Saturday, March 20, 2010

Faux Rhodonite + Faux Chrysoprase Necklace from Polymer Clay

As I browsed through a “Fire Mountain Gems” catalog I was taken with the beauty of the gemstones Rhodonite and Chrysoprase.  I tried to recreate them in a faux version. The leaves, roses, and larger beads were all made from poly clay. The ladybugs were made from poly clay and acrylic paint.

Colour recipe:The faux chrysoprase is made from a formula containing  LOTS and LOTS of PREMO regular translucent  (not Frost, but the regular kind that plaques) with a tiny bit of green and and an even tinier bit of turquoise with some "inclusions" of frozen grated browns.  The Rhodonite is made from a formula containing  LOTS and LOTS of PREMO translucent with a  very small amount of alizarin crimson.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Faux Talavera Pottery Frog Pendant from Polymer Clay

EDITED: A New updated version of this pendant with the frog on a lily pad is now available for sale. Please click here to read about it: Frog on lily pad

I fell in love with a 2 foot long vintage pottery frog from Talavera, Mexico the first time I saw him and he now lives on our back fence (shown below). His name is Raúl and he was the inspiration behind my 2 inch version. My mini frog (Raulito) was first sculpted in Kato polyclay and then a mold of the cured piece was made from "Amazing Mold Putty", a bakeable silicone-based molding compound. "Kato Liquid Polyclay" (Kato LPC) was poured into the mold to make the final frog. 

EDITED May 4, 2012: FYI both NEW formula Kato clay and NEW formula Kato Liquid Polyclay may no longer be compatible to use with Amazing Mold Putty. In my recent experiments/experience I have found that "Amazing Mold Putty" would not set up when creating molds from pieces that had been sculpted from Kato clay, but would set up when molding pieces made from PREMO. 

ALSO, I recently found that  new formula "Kato Liquid Polyclay" (well mixed) that was poured into molds made of "Amazing Mold Putty" consistently did not cure normally. They all cracked while still in the mold and were extremely fragile, even with samples cured at a variety of different temperatures (275-310F.) for up to 2 hours.  Mold pulls made with old formula "Kato Liquid Polclay" cured normally. I believe that the "new" formula "Kato Liquid Polyclay" can be identified by K1 or KL printed on the label located above the bar code. Mold pulls made from "Translucent Liquid Sculpey"(TLS) cured properly. 

*Note: I realize it is possible that I got a defective bottle  of NEW "Kato Liquid Polyclay". To be sure of the results , I will have to try identical  experiments with another unopened bottle, but the contents of my current bottle worked fine for other typical liquid clay applications

Once cured, the frog was painted with a mixture of 8 parts Kato LPC to 1 part "Genesis Heat Set Oil Paint" and dried to touch with a crafter's heat gun as I worked (not too close and continually moving the heat gun to prevent burning). Once painted,  PC appliques were added using the Kato LPC as "glue". Then the entire frog was cured (tented) for only 15 minutes at only 275F (to prevent browning of the light colors).

Two coats of Kato LPC were added to mimic ceramic glaze, each coat heat gunned, then oven cured, then heat gunned again.  Then three VERY THIN coats of glossy Varathane varnish were applied using a slightly moistened foam makeup sponge that had been dipped in water and then gently wrung out. Each Varathane coat was heat set at 205F. for 5 minutes.

The "rock" base was made with Sculpey "Utlralight" poly clay and covered with a thin veneer made from thin torn sheets of black PREMO (PM#3) with inclusions of grated transulucent and white PC and white embossing powder.  The raw clay was textured with very coarse sandpaper. Because of the light weight of the "Ultralight",  the entire piece only weights 2 1/2 oz, much to the surprise of people who pick it up.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Pink Posey Necklace from Polymer Clay

I’m a sucker for any kind of a flowers, especially ones I can wear around my neck. This necklace started as an experiment to see how I could integrate wire/wired pieces into my designs. The flowers and leaves were made from molds and highlighted with a Krylon gold leafing pen and tiny glued-on holeless gold beads. The ladybugs were made with poly clay and acrylic paint.