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Polymer Clay Fish Mobile

Michelle Ross shows how to create this unique mobile using polymer clay.

Materials and Tools:

Kato Polyclay; ultra blue, pearl, magenta
plus small amounts of orange, green, black
tissue blade
clay-dedicated pasta machine
oven
weights (stack of books)
Sizzix Die Cutter
Sizzix Die # 38-0305 circles *
round nose and flat pliers
wire cutter
16-gauge magenta Artistic Wire
various colors and gauges Artistic Wire for fish fins
scissors
nylon fishing line
tweezers
Crafter's Pick The Ultimate white glue
hi-temp brush-on poly bonder super glue
double-sided adhesive tape
Xyron 500 sticker machine
6 pieces 4-1/4" x 2-3/4" color-coordinated card stock
white gel writer
black permanent pen

* or other circle cutters in the following approximate sizes: 2" diameter, 1-5/8" diameter, 1-3/8" diameter, and 1" diameter

Steps:

1. You will need six Skinner blended sheets that are 4-1/4" x 5-1/2" to make six fish for the mobile. First roll the blue and pearl clay through the pasta machine on a #1 thickness. Note: All thicknesses stated are for an Atlas Machine and may vary on other machines. Cut a 3-1/2-inch square of blue and one of pearl. Cut each square diagonally and off-set and put triangles of same color on top of each other.

2. Make a Skinner blend with the blue and pearl, and roll to a #5 thickness, putting both colors touching the rollers while reducing the thickness.

3. Cut out two 4-1/4" x 5-1/2" pieces.

4. Repeat above steps using magenta and pearl.

5. Mix together the remainder of the two Skinner blends plus a small amount of magenta clay to make a lavender color. With the new lavender color and more magenta clay, again follow the first four steps above.

6. Bake all the sheets at 275 F degrees for 30 minutes. Put the sheets under heavy weights while cooling to insure flatness.

7. When the sheets are cool, run them through the Sizzix with the circle die.

8. Make the eyes by rolling small balls of black clay. Make the lips with orange and green clay by rolling snakes that are about 1/8-inch thick. For the big fish, cut 2-inch pieces and for the small fish cut 1-1/2-inch pieces. Taper the ends and shape into heart-shaped lips in pairs that will face each other.

9. Bake the eyes and lips for 20 minutes.

10. Put the card stock through the Xyron with the adhesive cartridge and then through the Sizzix with the circle die using just the two largest circles.

11. Peel and stick the card stock to the fish bodies only.

12. Shape the colored wire into fish fins: three loops for the top fins and two loops for the bottom.

13. Cut "moon" shapes for the fish tails out of the two smaller circles.

14. Use scissors to cut wavy body stripes from the clay that is left after cutting the circles with the die machine.

15. Position the wire fins on the card stock side of the body and hold in place with double-sided tape.

16. Glue the two body halves together with white glue.

17. With the Poly Bonder super glue, glue to each side of the fish, an eye, lips, tail and decorative stripes.

18. Use the white gel writer to create an eye ball on the black clay eyes.

19. To assemble the mobile: Cut one 13-inch and one 12-1/2-inch length of 16-gauge magenta wire.

20. With the 13-inch piece, use the round-nose pliers to make a loop in the center and one at each end.

21. With the 12-1/2-inch piece, make a slight bend in the center, put through the loop in the center of the other piece, and make a loop at each end.

22. Tie a piece of fishing line to the center loop to hang the wire while assembling the mobile and to hang the finished mobile.

23. Tie pieces of the fishing line to the fish fins and the loops in the wire. This will hang five fish. Hang one small fish from the large center fish.

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