Tutorial: Moana Heart of Te’Fiti Pendant

Tutorial: Moana Heart of Te’Fiti Pendant

This weekend’s tutorial is a guide on making Disney’s Moana Heart of Te’Fiti pendant. The pendant–technically a piece of rock–is iconic to the movie, and is central to the plot.

When I made this tutorial, Moana was only recently released, and high resolution photos of the stone weren’t available yet, thus the end product isn’t as accurate as I’d like. Someday I may revisit this and make a more accurate tutorial!


 photo Moana-86.jpgReference from the Moana movie.
Materials:

  • Polymer clay in greens, pearl white, and translucent.
  • Scrap polymer clay
  • Mica powder
  • Microfine Glitter
  • Casting Epoxy (I use Castin’ Craft) and colorant (I use oil paints.)

 photo tefiti_1.jpgFirstly, I made a Skinner Blend using the pearl aqua green clay (my own blend of colors) and pearl white clay. Mica powder has been conditioned into each color to give it more shimmer, and the look of a precious rock. I didn’t want the rock to just be one slab of color, so I settled on making a soft gradient for it.

 photo tefiti_2.jpgThe Skinner Blend is a polymer clay technique for making gradients, and click here for a wonderful tutorial on it.

 photo tefiti_3.jpgI made the rock shape in scrap polymer clay, and go over it with the gradient. I usually use scrap clay to fill in insides of shapes or molds, so that nothing goes to waste.

 photo tefiti_4.jpgSmooth the gradient sheet over with a silicone tool. Now it looks more like a “rock”. Notice the rich shimmer thanks to the mica powder!

 photo tefiti_5.jpgI haven’t been able to take enough photos of this process, but next thing I do is roll a very thin sheet of translucent clay mixed with fine glitter, and then cut out shapes from it according to the shapes of the reference. I also cut out a shape from the rest of the gradient clay I made earlier, this time the darker part of it. I then put the cutouts over onto the base gradient rock, smoothing and blending it into it.

I then baked the rock in my oven, and then sand and buff it with a rotary tool. I meant for the stone to become a pendant, so I put in a screw pin into it.

 photo tefiti_6.jpgI wanted to give the rock it’s “glow”, so I mixed some yellow green oil paint into casting epoxy, then coating the base rock with it. I let it cure for a day.

 photo tefiti_7.jpgNotice how there’s an illusion of the rock “glowing” when it’s hit by light? It looks really pretty! *w*

If you’re aiming for a more accurate stone, I’d suggest casting the entire thing in Casting Epoxy for that transparent look, and perhaps mixing in some glow in the dark powder!

I hope this tutorial still helped you out, and I may redo this stone when time permits!

xoxo Xarin

 

Polymer Clay 101: Conditioning your Clay

Polymer Clay 101: Conditioning your Clay

Polymer clay from the pack is oftentimes firm so that they can be manufactured into their respective blocks. Before you can morph it into your desired shape, first you condition it.

[B]”Conditioning” is actually just a really fancy word for kneading your clay, either with your hands, a clay roller, or a pasta machine.

Certain brands of clay are harder to condition than others (FIMO Classic, Kato) while some clay brands are made softer and easier to condition (Bakeshop, Sculpey III).

The bigger the piece of clay, the more time you need to spend conditioning it!

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[B]Clay not conditioned well or long enough often results in air bubbles trapped inside the clay, which mostly only show up after baking.

image

Properly conditioned clay will bake with a smooth surface.

I can’t tell you how long to condition a clay on specific, because it really all depends on the amount of clay you’re working with. Just make sure that there are no hard bumps and lumps that you still feel while kneading the clay!

[B]”HELP! MY CLAY IS VERY TOUGH AND IT’S SO TOUGH TO CONDITION IT!”

Some clays are much tougher than others and can be difficult to condition for those with more delicate hands.

[B]Or sometimes you’re just unlucky and end up with “expired” clay—these are clay packs that are brittle, and fall apart and just not want to stick with each other when you start to handle them.

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[B]They get rock hard because the oil and moisture in them seems to have dried out. You can use a Clay Softener to help restore them and make conditioning easy, but a cheap alternative is to get a ziplock bag and put your clay in it, add a few drops of baby oil, and let it sit at least overnight. The clay will be much easier to work with in the morning!

