Monday, February 2, 2015

Lilian Nichols Shows Us How to Make a Valentine Heart in Polymer Clay

Annette brought Lilian a heart cane project by Valerie Mathewson which was shown step by step  on Polymer Clay Central and asked if Lilian would use it for a class project with us.

Lilian adapted the project for our class.  


The large slice is the size of Lilian's finished cane before she reduced it.  The small size is the reduced size that she plans to use for making earrings and other jewelry.

When Ceal measured the large slice she discovered it was nearly 1 1/2 inches across. When Lilian reduced this cane to the small size in the first photo, she had a cane about three feet long.



Usually we students work with canes that are less than 10 inches in length when finished.  Lilian suggested that we make our center heart smaller than hers so we would have smaller completed canes.  She also suggested that we plan to make the cane about 3 inches long before reduction.

First we made two rolls of red about three inches long.  Lilian showed us how to use a section of plexiglass to create rolls that were the same diameter along the entire length.


Here are my rolls.


Next she demonstrated how to shape each roll into the shape of a half heart.


Then she laid the two sections together and sharpened the pointed bottom by pinching and pressing the edges.


Here is Mary Ann's completed heart.


The next step was to wrap the heart with a layer of white clay.  Here Ceal is beginning to wrap.


And here is Sally's wrapped heart.


A knitting needle ( 000 or 0000) pressed down will work the wrap into the indentation of the heart.
Mary Ann's wrapped cane is below.


The next step was to make the pink lace around the heart.  It is possible to make rolls and cut them in half lengthwise.  I think that was Ceal's choice of shaping.


Another method is to use an Extruder.  Extruders can be bought at polymer clay supply stores.  For the lace, use the half circle disk.


Sally used an Extruder to make the lace on her cane.


After attaching the lace, a thin layer of a contrasting clay was wrapped around the cane.  We chose a variety of colors...black, antique gold, purple, blue.  The thin knitting needle came in handy again to work the clay into the dips between the half circles that formed the lace.


Now it was time to insert triangles of white clay in each of the dips.  The triangles can be made by shaping a thin roll of clay into a three-sided strip or by using the Extruder with a triangle disk.  You can see the disk in the photo of the Extruder earlier in this blog.

Below...Mary Ann's cane showing how she inserted the triangles.


A white layer of clay is wrapped around the triangle ring.  Here is how Sally's looked before she sliced off the uneven end.


And here is Ceal's.


And here is Mary Ann's after she sliced off the end.


We're nearly to the end of the project.

Here are some of the strips Sally cut for the final layer.


Sally's completed cane, ready to be reduced.


Ceal's completed cane.  To the  right, you can see the adapted directions that Lilian wrote out for us.


 Mary Ann's completed cane.



Below is Lilian's completed cane after being reduced by alternately squeezing it and stretching it.  If the reduction is done carefully the pattern is not distorted.  This is a cut that was made halfway down a three foot cane.  



1 comment:

Far Side of Fifty said...

What an interesting project! You gals must have great fun at that class! :)