Polymer clay Martial Arts sculpture


Here I go again, challenging myself to do something new and difficult. I’ve decided to try to sculpt a Martial Arts sculpture. It actually didn’t start out that way but since the head was determined to become a male I had to change my plan. I’m so glad I did now but at the time it was really frustrating. So far, I’ve gotten the head sculpted and cured on the armature and the hands are sculpted.

I had a lot of trouble getting the hands correct but all in all I’m pretty happy with them. I might try to do a little more detail work on them tomorrow though. Here’s a photo of the pose I plan to use but keep in mind it will be a bit different, hopefully in a good way.

 

 

Here’s the head I came up with after much pushing and pulling, adding clay and taking it away. I’ve only taken a picture of the left hand but I did get the right one completed today too. I’ve also finished the armature and added a bit of the skeleton to it. I’ll get some shots of that in the morning, time for me to get a good nights sleep so I can work on this again tomorrow without yawning the whole time.

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How to Create a Polymer Clay Sea Dragon


Ok, so last week I showed you how to make a polymer clay sand dollar. Would you like to learn something to go with it now?  I had intended on showing you how I used the Sand Dollar but I have submitted that necklace to a magazine for inclusion and am unable to reveal it until I get a yes or no from them. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I will get something published before the year is over, that’s my New Year’s resolution.  I’ve been very sick the last ten days so I haven’t felt up to creating or working on my website or Etsy shop. finally feeling better and ready to show you something else to try.

OK, back  to the lesson now, I have designed a Sea Dragon for you today. I made a beautiful Seahorse to share but that one is on the necklace mentioned above. I promise I’ll share it when I can but until then we can make this little guy. There’s no right or wrong way to do this so put your fear aside and just have fun with it.

First you’ll need some conditioned clay. Here I am using a bright yellow (shows up well for the camera) but you can choose any color you’d like.  I then flattened it with my pasta machine on the highest setting but a rolling-pin works too, just takes a bit longer. I bought this great texture mat from a wonderful little shop called BSueBoutiques and figured this was a great time to use it. Anything that will give you some texture will work though. Lace, brass stampings,just about anything will do. Look around your house and you’ll be surprised what you can find that will make a pattern in your clay.  

     There are a few handy tools I use, but mostly I use my hands. A razor blade is something you will need to cut out the shape or a very sharp knife. I started out with a toothpick and a pocket knife for tools so use whatever you can find and remember there are no right or wrongs here.  

Now let’s cut out the basic shape of our little  Sea Dragon. Yours does not have to be exactly like mine, in fact, it’s better if it isn’t since this is your Creation and it should reflect you. Just play around with the clay until you find a shape that works for you. That’s the best part of working with clay, you can just ball it up and start over if you don’t like it. Here’s the shape I ended up with. Feel free to print this out and use it as a template if you’d like. Lightly roll the edges with your fingertip to smooth out the blunt cut a bit. Now comes the fun part, Let’s decorate this little beast. I formed a mane using small balls of clay rolled into a cylinder shape and pressed onto the head. Make your Sea Dragon with as big or small a mane as you please, or maybe not at all if that’s what you like. 

Try not to make these too thin at the tips or they will not be strong enough after baking. I start out with a long pretty thick layer of tendrils on the bottom and keep adding tendrils varying in size from large, medium and finally small in the direction of the face. This adds lots of dimension and a little drama to the creature. When you are satisfied with the way the mane looks why not go for a little on its tail as well like I did here.

I like the way he’s taking shape now. Now comes the really fun part. Let’s embellish him with pearls, crystals, beads or whatever you’d like (but remember he needs to be baked so keep that in mind when you add things). Here I’ve added some pearls and a few small crystals. When adding beads and such that will be baked into your creation you’ll need to adhere them with a little extra clay. I simply wound a couple of pieces of clay like the tendrils we made around the bead and then smoothed it down with my fingertip a little. You could also just make an impression with the stone or bead and glue it in after it’s baked if you so choose.

 

I plan on adding some chain or beads when I’m finished so I created three holes for that in the tail. Better to add your holes before baking I think. You can see I used some tendrils on the body in a curly fashion but I didn’t like the look and have removed them from mine. Needs a little more bling don’t ya think?

Now that’s better! I also did a little fixing on the face too. I used a red crystal for the eye and built the area up with a small amount of clay. Just make some very small tendrils and adhere them above the crystal or bead and smooth it down a little. I did the same for the nostril too only a smaller crystal was inserted. I hand formed a small fin and attached that into the middle of the back toward the edge. I think mine is done.  How bout you?

 I always paint mine before putting it in the oven but you can certainly wait and paint it after baking if you’d prefer.

I think I’d like my Sea Dragon to have some splashes of orange and red on him. Choose whatever colors you think would enhance your Sea Dragon and give him a little sparkle. I love adding fine glitter to my creations too! This yellow was just a little too bright for my liking so I went over the body and face with a touch of Viva pearl precious metal colour. I then added some orange and a little red acrylic  paint to the mane before putting him in the oven on 275 degrees for about 35 minutes. Here’s my finished Sea dragon.

