Wednesday, 24 August 2016

A new dimension...polymer clay dog art

polymer clay dogs+staffie+staffordshire bull terrier+westie+cake topper+Nicola McLean
'Staffie and Westie polymer clay 'cake toppers'!

Last Friday night, I went out for a Chinese meal with the staff and other volunteers from the animal shelter for my friend, Christine's birthday. Another friend, Audrey, happened to mention a couple of weeks earlier that her teenage daughter, a very talented cake maker, was baking Christine a birthday cake.

Christine has just adopted the most adorable staffie and somehow Audrey suggested I could make a staffie cake topper to go on the birthday cake and somehow, I found myself agreeing to give it a go even though I know absolutely nothing about making cake toppers!

polymer clay dogs+staffie+staffordshire bull terrier+westie+cake topper+Nicola McLean


In the end up I decided against trying to make it out of fondant icing and instead ordered a little square of polymer clay and some clay sculpting tools from Amazon, thinking I'd try my hand at that. How hard could it be? Very hard, as it turns out! So much harder than just painting a one dimensional picture of a dog, as it happens.

polymer clay dogs+staffie+staffordshire bull terrier+westie+cake topper+Nicola McLean


I watched several You Tube clips and read several more 'how to' guides and then realised that it seemed you needed to fashion an armature (dog shaped skeleton thingie) out of wire to put the clay round. I didn't have any wire and this was now Thursday, the day before the cake topper was needed for our night out.

I made the executive decision that this dog didn't need an armature and just started rubbing the clay between my hands to soften it and did my best to fashion the shape of a staffie sitting down. Bearing in mind that I didn't have any photographs of Kye, the staffie, to work from I had to just look at generic white staffie photos online and I texted Audrey and asked her to go and look at Kye (who spends the day at work with Christine) and tell me what markings he had!


polymer clay dogs+staffie+staffordshire bull terrier+westie+cake topper+Nicola McLean


I have no idea how polymer clay artists get their creations to look so smooth so I searched the all knowing Google to find out and came across a forum where someone else had asked the same question likening their sculpture to 'spat out chewing gum' which seemed like the perfect description of mine too. Apparently you need rubbing alcohol to smooth it out. Not something I tend to have lying around the house so I decided that my clay dog was going to look a little rugged and bumpy and proper handmade (I didn't really decide this, I had absolutely no choice as that is just how it ended up looking!)

polymer clay dogs+staffie+staffordshire bull terrier+westie+cake topper+Nicola McLean


Anyway, I finally got it to resemble a staffie and popped it into the oven for 30 minutes, letting it stay there until the oven cooled down again. I even had a tiny bit of clay left over so I made a little westie for myself!


polymer clay dogs+staffie+staffordshire bull terrier+westie+cake topper+Nicola McLean


On Friday I started painting the dogs. Because polymer clay is essentially acrylic you can paint it using acrylic paints. Handy because those I have no shortage of. I referred to Audrey's text telling me Kye had a black ear with a white tip, a brown tail with a white tip and a brown spot on his side and finally my first ever polymer clay dog was finished.


polymer clay dogs+staffie+staffordshire bull terrier+westie+cake topper+Nicola McLean


I don't think I'll be giving any polymer clay artists a run for their money but I had fun making him and Christine was absolutely delighted with him and a couple of the others at the meal said they'd be interested in commissioning little models of their own dogs - who knows maybe I'll start a little sideline in three dimensional dog art!

polymer clay dogs+staffie+staffordshire bull terrier+westie+cake topper+Nicola McLean


15 comments:

  1. These are so fantastic - wow, I hink you could make more of these! Hugs, Valerie

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  2. adorable!! it looks like something that would be fun to do. well, once you get the hang of it!

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  3. How super cute :-) I love that 'slightly chewed' look about him and the Westie is adorable. Well done to you in your first clay work. I think you've started something now Nic hee hee :-D

    Hugz
    IKE xxxxx

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  4. Aaahhh what a great story. Yes Polymer is different that other clays. I do not have that talent. My mom did she was a master at it. Anyway I love how the dogs came out. Sometimes not knowing what the techniques or tools are produces a perfectly wonderful piece of art.

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  5. you did a good job :) when I have to make little figures and don;t have any wire around to make an armature, I just use balled up tin foil in the rough shape I need :)

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  6. I almost cried when I saw these two adorable creations. All I could think was I hope you get licensed so we can all buy these dogs.... I LOVE them...rough with a whimsical smile I'd not want them any other way, that is the great part of their charm! These two are priceless!! Oh she must be thrilled to bits... Good job... Hope this becomes a line of products one day! You have something here Nic...WOW!! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!

    Hugs Giggles

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  7. I would never have thought you worked so hard to get these adorable pups made- they are fabulous Nic!! More, more!

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  8. That happy puppy is adorable; yes they are both nice
    Happy PPF

    much love...

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  9. Amazing! Amazing! I love the smile on the precious staffie. It was great you had enough clay left to make your own little pup.

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  10. Your dogs are fabulous! I can well imagine how hard they must have been to make, you did a super job and I know how much you love dogs, these ones are so cute and happy!

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  11. hihi, I love him! Especially the big smile on his face. Sooo cute :-) And that tiny little one you made for yourself .... You're actually quite good in this, I never would've thought this is the first time you did this. Way to go, looking forward to more!

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  12. Oh my... Cuteness overload or what?? These are just ADORABLE! You should definitely do more of these for sure! :0)

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  13. I seriously LOVE your polymer clay doggies! I'm not surprised that Christine was delighted with her one. :)

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Your comments always colour me happy! Thank you for popping by.

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