Next swap is a Rock Purse Swap at City O Clay
Since I felt my free tutorials could use a good one since last weeks inspiration I have been contemplating doing one. I really thought about it and was going to do it, then I changed my mind to maybe, then I definitely was not going to do it, then the blizzard of 2011 hit. TDBank America’s Most Convenient Bank never closes and they did the day after hubby went out-of-town. There was no reason NOT TO DO IT!
I mean what could my tut be that has not already been done, do I have anything new to say or do that has not been already seen? When I realized that was the fear in me talking (I could list 10 reasons for why not) I got over myself and just did it. I can tell you there were a couple of times I sat there looking at my clay table, or just after I messed up a step (mess up kept in BTW) I could have quit but did not. I encourage you to face your fear and just try something, anything you would not normally do. The sense of accomplishment you will feel will give you the power to succeed in life no matter what you try. As my clay mentor Nj says Baby Steps.
For your claying pleasure on behalf of the snow here is my version of a Polymer Clay Rock Purse. This is the no frills version to school you on the basics the touches are yours to interpret. Next time you have a snow day consider trying one for yourself. The worst thing that could happen is that you learn you do not like making rock purses, but at least you know how to make them!
I decided I would take what I know and sit down and work with the clay the way it felt it needed to be worked with taking pictures along the way. Please note there were times son was not receptive to the scream from mom “Fouad can you come in here and take a picture of ….me holding the pliers trying to yank the rock out under the water” lol. Some are taken by me when clearly I could have used another set of hands.
Step 1. To make a rock purse start by choosing a rock. You need to consider the size of the rock and the end result which I can tell you is a heck of a lot bigger than what you start out with. Consider that very carefully before proceeding. Also when choosing a rock you want one that is smooth and uniform in size. The first rock I chose was too big when finished so this time I used rocks that were 2 inches long by 1 1/4 inches wide and another that was 1 1/2 inches long by 1 inch wide. I am trying two to see which finished size I like best. And if I mess up on one I will have the other to teach you with lol.
Again you want to make sure you get them as uniform as possible. I can not stress enough how important your rock choice is.
Here is an example of a bad rock choice.
Step 2. Okay you got your rock now you need to roll out your inner layer mine was rolled on 3. I chose black and blue because I think that inside color will work well with my designs. You can use any coordinating colors that you want. This layer will be the inside color of your Rock Purse.
Step 3. You need to use a release agent so your clay won’t stick to the rock. There are many you can use cornstarch, armour all, repel gel, I choose Pearlex because it would give my rock a nice inside color. Thanks Kay for the tip.
Step 4. Wrap your clay around the rock but leave any excess at this time. Your goal in this step is to see how much clay you need to cover your rock.
Step 5. Now ou will cut away the excess clay. You want enough to wrap fully around the rock so do not cut off too much.
Step 6. Flatten the edges where the clay meets. No not worry you have too much or if it is square the idea for this step is to get the two sides to go together even with the Pearlex powder you put on. Remember that is a release agent so squeeze hard.
Step 7 Cut away any excess being careful not to cut too much off with your Exacto knife.
Step 8. When you cut there may be areas that try to separate. Dont worry, just keep squeezing them together until they form together.
Step 9. Continue to smooth until you get the ends to form around the rock. Your fingers will work well for this step. If the clay gets too warm then just throw it in the freezer for a few to firm up. I just sat mine on the stairs in the snow lol the clay wanted to play in the snow :).
Step 10. When trying to mold and cut the base layer you will feel the clay not totally going to the rock. This is okay it means your release agent is working well. Keep forming and squeezing and trimming excess until you like the form around the rock and it is smooth. If you get air bubbles while working then just poke with your knife or some other sharp object to make a small hole for the air to escape through.
Cutting information is varied and the decision to cut before baking or after baking is yours as are the holes for your string. There does not seem to be much difference it is more of a personal choice. I am choosing to cut BEFORE I bake and to drill my holes. If you do not want to then please change the directions to suit your claying style. I am choosing to cut before I bake because I feel this will give me more control to get a straight line and if I mess up the cut with unbaked clay I can fix it easier. I am choosing to do my holes after with my Dremel because that tool gives me what I need for the finish. Some want to cut and do the holes differently do what you think will work best for you and if it does not work for you then try it the opposite way.
Step 11. For my cut I do a pre cut or score with my blade and make sure I like the way it looks. This is just a light mark to see where the cut will be.
Step 12. Can you see how there are two lines? The top one did not meet up around the rock. So I just made it lower, made sure they met all around and was even. I just smoothed away anything that was not right. You can not do that if you baked it already.
Step 13. Now you make your cut all the way to the rock following your score lines.
Step 14. Mark your front or back with a small score line. This will be important later on when you are working with your rock. You want to make sure the side is put back together correctly.
Step 15. Bake at your clay’s manufacturers settings for the correct time and temp.
This is the moment of truth. I was so scared with this one. Not sure why exactly it is just scrap black clay around a rock but I digress….. You need to do it while the rock is hot so running water is the general recommended suggestion. This way you will not burn your hands while your holding a hot rock. Remember even though you are seeing mostly pics from the black rock I am working with two of them a black and blue.
