Votive Project - Scrap polymer clay and Colored Liquid Sculpey Votive Project:
Scrap polymer clay and Colored Liquid Sculpey

Materials Needed:
Scrap clay, Colored Liquid Sculpey, tissue blade, disposable scalpel or x-acto, rubber-tipped sculpting tool, ceramic tile, kleenex, masking tape, small synthetic brushes

Roll scrap clay on the thickest setting of your pasta machine. Because the CLS is somewhat translucent, I like to mix the scrap clay to all one color.

Take about a 1-ounce piece of the clay and roll it into a ball - flatten it onto the bottom of the votive bowl, smoothing the sides toward the top.

Flatten the bottom of this pad of clay and smooth the edges. This will give something onto which you will press your leaves. Set aside.

Roll the clay at the thickest setting and cut lots of random pointed oval leaf shapes; some long and skinny, some shorter and fat at one end.

Pick up each leaf and pinch the edges in your fingers to flatten and thin them. Don't worry about fingerprints - they are going to disappear.

Fold the leaf lengthwise, creasing it firmly onto your work surface. You may have to curve this fold in a 'c' shape to follow the contours of the leaf.

Pick up your leaf and open it up. If the seam cracks, don't worry about it, it will disappear with the fingerprints. Ruffle the edges of the leaves if you like.

Squeeze the leaves, pushing one tip toward another. Or follow the way the clay wants to go, and let the leaf curve and curl from side to side.

Stick one end of a leaf to the pad on the bottom of the votive. Lay the leaf on the bowl, tacking it down lightly and making it follow the contour of the bowl.

Some leaves, you will want to stand roughly vertical, while others will lie along the bottom of the base. I usually use the smaller leaves at the bottom.

Cure at 275° for 30 minutes. To prevent the leaves from sagging outward, you can wrap the votive with Kleenex and masking tape.

When cool, remove the glass bowl and apply the first coat of CLS - here, I'm using gold inside and out for the first coat. It will influence all the other colors laid on top of it.

After one coat, there are bare-looking spots, so nearly everything will need a second coat of CLS. The inside and out will get two coats (and two curings) in gold.

If the leaves start slumping during curing, you can replace the votive and then wrap masking tape, sticky-side-out, around the cooling leaves to keep them propped up.

For the outsides of the leaves, I'm using silver, white, copper, gold and a mixture of copper and gold to paint them a variety of colors.

Each color will take at least two coats and probably three - and each coat requires a curing.

This is the cured votive after the last coat of CLS. I like this look and it would be just fine left without glazing. But, I tend to prefer the way that glaze brings out the color and sparkle, so I've applied two coats of glossy Flecto Varathane.

Compare this picture to the previous - the colors are richer and more of the sparkly bits show up. I usually put the glazed item into my convection oven on the "dehydrate" setting to dry the glaze faster.

This is made with black CLS on the inside of the leaves and a gold/copper mix on the outside. The edges are trimmed with a fine line of Aleene's Tack-It-Over-and-Over glue to which Jones Tones gold fabric foil has been applied. Two coats of Flecto on this one, too.

Here's a black Premo! bowl made on a light bulb. Textured and torn, sponged with gold and copper CLS, highlighted with Antiquities inks in Verdigris and Rose Quartz, then Flecto Satin and Semi Gloss sponged on irregularly. Inside is a mix of black, gold and copper CLS, unglazed.