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