Tips and Tricks Wednesday: Smoothing Clay

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When you sculpt there will be lumps and bumps and finger prints and all kinds of irritating irregularities in your work.

There are three methods for getting rid of them and each has it merits.

Using a small soft brush you can either dip in

Baby oil: Takes a lot of work but does smooth the clay down

Vaseline: I like to use this when I have a small little area that needs fixing.

or

Rubbing alcohol: this is my favorite, it works fast removing lumps and bumps but if you aren’t careful you can go too far.

Reborning: Rooting Pillow How to.

When adding the hair to a reborn doll it help to have something you can put the dolls head on to stabilize your work area. This is what I came up with to do the job.

What you need:

Some fabric: I used a pretty Hello Kitty patterned flannel.

Sewing Supplies

Sewing machine (Optional you could hand sew this.

A large bowl: I used a cake dish that we get our cakes in. The cover works brilliantly for size

Rice

Batting

 

How to:

  1.  Fold your fabric in half (right side in) and use your bowl as a template to draw a circle shape on your fabric.
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  3. Before cutting put a generous amount of pins in the folded fabric so it wont shift when you cut.
  4. Cut out your circle (sorry about the blurry image)
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  6. Now take a tape measure and measure the circumference and the depth of the bowl and you have your middle part
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  8. Cut out
  9. Pin (with right sides together) the straight edge to the curved edge
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  11. Sew slowly and carefully. Make sure you keep the edges aligned.
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  13. I wanted the pillow to be slightly smaller than the bowl so I didn’t add a seam allowance. I kept the seam to about 1cm all around the edge. On your second seam make sure to leave a little space for stuffing
  14. Sew down the middle of the band so you only have the stuffing hole open
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  16. When you have sewn both sides, clip the seams without clipping the stitching.
  17. Now turn it the right way around
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  19. Start by filling the pillow about half way with rice.
  20. Make sure the rice stays at the bottom then fill  the rest of the pillow with batting. (it will give a more solid surface than the fiber fill and work better as a cushion. The batting part is the bottom of the pillow.
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  22. Be careful not to over stuff the pillow. Sew the opening hole closed well and turn the pillow over
  23. Now you can manipulate the rice stuffing to position your doll head how you need to for easier rooting.

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Enjoy

Genevieve

 

 

Tips and Tricks Wednesday – Seeing Shapes

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When you are drawing one of the first things you are taught is to see the shapes in your subject.

The same goes for sculpting.

I will give you an example of a simplified version.

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If you had wanted to sculpt this owl you would break it down to its basic shapes. So to do the body you would start with a ball of clay.

The beak would be a little triangle of clay and the toes would be little snakes. Which you then blend into the more complex shapes.

So when you are getting ready to sculpt, create a mental overlay over your reference and see the shapes before you begin.

Tips and Tricks Wednesday #4

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Don’t be overly ambitious:

Start small, learning and getting comfortable with the medium (any medium) will go a long way to making your work better.

When I started with clay I made sure I did only little charms. I learned how the clay moved and shaped and blended in my hands.

Now I’m more confident with the medium and I’m doing far better work.

So always start small. Keep your goals small and with practice you can make your goals more advanced.

20150707_121443This was one of my first projects. I was getting a feel for the clay and working with shapes.

Purple dragon Now I can do more complicated things.

Baby steps are the way to go.

 

Happy Wednesday, Crafties.

Genevieve

Tips and Tricks Wednesday #3

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Finish what you are busy with:

This tip works with a lot of crafts:

Don’t try and juggle a million projects at once. Make sure you complete the project you are busy with in any given craft before you start the next.

At the moment I have quiet a few project I’m busy with but each project is a different craft.

I have one knitting project

One Polymer project

One drawing.

I wont start another knitting project until my current one is complete.

That way I make sure that projects actually do get completed but I’m not bored because I can always put down my knitting and pick up my drawing.

Heat Set Paints

Happy Sunday, Crafties

 

Today I’m going to share a trick I learned from another (fantastic) clay artist.

You can find her video here.

But I’ve changed how I’ve done it.

 

With this technique you can make your own set of heat-set paints, in any colour you can imagine.

 

What you need:

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  • Clay – Any brand it doesn’t matter. I used a Filini because its too soft to sculpt with and I have the full color range.
  • Clay softener – Here you can easily substitute the softener wit baby oil and that is what I did.
  • A food (onion) chopper: It makes life a lot easier. (Don’t use your kitchen one)
  • A grater: Small one that you do not use in the kitchen.
  • Pill dispenser box

 

 

Method:

 

  1. Grate the colour of clay you want to use into a small bowl.
  2. Put the grated clay into the chopper’s bowl
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  4. Add baby oil until its nice and shiny. You can always add more so start with a little and add more as you need to.
  5. Start chopping at the clay and that will mix it.
  6. You can smooth it out even more by mixing with a spoon once the chopper doesn’t help any more.
  7. Work it until it is as smooth as you can get it.
  8. Put your heat set paint into a pill dispenser box or little bottle

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Now its ready to be used whenever you want to paint your clay creations

Its wonderfully translucent so it works beautifully for blush and skin coloring.

 

Happy Crafting!