Hope this helps! Feel free to ask more questions, and don’t forget that every Wednesday (GMT+8) I’ll be posting Polymer Clay tips for newbies, so please follow if you’d like to stay tuned!

xoxo Xarin

Polymer Clay 101: How long should I bake my clay for?

Polymer Clay 101: How long should I bake my clay for?

Hi everyone! For the month of June, I decided to publish beginner-friendly quick tips for polymer clay crafting each week! These are often asked questions by the beginner, and things that might take them time figuring out on their own. I know it took me quite some time figuring it these things out by myself!

This week’s often asked question is:

“How long should I bake my clay for??”

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How to Roll out Even Sheets of Worbla from Scraps

How to Roll out Even Sheets of Worbla from Scraps

Hey everyone! Today’s post will be quick and easy. This was a method I found out while I was reheating my worbla scraps the other day! I found the quick, easy solution to making even sheets was the same way I do with clay–with the pasta machine!

…Okay, the odds are pretty low that an ordinary crafter will have a pasta machine that they can just dedicate for crafts, but I do have one I use for clay. It was in the kitchen and was unused for decades. If you happen to have one you no longer use, consider using it for crafts like clay and worbla instead!

First, heat up your worbla a bit with your heat gun.
 photo IMG_4441_zpshrjghanq.jpgI let it cool to the touch and then put it through the pasta machine. Since the machine is all metal, the worbla won’t stick as long as its not too hot!
 photo IMG_4443_zps60hrxklt.jpgThis method is great because it makes the rerolled sheet completely even, and you can set a preferred thickness!

Goodluck!

Tutorial: Make Cosplay Accessories out of Polymer Clay

Tutorial: Make Cosplay Accessories out of Polymer Clay

Hi, I’m Xarin from Three Smitten Kittens, and for some of you who don’t know, I’ve been making a livelihood for about four years now, making cosplay accessories out of polymer clay. It’s such a versatile medium that you can use to make anything from your imagination, as long as you’re equipped with the proper tools and knowledge. Here’s a basic guide for making your own cosplay jewelry from clay. This guide is for flat jewelry, but you can apply the knowledge here to your other projects. 

The example we’re using today are the hair accessories for Corrin of Fire Emblem: Fates.

Before that, here are some resource materials you may need to learn about clay!

Where to Buy Clay in the Philippines

Which Polymer Clay Should I buy?

Polymer Clay Starter Kit Shopping List

STEP 1: MAKE A TEMPLATE OR PATTERN OF WHAT YOU WANT TO MAKE
 photo IMG_4235_zpshszwdpy0.jpgI have templates and patterns of almost everything I’ve ever made. I either extract the pattern from the actual reference on a software like Photoshop, or hand-draw my own pattern on paper or board, making sure to have accurate measurements. It helps make the item visibly proportioned and accurate. Having templates also gives you ease of reproduction–you can make an even, almost exact same duplicate copy, especially if you need to make something in pairs or more.
 photo IMG_4236_zpsxgldktsz.jpg
STEP 2: ROLL OUT EVEN SHEETS OF POLYMER CLAY

Making sure the sheets are perfectly even in thickness gives your accessory a professional finish. After conditioning the clay, I use a pasta machine to roll out even sheets of clay for me to use. It was an old pasta machine no one at home was using anyway, so I got permission to use it for clay. Note that once you use a pasta machine for clay, you MUST NOT use it for food again. Polymer clay, when ingested, can be toxic.Not everyone has a pasta machine or clay conditioning machine at home though, and buying some costs a lot. You can use slats instead to help guide you to getting an even thickness.

STEP 3: Cut out your clay using aid of the template.

 photo IMG_4237_zps8ehxihsp.jpgDepending on the thickness of your project, you may stack your clay on top of one another, and use a craft knife to cut your clay based on your template. I like to put the template on the clay and go over it with my acrylic roller lightly, so it “engraves” the design on the surface, and then cut based on it.

STEP 4: Assemble your accessory, bake and then add the finishing touches.
All that’s left is assembly of your item and then baking! Then you can add the finishing touches, which may be paint or varnish, and adding metal findings.
 photo corrin_etsy_main_zpsgigtrlzs.pngGoodluck and hope that helps!

