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Mini Address Book

Artist Lisa Pavelka recycles "junk" or leftover clay scraps into an easy and elegant basket weave cane mini address book.

Materials and Tools:

Kato Polyclay*:
- black
- white or pearl
- complementary colored clay scraps (large ball)
mini magnetic accordion-fold address book - dollar store or flea market
Kato Acrylic clay rod
Hammerhead two-part epoxy
clay blade
clay-dedicated pasta machine
craft knife
index card
waxed deli sheet
pencil
scissors
baby wipes for clean up
12" x12" or 8"x 8" smooth ceramic tile work/baking surface
metal stamping or charm center embellishments - optional

* Condition all clay thoroughly before using, starting with the lightest colors. Knead for 1 to 2 minutes or cut a block into 4 to 5 slices and run through a pasta machine on the largest setting several times until very soft and pliable.

Figure A

Steps:

1. Lay the address book facedown over the index card to create a template. Trace around the edges with a pencil and cut out (figure A).

2. Tightly compress a large ball (about a fistful) of polymer clay scraps to form the cane. Roll the ball into a three-inch long snake.

3. Wrap the snake in black clay rolled through the 4th largest setting on the pasta machine.

4. Roll and reduce the wrapped cane to 7 inches long. Trim away the distorted ends. Cut the snake into three 2-inch long sections.

Figure E

5. Slightly flatten each section between your thumb and forefinger. Press three sections together, side-by-side. Form into a square using an acrylic rod (figure E).

6. Reduce and lengthen the square cane to 5 inches in length. Cut away the excess and cut into four- 1 inch long pieces.

Figure F

7. Assemble these four sections together to form a square cane. Each section should be facing opposite of the one sitting next to it (figure F).

8. Using the acrylic rod, compress the new basket weave by rolling it and rotating it often until it is between 3/4 inch and 1-inch square.

Figure H

9. Cut 6 thin slices from the cane with a clay blade. Place these slices on a sheet of black clay that's been rolled out on the 4th largest setting on the pasta machine (figure H). This sheet should be slightly larger than the address book.

10. Place the sheet on a ceramic baking tile. Be sure to lay it down so that no air bubbles are trapped between the clay and the tile. Roll the canes covered clay with the acrylic rod until all of the slices meld together and together and form a seamless veneer.

Figure J

11. Place the paper template over the clay and trim around it with a craft knife. Optional: Press a metallic or clay embellishment into the center of the trimmed clay cover before baking. This embellishment may be placed over a thin circle of clay to highlight it (figure J). Bake the clay for 30 minutes in a 275 degree F oven.

Figure K

12. When the clay and tile have cooled, carefully slide the clay blade under the clay to loosen from the tile. Make scratches in the surface(s) of the address book with the tip of the craft knife or a needle tool (this will improve the adhesive bond of the glue) (figure K). Attach the clay covers to the address book with two-part epoxy. Allow the glue to cure a full 24 hours before use.

Tips:


  • For a gentleman's address book, deep dark colors or metallic clay scraps, mixed with white or pearl for contrast, work well to create a masculine pattern.

  • If a charm or metal embellishment is used, it's recommended that you pry it loose after baking and reattach it with two-part epoxy for a permanent bond.

  • Cover both sides of the address book with thin clay veneers as desired.

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