Alien Creature

An alien

An alien made from craft wire, polymer clay, and a bead plus a couple of cogs.

I have made something new, it is an alien creature. I made it with craft wire and polymer clay. The eye is a bead which looks like an eye which I got on ebay. The body and feet are made with polymer clay and there are a few watch parts pressed into it. I quite like that the eye bead spins round.

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Steampunk Watch Parts Ring

Steampunk Ring

Steampunk Ring

Here is a ring I have made. The main ring part is a cheap gold coloured ring, I think it only cost a pound or two. I stuck cogs and parts onto it with a strong glue called Hot Stuff Special T, which is like superglue.

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Walking machine

Recently I have been trying to draw a steampunk machine. Here it is so far, it’s taking a while. I was reading those links I posted earlier about steam engines to try and get it looking reasonably realistic.

work in progress

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Space Rocket

A rocket made of polymer clay

A rocket made of polymer clay

I just made this earlier, I started making it last night but it took a while. It is quite small. I first baked it without the cog/gemstone on the front. It was hard to add much detail as I had made it so small (about 2cm high and just over 1.5cm across) and adding detail was difficult without squashing it, not only that but I didn’t want to overdo it. Sometimes I think the simpler the better.

After I had baked it this morning, I thought maybe it needed something extra. I added a porthole by pressing a round piece of polymer clay on and pressed a cog and a lab created gemstone into it (very small, about 3 or 4mm) which I had bought a few months ago as a pack of various mixed stones. Then I re-baked it.

I also added a lobster clasp and made some jump rings to attach it. The rings are made from coated copper wire wrapped around round ended pliers and then cut into rings.

As I didn’t need them to be a specific diameter I just wrapped them around the round ended pliers, but when I need a certain sized ring (like when I had a go at making chain maille) I wrap the wire around a drill bit of the correct diameter (it has the measurment engraved on the side of the bit). Here is an interesting guide to making jump rings. I am thinking of buying some flush wire cutters as I have some wire cutters but they don’t cut the rings particularly well, I always end up with a jagged edge. It says on that link the best way to do it is with a jewellers’ saw, so that is another option. I will have to find out how much they cost.

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Steampunk steam engines and machinery art references

I found an interesting blog about steampunk which has a list of some interesting links for drawing steampunk. I particularly liked the one about steam engines as I have been wondering about how to create realistic looking machinery, mainly in clay but also I was thinking about having ago at making some steampunk cartoons or something.

While looking up other ideas for steam engines I found a couple of other useful webpages:

There is a lot to look at there but I will be reading through it bit by bit and maybe I will get some ideas from it.

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Powered Cog thing

I don’t really know what this is but it is the second thing I have made (if you ignore disastrous fish no1) and the first steampunk inspired item I have made.

I think it is some sort of thing that is powered by a weird blue capsule. Maybe part of a steampunk power station or something.

Cogpower

Cogpower

Cogpower

Cogpower - better pic of the bead glowing

I like the blue ‘capsule’ a lot. I wanted some sort of blue capsule/rod thing like the blue things on this fob chain. I couldn’t think how to make it, I wanted a glassy effect like… well like glass and I couldn’t get that with polymer clay. In the end I used a normal bead, just a round one, one of these:

Beads

I think these are glass

I think they are made of glass, I can’t remember how they were described when I bought them but they seem like glass. Anyway, I used one of these and put polymer clay at each end, made a hole in the clay and then threaded a piece of gunmetal coloured wire (I used 18 gauge / 1.03mm and luckily it fitted through the bead and also gives a reasonably thick look) to make it seem as if maybe something was being piped through it.

I did wonder if the bead was going to melt when I put it in the oven with the polymer clay. I half expected to end up with melted blue mush but it was fine.

I also put some antiquing fluid for polymer clay on the clay after it had cooled down. I am not quite sure what the point of that was as it just made it go a bit white round the edges. I then discvered that there are a couple of different types of antiquing fluid, there is a brown one as well, maybe I should have got the brown one? Oh well I don’t know.

The cogs are from ebay, there are people on there who sell mixed bags of watch parts (I bought mine from Lukes Watch Parts they were a nice selection). You could also get hold of old watches and take them apart. Although make sure that it’s not some valuble old watch or something that should be on the Antiques Roadshow.

Cog Rat

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Fish

Here is the first thing I made the other week.

Well, it wasnt quite the first thing I made, I made another version but I handled it so much it got squashed so I started again. So the first thing I have learnt when using polymer clay is to be careful that it doesn’t get squashed. Which is easier said than done when you are making something small, I think if you are using a few different parts that you are going to stick together then it can be easier to work on those individually and then when you come to put the thing together, put it together all in one go. I think that might stop it being squashed too much (although it is still tricky).

I have also discovered that it is handy to know when to stop. I think the reason the first version turned into such a mess was because there was a slight imperfection and I was trying to improve it, and I ended up squashing it all. So I will have to remember that sometimes I have to compromise and know that it’s probably not going to end up perfectly. Originally it was going to be a steampunk fish, but I didn’t have any room for any cogs, and it looked good as it was, so I decided it would just be a normal fish.

I wish I had taken a photo of the first squashed one, it was a right mess.

Here is the second version:

Polymer clay fish, perfected on the second try

Polymer clay fish, perfected on the second try

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Hello

Hello, welcome to my new blog.

I have started a new hobby which is making things out of polymer clay and I thought it would be good to start a blog so I can display and keep a record of what I have made and maybe share some ideas. I like steampunk a lot so some of the things I make will probably have a steampunk theme.

I was bored a while ago and fed up with my usual hobbies so I decided it might be fun to make something.  After coming across some interesting steampunk items on the internet which other people had made I thought I would have a go.

Equipment

If anyone is interested, I am using Premo polymer clay and I have also gathered a lot of bits and pieces (mainly stuff I ordered from  the internet like ebay and online jewelry/craft retailers) like a  packet of watch parts (hence the cogs) and beads and wire etc.

I also even bought a cheap toaster/mini oven because I thought it would be a good idea to have a separate oven that I could dedicate to baking polymer clay only. Another thing I got hold of was a cheap oven thermometer as I had read on various websites that it helps to have one of these when baking polymer clay as the oven temperature can vary from what it says on the dial. It is  a surprisingly good oven even though it was only £20 (the cheapest one I could find).

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