Monday, July 21, 2014

Rainy Day

We get a lot of rain here in Georgia. So, even though it's not spring right now, I thought it would be fun to make a little Rainy Day piece. I hope you enjoy it!

Original design created by Amy Stevens 

(occasionally available for purchase on etsy-

You will need:
SculpeyIII polymer clay:
Yellow                Orange
Beige                 Red
Dark Gray          Green
Blue                   Purple
2 black seed beads
Ball headed straight pin or stylus
Tin foil
Clay conditioner

1) Head - 11/16" beige ball
Nose - 1/8" beige ball
Hands - two 3/8" beige balls

Body - 7/8" yellow ball
Collar - 5/16" yellow ball
Shoes - two 5/8" yellow balls
Arms - two 21/32" yellow balls
Hat - 5/8" yellow ball (or more)

Trim - 5/16" dark gray ball (or less)
Sole of shoes- two 5/16" dark gray balls
Buttons - two 1/8" dark gray balls 

2) Body: First, create an elongated oval of foil, and cover with the 7/8" yellow ball. Flatten the bottom, tapper the top, and widen the bottom to make a slight bell shape. Flatten the top and insert a 1/2" toothpick for the head. For the trim, roll 5/16" dark gray ball (or less) into a 4" strand. Flatten to desired width (mine is approx. 3/16"), and press firmly onto the bottom of the Jacket. Connect the ends in the back, and smooth the seem. 

3) Shoes: Roll two 5/8" yellow balls into elongated oval shapes. Slightly flatten and square out the sides. Pinch the middle of each oval to make a peanut shape, with one end slightly bigger than the other. Insert a 1/4" of a toothpick into the small end of each shoe, and press firmly onto the body/jacket. For the sole of the shoes, roll two 5/16" dark gray balls into elongated ovals. Flatten to the width of the shoe, or less. Match the curvature of the sole to the shoe, and press firmly onto each shoe. Press body firmly onto a flat surface to stabilize the piece. 

4) Arms & Hands: Roll two 21/32" yellow balls into tapered logs. Bell the wider end to make room for the hands. Flatten slightly, lengthwise, onto a flat surface. Choosing a right and a left arm, curve the smaller 1/3" of the arm up for a shoulder. Press firmly onto the body/jacket. Adjust the arm to the desired position. Wash your hands to prevent mixing of colors. Roll two 3/8" beige balls into slight ovals. Flatten slightly, and press firmly onto the bell of each arm. Press hands together firmly. 

5) Collar & Head: Roll 5/16" yellow ball into a 3" long strand. Curve into the shape desired and flatten slightly to create a thin outer edge, and a thick inner edge. Press onto body. Wash your hands to prevent mixing of colors. Roll 11/16" beige ball into a slight oval shape. Press firmly onto the toothpick, pivot/swivel around the toothpick to create a solid bond between the body and the head. Roll 1/8" beige ball into an oval. Flatten slightly, and press firmly onto the middle of the head. 

6) Eyes & Mouth: Use flat headed pin to gently mark where seed beads will go on face. Place one bead on straight pin. Press surface of bead into clay, but do not let the pin touch the clay. Carefully slide pin out of bead. Use the flat end of the pin to gently push bead farther into the clay. Press the point of the pin just outside of the eye in the middle and again just above to create eyelash indents. Repeat again for the second eye. For mouth, just under the center of the nose, push the point of a pin into the clay about 1/16" in. While removing the pin, curve slightly up and to the right. 
7) Buttons: Flatten two 1/8" dark gray balls into desired width. Using the ball end of a pin or stylus, press firmly onto the body/jacket, just underneath the arms. Using the point of a pin or stylus, press 4 holes into each button. 

9) Hat: Roll a small portion of yellow clay into a slight oval, and flatten on a flat surface to create a dome for the center of the hat to rest on. Press firmly onto the head. With the remaining yellow clay, roll into an oval and flatten just enough to help it through the clay conditioner. Insert the clay widthwise into the conditioner to get as close to a circular shape as possible. Once flattened to the desired width, (mine is approx. 1/16"), press onto the top of the head/dome. Curve the front down and around the face. Gently pinch the sides to create a slight flare. Round out the back of the hat down, just past or near the center of the collar. 
1) 3/4" to 7/8" balls of each Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, & Purple
Dark Gray - 3/4" ball (or more)
7 toothpicks

2) Circle: On a piece of parchment paper, draw a circle approximately 4 inches in diameter. Using a pencil or pen, split the circle into 6 even segments. Form each color into a triangle. Using the circle and segments as a guide, flatten each triangle until it fits within each circle segment, without any spaces. (Be sure to wash your hands after working with each individual color, to prevent mixing colors. It is especially important when going from a dark color to a light, or vise versa.) Once each segment is complete, carefully, but firmly press each color together, smoothing out each seam, both on top and on bottom. Be careful not to blend or smear the colors. Place over your circle guide to make sure the circle is even. 

3) Support: Flatten 5/8" dark gray ball slightly, and press firmly onto the center of the umbrella. This will be the underneath part of the umbrella. Turn the umbrella over, and cut 6 toothpicks to be just 1/4" shorter than the length of each seam. Press each toothpick into the dark gray ball on the underside of the umbrella, and press up against the umbrella to make it stable. Roll a small amount of dark gray clay into a strip. Find the center of each toothpick, and place the strip across each toothpick and press into the clay on each side of the toothpick to stabilize each segment. Once the frame is stable, you can form the umbrella to your desired shape. I draped the middle of each color down between each set of toothpicks. 

4) Handle: Flatten 1/4" gray ball and Press firmly onto the center top of the umbrella. Press the last toothpick up through the bottom just enough to be stable. Don't push it too far or it will pop up through the top of the umbrella. 

5) Hole: Press the handle of the umbrella into the hands of the boy, just to where you know it will be stable to be held after baking. Remove from his hands. 

6) Bake: Follow directions on Sculpey clay packaging. (275° F (130° C) 15 min per/ 1/4" (6mm))  Cover your baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silicon sheet. And be sure to place the umbrella upside down on top of some polyester batting (quilt batting) to prevent it from collapsing or having any flat spots after baking. 
(Word to the wise: Be sure to purchase a thermometer for your oven to make sure it is at the correct temperature. Let it heat up for at least 30 minutes or longer. To test your oven, take a plain piece of clay and form a disc 1/2" wide by 1/4" tall and bake in your oven. Always open windows and turn on ventilation. It's normal to smell slight fumes, but if you begin to smell a lot of fumes, or see smoke, your oven is toooo hot! Remove it from your oven, set your oven for 10° lower, and try again with a different disc of clay. 

Also, if you are using a lighter color of clay, it has a tendency to brown or burn, so before you bake it... cover the pan with tin foil, just like you would a turkey. :) Also, once your items are done baking, turn your oven off and crack the door with a wooden spoon, but allow your pieces to cool in the oven. This will also help prevent cracking because it will let the items cool off evenly and gradually.)
Have fun!

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