Aug 27, 2009

make a simple pendant with polymer clay

ok :) as promised, i have made a tutorial *cringe* ... i really dun like the word "tutorial' being used here, cos i'm the one who needs a tutorial on polymer clay, definitely NOT the one giving it! let me just rephrase that ... i have made a pictorial illustration of how i made that pendant with polymer clay :) ... that's better!


you will need (steady ... there's quite a lot of things!) :

- polymer clay - i use sculpey premo and studio, studio is a lot softer
- 1 piece of smooth medium-large tile (yea... those we use in kitchens or baths)
- roller
- rubber stamp
- cutter / cookie cutter / any innovative cutting apparatus
- pearl-ex powder (this is magic!)
- baking tray
- baking paper
- aluminum foil
- zipper / grip seal bag
- oven
- money to pay extra electricity bills



1. prepare your tile and clay


*there is a reason why i choose a darker colored clay










2. knead clay


*the clay is really hard right out of the packaging so you must take time to knead it like you would knead a bread to soften the clay and make it easier to work with

* that's the tile for :) so you won't destroy your furniture :)





3. roll the clay to flatten it a little


* my roller is a PVC water tubing. it's so much cheaper to buy and works just as well. you can also use a wine bottle but make sure it is thick glass. mine cracked on me! of course, if you have extra cash, you can get a proper clay roller from the craftshop :)






4. when the clay is quite flat, rubber stamp the design of your choice


* don't roll the clay TOO flat becoz when you stamp, it will go flatter









5. here's the design on the clay














6. cut out the shape of your pendant


* i choose to make a round pendant and you cannot believe how difficult it is to find a round cookie cutter! there are all sorts of complicated cutter shapes just not round ones. aren't cookies supposed to be round??

* anyway, i improvised. this apparatus i'm using is ... i dunno what it is ... my guess, it's a candle holder. i bought it from a 5 bucks shop. look in the background, that's a jar cover. i use that as well for bigger circles


7. here's the cut shape


* dun throw the remaining clay away. you can re-knead it and use it for some other creations :)










8. making a hole for your pendant


* this is the simplest way to it. i use a toothpick ... no need for expensive hole making needles :P

* later you can either add a metal ring or ... i would probably just insert a leather cord through the hole, tie some fancy knots and wear it. if you intend to string a leather cord through, just make sure the hole is large enough




9. there! the hole :) large enough for a cord














10. the magic powder called PEARL-EX


* we crafters and artists have it so much easier nowadays becoz everything is made for us.
- it's so easy to be creative









11. dip a little powder on your finger


* or you can also use a brush if you prefer

* a little will go a long way :)









12. apply the pearl-ex powder on the clay


* if you want to keep the black in the indented spaces, then be lighter on your fingers when applying the powder. if you want the whole pendant metallic, then use a little more pressure and apply the powder into the nooks and crevices

* now... this is the reason why i prefer darker clay. it brings out the pearl-ex powder better than light colored clays



13. the result


* i used 2 colors here. all up to your own liking and creativity

* i think i over-powdered the pendant tho :p








14. now the curing part - you will need a baking tray and baking paper


* dedicate some apparatus just for polymer clay. do not reuse it for food. the clay might be non toxic but better to be safe than sorry. so polymer clay apparatus for polymer clay only!

* the reason for the baking paper is becoz i already have it :) ... lol!! real reason ... it's better to line the tray with it becoz if you bake the clay on a metal surface, it will create a shine on the back of the clay


15. place pendant on tray lined with baking paper














16. secure the top with aluminum foil


* 2 reasons :
1. so that the fumes from the polymer clay will be contained within the space. you can also use an oven bag (which probably is more secure becoz of the grip lock)

* 2. to avoid the clay from being burned. i burned mine the first time with my white/pearl color clay. i dun think dark colors are too much of a problem tho.


17. now all you have to do is to stick it in the oven


* preheat the oven for 10 minutes

* bake the clay according to the instructions on the wrapper. different clays bake at different temperatures. i bake my premos at 130C-140C.

