Friday, November 25, 2011

Returning to Clay - making texture tools

It's been so long since I've really dug into my clay, aside from making tiny eggs for my bird's nests. This week I had a dream about adding some clay elements to my wool pincushions (don't you get the best ideas from dreams??) I broke out the stash of clay in my studio and have been having lots of fun the past few days :)

I wanted to make some tiny little cottages, and I wanted them to have a nice rocky or sandstone-type texture. Time to make some tools! I looked around the house and found several odd things to help me:

  • stencil brush
  • finger cone (you can find them in office supply stores, they're used for helping to flip through stacks of paper) 
  • a wire nap brush for fluffing up yarn from when I made crocheted bears years ago
  • a corn-cob holder I found in my kitchen catch-all drawer! 
These things could also be used directly on the clay, but I wanted a solid square surface to make it easier to add texture to the walls of the cottages.

I cut squares of clay and textured the squares with my found objects. Then I carefully inserted a piece of brass rod into the back of each one so they would have a handle. Baked them up (this is polymer clay which doesn't require a kiln, just an oven) and they turned out great! This first one was made using the stencil brush, and I hadn't yet thought about adding a handle :) Click on the photos if you'd like a closer look.

Here are some cottages that I've sculpted and textured this morning, mostly with the tool made from the wire nap brush. They are waiting for windows and doors...but I have them in the refrigerator right now to firm up the clay a bit first so that I don't mess up the texture while adding those details.

That's all for now, if you have any questions, feel free to ask away!

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