Mixed Media & Clay Jungle Frame

Creativity, Mixed Media

I wanted to get back into my clay work for a while and have a lot of ideas scribbled in my notebook. I had a few deep box frames since last year that I had been meaning to create something with, similar to my sea themed box.

To get back into using polymer clay I started with a mini frame and used scrap bits of clay to make a little frog. I definitely felt rusty as I made the foliage to go round the frog and the clay was super hard – it took ages to soften it.

I added some beads on a wire to give the piece some texture and added different Perfect Pearl Shimmers, beads and then some resin to the baked piece. I couldn’t fit the glass frame back onto the box as the frog was a little bit too big, although I quite like it without.

I decided to continue with the jungle theme on a bigger frame, this time with a tropical bird as my focal point.

I used scraps of blue and purple clays to make a background to build my image from. I then added different layers of leaves and two large branches across the piece. I decided to make another frog and used a skinner blend of peach and a translucent yellow. Looking at it now I think he was a bit too big, although I was try to create perspective.

I loved looking up different leaves for reference and trying to capture the shape and colours in clay.

One thing I find most enjoyable about working on a project like this is building the image by adding layers. I built the toucan up with black clay and had fun creating his colourful beak. I used a variety of tools to smooth the clay into the background, and textured the feathers to make him look less solid.

When I felt I had enough foliage in the piece I made some beaded wires as vines and placed them in over the leaves. I added some smaller leaves to hid where the wires started.

I made a little beaded spider from a tutorial I found on YouTube and decided to add him into the frame. I also added a few metal leaves, beads and a mixture of shimmer powders to add more bling.

Once I baked him, I added some resin sparingly to look like rain and spray painted the front of the frame with blue and splatters of gold. I varnished the rest of the piece without resin and added a few gems – because he wasn’t bling enough!

With this being my first clay piece in a long time I am happy with how he turned out. One major problem though, was that he isn’t secured to the back piece of wood. He feels quite solid with the frame in place, but next time I will try Sculpey Back and Bond to secure him.

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He is now on the wall in our living room. I’ve also been making a lot of beaded spiders which I will put up in another post and am planning another one of these mixed media clay frames. Possibly a desert for my next theme 🙂

A Monster Tea Party

sculpture

While it feels like I’ve been really busy over the last few weeks, I have been able to do some new arty projects in the evenings and wanted to try new ideas.

I went to see Little Shop of Horrors at the theatre a few weeks ago, I love the film and the show was brilliant! Inspired by my love of monsters and plants, I started making a few of my own polymer clay plant creatures. Sometimes I just want to make something and not have any ideas of preliminary sketches beforehand. This is how I started with my flower and cactus creatures below.

I had these tiny pots lying around for ages, I got them from a little craft shop near where I live. I also made some kind of steam-punk fish earrings with translucent clays and was thinking about what I could put in the Tim Holtz glass domes I’ve had for a while. That is when I decided to make a tooth – which glows in the dark!

Polymer Clay Reef Sharks

Polymer Clay

I like to give myself creative challenges, and sometimes I think why am I doing this to myself!? But having seen some beautiful polymer clay sea scenes that include different sea creatures, I thought it was time to stretch myself and make a bigger version of my sea Altoids tins.

The first thing I needed to do was find a suitable container for my mini reef. I didn’t want it to be too heavy or deep so it was easy to see all the details inside. After looking round a few charity shops, I found a large bowl in the supermarket for £2 – bargain!

For references and inspiration I looked through Citizens of the Sea, a beautiful book recommended to me by a friend with has the same obsession with sea creatures! I also love Pinterest for ideas and YouTube for videos on techniques with polymer clay.

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Now I had all my materials, I gathered all the different coloured Fimo together I wanted to use in the coral reef. I also used white sand for the sea bed, some really shells and resin. I bought some rubbing alcohol and found it is one of the best (and cheapest) things to clean your clay of lint and dust while you’re working, and can be used to smooth the clay.

I started the coral reef in the bowl by adding clay around the edges, which was a mixture of brown, yellow and mother of pearl. Looking at a few pictures on my phone for reference as I made the different coral shapes, I worked intuitively as I went along and found this to be my favourite approach to this project. I didn’t draw out any plan of how I wanted it to look and I think this helped with making something organic and natural.

