Thursday, April 29

artful thursdays #16.....paper clay bird tutorial

oh bother, i had some fun things and photos to post about this week and here it is already artful thursday again. there is only a month left of school and it seems like time is flying. then there will be the long lazy summer for me to catch up....

today i will be showing how to make a paper clay bird. (the wire cage and swing i will show next week if you are interested, leave me a note) i made this little swinging bird at art group this month. we all experimented with wire forms and senta showed us how to make and paint paper clay figures. i have tried crackling mediums before but never had any success so i am thrilled to find something that actually works! i hope the photographs will let you see close-up how it turns out.

you will need:
paper clay, some wire, paints, and crackle medium. the paper clay birds are quick to make but need to dry over night before you paint them.


step #1. shape your clay figure. i used creative paperclay, an inexpensive brand that is only $7 for 8 oz. we made 12 birds using 1/4 a package. the clay dries out quickly so keep the package tightly wrapped and only take out what you are working with. smooth out any cracks and lumps with your finger dipped in water.



step #2. when you like the shape of your bird cut 4 inches of 20 gauge wire and bend it in half for the legs. (or for a hanger cut 1 1/2 inches of wire and bend in half)
insert the bend end into your clay bird for the legs. i left the wires long so i could have some length to wrap them around the wire swing and trim later. shape the clay around the wire and smooth with a rubber tipped clay tool or a smooth paint brush end.
step #3. stand up your bird in a piece of modeling clay and let dry overnight.


step #4. sand your bird with a fine sandpaper or fingernail file and wipe off sanding dust. sketch your design with a sharp pencil.


step #5. using a fine paintbrush and acrylic paints paint your design on your bird. let dry completely. here is lily on my desk for painting inspiration, even though she is a chicken....
step #6. squeeze out a bit of one step crackle. it is milky white like diamond glaze if you have worked with that product. paint on the crackle medium in an even coat over your bird and let dry. a thin coat makes a smaller crackle. you can see the cracks start to appear as you watch, cool!


step #7. after the crackle glaze is completely dry squeeze out a bit of brown acrylic paint. add some water to thin and paint it over the crackle glaze. wipe off the excess with a damp cloth if you get too much color.

your darling bird is done! isn't the crackle glaze so easy, i am excited to try it out on a painted canvas to see how it works.

here is why i have wanted so much to learn how to make little things with paper clay, i bought this little elephant in a hot air balloon and the tiny squirrel from my friend senta plyer at the winterfrost sale last december. i absolutely adored everything she made and wished i could have purchased it all! these two pieces were my favorites.




happy thursday, julie

28 comments:

KarenB said...

I'm interested in the birdcage tutorial. Pretty please.

Katsui Jewelry said...

This is so adorable. I love that one step crackle and can't wait to get some tomorrow! A bird cage tutorial would be great!

Tina said...

Julie - I adore this. I have made some paper clay pieces (birds and hearts mostly) but never made a display for them or crackled them. I may have to go back and give them a try. LOVE it.

xo
tina
pretty paper posies/embellishments by tina

Nicole Austin said...

adorable! i love the wire cage and the paper bird is so sweet!

Susan Z said...

what a wonderful tutorial today!! I also can't wait to purchase some crackle and play. would love to see your wire cage tutorial also if you have time...many thanks!!

Maija said...

Thanks for the tutorial! I love the bird!!

Maija said...

I'll be back next week for the cage!

Jenn said...

Absolutely adorable! I have never tried anything like this before....and YES YES YES on the cage..... love the cage!

Kristal said...

I have a package of the clay that I bought like a billion years ago (don't even remember why now). This would make a wonderful Mother's Day present for my Mamma, but it might have to wait until Christmas ~ LOL!! And I love Lilly ~ didn't know you had chickens...I'm jealous!
Of course the birdcage would be a must...just saying :0)

Maminka Girl - Loribeth said...

Another great project. I am enjoying your Artful Thursdays so much. Thank you for your generosity in sharing your crafty talents!

Loribeth

Kimmay said...

Wow- I have never heard of paper clay before. So cute! And the crackle is super cool. I love the brown paint touch at the end for a more antique look, too. Thanks for sharing!!

Stephanie said...

The little crackled bird is totally sweet ("tweet"?)... and yes please, I would LOVE a tutorial on the cage if you're so inclined!

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

Aww, I love it! Way, way cute. Your tutorials are always so pretty, I just love your blog! I'll be linking.

Cheryl~ZanyMayd said...

Love that little Birdie ~ would love to see how you created that Adorable Cage..... Thanks so much for Sharing~

Jillayne said...

I would like to see the bird cage too - this was great!

*jean* said...

can't wait to give this a go, thanks so much! and lily is beautiful!!!

m i c h e l l e said...

Oooh! I love these techniques!!! I just bought some of that crackle stuff but haven't busted it out yet!

Oh and I love that little Lily!

Hugs to you,
Michelle

Nancy said...

You did awesome. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your little bird in the cage! And yes, please do post the cage tutorial! I love working with paperclay.
XO Nancy

Jen in NC said...

Too cute... love it. I've never try clay things. You make it look easy. The bird cage is amazing. I would love to make one.

penny nelson said...

Yes on the bird cage tutorial and the paper clay bird is adorable. Thanks so much for sharing.

Jingle said...

Thank you for this wonderful post! I am so going to go home and play with my paper clay!!!! I am new to it and this has made me want to do so many wonderful things with it!

Wendy McDonagh-Valentine said...

Oh my goodness!! Lily is just the cutest!!!!! : ) Thanks for the tutorial.

~ Wendy
http://Crickleberrycottage.blogspot.com/

Leticia said...

very cute - i just happen to have all the materials. I do need to look for the one step crackle though.

Diane said...

I'd like the birdcage tutorial too, hope it's not too late! hi Julie :)

JB Tucker said...

I am MAD for paperclay. I used to make so many things out of it. Lately I'm doing more fiber arts stuff, but your blog makes me want to break open a pack!

Wedding Cakes Pictures said...

Great tutorial, beautiful little bird. I would love to give this a go!

trying2findit said...

This is very cool ill post it on my blog!!

James
http://trying2findit.blogspot.com/

Barbara Jean said...

cute cute bird!!
Any instructions on how to make cage??? Found you on Pinterest.

blessings
barbara jean

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