How to Make a Colorful Light Switch Plate
Make a colorful, intricately detailed light switch plate from extruded polymer clay canes with these simple steps.
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Materials and Tools:
2 ounces of polymer clay in each color: lime green, white, chartreuse, alizarin crimson
metal light-switch plate
polymer clay extruder
clay cutting blade
1. Condition the clay and roll each color into snakes the size of your index finger. Slice each snake into random-sized slices, and randomly layer slices of different colors to create a cylinder. Roll the cylinder so that it will fit into the barrel of a clay gun.
2. Extrude the clay with a square die. Cut extruded clay into 16 equal lengths and stack them four across and four down, making a square cane approximately 1 inch across. Use a brayer to compress the elements and slightly reduce the size of the cane. Cut the cane into slices.
3. Prepare a sheet of white clay rolled to the No. 5 setting on the pasta maker and ½-inch larger on each side of the switch plate. Carefully cover the sheet of clay with thin slices of the extruded cane. Smooth the cane slices with parchment paper and a spoon. Run the clay through the pasta maker on the No. 3 setting in one direction, and then run it through on the No. 4 setting in the other direction.
4. Apply the decorated sheet of clay to the switch plate, making sure not to trap bubbles between the plate and the clay. Gently wrap the clay around to the back of the plate and trim the excess, leaving about ¼-inch wrapped around the back. Working from the back, locate screw holes by poking a needle tool through them. Then, working from the front, use a pencil to clear the clay from the screw holes.
5. Working from the back, use a needle tool to cut around the rectangular switch hole. Turn over and work from the front to remove the excess clay from the rectangular hole. Bake at 270 degrees for 30 minutes.
Carve a unique design in linoleum, imprint it in clay and add an iron oxide finish to create a one-of-a-kind light switch plate.