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Wooden Cow Clock

Kimberly Arden shows how to design an imaginative wooden cow clock.

For the past eight years, Kimberly Arden has been an avid aficionado of polymer clay. She began her study of the medium taking classes . . . now the apprentice has become the teacher. She is also a self-described lover of the spotlight and keeps herself and her friends entertained by singing karaoke. Whether she's being applauded for her song styling or her artistry in polymer clay and painting techniques, folks take notice. That's certainly the case for her unusual clocks, particularly her Cow Clock.

Materials and Tools:

wood animal
wood plaque base
four legs
foursquare blocks
20-gauge florist wire
telephone wire
polymer clay canes
wire to bake beads on
tiles to bake beads on
acrylic paint: light green, dark green, light blue, dark blue, purple, white, yellow, burgundy
artist brushes in various sizes
artist palette
E6000 glue
small glass beads
drill with Forstner bit to fit the diameter of the clock and 1/8" bit
small clock
safety glasses
1/8" wood dowel
pasta machine
needle tool
clay cutting blade
Flecto Varathane Diamond Elite finish
needle nose pliers
Super Glue
knitting needle, small diameter


1. Wearing eye protection, drill out a hole for the clock in the side of the cow. Sand the drilled hole.

2. Sand and drill out the base for flower display. Measure the distance between the holes by folding a strip of paper the length of each side in half, then half again and half again. Lay the paper along the appropriate edge and make a mark on the wood at each fold. This creates equally spaced holes. Drill the holes with a 1/8-inch drill bit.

3. Paint the top half of the cow blue for sky with a gradation toward the horizon to a paler blue. Then paint the bottom half green with lighter colors at the horizon.

4. Paint the clouds white with a touch of lavender underneath for depth. Also paint some simple green plants and flowers on the bottom of the cow.

5. Brush a coat of dark green on the base with a wide flat brush.

6. Paint medium size blobs of red (these will become roses) on the base using a filbert brush. Paint green leaves using a brush loaded with two colors of green paint.

7. Add small circles of burgundy paint with a dot maker to the center of the roses and let dry.

8. Add squiggly line details around the roses and leaves with a short liner brush. Add the title of the art piece along the beveled edge of the base using the same brush.

9. Paint the legs purple and let dry. Add green triangular shapes from the top of the leg to the base around each leg. Line the edges of the triangles with blue squiggles.

10. Paint foursquare blocks green and let dry. Add lighter green leaves. Drill a hole in the top of each block and glue a 1/8-inch dowel inside. Cut off the ends of the dowels leaving 1/2 inch.

11. Drill holes in the tops of the legs and insert the wood dowels from the square blocks into the holes. Glue in place. Glue the legs to the bottom of the base.

12. Place the cow on the base and draw light circles around the feet. Drill out pilot holes inside these circles from the top though the base. Drill out holes in bottom of cow's feet. Screw the cow's feet to the base from the bottom with wood screws.

13. Paint the entire surface with a clear gloss acrylic sealer using a wide flat brush. Let dry.

Clay Leaf

1. Make a feather cane out of polymer clay to create leaves. Mix a skinner blend of lime green with a darker blue green color using one half block of each color.

2. Reduce and manipulate into a 'slab of bacon' with light green clay on top of stripe.

3. Lay a slab of purple clay (using the #1 thickest setting on a pasta machine) onto the slab o' bacon, and run it the long way through the pasta machine at its thickest setting. This will give you a nice color blend with a purple stripe.

4. Cut the strip into two inch pieces. Lay these on top of each other reversing the color orientation every few stripes. Also while stacking, wrap the end around the end of the previous stack. Add in a couple of tubes of another color every once in a while, perhaps a soft yellow.

5. Cut cane in half for the leaf. Tip: Create mirror images. Manipulate and tweak the leaf to give it a natural wavy appearance. Reduce the cane and set it into the fridge to cool.

6. Make a flower using the same technique, changing colors to reds. Reduce, cut into five pieces and arrange these five petals around a snake of yellow. Put in fridge to cool.

7. Slice canes into 1/4-inch pieces. Pierce with a needle tool and thread onto 20-gauge florist wire. Lay these loaded wires flat between two white pieces of paper that are sandwiched inside flat ceramic tiles. Bake at 275 for 30 minutes. Note: Extra time is needed for the heat to permeate inside the tiles.

8. Gloss the beads using Flecto Varathane Diamond Elite finish.

9. String beads onto old telephone wire. String a flower in the center of a green wire approximately 12 inches in length. Give it a few twists then string on a leaf and a few small beads. Finish twisting until the last inch of wire around a very small knitting needle.

10. Fold over the last 1/2 inch of wire and crimp with pliers to smooth. Add a drop of Super Glue and poke this wire end into one of the drilled holes in the base. Make flowers for each hole in the base.

11. Add desired embellishments, like a cute little bird standing on the cow's backend for height and interest. Insert the clock.


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