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Friday, December 15, 2017

Walnut Mouse

Walnut Mouse by Patricia Roberts-Thompson 

Materials:

Makin's Clay®  - White, Black, Red 
Makin's Professional® - Ultimate Clay Machine®
Seed beads, size 8
Small black pearls 3mm (or you can use seed beads or small balls of black clay) 
Half a walnut shell
20 gauge wire to make hanging loops
Round cutters, 1/4" and smaller, oval cutter 
Clay roller, clay blade, dotting tool, ball tools, tacky glue

Instructions: 

Step 1:  Prepare some white and some red clay, rolled on the Ultimate Clay Machine®.   I began on setting #1 and ended on #3. Cut in strips, then, assemble into a striped veneer, alternating the red and white. You can use the striped veneer or take it one further step by cutting strips of the stripped veneer and assembling them into a checkerboard pattern.  When it is assembled into your veneer, place a piece of patty paper or parchment paper, and burnish all the strips to bond the veneer.  I thinned the sheet out to a number 5 setting on the clay machine.  Set the blanket veneer aside in a baggie until ready to use.



Fig1: Mix white clay with a little black to get a gray color that you like. To a small portion, add more white and a little bit of red, to get a pinkish color. I rolled some of the gray clay on the #3 setting, and the pink clay on the #4 setting.  Make a ball (approx ½”) of gray clay and form it into a teardrop shape, pinch a section for a neck.  Make an indentation with a small dotting tool where the eyes go, and the nose.  Add a small amount of white glue, then, press the seed beads or small pearls in place. You could also make small balls of black clay and use them instead.  For the ears, you will need two small cutters, larger one for the gray, smaller one for the pink clay.  Assemble as shown in Fig 1. Make a hole for the placement of the ears and add a bit of glue to the hole. Pinch the bottom of the ears and place in the holes that you made.  Fill a half walnut shell with fresh scrap clay, and use a 1” oval cutter (or cut freehand with your clay blade) and cut a section of the blanket veneer to apply to the walnut shell.  Make an indentation with a ball tool, for the head to be attached.  Attach the head, using a bit of white glue.


Fig 2:  Roll a bit of gray clay into a tapered snake, then use a ball tool, or dotting tool to make a hole for the tail. Add a bit of glue to the hole and place the tail where you like. If you can’t get it to roll nicely, add a bit of water to the clay until it is soft enough.  A light spray of water on the blanket will help the tail stay in place also. To make the feet, I rolled two equal size balls of gray clay into kind of a boot shape. I rolled a thin snake of pink clay and used it on the bottom of the foot. A dotting tool was used to press in toes.  Make an indentation in the blanket to accommodate the feet. Add glue before placing the feet.

Fig 3: For the front legs, I rolled two snakes of clay, formed them into a long curved teardrop, and used the back of my blade to press the fingers. As usual, I pressed some holes for the hands to go, adding a bit of glue first. I made 2 wire loops with 20 gauge wire, and put some glue on it before placing. Try to get them close to the center of the walnut. Let everything dry for 24 hours, then add a string hanger and hang it on your tree.


Try making some other animals, like cats and dogs using the same method – Have fun!!




Thursday, December 14, 2017

Easy Sparkling Clay Snowflakes - DIY Video


  There's a frosty chill in the air !  Today, we thought we'd "re-share" Cindi McGee's DIY video she created last year featuring clay snowflake ornaments and light enhancers.   Bring a little winter sparkle into your home with these sparkling flakes! 


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Illuminated Christmas Tree


Illuminated Christmas Tree by Iris Rodriguez 
It’s beginning to look like Christmas. Yes, indeed it is. What’s more festive around this time of the year than the classic Christmas tree. Ok, so maybe there’s Santa, elves, wreaths…who can choose, it’s all festive and gets you into the spirit of the holidays. While were at it, add some to the festivities with a small clay tree too add to your center piece, use as a home decor, give as a gift. It even looks cute at your desk/cube at work, where it won’t take up much room. The tree is made using Makin’s Clay®, Makin's Professional® Ultimate Clay Extruder® and Cutters.

Materials:


Instructions:

Tear a sheet of of 12 x 12 of aluminum foil.

Fist make a cone shape. The clay will be around the cone, where it will take the shape of the cone.
Fold the sheet in half and then in half again. This will give you about 4 inches in high tree. The width can be customize with the addition of layers of aluminum foil and masking tape. The tree made here is measure 4 in. in height and 2 inches at the widest point.

Fold into a cone shape, by folding the corners inward


Add several layers aluminum foil, ensuring to keep an even cone shape.

Once you have reached the desired width, add two layers of masking tape, ensuring to cover the entire cone. The tape is so the clay shapes smooth around it and because of the tape’s mild porous surface, the clay will not stick. If it does, which it will in some of the areas; it’s easy to unstick, without wrecking your project.

Place white clay into the extruder and extrude one strip at a time.  Keep clay you are not using in an airtight container with a damp paper towel or a moist towelette.  Do not extrude several strips at a time because the clay begins to dry as soon as it’s out of the bag.

Wrap a strip of clay around the cone in a spiral motion. Do not wrap too tight around the tree, the clay will shrink, and tighten around the cone, and tends to want to stick to the cone.

Add a second layer of clay, in a spiral motion, making it some areas a bit wonky, adds whimsicalness to the tree.
Leave a strip sticking up. The star will be added to the end.

Run the clay through the Ultimate Clay Machine®, the 2nd thickest setting.
Cut a Sun shape. The cutter set contains several size cutters. Hold a cutter on top of the tree to determine desired size.

Add a little stem like piece. This will be used to attach to the top of the tree.


Glue the top end of one of the strips around the stem of star.

Run the clay through the Makin’s Clay Machine, starting at #1 and ending on setting #3.

Select the star shape cutter from the Mini Geo Cutter Set and cut about 20 stars. 

Let everything cure for 24 hours.

Take out the cone out of the tree. You’re pretty much unmolding the piece.


It helps squeeze in the aluminum inward, making it smaller and then slightly rock the cone back and forth, this helps to pry the tree off.

You will find that during the unmolding step, the strips will come undone. It’s okay, it’s because there is not enough surface area for the clay to stick to each other. Simply glue those areas down.


To strengthen the clay strips and tree and overall, water down PVA glue or Elmers School glue and brush onto the entire tree. Because these types of glue tend to be runny, it will go in into the crevices smoothly. This helps the strips stay in place, without adding depth and texture. 

Glue the stars.





Paint a layer of the darker shade green all over and inside. Then paint another layer of the lighter shade green on the high rise areas, staying away from crevices.

Once both layers are complete dry, add a layer of black paint and wipe off the paint, leaving the paint in the crevices only.  This will give the tree and antique look. I like it because it adds dimension and interest. Retouch the layers with both shades the green, if the tree got to dark. 

Paint all the stars black, with a ¼ inch thin, flat brush. Ensure to get the edges. You can also choose to paint the stars before gluing.

Brush on Inca Gold Gilders Paste Wax on the stars with a ¼ inch, flat brush. If you smear wax on the tree, simply wipe off with a baby wipe, water tends not work. The wax needs to be creamy in order to stick to the brush. If the wax is dry, use artist grade paint thinner to condition the wax; makes it soft and creamy. Don’t forget to seal your work. I like to use Satin Polyurethane.

Add a battery operated tea light inside; the light glows through the crevices, giving an awesome look.



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