Monday, February 13, 2017

Sharing the Love - A Ripple Heart and Earrings Tutorial

After playing with the ripple technique I discovered a cool way to maintain that 3-D texture (like a ripple potato chip) in our finished designs.  I wanted to share this with you and since it is almost Valentines Day, I thought I would show how to make a heart.  I mounted mine on a snap, making it interchangeable, but you can finish it off any other way you prefer.



For tools you will need two blades:  A ripple blade (B) and a very sharp tissue blade (A).  Here I have two types of ripple blades.  The one that does the tiny ripples (C) doesn't work the same as the one with the potato chip size ripple (B).



You basically need sheets of clay in assorted colors to create a stack.  I used 4 colors here.  If you have my Clay Color System, then you will have these recipes, but you can use any colors you like.  Just layer light and dark colors to create enough contrast and interest.


The colors I used was Kato Violet, Turquoise - (recipe #8-2) , Spa (recipe #8-6), Kato Violet and White Mix (recipe # 1-2).   The Kato Violet and Turquoise I rolled out thinner than the Spa and White Mix.


All the colors stacked would be too thick to put through the pasta machine so stack them in two separate piles.  The first three colors in one stack and the bottom two colors in another.  Run them through the pasta machine at a thick setting.




Stack the two clay sheets and run them through the pasta machine.  If one of the clay sheets is shorter, then just stretch or roll it so it is the same length.  Cut the clay sheet in half, stack and run it through the pasta machine again.  You can do this one or two more times, depending on how thin you want the stripes to be.


Cut your clay sheet into equal pieces and stack them into a pile.  Trim the block so the edges are even.


Stand the clay block so the lines are vertical and stick it to a ceramic tile or your work space so it won't move.  Here I have a blade on each side to square it up so it is nice and straight.


This also helps to line up the first cut so it is straight.  Once you have your ripple blade lined up (make sure you look at it right above as shown), cut your first slice.  This piece with be flat on the back and rippled on top.


Now the next slice you make will be with your straight tissue blade.  This will create a flat back and rippled front.


These first two slices are a mirror image of each other.  Set the slices aside to use later.  Slice again with your ripple blade and then your flat tissue blade again, alternating until the end of the block.






I managed to get 6 slices from this stack and I have them matched up to decide how I want to use them.


You can flip them around to see which way mirrors up best.  They can be used individually or as a pair.  To make the heart, I played around with the pieces to see which design I liked best.  I am using some plain textured Kato Violet to combine with it.


Once you decide how you want it to look, arrange the pieces onto a thin sheet of clay, making sure no air pockets are trapped between.


Cut out your heart or preferred shape, cutting through all the thicknesses.


To create a nice curve shape we like to use the bottoms cut from pop tins.  They are our favorite baking form and can be used the other way to create a concave shape as well.  I added a Swarovski crystal as an accent.  You can see my tips I posted earlier on working with Swarovski crystals here.


After baking your piece you can add a backing to finish it off.  Here I added one of our "prepped" flat snaps by covering the back with a thin sheet of textured clay and then pushed the prepped flat snap into the clay.  I then added our signature stamp and baked it again. 



Now my piece can be worn as an interchangeable bead on a necklace but can also be worn other ways such as a brooch or on a shawl stick.




To make some matching earrings, select two more pieces from your pile.  I think these ones look a little funky.  Cut or trim them to your desired shape or size and bake them on a ceramic tile so they stay nice and flat.


Roll out some clay for the backing that is a little larger than your front pieces and add a texture.  Trim the top of the clay sheets so they are even.


Flip the clay textured backings over and push in a jump ring or other finding of your choice for the top.  I like to lay the clay sheets back onto the texture so it doesn't get distorted.


Add some liquid clay to the backs of the baked earring fronts.  Here I am using Kato Poly Paste which is thicker and has a better hold. 


Lay the baked clay fronts onto the clay backing sheets and push them evenly onto the clay.


Trim the excess clay and smooth out all the edges.



Bake your pieces and don't forget to sand them after.  When our pieces are textured like these are, after sanding, we give them several thin coats of PYM11.




So I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and happy Valentine's Day!

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