Here is the tutorial for my christmas ornament I made for 4th annual ornament blog hop from art bead scene. This was the first time I participate after just seeing all the beautiful pieces every year :) Above you can see my "production line" for christmas. I want to give them to family and friends this year and hoping to create new ones every year (at some time one has to start, nai?).
I made a mold with a stamp after falling in love with the image of the stamp. Normally I would not have bought this stamp, too expensive. But you see the tree sceleton, the little owl and deer and it is snowing...?!
A clear case of: Want!
But I am not a fan of impressed images at least not if you have a kind of landscape. Somehow trees and animals have to come "out" of the clay and not go in. Not a problem with patterns just with rather living things and as said landscapes. So I made a mold from the stamp with super sculpey firm. I think you can use any other polymer clay that is a little bit harder like fimo classic (but not fimo soft for example!). But this one I bought for Rumpel because he found fimo classic still being to soft to create sculptures and I have to say this clay is really, really great! Only available in grey but really strong and hold fine details perfectly!
The easy part: I stamped into a layer of super sculpey firm. You can see that I pressed a little bit harder at the lower part but that was okay for me. Bake! There is your mold :) I nicked the mold at the top to know the direction after I press clay into the mold.
Because polymer clay likes to stick to polymer clay, especially in tiny structures, I use talcum powder (Penaten is a talcum powder for babies) to be able to remove my raw polymer clay from the mold. Because the mold has tiny details I add the talcum powder NOT directly to the mold but onto the clay before I press it in the mold. Otherwise you risk to put too much powder (even fine one as this) into the little details and block your mold.
Uhm... can you see all the dust and dirt I managed to get on my white polymer clay? I used Fimo classic in white by the way. Between taking pictures and kneading the polymer clay I managed to get dust on my working space. But other than looking bad on this image (that I show on my blog for all the world to see... *blushing*) it doesn't matter. It is just on the surface and later on I will paint and sand the piece. All the dust and dirt will be gone!
Press your polymer clay firmly with your finger tips into the mold. Make sure you really pressed at every area. I like to go around with my thumbs over the surface, starting from the middle to the outside. This is also the reason why I made the little nick / mark so I know where the top side. While pressing the clay in I am moving the mold quite a bit and if I want to write something at the backside I want it to be upside.
While the poylmer clay is in the mold, I start to work on the backside. You can use stamps, texture sheets, write on top with a gel pen (it is water safe after drying and the gel paint goes really good into the clay) or just press in any kind of pattern like I did here. I used knitting needles (best polymer clay tool ever!), an old tool from my zoological class and the back of a paint brush.
I carefully remove the piece from the mold and put a hole at the top with a knitting needle. I always go from both sides to have a smooth hole. If you are afraid to disturb your image while doing this: Put the piece into the freezer for some minutes before you make a hole. You could also drill a hole after baking with a dremel.
Of course: Bake!
Here are the backsides of my other "In the woods" ornaments I showed you on top. Do you see the one backside with the letters turned upside down? Yes, that was the reason why I made a mark in my mold ^^As you can see I use really everything I get hold of. The backsides itself make beautiful ornaments.
Some more details... freeform pattern and clear silicone stamp...
...and even more... old jewelery pressed into, wooden fabric stamps, classic rubber stamps...
To add colour I use acrylic paints. My favorite brand is Reeves. Not too cheap, not too expensive, has a really good hold on polymer clay and such bright and good colours. I choose two colours (sometimes three but not more) for a single ornament. I randomly apply both colours on both sides.
Make a mess and enjoy it! I use old plastic lids for my acrylic paints that also allow me to mix or water down paints. Here I used blue, a little bit of white and purple.
I remove most of the paint with a paper towel as long as it is still wet. I am not too accurate, I just want to remove a large amount but the fine details I am doing by sanding the piece later on. The backside...
And the front... Just let it dry before sanding. Otherwise it will be a mess. Yes, I already was impatient, happened to me.
My torn sandpaper... and after sanding: Wash the piece to remove the dust, let it dry and then you may add some protection with gloss or renaissance wax or whatever else you like to use with polymer clay. You could leave it like this but I am afraid that the white would be stained to easily. But I don't know if this is really true just pure paranoia after putting so much work into one piece ^^
And after sanding! Now the contrast is really nicely enhanced. Also all the little stuff sticking to the clay is gone! As I said, don't worry to much!
And the backside a little bit more sanded. Not too much, I like the rough edges, but enough to let the white colour pop out more.
Oh, and by the way, I also tried the mold to make little owl earrings. I still have to put some layers of gloss on them for protection (and also sorry for the blurry image but it was difficult to take pictures in the middle of the night and they started to roll all over the place... mph! ^^)
But you know what? Christmas is around the corner so why not to have a little giveaway? If you would like to have the "bead" in the woods I made here for the tutorial and also the little owl earrings (finished of course), just leave me a comment! Let's make it a short one: I will draw the winner on sunday, 22th of december, at 14 pm CET. I know that the shipping will take longer than christmas but hey, that would be something to look for after all the christmas presents?! ;)
EDIT: Sorry I didn't write it down! Of course this giveaway is open to everyone worldwide as long as the mail service offers delivery (the german mail in this case) :)Also changed the picture of the owl earrings, they are finished now. I still don't seem to manage a good foto... I really need a new camera! Next year I'll get one.