Create a polymer clay tile clock that's embellished with stamps, paints and pigment powders.
Materials and Tools:
8" x 8" piece of black book board
liquid polymer clay
1 block black polymer clay
1-1/2 blocks pearlescent polymer clay
dimensional glaze for polymer clay
metallic acrylic paints in various colors
mica powders in various colors
medium thickness artist paintbrush
clay-dedicated pasta machine
1. Condition all clay.
2. Apply a layer of liquid polymer clay to the book board using fingers.
3. Roll out two pieces of black clay on the third-largest setting on the pasta machine until sheets are at least eight inches in length. Lay these pieces of clay side by side on the book board, smoothing down the clay carefully with a roller (figure A) to avoid air bubbles. Smooth the seam where the two pieces touch. Turn the piece over and trim excess clay from the book board.
4. Using a sea sponge, lightly dab metallic paints on clay, one color at a time, until the desired effect is attained (figure B).
5. Roll out the pearl clay on the largest setting of the pasta machine.
6. Stamp images on the clay with a solvent-based black ink (figure C). Tip: Use a light touch when stamping–you do not want the image embedded into the clay.
7. Trim around the stamped images, leaving a 1/4" to 1/2" border.
8. Brush pigment powders onto the clay with a paintbrush (figure D).
9. Cut stamped images into four equal pieces with a ruler and a clay blade.
10. Bake stamped tiles in oven following manufacturer's recommendations for time and temperature.
11. After tiles have cooled, arrange tiles on the base, allocating room for the clock movement. To maintain the tile effect, leave a 1/8-inch space between each stamped tile. When the desired layout is accomplished, firmly press tiles into polymer clay base to secure (figure E).
12. With a ruler, locate the center of the box lid and cut an opening large enough for the clock mechanism to fit through (figure F).
13. Bake the entire piece, again at manufacturer's recommendations, for time and temperature. Let the piece cool completely.
14. Carefully cover the surface of every stamped tile with a thin layer of clear dimensional glaze (figure G). Let tiles dry until glaze becomes clear.
15. Attach the clock mechanism to the piece according to manufacturer's instructions.
Michelle Herren, of Las Vegas, Nev., grew up on a farm in Kansas, and that's why she was accustomed to making items for herself. Her mom and grandma are gifted china painters, but she quickly learned that she couldn't draw or paint to save her life. When she discovered that The Polymer Clay Guild had a chapter in Las Vegas, she went to a meeting and finally found the perfect craft medium for her! Herren makes a clock using polymer clay that has been stamped, colored, cut and finished to resemble a mosaic art piece.