Polymer Clay Eyeglass Case
Create a polymer clay eyeglass case that specifically fits your personality.
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Project by Judy Belcher.
Materials and Tools:
1/2 block green Kato Polyclay
1/2 block white Kato Polyclay
1/2 block magenta Kato Polyclay
1/4 block violet Kato Polyclay
Kato Polyclay clear medium
card stock or Mylar for template
white Coats and Clark all-purpose thread
clay-dedicated pasta machine
clay-dedicated cookie sheet
sewing machine that will sew denim
1/8 yard White Alpine fleece #3805421*
*This material won't shrink in the oven. If you use something else, it's a good idea to oven-test the lining fabric you will be using. Adhere a thin piece of scrap clay, using the Kato Polyclay clear medium, to a small piece of the fabric. Bake at the manufacturer's recommended temperature 275 F degrees for 20 minutes. Check to see if the fabric shrinks or causes air pockets in the clay. You can then use this piece to practice with your sewing machine.
1. Condition all clay well by hand-kneading or slice thinly and run through a pasta machine until soft and pliable. Recondition as needed.
2. To make the flower embellishment cane: First make the center of the flower cane. Pinch off a small amount of white clay and roll into a cylinder approximately 1" x 1/2". Wrap the white cylinder with a sheet of magenta clay that has been rolled to #2 on your pasta machine.
3. Pinch the ends of the cane and reduce the size by rolling until the cane is 6" long. Cut the cane into 1" long pieces and reassemble with one in the center and five around the outside. Pinch the ends of this cane and reduce by rolling until the cane is 3" long.
4. Cut the cane into 1" long pieces and reassemble into a triangle shape. Pinch the ends of this cane and again reduce to a cylinder again by rolling.
5. Reduce the cane to a very thin snake (approximately 1/8" diameter). You will have plenty of this cane left to be the center of other flowers.
6. To make the petals of the flower cane: Condition and roll the white, magenta and violet clay through the pasta machine into rectangular-shaped sheets that measure 1/8" thick.
7. Prepare a Skinner blend: Cut a rectangle of white and magenta clay 2" x 3-1/2". Cut these rectangles diagonally to form right triangles and stack like colors on top of each other. You will have two right triangles of double thickness of each color. Place the slanted edges of the triangles together offset so that about 1" of each triangle's edge remains untouched.
8. Cut off untouched ends so that the two triangles together create a rectangle. Mark in 1/2" on the top of the rectangle and cut to the bottom left corner, leaving a small triangular shaped opening. Fill this opening with a double #2 thickness of violet clay to return the shape of the rectangle.
9. Gently press the seams together. Run through the pasta machine on the thickest setting. Fold the bottom edge up to the top edge, keeping the like colors in line.
10. Roll through the pasta machine, keeping the fold at the bottom. Repeat this step folding in the same direction and placing the fold first into the pasta machine until the colors are well blended.
11. Turn the clay 45 degrees so the light edge of the clay enters the pasta machine first. Roll through the pasta machine at incrementally thinner settings until you reach #5 (a relatively thin sheet).
12. Beginning with the light edge, roll the sheet tightly into a log. Watch for air bubbles as you roll. Compress the log until you are left with a 1" x 1" cylinder.
13. Set the log upright and slice it in half. Slice each half in a radiant fashion from the bottom corner to the center of the half circle remaining.
14. Roll two small violet sheets on the #4 setting that are 1" x 1". Roll a small white sheet on the #2 setting that is 1" x 1". Stack the sheets violet, white, violet. Run through the pasta machine on the #2 setting and again on the #4 setting. Cut into three strips that are 1" x 1".
15. Reassemble the log inserting the strips prepared above into the log, leaving the center strip 1/8" from the top and the two side strips 1/4" from the top. Compress the log with your hands from the center out to ensure that you trap no air bubbles.
16. Reduce this cane by rolling until it is slightly larger than your center cane. You'll have a very long snake and plenty left over to make more flower canes. Cut this cane into five equal lengths, 2" long. Assemble the flower using the center cane prepared above and surrounding it with the five petal canes made above. Be sure that each of the small petal canes are all placed so that the inserted strips radiate out from the center. You will be able to see a faint line where you inserted the sheets. This line should be touching the center cane.
17. Very gently roll the flower to ensure that all the petals are sticking to the center cane. Set the flower cane aside.
18. To make the eyeglass case: Draw and cut a template using card stock or Mylar. Make it as large as you wish.
19. Condition and mix thoroughly 1-1/2 ounces (1/2 block) of green clay and 3/4 ounces (1/4 block) of white clay. Roll two sheets of clay 4" x 7" on the #5 (thin) setting on the pasta machine.
20. Slice the flower cane very thinly and apply randomly to the sheets of clay. Press each flower with your finger to embed them into the sheet.
21. Roll the each embellished sheet of clay through the pasta machine on the #5 setting and again on the #6 setting.
22. Place the template on the embellished sheet of clay. Cut around the template using a craft knife. Repeat this step with the second sheet of embellished clay.
23. Flip each piece over so the flowers are on the bottom. Using a paint brush, coat the back of each piece with the clear medium, except for 1/8" around the outside.
24. Cut two eyeglass case linings of the micro fleece using the same template. Then trim 1/8" away from the outside so the lining is slightly smaller than the clay. Place the fleece linings on each of the sheets against the medium. Rub with your finger and then gently roll with an acrylic rod to ensure that the fleece has adhered to the clay.
25. Flip each piece back over and place on an oven-safe baking surface, such as a clay-dedicated cookie sheet. Bake each piece at the manufacturer's recommended temperature, 275 degrees F for 20 minutes. Allow the pieces to cool.
26. Set your sewing machine tension to #2 and the stitch length to #3 (approximately 1/8" long). Test your settings and practice sewing on the scrap piece discussed at the beginning of these instructions.
27. Sew around the eyeglass case slightly over 1/8" from the edge, leaving the top open.
28. Coat one side of the case with the clear medium, making sure that you cover all the stitch lines. Buff off the entire excess medium with a paper towel using a circular motion. This will ensure that the thread will not pull through, remove any scratches to the surface that the sewing machine may have left, and give the piece a more supple, leather-like look.
29. Return the case to the oven for 5 minutes. Repeat with the other side of the case. You may want to bake the case on a piece of batting so as not to flatten one side.
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