Sunday, February 28, 2010

Making Cold Porcelain Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums come in many types and colours, but here is a good starter.  Margaret shows you how to make a fairly simple white flower!   You will need cold porcelain paste, Chrysanthemum cutters, wires, glue and basic tools.   See yesterday's post for making your own cutters.  

You'll also need a colorant.   This tutorial calls for oil paint, but you can also use acrylic paint or paste and powder colorants found in cake decorating stores.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

How to make your own clay cutters

Rubina of Gemina Arts and Crafts shows us how she makes her own clay shape cutters. Rubina says:

"When we work with cold porcelain,  the essential tools and cutters are always needed. But sometimes we are unable to get accurate cutter according to the project. I have faced this situation many times then got idea to make homemade cutters....first we need Aluminium sheet or tin sheet, scissor, pen, margin scale (ruler), steel bond (glue) and... most important is the wooden block...(with) nails will help to get shape and curves of cutter."
Homemade Cold Porcelain Cutter Making

Thursday, February 25, 2010

How to Make Play Clay for the Kids

Here's a video demonstrating how to make a 'Play-Doh' type clay (similar to the kids clay recipe in the last post).

Monday, February 22, 2010

Kid's Clay Recipe

Here's a home recipe from Martha Stewart for making modeling clay for the kids.   Simple to make using  flour, salt, cream of tartar, cooking oil and food coloring.

Friday, February 19, 2010

How to Make Hydrangeas with Air-Dry Clay

In this video, Diane Phillips of DK Designs shows Martha Stewart how to make Hydrangeas out of Claycraft clay by DECO. Claycraft is a very soft, polymer based air-dry clay similar to Hearty, Makin's and Model Magic.

Each of those brands is available pre-colored, but you may also use white clay and tint the clay yourself.  Other brands of SOFT air-dry clay could be used to create these Hydrangea flowers, as well as homemade cold porcelain..

This flower-crafting video refers to the book Clay Art for All Seasons: A Guide to Soft Clay Art.
Click here for our review of the book.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Book Review: Clay Art for All Seasons

If you are interested in making flowers with air-dry clay, Clay Art for All Seasons: A Guide to Soft Clay Art by Yukiko Miyai is a 'must have' for your library.

Note:    I first reviewed this book in February, 2010 but it is currently unavailable except for 3rd party sellers.  It's a great book and I've seen it listed at over $100.   That inflated price says it's in high demand....but I wouldn't pay more than $30 for it.   It's an attractive, but small book (74 pages, about 9"x9").   Search Amazon and other book sites for sellers with a more realistic price!

It's a small book (only 74 pages) but beautifully photographed and nicely spiral bound (hardcover) so pages lay flat when open. It's also a very popular book and Amazon is sold out of copies quite often. When you see a copy available, grab it!

Publisher's description:   This elegant craft book’s stunning clay creations were inspired by the flowers of Hawaii and beyond.

Using its easy-to-follow instructions, readers will learn how to create realistic orchids, plumeria, hibiscus, gerbera daisies, and other flowers as well as charming themed pieces for special occasions.  With gorgeous color photos and informative illustraions throughout, Clay Art for All Seasons guides readers step-by-step through the creative process, enabling them to enjoy the everlasting beauty of this delicate and highly decorative art form.

Chapter One begins with a description of tools and materials.  ClayCraft by Deco is the air-dry clay used in all demonstrations.   This clay is available in basic colors and a small color chart is included in the book for mixing additional colors.   A short , one page, introduction to working with air-dry clay is provided.  (Note: Many other brands of soft air-dry clay are suitable for the projects in this book.  Homemade cold porcelain could be used, as well.)

In the next chapter you'll find instructions for making 12 different kinds of flowers....Rose, Plumeria, Daffodil, Gerbera Daisy, Lilac, Hibiscus, Peony, Orchid, Stephanotis, Pakalana, Calla Lily and Poinsettia.   Each flower is demonstrated with beautiful step-by-step photos, however, the instructions are brief.  Two pages, for the most part, are devoted to each flower.  No instructions are included for arranging flowers, but gorgeous arrangements are shown throughout the book.

The remaining 30+ pages include project demonstrations with holiday and special occasion themes (mostly non-floral).   There's a Valentine Gift Box (shown above), a Decorated Egg, a Chick and Bunny, 2 Lei (Haku Lei shown here), a Shadow Box with Wedding Dress, a Pumpkin arrangement, a Wreath, a Santa Ornament and a few more projects.    These gift and decorative items are nice, but not the reason to buy the book.   The beautiful flowers are the reason you'll want this book!

If you already have the book....or just find it's sold out might want to pick up the author's second book titled Clay Art for Special Occasions.   Just released in Nov. 2009, I haven't got my hands on this one yet!   It sounds like it may be an update of the information already covered in Clay Art for All Seasons.   The publisher's description says it contains instructions for: "a wide range of gorgeous flowers from plumeria to hibiscus, floral arrangements, leis and decorations for gift boxes, seasonal ornaments".    To me, this sounds very similar to description of the first book.

If anyone has a copy of either of these books, we'd all appreciate it if you would comment here and give us your opinion!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

How to Make a Frog

This step-by-step tutorial from shows you how to create this realistic frog using the 'paper mache clay' featured in yesterday's post.   Author says: Make this frog out of newspaper, masking tape, pipe cleaners and paper mache clay. ..... if I did it again I’d use stronger wire in place of the pipe cleaners so I could get thinner fingers and toes, but that’s the only part of the process I’d change.
Read more.....

