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Monday, April 16, 2018

Dogwood Flower Pin

Dogwood Flower Pin by Patricia Roberts-Thompson 
Winter just doesn’t seem to want to let go this year, and I am longing for Spring. So why not join me in making this small touch of spring to wear until it finally arrives!


Makin’s Clay®  White 30g,  Green, or white clay mixed with green acrylic paints
Makin's Professional® Ultimate Clay Machine® 
Teardrop or petal shaped cutters 2 sizes
Clay roller, clay blade, scissors, brushes, large ball tool, needle tool, foam pad. 
Gorilla Superglue
Baby Wipes
PVA  white Glue
DecoArt Spray varnish or Brush-on Matte varnish
Chalk Pastels or Pan Pastels or Acrylic paints to colour the flower


Fig 1 and Fig 2 :  Condition a small amount of white Makin’s Clay® and roll in on the number 3 setting of the Makin’s Ultimate Clay Machine®. Cut four petals using a small teardrop cutter. (my cutter was 1 and ¼ inches long, but size depends on the size you want the flower pin to be) Place the petal on a foam surface or telephone book, and use a large ball tool to thin the edges of each petal. Use a needle tool or the Sculpey Etch and Pearl tool to impress lines on the petals. The lines should converge top and bottom and be slightly curved. Then pinch the very tip of the petal and bend it back, giving it a little ruffle in the center. I found Chalk Pastels worked nicely to colour the petals. I used a little ochre colour at the base, and a combination of magenta Pan Pastel and ochre for the tip of each petal. White chalk can be used to soften the colour, for a more natural look. Set the petals aside for a moment while you make the leaves, or you could start with the leaves. A slightly damp paper towel will keep the petals from drying out while you prepare the leaves.

Fig 3 -4 : I had some leftover green from my previous project, this was white clay mixed with green acrylic paints. I rolled this clay on the third setting of the Ultimate Clay Machine®, then I used a larger teardrop cutter (1 and 1/2”) to cut three leaves. I placed them on the foam pad and pressed the center vein and lines on either side of the center. Place the three leaves together and use the large ball tool to make a depression in the middle.  Not shown, is that I pinched the tips of the leaves along the center

To give them a bit more shape.

Fig 5 : Place the four petals evenly around the depression in the leaves that you have prepared. Use the ball tool to press them firmly into the leaves. If the clay is dry, you may want to use a little white glue here.

Fig 6 : Roll the remaining green clay on the 5th setting of the clay machine and cut a strip approximately 1 cm or ¼” wide by 3 inches long. Using a sharp blade cut all along this strip making lines that go ¾ the width of the strip. Don’t cut through it if you can avoid it, but it’s not critical if you do cut too deeply. Separate the strands as much as you can, then roll the strip, stopping when it is as big as you like it. Put a little white glue in the center of the flower and add the rolled strip. You can use a needle tool to push it into place, and also separate the stamens.

Fig 7 : Shows the stamens in place. I added Ochre Chalk Pastels to the tops of the stamens.

Fig 8 : I lightly curled the petals and used wooden skewers to help keep it in position as it dries. You could use rolled pieces of paper, or plastic straws to prop up the petals until dried. Let dry for 24 hours.

Fig 9 : When it was dry, I used Gorilla Super Glue to glue a pin back to the back of the leaves. Glue the pin slightly higher than center of the flower to prevent it from tipping forward when you wear it. For extra security, I added a piece of clay over the glued pin back, first putting a bit of white glue. Be sure to open and close the pin a few times to make sure the tiny wire on the hinge side has the space it needs to work correctly.

A spray varnish is best when working with chalks, I really like PYMII Spray, and another good one is DecoArt Spray. You can brush varnish on the pin, but you will need to brush lightly, so you don’t disturb the chalks too much.

Again, I let the pin dry for 24 hours, then I attached it to my coat.

Spring, Here I come!

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