Category: Mixed Media


Polymer Clay Brocades

Ive finally managed to sign up for my first swap of 2009!

This was for a mystery swap where initially we didnt know what we were all signing up for! All was finally revealed and we found out for the swap we had to make something following these fab instructions for polymer clay brocades which Ms Adrienne ‘bossy boots’ had uploaded and shared on her blog:
http://adriennegoodenough.blogspot.com/2009/05/polymer-clay-brocade.html

I finally got round to playing and making my bits for this swap last night and took a couple of photos along the way to share my experience!

Polymer Clay Brocade First Steps:

1. You have to roll out a piece of polymer clay onto a ceramic tile using a roller – I didnt have neither of these so instead I used chopped up pieces of a black bin liner to work on and I improvised using a gluestick as my rolling pin for the clay.

The clay I used was fimo soft and I was surprised just how soft it was to work with, as you know I am always moaning about the pains in my hands and I didnt have any real issues working with this clay – happy days!

2. Once you’ve rolled out the clay you paint it with a few layers of metalic paint, for this I used my lumieres paints in bronze, gold and pearl white and also my stewart gill bright gold as I love that colour! You only need a tiny bit of paint and you apply it with your fingers.

3. Next stage is to stamp into the clay, I didnt wait till the paint had dried as Im impatient, I inked my stamps with versamark so that they wouldnt get stuck into the clay and could be removed easily and it seemed to do the trick.

4. You need 3 different colours of acrylic paints for the next stage, basically you rub the colours onto the clay to add highlights to the raised unstamped areas, less is more. My clay was still wet from the previous paint layers and this seemed to help the highlighting colours to blend onto the clay more freely I found.

The colours I used mainly for this stage where blue, pink, turquiose,green, yellow and purple.

Heres some photos of what my clay brocades looked like at this point:

Brocade Polymer Clay Stage 1

Brocade Polymer Clay Stage 1

Brocade Polymer Clay Stage 1

Brocade Polymer Clay Stage 1

Brocade Polymer Clay Stage 1

Brocade Polymer Clay Stage 1

These 2 I did with Model Magic by Crayola just to see if it would work with air dry clay:

Brocade Polymer Clay Stage 1 - using model magic 2

Brocade Polymer Clay Stage 1 - using model magic

The instructions for this technique ask for black colour clay, I did use black but I also used some brown and some light blue clay I already had to see if you REALLY REALLY needed the black clay to make this technique work. As you can see from the photographs above, you DONT really need black clay because you cant really tell the difference once youve put all the layers of paint onto the clay.

Step 2:

Once youve painted, stamped and highlighted the clay you need to use cookie cutters or any type of cutters to make little shapes, I decided to go for geometric shapes with the intention of making mosiacs or something with them, heres a selection of the brocade shapes just prior to cooking them:

Brocade Polymer Clay Ready To Bake

Step 3:

To cook my clay I used my melting pot! Ive had this gadget for probably about 5 years or more and up till now I have NEVER used it! First time out! To cook the fimo I put the heat setting on the melt pot to 110, waiting till it was hot enough, then evenly spaced the clay directly onto the pan of the melting pot, placed the lid on and walked off and left them to cook for half an hour. Came back and they were ready! I repeated this step till Id cooked all my pieces.

By the end of it all I had a few little pieces left which didnt quite fill the melting pot pan, so I placed them on the pan anyway and unplugged the melting pot and just left them on there till the melting pot had totally cooled down – when I came to put the melting pot away I realised the fimo had totally cooked itself on the pot as it was cooling off! So I didnt need to waste any more electricity cooking the small lil pieces I had left over!

Heres some photos of my finished clay brocades, Ive not uploaded my model magic ones yet because they arent dry yet!

Finished Brocade Polymer Clay

Some Polymer Clay Brocade Close Ups:

Finished Brocade Polymer Clay Closeups

Finished Brocade Polymer Clay Closeups

Finished Brocade Polymer Clay Closeups

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Altered 7" Vinyl Record

This is an ordinary vinyl 7″ record which I decided to do a bit of altering with using fantasy film & fibers. Cant you tell Im addicted to this stuff 🙂

Heres a run down on how I created it:

1. First of all I painted the 7″ with a layer of gesso because I wanted to paint it first.

2. Once the gesso was dry I painted it using dark green and black acrylics, I dappled the 2 colours onto the surface to create a kind of mottled background effect.

3. Next I used ordinary PVA glue, I dolloped it across the middle of the record and used my fingers to smear it across so it wasnt so thick.

4. Working quickly I pushed layers of fantasy film into the wet glue, overlapping them so that they created a strip across the record. I wasnt fussed how they looked, I just concentrated on getting from one side of the record to the other.

5. I didnt bother waiting for the glue to dry, by the time Id finished sticking down the film it wasnt as gloopy anyway so I put a sheet of non stick paper over the top and ironed the film till it all fused and melted together.

6. Next I added some more film and also added some of the thin angel hair fibers on one side, and then melted it again using a cooking liner and craft iron. I didnt think too much about how it looked, I just concentracted on fusing the layers at this point.

