Polymer Clay Graphics Picture Frame
- Black Sculpey III Clay, 3 Blocks
- Clay Extruder (with medium round hole disk)
- Pasta Machine and /or Acrylic Roller
- Wooden Frame (for 4x6-inch photo)
- Pearl Ex Powders: Spring Green, True Blue and Antique Copper
- Black Acrylic Paint
- Crafter's Pick Super Tacky Glue
- Small Foam Brush
- Small Paint Brush
- Craft Blade
- Needle Tool or Toothpick
- Baking Sheet
Spread a light coat of the white glue on a section the frame.
Condition and roll several sheets of the Black clay on the thickest (#1) setting of a pasta machine. You may also condition by hands. Knead and squeeze small amount s of clay to a smooth soft consistency. Using an acrylic roller or the pasta machine create a thin sheet of the clay.
Lay a sheet of clay on the glue-covered section press into place lightly. Flip the frame over and trim the clay leaving a border of clay about 1/8-inch. Wrap to the clay to cover the outside edge of the frame, but not the inner edge.
Repeat steps 1 and 2, butting the sheets of clay up next to each other until the entire frame is covered. Don’t worry about smoothing the seams since they will be covered.
Load the extruder with remaining conditioned Black clay and place the medium sized round hole disk into place. Extrude the clay about 16 inches at a time, or as you need the length to make it easier. It may help to turn the extruder over so that the plunger is against a firm surface and press down while grasping the barrel of the extruder.
To make a coil, gently roll up starting at one end of the strand of clay and when you have about 3 wraps, set it on your work-surface and keep coiling until you have the size you wish to start with. Keep about 2 inches of “tail” on the coil to help create the waving graphic effect.
Gently slide a sheet of paper or the flat of your craft blade under the coil to pick it up and move it to the frame. Press into place on the frame and arrange the “tail”.
Add more pieces of the extruded clay around the design. To add a piece into a small area like the junction of the coil and the “tail”, use your craft blade to cut an angle in the end of the clay to fit the shape. Use the blade to carefully cut the end of the piece to fit also.
You can elect to bring the clay coils to the edge of the front of the frame or bring the designs down around the edges of the frame also.
Continue to add pieces to the design until all sections of this area are filled. Press the strands of clay into place by laying a piece of clean index card on top of the area and pressing lightly. Once the area around the coil is filled, create a new coil and add it above this section and begin again.
You can use a pointed tool like a toothpick or needle tool to randomly add texture to a strand of clay if you wish.
When the frame has the completed design, make another small pattern of design on a sheet of paper to “test” the chosen combination of Pearl Ex colors. When you’re satisfied with the color combination and you’ve practiced the application on the test piece begin applying the Pearl Ex to the frame. Rub your finger on the inside of the lid to pick up just the right amount of powder and then lightly rub it onto the clay. Begin with the Spring Green, the lightest color, for the coils, and then add the True Blue and finally a touch here and there of the Antique Copper as a complimentary accent. Use caution so that you don't have too much powder on your finger. Rub the index finger against your thumb to remove excess powder before touching the clay.
Once the frame is covered in Pearl Ex, it is ready to bake. Place the decorated frame onto the baking sheet and bake the frame according to the clay package directions. Allow it to cool and use a small brush and black acrylic paint to paint the inside edge of the wood black thus making it blend with the clay.