As the different shapes and pieces were so small, this became quite a time consuming project. I had to take frequent breaks over the weeks that I made it to save my hands from getting to rough. At first I was going to have one shark and maybe an octopus in the reef, and to get the scale at least semi accurate, I put the bowl to one side after doing a little bit to make the shark. I was very happy with the way he turned out for my first attempt.DSCN2486

Polymer Clay Fantasy Sea Painting

Polymer Clay

It’s no secret that I love sea imagery. It’s beautiful, alluring and mysterious, full of myths and legends, history and a literary cave of treasures. It has overtones of Art Nouveau, Expressionism and the surreal. It is something that I keep returning to as a theme in my work and which I doubt I will get bored of. The creatures, plants and landscape are alien and fascinate me. It opens up a world for fantasy and one of my favourite things is to blend together different elements, ideas, materials, in a whimsical way.

I’ve been playing around with making mini octopus in their own little sea pond (made from Altoids Mints tins) as well as a bunch of cute smaller octo-dudes. I recently made this one holding onto a jar of beads which is just so cute. I am thinking of making that into a necklace. I used some effects polymer clay, two were quartz although the yellow was really difficult to condition.

The other octopus creature was an experiment with armature and super sculpey, which turned out much bigger than intended! I quite like him though, he is sort of weird. I painted him with black gesso then tried out my new Cosmic Shimmer paints which are luscious.

My main sea-themed piece was a shadow frame I got Ikea months ago and kept putting off making something with it. Partly because I am bit of a perfectionist and didn’t want to mess anything up, but this weekend I decided that was silly and started working on it.

I measured the size of the frame onto some baking paper, then got out all of my Fimo clays, deciding on colour combinations. I started with different blues, silver and translucent, conditioned them and ran them through my past machine before squishing them together onto the paper. I had lightly sketched and outline for some rocks but this project was a great opportunity to use up scrap bits of clay.

After setting down a background the rest was pretty much free hand, with the exception of the fish which I used a tiny mold. I loved having the freedom to create things within my own interpretation; highly expressionist which mixing colours, cutting out the shapes and forming some more three dimensional while keeping others flat. I even got an octopus in there!

As I love adding things to my pieces, I pushed some beads into the clay and used some Perfect Pearls powder to give more depth and shimmer to the water and plants. After the piece was baked I added Pearl Markers, Crystal Accents and Liquid Pears – I might be obsessed with things that shimmer!

This is how the finished piece turned out and I love it. Now I need to rest my hands for a few days, I ended up with a blister!

Polymer Clay Sea Themed Frame Piece

Fimo Clay Delights!

clay

I’ve been super busy this week with work but here are a few things I’ve been making recently. I attempted a rainbow cake, although I used translucent clays and they went darker once baked. I might try this again with better colours. The translucent colours did work really well when I made these two octopus in tins – how cute are they! I love them. I used sand, shells and resin to create a sea effect and made tiny corals and star fish with clay.  I am so pleased with how they came out. I love doing sea themes and am planning a bigger piece to begin soon.

I have also been making some tiny fairies as a request from my sister and giving them some shimmer with perfect pearls. She wants to make a fun jam jar project with some children at a nursery she works at so I will make some fairy houses and toadstools to go with these.

This is a shorter post but I have also been working on my YouTube channel and plan to make some more videos. Will keep everyone updated!

Polymer Clay Creatures & Charms

Creativity

Wow, it is September already?! OMG!

Autumn is probably my favourite season. It reminds me of starting a new term at uni, getting new books, stationary, the trees changing colour and snuggling up in a scarf and hat when out. It is also the time for hot chocolates, getting cosy in bed with films while it is cold and raining outside and Halloween!

This post is on the polymer clay things I have been making recently (partly while I was off work poorly) and I love trying new techniques and adapting my ideas. I made two smaller Fizzling creatures and have been wanting to try bright colours on a black body. I love it! Black Fimo does have the tendency to stain though so I had to make sure my working area and hands were cleaned frequently with baby wipes. This meant I could add colour clay without mixing it together and getting it muddy. I also use clingfilm on my Fimo clay when I’m not working on a project to protect it from lint. I find this works well.

I wanted to make a pair of Fizzlings and had quite a lot of scales left so made a second one with a purple body. They look so cute together! I can see some flaws in them but I like the shape and design.

Fun with Polymer Clay & Resin

clay

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?

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