Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Art Dice - Inspirational and Educational

I am lucky enough to be my youngest grandson's art teacher (I may have mentioned this one or two times before ☺) While researching project ideas for his lessons, I was inspired to create these art dice from the book "Tinkerlab - A Hands on Guide for Little Inventors" by Rachelle Doorley.   As she explains in the book "Art dice games are a creative way to jump-start drawing.  Every toss of the dice becomes an opportunity to explore and expand art vocabulary, drawing skills, color recognition, and shape identification."  Of course I don't see any reason they have to be just for kids, I think they can also be a way to practice or try something new in creating my own drawings as well - throwing one or all of them - could be a great way to try a limited palette or try a new style.

Or, you can make dice for any game you choose -  Some suggestions for other types are at the end of this post.

To make the dice you will need:

Creative Paperclay® modeling material
sanding block with coarse or medium grit sandpaper
file or emery board
craft knife

plan or pattern - the themes for these dice are:

  • Shapes- square, circle, oval, heart, rectangle & triangle)
  • Lines - vertical, diagonal, zigzag, wavy, spiral, and dots
  • Colors - blue, red, green, yellow, purple, orange

My dice are 1" square, so the instructions will be for those proportions.  If you want larger or smaller dice adjust accordingly.

Begin with a 1/8" thick, flat, dry sheet of clay (for my instructions on how to make a flat sheet click here)

Measure and mark the grids for your die or dice.  If desired, carve a design or indentation into each side.

Cut the squares apart.  Measure and mark cardboard - for each die you will need two 2" square pieces of cardboard with a one inch square cut out of the center

Using the sanding block, sand each side of each square towards the center at any angle greater than 45° (this goes pretty quickly with coarse grit sandpaper, so make sure you don't sand too much off the edge!)  Go as close to the edge of the square as you can though, without losing the edge.

Now test fit four of the squares into your cardboard square form as shown -

If they all fit, wet the connecting sides of each square and place in the form.  Add the second square of cardboard over the first.

Now re-wet an inside corner and apply a roll of clay

Press the clay firmly into the corners to join the pieces, and repeat with remaining corners.  Pull the second piece of cardboard up to the top of the clay square and set it aside to dry.

When the clay is dry, remove the cardboard forms, clean off any stray bits of clay and file the inside corners at an angle (if needed).

Now test fit the top and bottom squares.  You will most likely have to file the edges of these down a bit and increase the angle of the interior of the square to get them to fit within the cardboard forms again.  When you've finished adjusting the top and bottom pieces, make a mixture of clay and water to the consistency of thick paste.  Wet the top rim of the square and the edges of the piece you are adding.  Place a heavy layer of your paste mixture along the inside of the cube then place the top section on and press firmly.  Repeat with bottom piece, then place the entire cube back into the cardboard form to hold the cube together securely while it dries.

When all is dry, remove from the form and sand any rough spots or clean up as necessary.  Paint as desired.

To play with the dice, throw one or all three, then draw a picture using the elements shown on the dice.  It's up to you and the other people you are playing with as to how strict you want to be with the elements - just suggestions? or perhaps you want to play with a timer and each person HAS to use all three of the elements in his or her drawing.  

Blue, Triangle, Diagonal Lines, Go!

Some other suggestions for creative dice making:
  • Animal dice - each person would have to act like that animal, make a noise like them, or say a fact.
  • Story dice - make dice with different pictures pasted on them and the players have to make up a story about what comes up - or, paste pictures of family and friends on the die or dice and then their photo comes up they have to tell a story (about themselves, or, make something up)
  • Monster dice - one or two dice with the names of body parts - eyes, legs, antennae, teeth, etc. one with numbers, and one with colors.  Players make a picture of a monster with whatever they roll, for example, green monster with 6 eyes.
The possibilities are limitless!  The author of "Tinkerlab" suggests textures, emotions, movements, etc.

Thanks for joining me here again!  As always, play, experiment, and have fun!

Find me on Facebook, or peruse & ponder pics with me on Pinterest

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Fortune Cookies in Clay

I wanted to make fortune cookie place holders for a New Years dinner party but this would work all year round.  I had fun making the faux cookies and writing the fortunes. For the fortunes I just typed them out on my computer then printed and cut them.