Would you like to see more lessons? Leave me a comment and an idea about what you’d like to create and I’ll do my best. We can learn together. Sounds like fun to me. Can’t wait to see what ideas you suggest. 🙂

How to make a polymer clay Sand Dollar


Hello and welcome to my little studio here at Irrysistable Jewels 🙂

I’m working on a new polymer clay necklace to add to my Etsy store and thought I’d take a breather and teach you how to make a Sand Dollar out of clay. It’s easy and anyone can do it! Nothing in nature is identical so only happy accidents can happen, therefore you can do this one without fear.

First you’ll need some polymer clay. I personally use sculpey but any clay would work. I’ll be exploring the different kinds of polymer in the near future. Make sure your clay is well conditioned and ready by working it in the palms of your hands until it is soft and malleable.

As far as tools go, you can use whatever works best for you. I started out with only a pocket knife and a toothpick but my dear Husband bought me some carving tools for Christmas, so I have graduated to using those now. I’m a firm believer in using whatever you can find that will give you the effect that you’re looking for though and have used some pretty unconventional items in my creations.

Pinch off enough clay to form the size of Sand Dollar you’re thinking of and form that into a small ball. Create one more small ball  and flatten both out until they are pretty close to the same size. Don’t worry about the edges at this point. No need for a perfect circle here.

Now with whatever you chose for a tool, I am using a clay stylus here, create the little star flower shape on the top of one of the circles. Usually there are five petals and smaller petals inside those, but this is your Sand Dollar so be creative here if you’d like. I created little dots in the center of mine with the stylus.

carve the 5 petal design into the the clay but not all the way through, just enough to indent it

Now take the Sand Dollar you just marked and dome the underside a little. You can do this with just your finger. Just a small dome though as Sand Dollars are not flat and not extremely puffy either.

Use either your finger tip or a ball stylus to gently dome the clay you just carved

Attach the other flattened circle to the bottom of the domed piece and carefully pinch the seams together until the seams disappear. 

pinch the seams gently until they disappear, your dome will flatten a bitcut out the holes through both layers carefully trying not to disturb the imprints

Very carefully, with a razor blade or sharp pick, cutout the holes through both layers. A little tricky to do without messing up the top but just be gentle with it and you’ll have a gorgeous Sand Dollar. At this point, you could add anything you’d like to the top, like stones or crystals. Make an indention as big as the stone and glue the stone in after the baking process or leave the stone in place and anchor it with more clay. Either way works, but I find that taking the stone out and glueing it back into place shows more of the gem and it’s my preference.

I’m not sure how most people go

Add paint,glitter or indentations for stones. Whatever you want at this point, it is Your Sand Dollar and should reflect your own personal style

about this next phase but personally I like to paint my pieces before I bake them. At this stage  you can add some glitter,paint or more texture. I added some pearl paint, a little copper glitter and a slight dusting of peach powder to this one. When you’re happy with the outcome, pop it in the oven on 275 degrees(if you are using sculpey clay, check the type of clay for the instructions on baking what you are using as all are a little different) for about 35 minutes. 

I will typically add more details to mine after it’s taken out of the oven until I get the desired effect and then cook it again. I like to seal my pieces with a clay sealant before I add any embellishments like gems, or stones.  Let your piece dry and set before adding it to any jewelry components. I am so impatient, I had to learn this the hard way!

I’d love to see your  finished Sand Dollars. I’m hoping to do many more this year and I promise I’ll get better at them. Maybe I will learn to do a video as well in the near future. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and have fun making your own Sand Dollar. I’ll post my finished necklace as soon as it’s finished so you can see how I used my sand dollar in Jewelry.

Polymer clay Lion Necklace finished


Here is the Lion attached to a Russian Goldplate plaque and set into a necklace. The soft green jade beads and added touch of the flowers added a more feminie touch to this piece. I get most of my supplies from BSueBoutiques and she has some really awesome findings there and her Etsy store too. Great prices and truly good quality stuff.

I will be adding a new section to my Etsy shop soon to include my polymer clay works.  Trying to get an inventory of great pieces to include in that section  will take some time so keep checking for updates on that venture.

Majestic
Majestic closeup

This year I plan on making some tutorials so you can follow and learn this craft with me as I explore the wonders of polymer clay. I have a few ideas already rolling around my head.

 
 

Polymer clay Lion Completion


Happy New Year!! I have a feeling this will be a great year for me since I love what I’m doing and have a clear direction and goal for myself. I’m loving how this Lion is coming along although I should’ve taken a few more shots for you before I moved on. It’s hard to stop the process and take pictures but I’ll get better at that on the next one.

Ok, so yesterday I made the head and added some highlights and then baked it, which means the mane is next. I tried to carve the mane out of a lump but didn’t like the look that way. Instead, I chose to use little ropes of clay and attached them to the back of the head.

Polymer clay Lion

I took out some acrylic paint and dabbed it all over the mane before adding a sprinkle of glitter in a copper color.  Actually, I added the eyes (which are black rhinestones) a little too soon in the process and would suggest waiting until you are happy with the rest before adding them.