* bake 30 minutes for every 1/4 inch thickness. to be safe, bake 45-60 minutes :)

* if you're serious with polymer clay, get a small oven just for baking clay :)

now, of course i'm not really going to turn my oven on for just one piece :) so the "pictorial illustration" ends here :)

altho this is not air dry clay so it won't harden unless baked, but it is still good to store unused clay securely. unused clay can be stored away in a grip seal bag and it will stay good for a long time.

when the pendant is done, you can either leave it au-natural or give it a finish. buffing on denim will give the clay a nice satin sheen. but me ... i like to varnish it. somehow it feels more durable ^-^

use a waterbase varnish compatible to clay. i use my jo sonja varnish and it works well. but apparently this little beauty works like magic and it's cheaper than varnish. future floor finish it's called. i thought i'll never get this here but i did ... tho i think the brand 'pledge' is carrying it in malaysia. i got this from ACE diy store at the floor cleaning section ??

apply a thin coat with a cotton tip, let it dry, and apply a second (or third) coat if you want more shine :)

well, i think that's about it! phew! for more tips and tricks on polymer clay, please visit this site by cindy lietz. i learnt a great amount of things from her. and she takes the time to answer all your questions too. just fantastic!!

have fun! and
happy pimping! :)

26 comments:

  1. Beautiful job, Luthien. Nice tutorial and easy to follow.

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  2. Thank you so much for making this tutorial- I know I found it handy! Silly me didn't know how you were getting the designs in the clay (stamps! That should have been obvious, lol! I'll have to find me some of those), and I've been trying to figure out for a long time what the heck people mean by "future floor finish"- since you posted the photo, now I know what to look for! :D (I've been using a varnish from the craft store, but it can get kind of tacky so I've been looking into other kinds to use.) And hey, I have some pigments and glittery things- awesome!

    Needless to say, you really have me wanting to try this out so I can make pretty pendants for my chainmaille. :)

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  3. oh,no, don't get me into another craft!! LOL...kidding! That's beautiful, I love the dark clay and those colors are gorgeous!
    kudzu

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  4. Wow ... it's so pretty ... and you make it seem so easy. Of course, I know it's not and that's just the mark of a very talented artist! Speaking of "Art Ist" ... I've got to send this to him ... he'll love it!

    Thanks for "tutoring" us! :)

    Small Footprints
    http://reducefootprints.blogspot.com

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  5. Oh wow ... I just noticed the CTWW banner in your sidebar! Thanks so much! :)

    Next week ... you're definitely in the Honor Society!

    Thanks, again!

    SF

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  6. i love tutorials! thank you so much for taking the time to make it! so cool and i learned so much... i can see why you are having such a wonderful time with this... hmmmm, i am thinking about attempting some cube beads with texture... will let you know...

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  7. hey tammy :)
    thanks!! hehehe ... i always like tutorials with lots of pics personally ... cos i'm a visual learner ... so the ones i make are always exploding with images, sometimes too many :))

    hey merily :)
    thank you :) yup .. stamps! i'm beginning to love them! i was also like trying to find out about polymer finishing and read about this in cindy lietz's page. tho the future floor finish looks a little different in america. but i guess as long as there's the "super cosmic" thingy logo, it should be the same. the other varnish is called varathane diamond wood finish or something like that. also hardware store product. can't wait to see your pendants on the chainmaille ... got me thinking, you can make family crests as well if you find a medieval stamp!

    hey kudzu :)
    thank you! oh! you definitely must try it!! it's really addictive you know and the possibilities are infinite. imagine that ... you can practically make anything with clay! oooo...the high it gives a crafter!

    hey sf :)
    thank you! you are too kind! LOL!! it IS actually very easy :) hehehe ... the banner, yea ... i put it there a couple days ago :) it's a good challenge ... i hope more ppl will take part :)

    hey maire :)
    thank you!! i'm so glad you like it! i was hoping it's clear enough and that it will spur others to take up this craft :) so fun! for adults AND kids!! but then again ... don't all adults still have a kiddie streak in them :)artist and crafters just bring out the kid in them more unbashfully than normal ppl ;) can't wait to see your textured cube beads! i can imagine it already!! and it's a really cool idea!!

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  8. I think it's wonderful!
    I never get tired of playing with the mica powders.

    Cindy has one of the best polymer clay blogs around and adds a nice, warm touch by personally helping those getting started.

    Great post!

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  9. THANK YOU~~~~ Hugzzz (tight tight)... gonna try this one day ^^ ... soon hopefully... hehehe...

