separately.  (If I baked it together, it might adhere to the main frame instead of being removable.

Polymer Clay Owl Picture Frame Back

I cleaned up the back by filling in the irregular back of the frame with same color clay, and while it’s still pretty rough in this first piece, you can see what I’m trying to do.

Polymer Clay Owl Picture Frame Version 2

I’ve been creating clay canes for the wings, and while I’m not too happy with the color combination for this piece, I have quite a stash for colors to choose from.

I already created the silicone molds for the letters of my niece’s name, “LUX”, and that, too, will be in different colors.  Just waiting on the magnets I ordered now to test how much I would need to have the frame stay anchored to a metal surface like a fridge door.

My Polymer Clay Owl Picture Frame – A progress report

Last week, I tried to create a “hollow” face by using corrugated cardboard as armature (or a support / inner mold) for my owl, and while the “face” or outside portion of the owl turned out nicely, the back was rather scraggly and “dirty”.  I took out the cardboard and saw how the edges of the clay had taken its form, leaving a corrugated and unkempt look that was just not desirable for my project.  Leaving the cardboard on didn’t look good either, so I guess I am letting go of the idea of using some form of armature for the frame.

Over the weekend, I tried something new.  I created a pattern on clay and baked it and used this as the basic mold pattern for my owl body.

I cut a total of three layers of clay but in different thicknesses.  It wasn’t a matter of just putting the clay layers together, but each layer served a purpose.

My first cut was the middle piece which I rolled on the 4th setting of my clay machine.   For this piece, I cut the body and the actual photo frame hole as I had on the clay pattern.

The second, I cut at the thickest setting, but I only used the clay mold for the outer shape and I used a larger circle die to cut a hole in it, and I positioned this behind the first cut I did, taking care to make sure it fit the owl snuggly.

Note that pressed clay like this can stretch one way or the other if you tug at it, so it’s important to endeavor to keep the shape.

Then finally, I put in a layer of clay which I had rolled at the 6th settingand “wrapped” the two layers together, folding it into the sides and molding it clean.
Polymer Clay Owls for Lux

I baked the piece encased in a parchment paper “envelope” of sorts and put them between two bottoms of a baking pans.  The back is hollow and my next step is to create a molded back cover for the picture and something to attach the magnet onto.   I’d have gotten to it sooner but I’ve been feeling under the weather.

I’m still hoping to do it this weekend somehow.

Polymer Clay Owl Picture Frame – First Attempt

Party Favor: Polymer Clay Owl Picture Frame (First Attempt)

So I’ve started experimenting with creating a polymer clay picture frame souvenir for my niece’s first birthday this September. I modified an existing pattern online and have created the above piece in stages. It’s an interesting learning experience for me because I am getting to know more about working with layered clay with this project.

Party Favor: Polymer Clay Owl Picture Frame (First Attempt)

Here’s a palm-perspective size-wise to give you an idea of how big the frame is. Since this is my first attempt, I used the pink base which I intended to do for most of the owls, but I used one of my polymer clay cane experiments for the feathers on the wings. It came out rather nicely but I need to reduce the actual clay content because the frame is a little heavy to hang with magnets on a fridge door.

I am also trying to figure out how to attach the backing to the frame, whether or not it ends up as a standing frame or a fridge magnet.

Party Favor: Polymer Clay Owl Picture Frame Inscription (First Attempt) 

While my original idea was to create polymer letters to inscribe my niece’s name, I attempted stamping the clay while still raw. I just wanted to see th effect. If I do use rubber stamping, I’m going to stain the stamping with a dark colored paint to make it “Visible” beyond the engraving.

I’m actually rather pleased with what I have come up with but it needs a lot of work.  I will try and do another version tonight until I come up with something I like.  Then I need to produce a few dozens to ship home to Manila.  It’s a good thing I have time!

Back to Polymer Clay

I’ve been busy trolling Michael’s waiting for another good sale.  The kind of sale where polymer clay goes for $.99.  It had come a couple of weeks back but I was eyeing other items for the sale, so I made do with 20 bars.  Now I’m getting ready to experiment on souvenirs for my niece’s first birthday in September, and from the looks of what I’m going to try to do, I’m going to need a bar for each souvenir.

I’m also surfing the web for owls and have found some rather interesting owl images.  Still, it looks like I’ll be doing the same pattern I had eyed from the very start.  Invitation and souvenir both.  The tricky thing is that I want to use my Spellbinder to cut the invitation.  While an owl die cut is not available for my Spellbinders Grand Calibur Die Cutting Machine, I’m hoping to do some magic with other shapes and I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of my dies to see if it can be pulled off.  If it can’t, then I have more dies to use for next time. 

In the meantime, I’ve started conditioning some polymer clay.  I like doing them by hand instead of through the machine because then I get a full sense of the pliability of the clay.   I’m going to try and experiment with creating canes along the way, hopefully to use as embellishments for some fancy owls.  (Not the one for the party, though.)

Watch out for more!

Polymer Clay: Hand-molded Beads

Someone had passed on a beautiful vase of flowers which included lavander and pink roses in the mix to me just before memorial day weekend, and I was hoping to try and create rose petal covered polymer clay beads.  The plan was to create hand molded beads from left over polymer clay and then “wrap” them with the rose petals which I was hoping to coat with resin as a sealant.  Ambitious, indeed, and sadly, it didn’t work.

I ended up with quite a bunch of handmolded beads which I had made by pressing together two halves from a silicone rubber mold.  If you look closely, the edges are not perfect although the face is smooth and the shape came out rather well.  I pressed the two faces onto a gold eyepin to embed a bead hole and then “smoothed” the edges together with my fingertips to “seal” the two faces together.

Polymer Clay Hand molded bead 1Polymer Clay Hand molded bead 2Polymer Clay Hand molded bead 3

I then created a polymer clay coating over it using earth tone colored clay.  These are by no means perfectly round and are obviously handmade, but it will enable you to create your polymer clay beads without resorting to creating cane-related designs.  I baked the beads over the weekend and have come up with quite a batch and will be creating a piece out of it before the week is out.

Waves Polymer Clay bead 2

Please bear in mind that I’m experimenting here.  The colors I chose were: Jewelry Gold, Pottery (Terra Cotta), Antique Gold, Brown and Copper.  I also balanced out two matte or solid colors (Pottery and Brown) with three pearlescent colors with a shimmer (Jewelry Gold, Antique Gold and Copper).

Waves Polymer Clay bead 1

I used two regular shapes, puff round and puff oval, and experimented with this swiss cross bead which was a little tricky to “coat” because the corners were blunted by the polymer clay coating. (Lesson learned.)

My original plan is to coat this with resin, but I am thinking now that the matte texture of the baked polymer clay looks good as is.  I’m trying to weigh the pros and the cons.

Over the weekend, too, I created some square canes with leftover polymer clay, still using this same design.  More on that later.