Now back into the oven to bake a bit more. 275 degrees for about 15 min this time, just to set the paint and the tendrils in place.
 
He’s looking pretty good so far but I think it needs some more tendrils between the ears and a little more blending on his face.

Finished Polymer clay Lion

Now, that looks much better. I did end up removing the eyes and replacing them with new stones because I noticed some glitter on them and didn’t care for it. Like I suggested, add the eyes last! This is still new to me and very much a learning process. I love the way it came out in the end and actually have learned alot by just creating and fiddling around with the clay until I got it looking just right.

 
I would tell anyone wanting to try this to just jump on in and don’t worry about any mistakes( happy accidents). Sometimes they work to your advantage. You can always just ball up the clay and start over if you aren’t happy with it.
 
Now it’s time to turn this piece into a beautiful art necklace. I’ll probably just get that done and share a finished photo with you sometime today.
 
I plan on making another clay creation soon and already have the idea drawn out. I’ll try to get a better step by step progression on the next one so maybe you can follow along and make one too if you’d like.

Polymer clay Lion in progress


I’m working on a polymer clay lion at the moment and I think it will become a great art necklace when finished. I’ve decided to take some snapshots along the way to share with you. I’ve been forming the head today and it’s ready for the oven.

sculpted lion head

I started with a small ball of clay and formed it with my fingers and some carving tools until it looked about right.  Added some small cup ears and voila, we have a lion head.

 
In the oven for about 60 minutes on 275 degrees and now it’s ready for more sculpting. I think I’ll add some highlights now to get a better grip on the face texture so I know what needs to be done next.
 
HIghlighted lion head

Looking good so far. On to the mane…stay tuned for that in the next post.

Exploring Polymer clay and loving it!


Now that the Holidays are over, it’s time to get back to working on new Handmade creations and challenging myself to do more and more new stuff. Right now, I am exploring Polymer clay and loving it. The cold porcelain was great but had so many limitaions that I switched over to the polymer. Recently I made a dragon brooch for my dear sister.

I had so much fun creating this one that I decided to make another brooch with embedded pearls and crystals to see how that would work out. I must say I really do love that look alot. I did find that I needed to reinforce some of the Polymer dragon broochleaves for strength and wish that I had done the same on this dragons hair as well. Live and learn I guess. That’s what it’s all about. Learning new techniques and gaining knowledge with each design.

Polymer clay brooch

  I just love Peacocks and created this necklace over the Christmas holiday. Love the color and working with my hands. I had intended on adding some crystals to this piece but figured it was already over the top and didn’t truly need anything more.

I know there are molds out there for polymer clay but I love designing and creating without the use of molds. I believe it gives a much more handmade feel and uniqueness to my creations.

At the time I created these, I had no real tools to use. A toothpick and a pocket knife came in pretty handy though. My darling husband bought me some wonderful carving tools for Christmas and I can’t wait to use them. I think I will be able to get much more detail now and have tons more fun too!
 
My current design is a work in progress and I plan on photographing it as I go along. So far, I’ve gotten the head of this lion created and in the oven to bake. I’ll add the mane next and then see where the design goes from there. I have a plan for it but am not sure I can get it to work out as I expect it to.
 
Stay tuned for more updates and photos as I create one of a kind pieces to share with you. I’ll be adding new content to my website soon as well so be sure to stop by there too.  Have a wonderful Creative day!! 

Handmade Polymer clay peacock necklace

 

My Awesome Discovery


I found some awesome new products to use in my jewelry design today and I can’t wait to try them.  Have you ever heard of Gilder’s paste? Well it’s fantastic stuff and fun to play around with. Looks like shoe polish. I can see all kinds of possibilities using this to create some one of a kind pieces for my shop

You can change the color of anything, now how cool is that? My head is exploding with ideas. I’ve been so busy lately getting my storefront up and running that I haven’t had much time to be creative. I’m ready to jump back into the designing side of the business now and couldn’t be happier.

My ideas tend to come just before I fall asleep so I keep a small notebook beside the bed to write them down before I forget them. My poor hubby has to deal with a flashlight flickering and the sound of the pen scratching out a picture of what’s popped into my brain while he’s trying to sleep. He’s been very supportive of my new-found destiny, so I don’t think he minds all that much. I’m so lucky!

 

 

 

 

 

Opening an Etsy shop


I’m so excited tonight! I’ve finally gotten everything together and am now ready to open my new shop on Etsy tomorrow. I’ve put everything into this, money,time and my soul. Hope it goes well so I can continue to Design and create one of a kind pieces. I so love designing Jewelry. It’s become part of me and I can’t see myself not doing it daily. My creative side is doing the happy dance right now.

The Crystal is really a very deep purple

I’ve been reading and watching tons of videos trying to learn all I can about this art.  I must say there’s a lot of information out there and my mind is absorbing it like a sponge. Can’t seem to get enough. Sometimes it feels like my head will explode with all the stuff I’ve been cramming it full of, but I love it!

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