Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Lilian Nichols, A Stylized Butterfly in Polymer Clay

Sally's butterfly.  

I didn't get a photo of the Skinner Blend Sally started with but I do have photos of Mary Ann's and mine.

From this to this...

Mary Ann's butterfly.

From this to this...

 Pauline's butterfly.

Making these butterflies took the entire four hour session.  We had time to cut one set of wings from the half circle or triangular cane we made and to add the body to complete the butterfly but not time to bake them.

I have tried to reconstruct the steps for you.

Make the Skinner blend.  We blended strips rather than triangles as is done in a traditional Skinner Blend.

How to fold the Skinner Blend...

Roll the Skinner Blend.

Compress the Skinner Blend.

Shape the Skinner Blend.

Top view.

Wrap the Skinner Blend with black.

Gradually stretch the wedge lengthwise.  Cut the resulting 6 inch wedge into three 2 inch sections.  Lay 2 inch wedges side by side.  A bull's eye cane can be inserted between two of the wedges as shown below.

Add a design of bull's eye canes wrapped in black along the outer edge of the wedge shaped cane.  More bull's eyes still must be added to the outside edge of the example below.

I don't have an example of the large completed cane but here is a size comparison so you can see how much I compressed the completed cane.  Cut the resulting cane into two sections, one approximately two-thirds longer than the other.  The shorter section will be stretched further and become the bottom wing.

Slice off two sections from the two-part wing.  Lay them facing one another. Roll a bit of clay for the body between the two wings.  Press together.  Further shape wings if you wish.