ClayFreak's Chameleon Clay Pages
I’ll bet you want to know why this is “Chameleon Clay”, don’t you?
Well, polymer clay is just like a chameleon, constantly changing the way it looks. It can look like almost any substance, natural or artificial.
If you want a jade necklace, a turquoise ring, or a coral bracelet, you can have one in clay. If you want to model a likeness, just use polymer clay. Do you need a box to hold your pencils, or would you like a new game board? Polymer clay is perfect! No matter what you want to make, you can probably find a way to do it in polymer clay.
Lovely Floral Brooch
Because of its chameleonlike qualities, I was able to manipulate polymer clay to make this fantastic pin as a Christmas gift for my mother after only three months of working with clay. The pin is still one of my favorite pieces!
The pin's faux marble base was fashioned from Sculpey III translucent with just a hint of light pink pearl marbled through it.
Stems of leaf green clay were shaped & laid down on top of the unbaked base.
Next, the glass-like petals were formed from translucent clay colored with a bit of dusty rose clay. Lemon yellow opaque clay was used for the stamens.
Last of all, I used translucent tinted with a bit of purple for those delicate looking drop flowers They appear even more glass-like than the pink petals.
I baked the piece at 265°F for 30 minutes. After it was cool, I brushed on some Future Floor Wax, allowed it to dry completely, then rebaked it at 180°F for 10 minutes to harden the Future. Only S3 translucent coated with Future or Varathane seems to give this degree of transparency. I haven’t been able to achieve this with either Premo or Fimo transparent.
I have no idea how to make glass flowers and adhere them to a marble base, but thanks to the chameleonlike properties of polymer clay, I was able to fashion a lovely gift!
This Dog Just GREW In My Hands... September 2000The first time I touched polymer clay, this puppy just pushed his way out. It was an accident. I wasn't trying to make anything; I was just trying to get a feel for the clay.
The little guy isn't great, is he? But at the time, I was so thrilled to get that dog that I didn’t even finish him; just popped him right into the oven & baked him before I could mess him up!
I look back & I'm astonished that I thought he was good enough to bake. In fact, I almost didn't put him on this page.
But I see so many new clayers who are overwhelmed by what they see more experienced clayers making. They don't think they can do anything like what they see, so some give up prematurely.
I want to show you where I started, so you can see how far I've come in so short a time. And you'll know that you can do it, too!
Homemade Needle Tools ...............September 2000These are among my first triumphs with polymer clay. I needed some clay shaping tools, so I decided to make my own.
These tools are darning needles for which I made clay handles. I still use them today, even though I have added professional needle tools to my tool collection.
Mokume Gane Switchplate ............September 2000
This was my second successful project. After seeing Tory Hughes’ video on Mokume Gane, I had to try it. I mixed my own palette of colors to match my dusty rose bathroom tiles, layered them together, then went to work impressing shapes into the clay & slicing thin slivers off the top of the slab. I applied them to this switchplate, smoothed the clay, (well, sort of!) then baked it. I didn’t know how to wet-sand then, so the plate is very rough. I have left it that way, even though I now know how, to remind myself of my progress.
Bookmark .....................................November 2000
I made several bookmarks like this one as gifts. They were kaleidoscope canes that didn't work.
I twisted each cane until the stripes on the outside had very little space left between them. Then I sliced the cane down the middle lengthwise. I butted the two halves up against each other in mirror image & smoothed out the seam on both sides of the clay. Then I ran the piece through the pasta machine on the #1 setting. After putting a hole in one end with a drinking straw, I baked the piece. A ribbon was threaded through the hole before I gave the bookmarks away.
The variation between the design at the top & bottom of the cane was a result of using a very soft clay & trying to reduce the cane before it had rested sufficiently.
Never throw away a "failed" cane; there's always a way to save it!