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

How to Make Paper Mache Clay

The author of this video (Jonni) created the sleeping lion cub shown above.   In the video shown below she demonstrates how to make the paper mache clay she uses to sculpt her figures.   Jonni says using this paper mache clay is faster than paper strips and paste, better details than paper pulp, and easier to make.

Caution: This material does use items from the hardware store that are not rated for use by children, and the resulting clay is not edible. Small children should not use this clay.

Monday, February 15, 2010

How to make an elf with Model Magic

TatyanaBel shows us how she creates her elves with air-dry Crayola Model Magic.  "While creating an Elf, setting a different posture for him or her brings a new attitude in this little creature.  Holding an elf in your hand is so pleasant to the touch, it looks very alive :)  When clay dries out, it becomes unbelievably weightless. "

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Meet a New Clay: Makin's Clay

Shape it, roll it, stretch it, sculpt it! Makin’s Clay is a new type of water-based, air-dry modeling clay that requires no baking and dries within 24 hours, depending upon the thickness of the piece. Available in muli-colors, vineyard tones and earth tones.  The individual colors can be mixed together or mixed with acrylic paints to create new colors. Pieces can be sanded and painted when dry.

Makin’s Clay contains no PVC (polyvinylchloride), is certified non-toxic, and conforms to ACMI-AP safety and quality standards. It is safe for children age three and older.  Slightly acidic when wet, Makin’s Clay dries acid-free.

I have not used Makin's Clay's still on the shopping list!  ;-)   But I was just reading this detailed review of Makin's Clay from Garie Sim, a well-know polymer clay artist, instructor and author (located in Singapore).
 Testing Makin's Clay; My First Impression On Using And Curing The Clay

Garie Sim does some extensive testing of the curing process, commenting that it took 72 hours to fully cure.  I'd like to add that the methods used for air-dry clay are often different than those used with polymer clay. Using the clay as thickly as shown in the testing is not recommended.  Many air-dry clay projects will coat an armature with clay (such as a Styrofoam ball) so clay doesn't need to be so thick.   Using a thinner layer of clay avoids cracks (from uneven curing), shortens the curing process and saves money (uses less clay).

The impression I get from reading Garie's review is that Makin's Clay is very similar to Crayola Model Magic and to Hearty Clay.   All are available in colors and all are very soft, with a sticky consistency.   They are great clays for some purposes but do not take detail well.   Not recommended for detailed sculpting and doll crafting.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Yellow Blossoms Tutorial

One of the members of our Air-Dry-Clay Yahoo Group, Rubina, has written a tutorial for you to create these lovely yellow "filler" flowers with cold porcelain.   She specializes in cold porcelain flowers and is a wonderful teacher, so you should enjoy this tutorial.   Lots of good, step-by-step photos!   Perfect for a beginner!   Go to Rubina's website Gemini Arts and Crafts for step-by-step tutorial or view this video slideshow to make the yellow blossoms.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Modeling a bunny with Paperclay

Watch masao fujikawa as he models this rabbit in about 10 minutes. I'm guessing he's using a Japanese air-dry clay product very similar to Creative Paperclay.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

How to Make Mini Hair Rollers for Mini Dolls

Marsha, from Marsha's Musings and Sassy Mini Dolls, has shared her technique in this video for creating hair rollers (pink of course) for your mini dolls. I think this is cute and clever!   I wish I had  thought of this when I made my Auntie Marion doll (cloth doll shown here).  Some pink rollers in that red hair would have been a good thing!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Blogger tips - animated images

I had a bit of trouble getting my dancing Valentine to animate when uploaded to Blogger! Apparently, to make an animated GIF work in Blogger, it must be uploaded to an outside image host and hot-linked.   The problem seems to be the auto-resizing of images done by Blogger.  

In doing research to figure out why my guy wouldn't dance, I came across a blog full of tips for handling images in Blogger.   Because so many of you also have a blog on Blogger, I thought you might like to take a look at 'Image Test' , a blog created solely to test various images.   In addition to explaining animations in Blogger, it also contains info about positioning images, adding captions, etc.

According to 'Image Test', if the image is larger than the selected size (sm, med, lg), Blogger stores the large copy and creates a scaled image in the selected size. When that happens the scaled image will not animate.  My image was smaller, not larger, but it still wouldn't animate.    I didn't find my solution at 'Image Test'....but you may find yours!

Now....if I can just figure out how to get rid of the border around my animation. Coding 'border=0' into the HTML doesn't seem to work!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

How to Decoupage a Bangle Bracelet

This tutorial for creating a decoupage bracelet from papier mache pulp and a recycled masking tape cardboard core is taken from the book Contemporary Papier Mache: Colorful Sculpture, Jewelry, and Home Accessories

You could create this with your own homemade papier mache or with an "instant" product like Celluclay.    Just add water to Celluclay to create a papier mache pulp.  You could also use an air-dry clay such as Creative Paperclay or some homemade cold porcelain.  Just about any no-bake clay product should work well and may give you a smoother texture than papier mache (if that was desired).

I see all sorts of possibilities with this idea and I hope you do too!

Part 1. Materials list
Part 2. Making the bangle
Part 3.  Decoupage instructions


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