Friday, October 21, 2011

Creative Paperclay® ATC Tutorial

Artist Trading Cards or ATCs are very popular these days. There is one rule for creating an ATC:  It must be the size of a playing card which is 3.5 inches by 2.5 inches. I decided to make one from Creative Paperclay®. I really like how it turned out and wewould love to trade it with another artist!

What You'll Need
Creative Paperclay®
Cup of water for sculpting and rinsing paint brushes
Non-stick craft or wax paper for rolling out Creative Paperclay®
Rolling pin
Pottery carving knife or butter knife
Very thin jewelry wire
Acrylic paint (not pictured)
Paint brushes (not pictured)
Fabric scraps, bits of ribbon, beads
Glue of any kind 

What To Do
1.  Take out a lump of Creative Paperclay® and roll it out into a thin sheet. Make sure it is not sticking to your work surface and that you have rolled out enough to cut out a rectangle the size of a playing card.

2.  Take your ruler and measure out 3.5 inches by 2.5 inches, cutting as you go. Use your pottery knife or butter knife and run it along the edge of your ruler to get a nice, straight edge.

3.  I thought it might be good to poke a hole at the top so that my ATC can be an ornament of sorts.

4.  Make sure your new blank "ATC" is flat and then pop it on a sheet pan and into the toaster oven. Bake at 250 degrees for 10-15 minutes depending on your toaster. Check a couple of times to make sure your ATC is not curling. If it is, carefully press it down flat without burning yourself!

5.  While your ATC bakes, you can make the main character of your ATC as I have. Or you can certainly veer off here and make your entirely own creation! Start by sculpting simple shapes by first rolling lumps of Creative Paperclay® into balls. From here, you can make any part of a character. 

6.  To make the head, flatten a ball of Creative Paperclay® so that it is a little small than the size of a quarter. To make the dress, press a ball of Creative Paperclay® flat and then pinch three edges. For arms and legs, take small balls of Creative Paperclay® and roll them into tiny snakes. Curve the snakes a bit and place where arms and legs go.

7. Once your ATC is finished baking and completely cooled, dampen bits of Creative Paperclay® into your water and start adding it to the blank ATC. I like to use the Creative Paperclay® to build up texture for grass, sky, and to sculpt fun things like balloons.

8.  Now it's time to attach your character to the ATC. Use Creative Paperclay® as a sort of glue/cement. Dip bits of Creative Paperclay® into your cup of water and blend into the ATC. Set your character onto the ATC.

9.  I like to give my characters a happy little place. I decided to make my little character some grass, used my pottery knife to give her some simple eyes, and made her a little nose. I also added more texture to the sky and gave a good foundation for balloons. 

10.  To make her hair, I make little snakes out of Creative Paperclay® and coil them up into little snail shapes. She's a curly-haired little character!

11.  Three egg-shaped lumps of Creative Paperclay® become balloons. Use thin jewelry wire to create strings for the balloons. Cut the wire down to size and insert between the character's hand and her balloons. 

12.  And now it's time to paint and embellish!!! My favorite part because when you are finished with this step, you'll be holding your brand-new piece of artwork! I love that moment!!! I paint the whole base one color, usually a dark color, and then add layers of paint over the base coast. 

13.  When the paint dried, I decided to give my little ATC gal a pretty dress and a hair bow. A little glitter to the background, grass, and balloons; a string through the hole for hanging and voila! My first official Creative Paperclay® ATC!!! Now who wants to trade?  


Brenda said...

Love your tutorial. You did a wonderful job giving directions also. Love the idea
Brenda PC DT-Member
I would be honored if you came to see my blog here

rosenrobrt said...

Very very Clever.