Inspired by the dragonfly art hole that I went down in Pinterest early this month 🙂 I made this polymer clay piece.
For this piece, my focus was on trying out blending. And my, is it hard to get it done by hand or what! (I don’t have a clay conditioning machine yet.) I eventually stopped since my hands weren’t too happy with all the rolling, and I had enough of popping tiny air bubbles that would form during the fold-and-roll. I could have continued another day, but I really wanted to make a dragonfly 🙂 so I cut out four wings from one blended sheet. I’d blended blue and brown for the other sheet to use as sky + ground, but it wasn’t thick enough for a strong base. (This is still the brittle Sculpey III.) I decided to use a paper backing for it, and add a frame. The frame didn’t fold well at all over the paper, and I let it be because trying to remove it would either spoil the base sheet or reduce its size.
For the eyes, I rolled two little balls of equal size and positioned them side by side.
For the thicker part of the body, I used another ball rolled to a more oval shape. After positioning it below the eyes, I softly poked it with a sharp needle a few times to give it some texture.
For the thin part of the body, I used an extruder. I think I needed to condition the clay much, much more than I had, because I had to press super-hard to extrude it. I did get enough out for the body, though, so I just got the remaining clay out of the extruder. I made the end of the body a bit thicker by folding that end a bit and softening the fold.
After baking, the paper base did get a bit distorted, and the clay with it. I think the solution would be to partial-bake multiple times — once for the base, with something heavy on the base to force it to be flat, then arrange the dragonfly on the base and bake it again. I’ll have to try this way the next time I make something like this. (Or use foil instead of paper.)
I attached a hollow polymer clay cylinder to the back so a cord can be piped through. I’m not sure if I’ll use this piece as a pendant, but it’ll probably do for a focal piece on a tote bag or clutch. For that, I might have to add another pipe to the back so it can be secured better.