Friday, 20 May 2016

In a slump...

Hi Everyone

I hope you've all been enjoying the sunshine between the showers! This week I thought you might like the instructions for making the slumped pot (as I haven't managed to get the project sheet up on the website yet) that I showed on the DAS marbled clay Hochanda show.

DAS Idea Mix - Red & Yellow
DAS White Clay
DAS Professional Rolling Pin
DAS Metal Spatula
DAS Wooden Tool
Small Plastic Bag
Old Newspaper
Water pot
Garden Twine

Step 1. I used some leftover clay that I had marbled with yellow Idea Mix and white clay using Marble Technique 1 (TMC/0001) and then added some more white clay so that I would have enough clay to create the pot. You can mix some clay using this same technique if you want a more generalised yellow marble background with stronger yellow and red veins on top. Alternatively you can just use some white clay as your base and follow the instruction below.

Roll your base clay out and then add patches of red and yellow to half of it.

Step 2. Fold it in half, trapping the coloured clay in the middle and roll it out again.

Step 3. Use a metal spatula to slice strips from the edges of the clay (straightening up your rolled out clay) and randomly place the strips on the top.

Step 4. Roll it out again to embed the clay.

Step 5. For a larger pattern, fold the clay and roll it out again, repeating as necessary. This will spread the colours and also allow some of the coloured clay that is embedded in the clay to show through. 

Add the 5mm rings to the rolling pin when rolling it out for the last time, making sure to end up with a long rectangular piece of clay.

Step 6. Scrunch up a couple of pieces of old newspaper and place them inside the plastic bag. Wrap the clay around the bag making sure there is excess at the bottom and that it overlaps at the side.

Step 7. Use a wooden spatula to smooth the join down the side of the pot.

Step 8. Fold the clay in at the bottom - first along one edge, then either side and finally the opposite edge. Use a little water on the surface of the clay before folding over each side as this will help the clay to bond.

Step 9. Use the wooden spatula to help smooth the edges of the clay. Then sit your pot on your work surface, pressing down in the middle to flatten the clay bottom.

Step 10. Gently squeeze the sides, pushing down to create folds thereby creating the slumped look.

Step 11. Tie some garden twine around the top of the pot and curl the top edge out in places. Leave to dry.

Step 12. When the sides of the pot have dried (you will see the white clay will lose it's grey look) you can remove the newspaper and plastic bag. This will allow the base of the pot, which will take much longer to dry as it will be 4 times as thick in places, more air circulation to speed the drying time. You should be able to stand the pot upside down too to allow the air to get to the bottom. 

Depending on the room conditions the pot may take as long as 2-4 days to dry out completely on the bottom. For added protection and to make the marbled pattern more vibrant you can varnish it using DAS Vernidas Gloss Varnish.

Top Tip: If you want to make this pot as a water pot or vase you will need to either wrap the clay around an old jam jar or use a clean detergent refill bag stuffed with newspaper as a mould which you then leave embedded in the clay once you have removed the newspaper. In this situation it would be advisable to varnish the clay to give it added protection from any water spillage. nb. Varnishing the clay will not make it waterproof or useable as a vase without a glass jar or strong plastic bag.

Happy Crafting Everyone!

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Watch the birdie...

Hi Everyone

I hope everyone has enjoyed the sunshine this week and that your gardens have appreciated the rain when it came! :) 

I had a great time last Monday in Peterborough at the Hochanda studios and I hope everyone who tuned in enjoyed the shows as much as I did. Creating marbled air dry clay is so easy and fun with DAS Idea Mix - if you haven't tried it yet, what are you waiting for? lol!

Today I thought I would share a great little project which is ideal for using up any leftover marbled clay. So here's instructions for how to create the birdhouse fridge magnet featured on Hochanda and made from DAS Idea Mix with DAS white air dry clay...

Home Sweet Home

Marbled Clay: DAS White Air Dry Clay & DAS Idea Mix - Brown & Red was used here
DAS Professional Roller
DAS Clay Metal Spatulas & Wooden Tools
DAS Metal Cutters
DAS Varnish
Brush and white spirit unless you brush is in the vanish lid
Cocktail Stick
Super Strong Magnet (Efco)
PVA Glue

Step 1. Roll out your remanent of clay using the roller with the 5mm guides attached. (The piece pictured was created using the linear marble vein technique which you can download here... Marble Clay Technique 3.)