7. I decided it needed some thicker strips of film and I didnt have any, so I cut off a small section from the film and rolled it up and then using scissors I snipped it to make jagged strips of film and then fused a couple of them onto the record to finish it off.

8. Using pure gold Stewart Gill paint – its lovely and thick and gooey 🙂 I dipped my fingers into it and used it to edge the record to give it a nice gilt border.

9. Next I glued on a mould of a sun face I had, I decided it needed 2 different shades of gold to accent it.

10. To finished I glued on the chipboard letters to spell ART, these letters where already printed with a pattern but I decided I didnt like how they looked after Id glued them on and it was too late to remove them! So instead of having a breakdown over it (like you do!) I decided to accent the letters by dipping my finger in the gold paint I used to edge the record and smudged the paint on the letters to give them a gilded coat.

Once the letters were dry I decided I like it afterall! We are so finicky us artist types!

Heres some more photos, I decided to take a couple of shots because you can see the record differently in each shot and it shows the film in a different light, you can click on the picks to see the original sizes if you want more detail:
Altered 7" Vinyl Record

I also took a close up so you can see the detail below:
Close Up Shot Of Altered Vinyl

Altered Formica TileThis my very first time using Fantasy Film and I have to say its VERY addictive! Ive only got 1 colour at the moment which is Peacock, I was lucky to get some from my good friend Adrienne for my birthday:) It was just what I needed to kickstart me into thinking about making art again.

Anyway I decided to use the fantasy film to alter an ordinary large formica tile, just to see what it looked like as Ive never used it before, I was a total fantasy film newbie!

Heres how I did it:

1. First of all I prepared the fantasy film by cutting off some jagged random pieces from the sheet in various sizes and shapes.

2. Next I took a hot glue stick and cut it up into little chips with scissors and then sprinkled the chips over the middle of the formica tile.

3. Then using a hot craft iron and 2 sheets of non stick cooking paper I ironed over the top of the tile to melt and smear the glue over the surface of the tile.

Its best to use disposable parchment cooking paper for this as you’ll make the teflon go all gooey otherwise.

4. While the glue was still sticky I quickly stuck down various random layers of fantasy film across the tile.

5. Next I put the cooking liner back over the top of the tile and ironed it till the film had fused and stuck down onto it.

You can actually feel the film crackling under the iron as you smooth it over, you dont need to do it for long, I just did it till I liked how it looked.

6. Next I added some more layers of fantasy film and some little strands of the fantasy fibers and ironed them down and just played till I liked how it looked.

7. Then I added a thin line of glue to the left hand side of the tile and then poured on some of those itty bitty microbeads in a complementing colour.

8. To finish I added a strip of golden scrap stars as a border, I also added a clay face which I painted with 2 tones of gold acrylic paint. With the same paint I used my fingers to add a border round the entire edge of the tile and then left it all to dry.

You cant really see the film and fibers properly in the photo as its impossible to photograph but it literally shines and moves in the light and changes colour like a chameleon!

Heres a close up shot of the the top part of the tile so you can see some of the detail:
Close Up Of Altered Formica

Im gonna have to get some more colours because Im addicted!!

I signed up for a swap over on our swap board where we have to use Friendly Plastic. Its been YEARS since I last played with friendly plastic and I was itching to have another go so this swap was the perfect excuse to actually USE the friendly plastic strips Id recently purchased 🙂

I’d forgotten just how addictive friendly plastic can be!

For this swap I wanted to make my friendly plastic resemble a kind of metallic patchwork quilt using different colours and shapes of plastic strips. I also wanted to incorporate hearts into the project as Im addicted to using them, at this point I had no idea what I was going to do or how I was going to create it. I just had a picture in my head of a metallic quilt with a heart in the middle. With that vision in my mind I set about experimenting and this is what I came up with 🙂

The only tools I used were:

  • A heat gun (for rubber stamp embossing)
  • Non stick cooking liner (baking parchment)
  • A cup of cold water
  • Metal embossing tool (the type used in dry paper embossing)
  • Friendly Plastic Marbling Comb (you could use a metal comb or a fork)
  • Strong scissors (for cutting a heart shape)

Before I started I collected up some different colours of friendly plastic strips and using the scissors I chipped at the strips creating random abstract pieces, I didnt think too carefully about this and I wasnt neat and tidy about it as I wanted the pieces to look as if they were scraps and chippings. If you’ve got a stash of friendly plastic offcuts they would be perfect for this!

Once Id collected a stash of friendly plastic chips and shapes, I layed them down onto a sheet of baking parchment leaving a slight gap inbetween each piece like below:

FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP1-C

Next using the heat tool, I heated the friendly plastic from the top until I could see the physical change in its texture, once that change happened I knew it was melted and ready for ‘playtime’ 🙂

I took the marbling comb and dragged it through the edges of the plastic to create a frilly lace type edge. I didnt want to merge the colours together too much at this point.