Creative Paperclay®
Texture Plate
Wax Paper
Acrylic paint
I started by rolling out a ball of the clay between two sheets of wax paper using my hands first to squish it down then the brayer.

Next I laid a texture plate over it and brayered it to add texturev

I cut the circle shape with the lid from one of my art products. Using wet fingers, I smoothed out the edges.

I folded it over then grabbed two ends to fold in to make the cookie shape. When it dried, I painted it and added the fortune. It was fun and the dinner guests loved it.

Dream in Color

Darlene Olivia McElroy

Monday, January 9, 2017

Shari's Creative PaperclayTip of the Month - January 2017


Welcome to my Creative Paperclay® tip of the month for January. Can you believe it's 2017 already?!?

When finishing my paperclay pieces, I absolutely love my Sandits® tools. They are great for getting into those places that sandpaper just cant touch. They come in a several shapes and grit. They are one of my "go to" tools for paperclay.

Recently I was sanding a piece and came to an area that I could not reach with any of my tools. Nothing would get to the area I needed to have finished. Then I thought of a great idea. I got out my fingernail files. It worked!

Fingernail files come in several different grits, you can cut them to any shape you need, they bend easily to get into those hard to reach spots, and they are very inexpensive.

I hope this little tip might help the next time you are working with Creative Paperclay®.

Happy Creating!

Friday, January 6, 2017

January First Friday Fan Day

Need some inspiration for your next Creative Paperclay® project? Check out what folks are making with Creative Paperclay™.

Heart House Necklace
Contemporary Woodland Animals
Painted Hearts
Clay Owls (not just for Christmas!!)

Paperclay Embellishment

  1. Use the hashtag #CreativePaperclay on all your social networks.
  2. When using Facebook, be sure the your posts and images using the #Creative Paperclay hashtag are set to public, otherwise we won't be able to find you.
  3. Share your projects on the Creative PaperClay® Facebook page.
I'm always trolling the web, looking for great Creative Paperclay® projects. If you find something, post it on our Facebook page.


Find the answers to your paperclay questions. See what other folks are creating. Stop by our Facebook group and say, "Hi!" Creative Paperclay Q&A

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Tori's Tip - Simple Relief Carving

Happy New Year, friends! 

Later this month I will be showing you how to create a set of "art dice".  I have chosen to do a relief carving in the center of each side of my dice, and although it isn't necessary to do this to complete the project, I'm sharing the how-to for my monthly tip.

This type of carving, done on dry clay, can be used for many different types of projects, including page embellishments, boxes, etc.

Bonus tip - I've included a diagram for making your own sculpting/scraping tool :)

Thanks for joining me here again!  As always, play, experiment, and have fun!

Find me on Facebook, or peruse & ponder pics with me on Pinterest

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Altered Can Tealight Holder (Or Anything Holder)

I love candles - I always have, life "prior to husband" that is!  He is completely the opposite I am, and hates having anything with flame near me (I'm not sure if he thinks I will burn my house down or hurt myself.....)!!!  I decided I wanted to use the tealights we bought for something else - and light a candle when I simply want to relax, and alter a tuna can I did!!!  Now, if you look back a couple of posts down, you will see another AMAZING tealight holder project!!!  Totally different idea's, but absolutely can be created together, in fact - I am going to be using this for inspiration for sure!  
This is the kind of project that is easy enough to use with any cans that are small like this, such as tuna or cat food cans!!!  It is also easy enough to customize it to the person receiving it - this one was for me!!!!  For this project, make sure you look in your stash for supplies you can use, before you go out and purchase them:

Supplies needed:

  • Can of your choice
  • Creative Paperclay product 
  • Paint of your choice
  • Sand paper
  • Embellishments for the outside of the can
  • Hot glue gun
  • Water
Step one:  Take the can you are using, and make sure to wash it thoroughly.  If it takes a couple of times to wash it so there is no smell, do so!  

Step two:  Flatten out the Creative Paperclay product very thin - you want to wrap the to the inside of the can.

Step three:  Before you let it dry - take the water and your index finger, and smooth out the Creative Paperclay product as best you can!