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  10. Luthien,
    I am catching up on your posts and I think the wired pendants are the best I've seen! You are really branching out and your creativity is just boundless. So pretty! xxoo

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  11. Luthien,
    I am catching up on your posts and I think the wired pendants are the best I've seen! You are really branching out and your creativity is just boundless. So pretty! xxoo

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  12. That's a great tutorial Luthien! Still, I don't think my creations will come out as nice as yours... I'll leave that to you- the expert!
    :)

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  13. I sent my poor fiancé to three or four hardware stores trying to find varathane diamond wood finish and he had no luck, so the Pledge future floor finish *has* to be easier to find (because hey, at least Pledge is a common brand!). It can't be even more scarce, lol!

    Ooo, family crests would be neat- I'd have to find the stamp and figure out how to design the crests, though. I'm going to be on the lookout for lots of cheap but nice wooden stamps, I think. :)

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  14. What a cool tutorial and your pendant came out just gorgeous! I'm amazed at the tips and tricks you come up with like covering the pan with foil so the fumes don't escape and using a household product for sealing - you're just amazing!!♥

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  15. i have many ideas now! i always used it to make things for and with my kids... for school projects, or just for fun to play with... i would make them special holiday pins or birthday number pins! it's been so long, but now i have the itch...

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  16. just bought some clay and a stamp... but 2 craft stores near me don't have the pearl-ex... will keep looking... told you i was serious! and i putting in time on the metal working too!

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  17. Oh it's sooo gorgeous!! I love the design and the colour is stunning. You are really producing lovlier and lovlier work with your clay - it's great to watch! Your tutorials are fab too Luthien - always easy to follow with lots of tips and hints - it feels like you're sitting next to the reader and guiding them through! x

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  18. missficklemedia :)
    thank you! yes! i just discovered the magic of pearl-ex :))

    shera :)
    you're very welcome!

    carolyn :)
    awww... thank you :)) you are so sweet!

    tali :)
    thank you! lol!! but if you dun try you'll never know! ;)

    merily :)
    yea ... i couldn't find varathane here as well but i never thought i could find future!! me too... now looking out for stamps like crazy!

    sharon :)
    thank you! lol!! can't take all the credit for the cool tips tho .. i learnt the varnish from cindy's site :))

    maire :)
    that's so cool!! and wow! metal work ... that's sounds pretty interesting!! hmmm... *thinking*

    angie :)
    awwww.... thanks!!! i also love doing tutorials posts... it's liberating when you can share what you know and satisfying when ppl are excited to try it out and do! and then to see the photos they post ... that's really cool for me :))

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  19. thanks for taking the time to post this. i always wondered how these things were made!!

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  20. Oh Luthien you are so cute calling this tutorial, 'not a tutorial but a pictorial illustration of how i made that pendant'!

    You did a beautiful job! Pearl-Ex sure does pop on those dark surfaces, doesn't it! You can use Perfect Pearls instead if you can't find the Pearl-Ex. Even glittery eyeshadow will work in a pinch!

    Also if any of you are having trouble finding Future Floor Finish or Varathane, another great alternative that I just started using is the Studio by Sculpey Glossy Glaze or Satin Glaze.

    This is different than the old Sculpey Glaze which was gloopy and not very classy looking. The Studio Glaze can be baked right in and leaves a beautiful glass-like finish.

    And one more thing... To avoid darkening or burning of the lighter colors, I prefer to bake on a ceramic tile, rather than a metal pan. This will help to even out the temperature and prevent hot spots.

    Thank you Lutien and missfickle for mentioning my blog. I really appreciate your kind words! :-)

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  21. hey seth :)
    thank you for popping over and leaving the sweet comment! always appreciated!!

    hey cindy :)
    oh wow!! thanks for the lovely message! i was too shy to call it a tutorial being real new at this myself. but i had friends who wanted to know how to make one of these :) your blog is an awesome and very informative place for polymer clay artists ... everyone deserves to know it! and thank you so much for all the extra tips!!! you're the best!

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  22. This is really great and simple way to craft the best pendants

    Vintage Pendants

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  23. This is a beautiful piece. Thanks for taking the time to show your readers (like me!) how easy it was to do - great photos, too.

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  24. I wish I could follow you, but I just found your blog. Great information! I actually tried this out a few days ago. It sort of reminds me of Micashift.

    Feel free to contact me at my blog: www.themontanamuse.com I make mostly miniatures and some jewelry! Hope to hear from you. Will you be posting more?

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thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my post :) it makes my day!!
xoxoxo
Luthien :)