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How to Make a Polymer Clay Menorah

Display your menorah during the festive holiday season. Follow these instructions by Lisa Pavelka on how to make your own menorah made from polymer clay.

Materials

Kato Liquid Polymer Medium
Kato acrylic clay roller
Kemper small circle cutter
1-1/2" x 3/4" x 14" wood plank
9 brass hexnuts
glue stick
clay blade
craft knife
needle tool
clay-dedicated pasta machine
small flat natural-hair paintbrush
ruler
Kato Polyclay blocks: 2 gold, 1 copper, 1 black
Scratch-Art rubbing plate: linen SH-P-3
Kemper leaf cutters: large, medium
automotive protectant spray (Son of a Gun or Armor All)
12" or 8" smooth tile for work/baking surface

Steps:

1. Condition all clay thoroughly before using, starting with the lightest colors first. Knead for 1 or 2 minutes, or cut a block into four or five slices and run through a pasta machine on the largest setting several times until very soft and pliable.

2. Roll conditioned gold clay through the third-largest setting of the pasta machine. You’ll need a sheet big enough to cover the wood plank.

3. Brush a thin layer of liquid polymer medium over the top of the wood plank (figure A).

4. Lay clay sheet over the glazed wood and work out any trapped air with fingertips.

5. Apply glue stick to the front and rear lengths of the wood plank. Press clay down over the adhesive, working out air as you go. At the corners, create darts by cutting the excess clay with a craft knife. Apply the glue stick at the ends of the wood plank and press down clay. Trim the excess away and blend the seams with your fingers (figure B).

6. Spray a light coating of automotive protectant spray on the clay and spread with fingers. Press the plastic texture sheet over the surface of the gold clay to cover fingerprints and flaws in the clay from handling (figure C).

7. Press a 1/2-inch ball of gold clay over the top/center of the clay-covered light cap. Press a 3/8-inch brass hexnut (found at most hardware stores) halfway into the center of the clay ball.

8. Press a 1/2-inch ball of gold clay onto the center of the clay-covered plank and slightly flatten. Press a hexnut into the center of the clay, embedding it slightly (figure D).

9. Use a ruler to mark four even spaces on either side of the center hexnut. Press a hexnut into the clay at each mark (figure E).

10. Roll a large ball of conditioned clay black clay into a 1/8-inch-diameter, 10-inch-long snake. Fold the snake in half and twist into a rope. Wrap the snake around the outer edge of the hexnut and trim excess clay with a craft knife (figure F). Repeat this step seven more times around each remaining hexnut--except the center one.

11. Roll out sheets of copper and black clay on the sixth-largest setting of the pasta machine.

12. Cut out 21 black and three copper leaves with the large leaf cutter. Using the needle tool, score a line vertically through the center of three large black and three large copper leaves. Press these leaves, alternating colors, with the tip facing out around the outside of the center hexnut (figure G).

13. Press vein lines on the remaining 18 large black leaves. Create eight groupings of two leaves each. Press two leaves together lightly at the bases, angling each one out slightly. Press each grouping between hexnuts along the top edge of the wood plank and down over the front (figure H). Note the spacing of each grouping between the hexnuts and around each corner. The last two black leaves should be placed as shown on either side of the front-center copper leaf.

14. Cut out 16 medium copper leaves and one black one with the medium leaf cutter. Press vein marks into each of the copper leaves. Press a single vein mark vertically through the center of the medium black leaf as above.

15. Make eight groupings of two leaves each, by lightly pressing the bottom ends of each leaf together with the tips facing outward. Press a grouping between each of the eight outer hexnuts (figure I).

16. On clay that has been run through the third-largest setting of the pasta machine, cut out eight black and six gold circles using the small round cutter. Roll these circles into balls.

17. Place a black ball over the meeting point between each of the eight copper leaf groupings. Press a hole into each ball with a needle tool (figure J).

18. Repeat this step with the gold clay circles, placing them between the alternating leaves along the outer edge of the hexnut (figure K).

19. Bake the menorah at 275 F degrees for 40 minutes.

Note: Dripless candles are recommended. Burn away from drafts and never leave burning candles unattended.

Display your polymer clay menorah for the festive holiday season.

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