Xarin

 

Which Polymer Clay Should I Buy? FAQs about different Clay Brands

Which Polymer Clay Should I Buy? FAQs about different Clay Brands

One thing I’ve been asked a lot in my craft by beginners is which clay brand they should buy when they’re starting out, or which clay brand is the “best” to use. So finally, I’ve decided to write a blog post about it! Actually this all has been written down a year or so ago in an e-book I was planning to finish but never continued—

There are different clay brands in the market from different brands, each with their own different properties. Not one is superior to the other—I personally think it’s a matter of what project they are suited to. If you make a wide variety of things like I do, it’d be best to keep stock of various brands that will fit your different projects.

Polymer clay is generally priced from 65-130PHP and is usually sold in 50g and 100g bars.


 photo IMG_0771_zps1f5loyze.jpgSculpey Bakeshop

One of the cheapest clay in the market. It is marketed as a kid’s polymer clay, thus it is very soft and easy to knead. Color selections are limited. It bakes brittle and heavy, with sort of a rough surface.

 photo IMG_0779_zpsx5utmz5m.jpgSculpey III

Sculpey III is easily bought in specialty art stores in the country and comes in a wide array of colors. The clay is soft and easy to condition, which is why it is recommended for beginners. The clay bakes with a matte, bisque finish.

 photo IMG_0775_zps9j3lnw7m.jpgPremo! By Sculpey

Premo is more pigmented compared to Sculpey III, and is a tiny bit more expensive. The clay bakes with a slight sheen, and has slight flexibility when baked in thin sections. Color selections are limited, and the complete colors are rarely carried in stores. This is a good choice for metallic-colored clays, and those with “special” colors (eg., marble, granite, glittered) The clay is a little firmer, making it suitable for detailed work. The clay cures to a slight sheen.

 photo IMG_0770_zpsaa9sh5oo.jpgFIMO Classic/Accents

FIMO Classic, manufactured by German company, Staedtler, is a very firm clay that requires a bit of conditioning, and in most cases, a clay softener. Despite that, this clay is still a favourite of many artists due to the great color selection, and the fact that the clay’s vibrant colors are retained very well even after being baked. FIMO Classic also cures with a glossy finish, almost like hard candy.

 photo IMG_0774_zps0ixuzdre.jpgFIMO Soft

FIMO Soft mostly has the Classic’s properties, except it’s (obviously) much softer and easier to knead. I find the colors from Soft have less shine when baked compared to Classic.

 photo IMG_0773_zpsnbct7xm3.jpgNendo Polymer Clay

Nendo is a locally-available clay that is noted for its supreme flexibility. The clay is easy to condition and is elastic. Once baked, the clay has a slight sheen, and is very flexible. As with flexible clays, the clay may be a bit sticky to work with for those with warm hands.

 photo flexi_1_zpsff65cf43.jpgFlexiclay 3 Polymer Clay

Another local brand, Flexiclay comes in a wide assortment of colors and, as the name suggests, has good flexibility. Flexi3 is firmer than Nendo, and is not as flexible, but it is easier to handle as they clay is not overly sticky or soft. To try out this clay and order some, you can check their facebook page here.

Sculpey Ultralight Clay

Most, if not all polymer clay has significant weight once they are cured, especially if you intend to make big pieces. Except Ultralight clay, which is almost like marshmallow to the touch. It only comes in one color (white) and is mostly used as the core or filler for bigger clay projects.

Liquid Clay

Different brands carry their own lines of Liquid Polymer clay that come in different colors. They become firm when baked, and are mostly used for adhering two pieces of clay together in the baking process, or as decorative “sauces” or paints.


Which Clay should I Use?

As I’ve said before, no clay is truly superior, each clay has its properties that makes it suitable for different types of projects.

Matte polymer clays that bake with a dry, “rough-to-the-touch” finish are ideal for paintwork. The rougher surfaces of these clays once baked make them ideal for being painted. Clays with a shiny finish will resist inks and paints unless they are roughened beforehand.

Firmer clays are ideal for detailwork such as engraving or carving out shapes or tiny details. Soft clays are easily distorted with a simple nudge, making them unideal. Firmer clays are recommended for making canes for the same reason.

Soft, flexible clays are ideal for making thin pieces pieces that have to resist breakage (ex. Flower petals). While soft, matte clays could also do the same thing, they bake hard and brittle, making thin pieces prone to snapping and breaking.


Hope this post helps you out if you’ve been trying to decide which brand to buy! Soon I might make a youtube guide so you can better see the qualities of the clay and their differences!

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