Altoid Tin Tutorial – Little Fishes

Life has been pretty hectic recently as I got sick, then started driving lessons and a French class! So my art projects have been a bit neglected over the past month, but I did make this little fish pond tin a while ago and wanted to do another tutorial so I thought this would be a nice update on an Altoid tin tutorial I did last year. I hope you like!

Materials:

  • Altoid Tin
  • Polymer Clay
  • Clear Resin
  • Metal Primer Spray
  • Spray Paint
  • Shimmer Powers
  • Beads, fantasy film, other mixed media things

Preparation:

  • A general idea of what you want to make
  • A clean workspace, materials and tools, drink and snacks on hand

The first thing you want to do is prepare your tin. Spray with a metal primer to stop the paint scratching off. It will need a few light coats. While your tin dries, you want to start making something to put in your tin. I made two fish in different colours, but you make whatever you like. I also made a bit of seabed with plants to give it more interest.

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Once you’re happy with your coverage of the tin with primer, spray with the spray paint. I experimented a bit with my colours and did a vibrant purple on the outside and a gold chrome inside. It doesn’t need to look perfect and I actually like the effect of the gold shining through on the hinges. Before I baked my fish, I added some Perfect Pearls to them as I just love shimmer! With your creation add whatever you like – beads, powders, metals.

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Life, Creative Ruts and Days Out

I’ve had some creative blocks recently, and with other things going on in my life, it’s been over a month since my last blog post. And who knows how it is June already?! It’s only just started to get warm here in Manchester, May seemed to be a lot of rain.

I recently added a page about creativity and creative blocks, a topic I have been thinking about for a while. I also decided to take my own advice and went for a walk a few weeks ago to the Southern cemetery near where I live. Getting away from my desk was a good way to stop worrying about any creative blocks. It was quiet and peaceful with so many bluebells. I sat down on a bench and woke up some sleepy ducks – they gave me a heart attack being surrounded by old gravestones in the quiet!

It was serene and a lovely place to think, walk around and having a break from technology. I also went to Blackpool last week, somewhere I have never been. The weather was beautiful and the breeze from the sea was a nice relief from the sun – I still managed to get sunburnt, whoops! It was full of arcade places, fish and chip shops, tacky gift shops and I thought it was so much fun. My friend and I went to the Sealife centre there so I could continue my sea creature obsession. I loved the rays, seahorses and I got to see a nautilus. They are cool and weird!

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Polymer Clay Jewellery Box

My main project has been an altered wooden box. I removed the lid and covered it with polymer clay (Fimo), creating a hummingbird on a branch as the central image. Using my pasta machine to roll the clay into sheets, I cut out the shapes and built the image up with leaves and flowers around the edges of the box. I used some tools to texture the bird, branches and leaves and added my favourite Perfect Pearls for shimmer and depth. I added some Tim Holtz hinges to the back and a clasp at the front I had.

 

For the bottom part of the box I primed it with Gesso then painted a few coats of Cosmic Shimmer paint in green and blue. When baking the lid I made some separate leave pieces with added gold leaf and once they were hard I glued them to the box for interest. I then varnished it and am quite pleased with how it turned out, especially the background.

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Polymer Clay Tropical Bird Box

 

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When I decided to start doing something with this old key-box I found in a charity shop, I had no idea how well it would turn out.

The original design was pretty horrible but I knew this little box had potential and waited to think what I could do with it.I wanted to do something clay related, but it isn’t very deep so wasn’t sure what function it could have.

 

As I love this bird card my sister got me last year I decided that would be my inspiration for the front panel. I took the nasty old hinges and clasp off the box and set to work on the front, mixing gradients of green for a lush background. I stamped the background  once it covered the front, although a lot of this got covered up.  I loved blended colours in polymer clay at the moment so this was a great project of the bird with vibrant feathers in a mixture of blues, greens, yellows and pinks.

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Getting a basic shape

Cutting the shapes was a little tricky, as was layering them over each other. I think I  could have done it a bit better in hindsight. Once I had the bird shape and tail in a place I liked, I started thinking about different plants and flowers around it. I wanted the bird to look as if it were in a tropical paradise. I mixed together different greens, added snakes of clay for dimension and used canes to add variety to the foliage.

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Autumn Magic

It’s officially cold, dark and rainy here in Manchester and not my favourite time of year at all! I love the colours of Autumn but they are disappearing too quickly for my liking. As usual I’ve had many different art projects in my mind but not enough time to do any. As the sculpting is my favourite thing to do at the moment I’ve been spending more time on that and improving my skills. Over the last few weeks I’ve been playing with colours and gradient and this lead to my new Fizzling creatures with seasonal themes. I love how the detail came out on my Autumn themed one, even though he is kind of wonky! And sculpting feet has been making me crazy. This is why I sort of gave up on my second winter inspired Fizzling in favour of the decor across his sides. This one is so shimmery I just love the colours.

This has to be my first Winter themed art piece and I really enjoyed finding new things to incorporate into the creature.

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An Ode to Monsters

There is a wealth of literature, art and film dedicated to monsters. They are very much a part of human culture, from ancient myths of curses to modern incarnations such as Freddie Kruger. Children have an innate dialogue with monsters, lurking under the bed or in the shadows yet love being told stories with goblins and scary beasts.

sea monster

Monsters arise from our own mind, an innate fear of the unknown, of disease, death and suffering. Yet it is these things that intrigue us and compel us to watch scary films or read Gothic novels. We are drawn to the strange, the peculiar and the unnatural. We are curious by nature about the world we live in and have a need to explain it – through stories, myths, art and religion.

This post is a reflection on monsters and my own passion for creating them in my artwork. Monsters are shadowy and take on many elements from a person’s mind. They are a combination of ideas, thoughts, feelings and of a time and place. Monsters from Medieval Europe are quite different from the creatures depicted in modern American film for example.

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An Assortment of Polymer Clay Creations

It may be getting darker and colder now, but I love October and I love Halloween! I am a sucker for all Halloween things in the shops at the moment – toffee apples, plastic spiders to scare people, green and ghoulish sweets!

I decided to make some cute Halloween themed charms which I made into earrings. These are now up in my Etsy shop. I also made this cute pumpkin ornament which I love. I found a tutorial online and adapted it a little to make mine. I plan to make a whole pumpkin patch!

I’m still making little creature tins and tried to made a gradient octopus, from a translucent green into copper. He was being a bit awkward though, I think his head is a strange shape! i added the resin last night and woke up to find the tin had stuck to my drawers! Whooops! I spent 10 minutes trying to carefully pries it free with one of my clay tools.

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Fun with Polymer Clay & Resin

This is what I have been doing recently. Playing with polymer clay and resin. I saw a cute tutorial on YouTube showing how to make a koi pond in a tin using Fimo and resin and this is my first attempt. I found some moss after I did this one so will make another one soon.

I have also been using moulds for my resin, using it in tiny jars and bottles and recently making these monsters using a foil armature inside, I currently have this week off so am starting a new clay project which I hope turns out well! Check it out here soon


What Craft Tutorials Would You Like to See?

(polls)

Whimsical Things with Fimo Polymer Clay

Just a few things I’ve been making recently. The Little stumpy fellows have helped me get out of a creative rut as I made them without much thought, just playing around with clay and some found items. I adore Kawaii things too so just had to try making some cupcakes, a raindrop, some apples and lemons. And the little creature who is last was made from some gold and translucent clay I had left.