Step 16. Grab your hot rock and put it under running water and separate the two halves.
Step 17. If your rock gets cold before you get it off throw it back into the oven for 8-10 minutes so it can heat back up again and try these suggestions.
Hands- use your hands to wriggle the rock loose.
Use your pliers to pull one end of the rock out if you got one side to come off but not the other. That did not work well since my rock was smooth. The pliers kept slipping off.
Use your Exacto Knife and stick it between the clay and rock as much as you can to loosen it.
Step 18. Next we will cover the bottom half with black clay rolled out on 2. If you notice in the picture I forgot this step and went straight to covering with my finish…again since I did not bake I just removed the clay as best as I could and then applied the black layer. Do as I say not as I do right? I cut around and joined the two sides here are the cut pieces ready to be joined.
Step 19. When adding you want a lip on the bottom piece so make sure you do not cover it all you want to leave space I left about 5mm. I took one side (whichever was smaller) folded it over, then took the other one and folded it over gently, pulled it back and cut on the indent lines where the two met. This is done in the same way you mark a bull’s eye cane.
Step 20. See the bottom with the lip you can not tell I messed up can ya? Unbaked clay is your friend because you can fix it easily.
Step 21. Using your cane cut thin layers to cover your bottom half.
Step 22. Here is the bottom half with the lip covered.
Step 23. Smooth, smooth, smooth. Use your hands, roller, knitting needle whatever you can to get that baby smooth without ruining the lip.
Step 24. Smooth with the clay shaper and trim anything needed to ensure you have a smooth level lip.
Step 25. Find your repel gel luckily I had mine in a marked drawer after the last time I could not find it.
Step 26. Put repel gel or another release agent, on the bottom lip before moving on to the next step. I do it now so I do not forget to do so later.
This is where I started getting punchy. I had taken a break after shoveling snow for an hour and a half and really was starting to feel my muscles hurt. I forgot to take several pictures and then when I realized it I had to dig in my container for another rock to re shoot the pics.
I reached in and grabbed one and this is the one that came out it could not have come at a better time.
Step 27. Cut around your top half making sure you leave room for the lip that this time will stick out over your top half of the Rock Purse. I cut the clay so the seam would be in the middle which led me to cut it this way which in the end really worked well.
Step 28. I used paper towels and stuffed them in the middle to give my lip support while working with it I also wrapped half of it without taking any pictures. Directions in the next step :). You get the idea by now hopefully fold one side over and then make an indent and trim the other one.
Step 29. Fold the smaller of the two sides over and then wrap the other one over and get an indent or cut line.
Step 30. See the indent line that is one good line if I do say so myself not only that I did it but that when I took a picture of it with the camera in the phone it showed up so well. Cut along your indent line.
Step 31. Where they meet smooth the seam out.
Step 32. Put slices on the top the way you did the bottom, being careful not to mess up the lip that sticks out. Every once in a while I placed the pieces of the rock purse together to make sure I did not mess them up and they still fit together. When doing this go back to the score lines to help you with getting the two sides together correctly.
Step 33. Again smooth, smooth, smooth. Whatever worked for you last time do it again. Make sure both the top and bottom are smooth and go together and come apart easily. If you need more release agent add some.
Step 34. Once your done handling the piece take apart the two halves and smooth any joints with the clay shaper so they look nice.
Step 35. Using your stylus tool or some other sharp object make the indents for the cord holes before baking it will make it easier to drill later, and if you do it on unbaked clay and mess up you can fix it.
Step 36. Now you are ready to bake per your clay settings for the correct time. This time let your Rock Purse cool before working with it.
Step 37. Drill your holes for your string.
Step 38. See the nice holes?
Step 39. I placed my glue on some wax paper and used some unbaked clay to kind of grip my eyelet. Dip the part of your eyelet that will go into the Rock Purse in some glue.
Step 40. Place your eyelet into the hole and remove carefully so you do not accidentally yank the eyelet out while removing the clay.
Step 41. Repeat for all four holes.
Step 42. Remember this is the middle of a snowstorm and I was not really planning on doing this, even if I wanted to dig out the car to get some I doubt many stores are open, so of course I do not have many choices on string that will fit the eyelets on hand. I do have the leftover Holiday Ornament string and that is what I am using. Cut your string.
Step 43. With the string I have it is impossible to string from the inside out so I am doing it this way which may not be the best but I am almost done YEA! With your bottom piece of the rock purse put both ends in each hole.
Step 44. String one of your ends through the correct corresponding hole in the top half.
Step 45. Take the same string and go through the other hole in the top half.
Step 46. Tie a secure knot.
Step 47. Trim your ends. This may not be necessary with your string but mine needed trimming and I also glued the ends so they would not fray. If you glue make sure that the glue dries completely before moving on to the next step.
Step 48. Because your knot is now inside your Rock Purse you will want to maneuver the string so that it can be worn and the knot should be in the bottom half of your purse close to the eyelets.
Step 49. Enjoy your necklace and wear it with pride!
Not all of your attempts will work I had my flubs as well here are some of them so you can know that the only way you can master a technique is practice practice practice.
Enjoy and none of the Rock Purses featured in this tutorial will be part of the swap remember it should be a surprise.