Pop Art Polymer

Presented by Lisa Pavelka, Award-Winning Artist, Author and Instructor
Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Lisa Pavelka, renowned mixed media artist, shares a jewelry-making project that uses the sutton slice polymer clay technique with a twist to create a 3D pendant. Follow along with her complete instructions to learn how to make pop art jewelry.

Texture Layer

Clean and dry a rubber texture stamp by Lisa Pavelka.

Condition a small amount of true magenta, true yellow and black Fimo® Professional polymer clay by hand or by using a pasta machine.
Roll a tiny amount of true magenta clay into a ball and press the clay into the stamp on the desired design.

Tip: Use small amounts of clay rather than one large slab when pressing into the texture stamp. This will make cutting the clay easier.

Using a flexible but firm clay cutting blade, lay the blade flat against the stamp. Hold the blade down at one end and, using your dominant hand, bow the blade at the other end. Pivot the blade to slice the clay flat against the stamp, leaving clay embedded into the stamp. This is the Sutton Slice technique.

View the ''The Sutton Slice for Polymer Clay'' how-to video for more information.

Note: Always handle the blades from the corners. When cutting, be careful not to cut your fingers.
Repeat Step 2 until the desired area of the texture stamp is embedded with clay.

Tip: Certain areas of the texture stamp are shallow and have finer detail. If the clay keeps coming up when slicing, try rotating the stamp and slicing from a different direction.
Once the desired area of the texture stamp is embedded with clay, meticulously clean the surface of the stamp by firmly pressing the clay blade against the stamp and continuing to slice. This will prevent clay or clay residue from showing up on the background of the finished piece.

Note: Do not worry about applying too much pressure when cleaning the surface. You will not cut the texture stamp using the clay cutting blade.

Continue until there is no more clay on the surface of the stamp.

Using the leftover clay, pat down the surface of the stamp to pick up any little pieces of clay remaining.

Background Layer

Pass the true yellow polymer clay through the pasta machine on the 3rd or 4th largest setting.

Optional: Create a skinner blend using the colors of your choice. See our ''Kato Polyclay™ - The Skinner Blend Technique'' how-to video and illustrated instructions for more information.

Lay the yellow clay on top of the stamp and thoroughly press down on the clay, ensuring the yellow clay makes good contact with the embedded pink clay.
Using a smooth ceramic tile (or any work surface that polymer clay will stick to), place the texture stamp face-down onto the tile with all of the clay still attached. Apply a lot of pressure to the back of the stamp using your fingers.

To release the clay, fold the stamp back forming a crease. While leaning forward and looking down over the front, peel the stamp back while maintaining the crease. This will allow you to see if any clay remains stuck to the stamp. If clay does stick to the stamp, roll the stamp forward and apply more pressure to the back of the stamp then peel back again. Repeat as needed to release any stuck clay.

Once the texture stamp is removed and the embedded clay is completely out, ensure both layers of clay are completely bonded by gently tapping down on the textured layer.
Holding the clay cutting blade at a 45-degree angle, quickly remove the clay from the tile using a back-and-forth sawing motion. This will prevent the clay from stretching or deforming. Remove the tile from the work surface as it is no longer needed.
Place the clay onto a piece of non-stick parchment paper.

Apply a thin layer of Signature Series Poly Bonder™ by Lisa Pavelka to most of the back of one hammered metal open ring component.

Tip: If desired, wear gloves to avoid getting glue on your fingers.

Using a flat surface such as a small square of glass or tile, press the component into the clay to ensure the glue bonds well.
Remove the clay from the parchment paper and, working from the back, gently form the clay into a dome using your fingers. Create the dome as shallow or large as desired. For a unique look, try an off-center dome that matches the texture of the clay.

Lay the clay back onto the parchment paper. Use a hobby knife to gently cut around the edge of the component, removing excess clay.
Place the component into a craft oven for approximately 5 - 10 minutes at the temperature recommended by the manufacturer. This shorter time frame will create a temporary "heat setting."

Note: Do not bake the clay for the full time.

Remove the clay from the oven and allow to cool.

Form a ball using scrap clay. Apply a small amount of Poly Bonder to the back of the dome then press the scrap clay into the back of the dome. Ensure the entire void is filled with clay. Very carefully use a clay blade to shave off excess scrap clay, forming a flat back.

Determine which part of the design is the "top" and press a glue-on bail into the back of the clay, creating a mark. Apply a tiny amount of Poly Bonder to the mark in the clay then press the bail in place. Verify the bail is positioned as desired and adjust if needed.
Pass the black clay through the poly-roller machine to flatten it, then apply the clay to the back of the pendant.

Set the design on a piece of parchment paper on a ceramic tile. Trim the excess clay using a hobby knife.

Tip: If the bail causes the design to not lay flat, place the design on the edge of the tile with the bail hanging off the edge.
Remove the pendant from the parchment paper. For a professional finish, press the black clay down to round the edges then use the hobby knife to trim excess.

Place the design back into the craft oven and bake the clay according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Repeat Steps 11 - 12 using the 4th or 5th largest setting of the pasta machine to add one final layer of black clay. Use the Poly Bonder glue when applying raw clay to baked clay.

Optional: Add a texture to the back of the pendant to conceal any fingerprints left behind from handling the clay.

Bake according to manufacturer's instructions then let cool.

Have a question regarding this project? Email Customer Service.

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