Friday, 25 February 2011

Sizzling sun cane tutorial

·        Create a skinner blend sheet of white and yellow. Take your sheet and fold it up like a concertina, working from one colour to the other.
·        Push your clay stack together to create a square block of clay. Concentrate on the long ends of your stack, which will need the most work but as you go, keep an eye on the other 4 sides, adjusting them as necessary to maintain a nice square shape. Tip: use hand cream regularly so that your hands are not as dry as mine!
·        Squeeze your wad of clay to a point to create a triangle that will have solid yellow on the bottom side and yellow merging into white on the other two sides. On the “face” of your triangle cane (the ends which show your cane’s design) you see a triangle of yellow clay which gradually fades out to white at one point. Reduce your triangle cane and cut to 6 equal parts. To reduce a triangle cane, start with your cane on your work surface. In this case put the triangle with the yellow side down so that the white comes to a point as you look down on it. Starting in the middle of your cane, use your thumbs and forefingers to make a triangle and “pinch” your cane. As the cane reduces a little, continue this pinching, moving each hand outwards to the end of your cane. If you want to reduce the cane more, return to the centre and start again.
·        Create a bull’s eye cane with a yellow centre and a dark edge. Place your triangles around the bull’s eye with the yellow side touching the bull’s eye and the white tips facing outwards. Leave a small gap between each triangle so that they are not touching. 
·        Use translucent or white translucent clay for your background. Roll a very thin snake of clay and place this on the bull’s eye cane between 2 triangles. Press the snake down flat against the centre. Repeat around the cane.
·        Using your translucent clay, pinch a log of clay into a triangle with one very wide side. This should fit between the sun’s rays but overlap slightly. Fit the translucent triangle around the cane between each of the sun’s rays.
·        Bend a flexi blade and use this to shave off any points that have been made where these translucent triangles meet to make the cane more rounded in shape. Roll a sheet of translucent clay on the thickest setting of your pasta machine. Cut 6 strips that are as long as your cane but slightly shorter than the width of the 6 sides. Place these strips along the 6 sides but in the centre.

·        Smooth the edges of each strip to create a round shape and repeat for all sides so that your cane is round.
·        Wrap a sheet or 2 of translucent clay around your whole cane, press the join together and smooth. Let your cane rest a little at this point before reducing. Your triangle will be very soft from all that work.
·        Reduce your cane as you wish. 


How can I follow a non google blog?

Does anybody know if I can follow blogs that are not google blogs, (wordpress etc)?

The way I do this at the moment is just to visit the web page every so often but there are so many good blogs out there I would like the updates to come through the news feed that I get through this blog.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Makeshift light box

I've been so busy lately that I have hardly had time to play with any clay. I did have a little time to do some scrap pillow beads the other night but at the moment they are just baked, not sanded or buffed/varnished yet.

I have been working on something else that does require me to photograph my creations, but as you know I am not the best photographer! I seem to end up with glare, shadowing and a very unnatural looking light. I noted on Surfingcat's blog that she was having a go at making a light box and thought I would give that a try. As usual I have little spare time so I mocked up a makeshift one out of a bit of coloured card and paper.

The 2 sheets of paper standing up are taped together with one propped up against the window and the other by a plant pot. 

and the resulting pictures...

Well there is still some work to be done but it's definitely an improvement. I MUST remember to use a clean piece of card to put the items on though. D'oh!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Pinky brown camouflage beadies

Quite simple beadies really but I think they will look quite nice made up into a necklace and earrings. 

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Pretty pink scrap beads

Pretty pink scrap beads all buffed up thanks to my new demin buffing wheel

They look much more shiny in my hand than in the picture! Rubbish photography as usual. Must get a light box sorted like Surfingcat has:

Thursday, 3 February 2011

How to make a denim buffing wheel for your Dremel

Please note that I have a battery operated dremel. I have not tried this tutorial on a plug in dremel, which is more powerful and could cause your demin to wear out more quickly. 

I got my first Dremel this Christmas - whoopie!!! I was so excited. Finally I would be able to buff up my polymer creations to a fabulous shine. The problem, I soon discovered, is that the polishing wheels that come with the Dremel are just too rough to be used on polymer clay. 

After doing some trawling of the Internet I discovered Desiree McCrorey's wonderful website - Desired Creations. This site has loads of good stuff on working with polymer clay INCLUDING how to make a better dremel buffing wheel. The tutorials provided suggest you make your wheel out of polyester felt, aged denim or satin cotton sheets. Now I didn't have any felt or satin sheets but I did have some denim. I tried the second tutorial using denim squares, but if you take a look at the picture at the end of the tutorial you can see that really didn't work! 

The first tutorial entails stitching together a block of discs, but as I only had demin, I didn't fancy hand sewing through 6 denim circles. So taking tips from the tutorials on Desiree's site, here is my version of creating a demin buffing wheel for your Dremel.

  • Cut about 6 circles from your old denim, no bigger than 1.5 inches. I found yet another use for Kato liquid clay - the smaller bottle is just about the size of circle you need!

  • Mark the centre of each circle with a dot. You can use this disc/accessory if you have one, to help you find and mark your centre.

  • Use a single paper punch to punch a small hole in the centre of the circle. As the demin is old and worn, this should be easy to do. Pull the dot marking your centre into the correct place for punching if necessary. If the denim is too stiff for punching you could try using a piercing tool. 

  • You will need this attachment now - I have no idea what it is called!

  • Unscrew the screw, pop on all your denim circles and tighten. Here is your new buffing wheel :)

  • Below is the wheel in spin mode! On using it, I found that a fair few fibres fly off so wear goggles (and a dust mask if you prefer) and use away from your clay area.

  • Admittedly it is a bit messy, but take a look at the beads below. The one on the left is hand buffed with denim and the one on the right has been buffed by the denim wheel for about 30 seconds. I think it is worth a bit of mess - what do you think?

Here is my less successful first attemp using Denim and the second tutorial on Desiree's site! The denim is just far too thick for this design. I have put this pic at the end so that people don't think I am suggesting making this wheel!!