Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Clay Cross

This past Sunday we had a gentleman from our church dedicate himself to the Lord on his birthday. Following the church service we had a birthday party for him and I wanted to give him a little something to commemorate his day. I had recently been in our local Hallmark store (which I LOVE!) and saw a small clay cross that was sort of what I wanted - but not quite. So, I decided to make one.

First I started out with some black Fimo clay - the kind you bake in the oven to harden. The hardest part about working with this clay is the first step which is called conditioning. Basically playing with it until it gets warm and soft and easy to mold. Then the next step is to shape it into what you need, in this case a cross.
Next, I wanted some texture. There are a ton of ways to do this and it can be as simple as poking at it with a stick. I wanted something a little classier - but not too feminine. I have a bunch of Fiskars plastic texture plates and used two, one design for the front and one for the back. I placed my clay between the two plates and smooshed it.
Now I needed some color. You can just leave it the color it is, it can also be painted after it's baked. I wanted something a little iridescent that wasn't as girly as glitter. These are fine powders - like eye shadow, that just brush on and then bake into the clay. I also should mention before going further - if you want to hang your cross - be sure to poke the hole into it before baking!!
Then comes the baking. The instructions are on the wrapper of the clay when you purchase it. This one was to bake for 30 minutes is a 230 F degree oven. My oven doesn't show 230 so I just aimed for close enough.  I bake my clay on a tile that I found somewhere and once the buzzer goes off I leave the whole thing in the oven to cool completely.
Doesn't it look pretty now that it's been baked? My favorite part is the embellishing. I have some copper wire that matches the copper color powder I used and I found a variety of beads that match the green and blue colors as well. I wrap the wire around and add beads as I go until I like the looks of it. I use the wire as a hanger as well and secure in a couple of spots with some clear glue (I like E6000 for jewelry and clay).
Now it's all done and ready to wrap and give away! I may need to make a few more of these for Christmas presents, it turned out really pretty. Please let me know if you have an questions I can help with - don't be afraid to try and make something with clay - it's pretty cheap and easy to work with!

1 comment: