Wearable Art Doll Necklace
Mimi Diehl creates a wearable art doll necklace made from polymer clay and other mixed media.
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Materials and Tools:
precious metal clay (PMC)
olive oil or other precious metal clay mold release
face button or bead
soft wire brush
polymer clay dedicated pasta machine
polymer clay dedicated toaster oven
2, 2 oz. packages of polymer clay for the doll body
metallic leaf bits: gold, silver, copper, etc.
flexible cutting blade
needle tool to make holes
old makeup brush or large soft paintbrush
rubber stamp moldboards*
unmounted rubber stamps
cornstarch packing peanuts
dark color acrylic paint
colored paste waxes
round nose jewelry pliers
spool of 22- or 24-gauge metallic wire
nylon coated bead-stringing wire
4 crimp beads
* Moldboards are the actual molds that manufacturers of rubber stamps use to make the stamps. Some manufacturers sell the boards.
1. Condition and roll a ball of polymer clay large enough to cover the bead, button or other object for the face mold.
2. Dust the ball with cornstarch using a makeup brush or large soft paintbrush and press the clay over the object to form the face feature.
3. Remove the object and cure the polymer clay mold by baking in a toaster oven according to the clay manufacturer's directions. Place the clay on a bed of quilt batting during baking. Allow to cool.
4. Lightly coat a small ball of precious metal clay (PMC) with olive oil. Press the PMC into the mold.
5. Remove the PMC, allow to air dry, and fire in a kiln according to the manufacturer's directions. Allow to cool then polish with a soft wire brush.
6. Condition the polymer clay to be used for the doll's body on the thickest setting on the pasta machine.
7. After the final conditioning roll, apply bits of metallic leaf to one side of the flattened clay. Burnish with your finger and roll through the pasta machine one more time to embed and fracture the leaf.
8. Cut the leafed slab of clay in half.
9. Place one half of the clay leaf side down and lightly dust the exposed side with cornstarch to keep the two halves from sticking together.
10. Lay the second half on top of the first side, blank sides together, and leaf sides out.
11. Use the flexible cutting blade to cut the outside shape of the doll, cutting both sides at the same time. Separate the two matching pieces.
12. Dust the rubber stamp moldboards and rubber stamps with cornstarch. Tip: Cornstarch acts as a release agent. The stamps will be used to add texture to the body.
13. Create texture by pressing the outsides (leafed sides) of the clay pieces into the moldboards and stamping into the clay with the unmounted rubber stamps. The unmounted stamps can be bent and rolled to get into small spaces.
14. Put the two doll pieces back together with leafed, patterned sides out. Place some cornstarch packing peanuts in between the two layers to "stuff" the body.
15. Pinch the edges together, curling and twisting to create a decorative edge, so that the packing peanuts are trapped inside.
16. Poke holes using a needle tool or wooden skewer so that the doll can be made into a necklace.
17. Put a dot of white glue on the back of the fired and cooled PMC face and gently press into the body.
18. Roll a thin coil of polymer clay. Add texture to the coil by gently pressing with unmounted rubber stamps. Use the coil to bezel the face securely to the body.
19. Place the doll on a piece of quilt batting and bake to cure according to the manufacturer's directions. Allow to cool.
20. Paint the entire body with a dark color of acrylic paint. Let dry for a couple of minutes then buff excess paint off with a soft cloth. Allow the paint that remains in the recesses of the textured pattern to dry thoroughly.
21. Apply colored paste wax with fingers and buff with a clean, soft cloth.
22. String an assortment of beads on wire and wrap doll body. Use round nose pliers to twist and manipulate wire so that the wire is taut on the body.
23. String beads on a nylon coated bead-stringing wire to desired length for the necklace and use crimp beads to secure the loops of beads that go through the holes in the doll's body.
24. Use crimp beads to attach the clasp components to the other ends of the beaded wire.
25. Wear or display your wearable art doll necklace!
Mimi Diehl from Henderson, Nev., obtained a purple belt in karate, has been a ballroom dance instructor and even a tarot card reader. But today, she is happy to be an elementary school art teacher, and a craft instructor to children and adults. Mimi crafts a 3-D wearable art doll necklace using polymer clay and other mixed media.
Natasha Wozniak of Jersey City, N.J., has gone from polishing rings at a jewelry store to designing her own jewelry.