Step four:  After fully dried, sand the product once at least, maybe twice if you see it needs it!  Paint it after you are done and you have wiped off the item!  Paint at least 2 coats, letting it dry enough between coats!

Step five:  After the holder has completely dried, start to create the outside edges!  I started with leftover beads and things I had from other projects - and started to add the wire - a few beads....and then a flower between each of the sets of beads.  I went around the item twice, hot gluing the wire and the flowers as you go! 

I have a few more of these in my head - ready for more tealights and things I simply need to keep!!!!  I always like doing one thing, because it makes the next thing I do go much smoother because I have learned the little things NOT to do!  Easy project, grab some fun tealight candles for your favorite friend - and an easy gift is made!  I hope you enjoy this one as much as I have enjoyed making it!  
Lynda Jeffs
Creative Paperclay Design Team 2016


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Figure Sculpting with Creative Paperclay (part 3 of 3)

kevin whitham ballerina sculpture

air dry clay sculpting You can read part one here and you can find part two here.

By the time I reached this point in the sculpture, I had changed the figure's arm and leg positions several times.

If your clay is not completely dry when you decide to change a pose, you can just bend the clay to the new position and  smooth out the surface cracks. 

If your piece has fully dried, which mine had, then you have to break it at the joint, re-position the arm or leg and then use fresh clay to cement it back together.

 It sounds worse than it is and only takes a couple of minutes. 

 My original idea was for a figure climbing a hill, but as it progressed, I pictured a dancer on the edge of a knife.

creating art with new materials Once you decide on your final pose (and, of course, you can always change it again) you can add the final details to the face, hair, hands, feet, muscles, shoulder blades, etc. 

 I thought it would be fun to show how I like to work on hair.

With every detail I follow the same procedure, which is to add a small bit of clay, carve in the detail, look at it closely from every angle and make adjustments. 

Often, the part I'm working on looks perfect from one angle and completely screwy from another angle.

If I can work on it, by making adjustments, so that it looks good from most angles, then I'm satisfied.

To get fresh clay to stick to dry clay, brush on a little water.

For adding hair, I take a bit of clay and squish it to about the thickness I would imagine my figure's hair would be.  Add a bit of water to the figure's head and press on the clay.

For shaping, I mainly use silicone-tipped shapers (these are usually called color shapers).  These tools work beautifully for carving fine details in paper clay.  The silicone tip doesn't stick much to the clay. 

I usually have a clump of fresh paper clay on my work table.  If I'm working on fine details and the clay sticks to the silicone tip, I just dip it in water and wipe off the excess clay onto the clump of fresh clay.

figure sculpting detailsadding details to figuressculpting with silicone color shapers

 When carving fresh clay, if it is too firm, add a little more water.  I just brush some across it with a watercolor brush.

 The consistency of the clay I want to use for details is soft enough to carve with a slight resistance against the tool I'm using.

 Once I am happy with that part of the hair, I add a new piece of clay and continue working around the figure's head, adding small bits of clay and shaping them.  I don't know a lot about hair styles, so I just go with what I feel like doing.

side view detail sculpting hairfront view of ballerina figureclose up of sculpture hair details

If you add too much water, the clay will become too soft so that every touch of your tool results in digging into the clay too deeply and blowing out the details.  I guess this could be used for a special effect.

sculpting details on 1/8 scale figureworking with creative paper clayair dry clay tutorial human figure

If there is one thing that I have had to develop as a sculptor, it is to have more patience.  Building up small details over several days and making adjustments is not something that sounds appealing to me, however, I have found that I really enjoy the process and it has helped me find patience in other situations.

close up details of ballerina figureballerina profile final stages ballerina figure showing hair detail

After taking pictures of this figure, I am not completely satisfied with her hair and I'm thinking of making it longer and more flowing.  Using paper clay makes it very easy to add more hair later to the existing sculpture.

ballerina on knife edgecardboard creative paper clay and paintballerina dancing on kitchen knife edge

For me, the final bit of a figure is to create an environment that adds interest or reflects an idea about the figure.   For this piece, I created a knife from a cardboard cutout that I covered with a smooth layer of paper clay and painted.  I like the contrast between the knife (which looks dangerous to me) and the lyrical dancer.

link to kevin whitham saatchi art online

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