Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Faux Mokume Gane Polymer Clay Plant Markers

OK – let me start by saying that I am not an expert at Polymer Clay. I don’t have the cool tools so many crafters use, but you gotta start somewhere! I use my fingers and what came in the starter kit. I just really like to play with it, and playing is the best part about crafting. I’ll write these instructions as if I’m telling my mom how to do this – cause she’s never played with polymer clay before. . .
Anyways, this is what I’ve come up with -
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And here is how I got there. First off I crinkle up aluminum foil until I get a shape I like. I use aluminum because I don’t want to use that much clay. While it is inexpensive I’m too cheap thrifty! Then cover it in whatever clay you have a lot of – I stock up on white (it’s versatile). Like this: (but all the way around the foil)
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Then I make a sandwich of whatever colors strike my fancy – like this:
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Then I cut it in half and stack it -
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And cut and stack again and again until I don’t want to do it anymore. Make sure you are smooshing it good so you eliminate air bubbles.
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Then I take a slice and roll it into a ball and flatten it and cover the white – like this:
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Then smooth it out with your fingers. Press and rub your fingers over the project. Then I slice thin layers from the clay – flip the cut piece over and lay it down somewhere else. It give the clay kind of an “agate” look. (Look at the top picture again – otherwise you have the “marbled” look – which is also good!) I cut with a blade I removed from a small box cutter – again cause I’m too thrifty cheap to buy a special tool. It works ok.
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Then I roll out “snakes” of black clay and very carefully form my letters by laying the black clay on top of the colored clay. Don’t try to make your letters on the table cause they will distort when you try to lift them. Then when you’re happy with how your letters look carefully press the black into the colored clay (If you don’t flatten it you can take it off and redo the letters) – The letters widen it a bit but we’re having fun remember?!
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Then I put a wire bent into a U shape on the back and covered it with a layer of black clay to hold it.
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Then bake it as per manufacturers instructions on a bit of foil (base for your next project). I bake it about 15 minutes at around 225.
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Let it cool and then I wet sanded it with 600 grit sandpaper. This will get rid of your fingerprints. I don’t get too excited about it cause it is just for me – someday my kids might get a kick out of my fingerprints. If you want start sanding with a courser grit sand paper and you start sanding colors off and get really cool effects – play! Oh – then I sprayed it with a spray sealer. You could poly it, or use a wax floor sealer (Future works best) or sand it until it’s shiny – play! This isn’t very expensive. I think the kit I got at Walmart was about $9.00 and I bought an extra white along the line for around $5.00. I’ve made lots of projects since then with these same basic supplies – fun stuff!
Here is another:
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And another (I got crazy with this one and made it round – then dismantled a silk flower and attatched it):
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Now, wouldn’t it look cute with a clay tomato on the tomato marker and a clay basil leaf on the basil marker and so on? Well, that is beyond my talents - but if you make one let me know so I can show it – just play! This will probably be the last post for the week – but I have a fun project planned for next week – see you then!!

4 comments:

Julie said...

This is cool Kim. I like them. I think you need to take some pictures of your knobs you did and share with everyone. You have made some pretty cool things with clay. Keep teaching, your really great at it. Talk with you tomorrow.

Lisa said...

Those are so cool! I have some polymer clay just sitting around on my desk. I think I'll try to make some later.

sewtakeahike said...

Very cool! I've made some things with clay but haven't gotten too creative with it. I'm impressed with your garden markers!

Stephanie @ Minutes to Spare said...

Very fun, my garden could use some of these. Thanks for visiting my site through NFF.

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