Monday, October 4, 2010

Just Hanging Around…A simple tutorial – Part 2 – Adding texture

OK, in our last post we created a two-layered plug to change the pvc pipe into a "cup". Then we mixed the brick color and randomly pressed on some patches and thinned out the edges with our fingers. Finally we mixed the stucco color, tore ragged strips, placed them artistically around the brick patches then filled in the top edge, bottom and open areas between patches with the stucco clay.

Today we're going to add texture to the brick patches, then smooth and texture the stucco. So… let's get started.

Changing clay patches to faux brick:

I'm going to show you three different ways to make bricks.

(1) The first way is definitely the easiest and involves just pressing a geometric stamp into the clay. I have had this little stamp in my collection for years so I can't tell you where to get one exactly like it but just look for something with squares and/or rectangles. Don't worry about stamping onto the stucco clay, we'll be texturing that later.

(2) The second way is to use a brick or geometric texture sheet. There are quite a few of them available for purchase. The one I have is made by Makins and is available at Hobby Lobby and Michaels. Note that these are basically two-sided. If you press one side down, you get raised bricks. If you flip it over, the bricks are recessed or indented. You want to use the raised side. Again, don't stress over making indentions in the stucco clay. We'll fix that later.

(3) The third way -- if you don't have a stamp or texture sheet that will work to give the look of brick, here's how you can create bricks. Remember, these are just small little places and you are creating an impression of brickwork. You can use a small knitting needle, a needle tool, even an old credit or gift card. You just want something that will make straight line impressions in your clay. What you will do is just press lines in the clay to create individual bricks.

Now wasn't that easy?

Add texture to your stucco:

Earlier this year our local polymer clay guild offered a workshop with Julie Picarello. One of the really neat things that she gave us was a texture sheet. If I remember correctly she said these texture sheets were made from larger sheets of a material designed to make safety treads on stairs. If you haven't been lucky enough to have taken a class with Julie and added this neat texture sheet to your toolbox, a piece of course grit sandpaper – around 80 – will work.

To add texture to your stucco, start with a corner of your texture sheet [sandpaper] and press right up to the edge of the clay you have around each of the brick patches. Try to get texture but without smooshing the clay too much. Stay on the stucco clay. You don't want this kind of texture in your bricks.

Now move outward from there, smoothing seams as you go. Don't forget to texture the bottom and the upper rim of the pencil cup. Don't worry about getting excess clay inside the pencil cup while you are texturing it. I slightly round both the upper and lower edges of my pencil cups.

Use your craft knife to trim the excess clay off the inside of your pencil cup, then use the smallest amount of pressure with your texture sheet to smooth and roll that inside edge. This serves a dual purpose. Not only does it look neater, it also helps to close any tiny gaps and air-pockets you might have along that raw edge.

Check all your edges. Make sure your texturing has blended the seams and all areas of the pencil cup are textured. Cure for 10 to 15 minutes – just enough to firm up the clay.

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