Next using the metal embossing tool I first dipped it into water so that it wouldnt stick in the plastic,and added little holes into the friendly plastic to add texture. The embossing tool can also be used to add dents and drag the friendly plastic around to add interest.

It was by doing this I discovered that you can use the embossing tool to make the plastic to ‘sew’ itself together by dragging seperate pieces of friendly plastic together to make them form one complete faux patchwork piece.

It almost feels as if you are stiching with the friendly plastic itself!

I love doing this method as you cant completely control how it is going to turn out as the friendly plastic has a mind of its own 🙂

Heres an example of how it looked at the next step:

FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP2-C

Next using a strong pair of scissors I cut out a random heart shape from a red metallic sheet of friendly plastic, I could have used a cookie cutter for this but I wanted a ‘non perfect’ looking heart shape for this project.

While the friendly plastic was still warm I placed the heart shape right into it like below:

FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP3-C

I decided it needed something else so I broke off some little chips of friendly plastic in mauve and pressed them into the friendly plastic on the left hand side to create a border:
FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP4-C

Next, I heated the friendly plastic again; but just enough to melt the red heart in the middle and the mauve chips, then using the embossing tool dipped into water I pressed it into the heart all around the edge so that it would meld together with the previous layers of friendly plastic and also it adds texture to the heart at the same time:

FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP5-C

While the friendly plastic cooled down, I used the embossing tool to add holes and dents all over the patchwork until I decided it was finished:
FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP6-C

Another photo of the above quilt on a black background for contrast:
FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP 7-C

Heres some other friendly plastic patchwork quilts I did below, Ive added the before and after photos so that you can see how I layered the friendly plastic before applying heat and adding texture:

Step 1: Various strips of friendly plastic layered onto baking parchment.
FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP 1
Step 2: Heat was applied to the friendly plastic using heat gun; once melted I pressed the heart into the friendly plastic
FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP 2
Step 3: The finished piece after Id forced myself to STOP prodding it with the embossing tool (its addictive)
FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP 3

Another Friendly Plastic Patchwork Quilt:

Step 1:
FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP 1

Step 2: I decided it was a little bare so added some more bits to add interest:
FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP 2

Step 3: Finished quilt
FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP 3

More Friendly Plastic Quilts:

FRIENDLY PLASTIC

FRIENDLY PLASTIC

This is just a piece what I used before making the quilts above, I wanted to practise using the metal embossing tool to add holes and manipulate the friendly plastic to add movement:
FRIENDLY PLASTIC

I decided I needed to make some more badges and pins for a stamp show I’m going to in 2 weeks time but couldn’t think WHAT to make badges with!

I happened upon some old 7″ vinyl records in a local junk shop for only 10p each and wondered if I could use them to make pins with?

So I decided theres only one way to find out! And thats TRY IT AND SEE!

So I did and this is what I came up with:

The Vinyl bellies are very easy to make and I had a lot of fun with them!

I’ve since been told be various people that in the past they have used old 38″ records to make bowls and vases by placing the whole record over a bowl and then either standing both in a bowl of very hot water OR placing in the oven….apparently the record melts and takes on the shape of the bowl and was used as an unusual shaped container…

Anyway you are probably wondering how I created these embellishments and pins! Read on for more information!

Preparing The Vinyl:

There are 2 ways to break the vinyl records down into embellishment sized pieces. One is to snap the records with your hands, they are quite flexible, into small abstract shapes.

Another is to use strong sharp scissors to cut them into little pieces.

How To Create:

If you look at the url above you will see I have created different looks with the vinyl records. So I will walk you through each and explain how you do it:

Stamping On Vinyl:

The bellies in the scan which are plain black with silver lettering on them are actually stamped bellies. For these I used Platinum Planet Brilliance Inkpad and this is how I created them:

1. Place your piece of vinyl onto a sheet of teflon (or non stick baking parchment)

2. Blast the vinyl piece with heat gun until it curls, turn it over and blast other side. At this point the vinyl resembles a piece of floppy licorice!

3. Quickly stamp into the hot vinyl piece using a pre inked rubber stamp. Set aside to cool.

Once the belly has cooled, you will notice that the stamped impression is almost like an intaglio effect.

You will notice in the scan that I have attached charms to 2 of the bellies, while the vinyl piece was still hot, I pierced it using a darning needle. Once the belly had cooled down, the hole I pierced turned solid and enabled me to thread a gimp ring and a charm through it.

Embossing On Vinyl:

1. Place your piece of vinyl onto a sheet of teflon (or non stick baking parchment)

2. Place the vinyl onto Blast vinyl piece with heat gun until curls, turn over and blast other side, the vinyl piece will flatten slightly.

3. Next sprinkle on little bits of embossing powders OR glitters. Reheat to melt. Add more ep or glitter if required.

4. Once you are happy with how it looks, dip the hot vinyl belly into clear embossing powder and reheat to seal. Set aside to cool

To finish off the pins.embellishments I edged them using a gold krylon pen.

One of the bellies in the scan was hi lighted using a copper krylon pen to age it.

I hope you have as much fun creating these embellishments as I did!