Friday, September 26, 2008

Quilter's Gift set

I have always admired the art form of quilts, so when Papertrey Ink released Quilter's Sampler, I was thrilled. My mother is an amazing folk-art painter with quite a following, but as I well know, that has become a job. Quilting has always been her escape, and just like everything else she touches, her quilts always turn to gold. She tried to teach me when I was younger, but I believe I was too young to really appreciate the effort that goes into the art. So when this stamp set came out, I knew how much I wanted to fuse her passion with mine and create some notecards for her.

I made a set of 8 with different sentiments, all on flat panel tag cards with PTI Dark Chocolate ink. (These are old Paper Salon ones, but this is easily done on your own.) I used Prismacolor pencils to color in the quilt panels and used PTI's Faux Ribbon to stamp the stitches along the edges. A little Dark Chocolate twill tops each notecard.

Then I had this lightbulb moment, inspired by my sister. See, the whole creativity thing runs pretty deep in my family - my sister is an amazingly talented PMC (precious metals clay) artist. After chatting with her about how well clear stamps were working in the PMC, I decided to try it with polymer clay. I chose colors that were as close to those I had used in the notecards, the blue and pink have a pearl shimmer, but the brown is flat. (I don't think you can see it in the notes, but the blue tags have a shimmer, too, so that's where I drew that inspiration.)

I made a small charm and a pin. It has been a while since I've done detailed work with clay (I used to do this when working on button prototypes), but polymer clay is such a forgiving medium, that it is easy to make something great-looking in no time flat. I simply rolled out pieces of blue, pink and brown, and stamped each one with the same stamps. I determined that I wanted the brown to be the background and cut the pieces of blue and pink with an Xacto knife and placed it on the brown. I used a clay rolling tool to gently press the pieces onto the base.

When you purchase Premo or Sculpey clay at the craft store, the baking directions are on the side of the package. If you work with clay often, it is a good idea to get a toaster oven dedicated to clay, as the safety of it is often questioned. I use my oven, but always try to be careful, and always turn on my range fan. Whatever you use to work with the clay should remain dedicated to clay use and never come in contact with food. (For example, I have a clay box; in it I have a pasta machine, a cheap Xacto knife, a small rolling pin, and a Pyrex dish. NONE of those will ever see food again, and since I have them in their own bin, it makes it easy to do so.)

After the baking and cooling, I simply adhered a pin back from the craft store. (For the charm, I put an eye pin into the clay before baking. The temperature is low when baking the polymer clay, so it isn't a problem to put the eye pin in beforehand.)

You can see by all the detail that the stamps work just beautifully with the clay - so well, in fact, that I'm already thinking of the other PTI sets and what can be done! Hmm, if I keep this up, I may have to think about changing the name of my blog to Created with Clay... ;)

If you have any other questions about stamping on clay, shoot me an email or leave me a comment, and I will try to answer it for you! In the meantime, give it a try - it is a lot of fun!

Be well.


Niki Estes said...

I love your clay pin and charm, Jenn! What a neat idea. I've been seeing polymer clay popping up all over the place. I think I'm going to have to find me some to play with. Have a great weekend!

Terri said...

Very cool.I am a quilter too. I am going to have to give this a try.

StamperSharon said...

What wonderful detail work on your clay, Jenn -- cool project!