How to Create a Black Polymer Clay Pin
Create your own polymer clay pin with these instructions by Donna Kato.
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Materials and Tools:
3 oz. black Kato Polyclay
Nublade clay slicing blade
Kato Clear Polyclay Medium
Perfect Pearls (kiwi and violet)
Lisa Pavelka's Polybonder glue
Christmas tree ball or burnt-out light bulb
dish scrubber (Scotchbrite type)
fine-grit sanding block
polyester quilt batting to bake on
1. Roll a sheet of black clay through the third-thickest setting of the pasta machine. Cut a 7/8-inch square. Reserve the rest for use later.
2. Roll a thin, tapering snake of black clay. Coat one end of the snake with Kiwi Perfect Pearls powder; then coat the opposite end with Perfect Copper (figure A). Roll powder into clay. Clean your hands and wipe down your work surface.
3. Cut in half lengthwise with your blade (figure B). It is easiest to rest the blade on your work surface at the division point of the tapered end, and then cut down through the rest of the snake, using a "paper cutter" type motion.
4. On your work surface, coil the divided snake, pressing the flat back against your work surface (figure C). With your blade, lift the coil and place it on the 7/8-inch square.
5. With your blade, cut away any of the coiled clay that extends beyond the sides of the square (figure D).
7. Roll a sheet of black clay through the thickest setting of the pasta machine. Fold it in half to make a sheet of double thickness. Roll with an acrylic rod to expel any air pockets.
8. Cut 4-1/2-inch-wide strips. Following the procedure above, apply strips to the four sides of the piece (figures F and G). If the edges of the frame are not straight, lightly stroke the clay from the opening out.
10. Bake this piece for 20 minutes at 275 F degrees. Allow the piece to cool, then lightly sand the sides and the top edge (carefully, if the coil is raised above the edges) with 60-grit sandpaper.
11. To make the concave back: Roll a sheet of clay through the second-thickest setting of the pasta machine. With a 2-1/2-inch-diameter circle cutter, cut a circle from the clay sheet.
12. Center the cured frame on the cut circle and cut around with a blade or needle tool. Lift the frame and remove the square cut-out (figure I).
13. Press the circle with the square cut out onto a Christmas tree ball or a burnt-out light bulb (figure J). Work cautiously, the glass is thin! Lightly press the clay at the perimeter of the circle to the glass. I rotate the ball as I press the clay. Bake this piece at 275 F degrees for 20 minutes.
14. When the clay is cured and cool, remove it from the glass. Using a dish scrubber, sand the concave side of the disc. With a 150-grit sanding block, sand the edges.
15. Lay the concave piece down and position the cured square piece inside, aligning the corners of the square with the corners of the cut-out (figure K). If it does not fit, sand the corners of the cut-out with 60-grit sandpaper until the cured square fits in the cut-out. In all the time I have done this, I always have to sand the corners!
16. Roll a sheet of black through the second-thickest setting of the pasta machine and lightly press the back of the concave piece into the clay (figure L). Following the marks and leaving an allowance of 1/16 inch, cut a square.
17. Place the clay square over the back side of the cut out. Lightly stroke the raw clay out, covering the hole (figures M and N). Place this piece, concave side up, onto a ceramic tile.
18. Apply a light coat of liquid medium to the back of the square focal piece. Aligning the corners, press this piece to the raw clay (figure O). Bake this for an additional 20 minutes.
19. To finish: Lightly sand the back of the pin with the 150-grit sanding block. Glue the pin back onto the pin.
20. Roll a very thin sheet of black. Cut a rectangle that will cover the flat part of the pin back. Place the rectangle over the back and smooth the clay out.
21. Bake this, face down on polyester batting, at 275 F degrees for 20 minutes.
Make intricate shapes and miniatures with clay to create "The Poet."