Step 2. Use the metal spatula to cut your birdhouse shape. I cut a rectangle shape first before cutting the shape of the roof and bringing the sides in at an angle but you could make it whatever shape you fancy!

Step 3. Use a small cutter to cut out the doorway for your birdhouse.

Step 4. Smooth the edges with a wet finger.

Step 5. Flip the clay over and press a magnet into the clay.

Step 6. Flip the clay back over again and use the wooden tools to create your pattern on the front.

Step 7. You can use a cocktail stick to make small holes if desired.

Step 8. Mix a little red DAS Idea Mix with DAS white clay. Roll it out and use the same cutter to cut out a shape.

Step 9. Use a little more of both mixed clays to create a little bird. Take a little of the red clay and add some of the brown and red mix. Roll it into a ball and pinch out either end - one small for the beak and the other longer for the tail.

Step 10. Use a cocktail stick to make a hole for the eye.

Step 11. When the clay has dried use a little PVA to stick the perch and bird on the front.

Step 12. When the glue has dried paint the front and edges of the clay with DAS protective varnish. You will find the first coat makes the colours pop and soaks in a bit. For a glossy finish apply another 1-2 coats when the first has dried.

And here's Leonie's and my birdhouses we created live on air! :)

Leonie was so chuffed with her birdhouse and had so much fun that she wanted to take the clay home with her to continue playing! And not to be outdone Matt made one too...

Happy crafting everyone! :)

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Summer Beach Efcolor Scene

Hi Everyone

I've been busy preparing samples for next Monday's Hochanda TV Shows when I will be demonstrating the new DAS Idea Mix air dry clay. It's fabulous stuff as it makes creating marble effects sooooo easy! 

In the meantime I've finally got the photos sorted for one of the samples on the last Efcolor Show I did...the Beach Scene!

Materials needed:
Large Efcolor Rectangle Collage Blank
Efcolor Powders: White, Ivory, Silver Texture, Light Turquoise, Light Blue, Blue Transparent, Clear Transparent & Sand
Empty Powder tubes
Card offcut and scrap paper
Oven and Oven Thermometer
Fine Sandpaper, Tweezers and Pencil
Texture Paste and Spatula
Blue, Turquoise and Ivory Acrylic Paint

Step 1. Lightly sand the aluminium blank before covering the top third with white Efcolor powder.

Step 2. Hold an offcut of card over the white and apply silver texture over the rest of the blank, leaving approx. 1cm clear at the bottom.

Step 3. Cover the remaining area with ivory Efcolor, allowing it to blend slightly with the silver.

Step 4. Place the powdered blank in an ordinary kitchen oven at 150ÂșC until the powder has melted.

Step 5. Mix some white, turquoise and light blue Efcolor in an empty tube.

Step 6. Cover the white powder with the blue mix, overlapping the top edge of the silver.

Step 7. Apply a few 'patches' of white over the blue as clouds.

Step 8. Mix some blue and clear transparent in another tube.

Step 9. Use the card offcut again to make sure you get a straight top edge as you apply blue transparent over the top area of the silver.

Step 10. Apply the blue mix over the rest of the silver area.

Step 11. Cover the ivory with sand powder before covering it with a patchy layer of more ivory.

Step 12. Turn the blank around and apply a little more of the blue mix over the top edge of the 'beach'.

Step 13. Cover the 'sea' with more clear transparent.

Step 14. Embed a few small shells in the 'sand' at the bottom.

Step 15. Bake in the oven until the powder has melted. When cool, position your blank in the centre of the canvas. Mark the horizon and the beach line on the canvas with a pencil.

Step 16. Temporarily remove the blank and start applying texture paste with a spatula from the top down to the horizon. Make sure your strokes go horizontally across the canvas.

Step 17. Add tiny dabs of turquoise acrylic to the texture paste.

Step 18. Use the spatula to blend the paint into the texture paste.

Step 19. Continue with more texture paste, adding blue acrylic (darker at the horizon and fading out as you work your way down).

Step 20. Cover the rest of the canvas with texture paste mixing some ivory acrylic in with it before embedding the blank in the centre of the canvas.

Step 21. Embed more shells into the ivory texture paste at the bottom of the canvas before leaving it to dry.

I hope you can join me on Monday when I'll be back on your tv screens now that Hochanda is available on Freeview!

Happy Crafting everyone!