Sparkling Snowflake Light

Materials

  • Polyform Premo! Sculpey Accents: White Translucent, four blocks; Pearl, one block
  • Heat-set crystals, 4mm: clear, light blue
  • LED tea light or battery-operated tea light

Tools

  • Polyform Sculpey: Clay Conditioning Machine, Flexible Blade Super Slicer
  • Snowflake cookie cutter or clay cutter, 1”
  • Circle cutters: 1-1/4”, 3/8”
  • Silver leaf or composite lead, small amount
  • Jacquard Interference Blue Mica Powder
  • Jacquard Piñata Color Sapphire Blue Alcohol Ink
  • Acrylic roller or clay-dedicated rolling pin
  • Pipe, 3”x3-1/2”
  • Parchment-lined baking sheet and oven
  • Polyform Sculpey Bake & Bond

Basic Supplies

craft knife, clay-dedicated vegetable peeler, painter’s tape, sandpaper

Directions

STEP 1

  • Preheat oven to 275°F (130°C). Condition all clay by running through Clay Conditioning Machine on widest setting. Fold clay in half after each pass; insert fold side into rollers first.

STEP 2

  • Create “stack” by dividing clay into following parts: three 1/2 blocks of White Translucent; one 1/4 block of White Translucent; one 1/4 block of Pearl.

STEP 3

  • Condition following combinations of clay: 1/4 block of White Translucent and 1/4 block of Pearl together; 1/2 block of White Translucent by itself; another 1/2 block of White Translucent by itself; remaining 1/2 block of White Translucent with small amount of silver composite leaf. Add bits of silver leaf until silver flecking is apparent in White Translucent.

STEP 4

  • Trim one conditioned piece of clay into rectangular piece as close to outside edges of rolled piece as possible. Use cut piece as template to trim piece same-size from each of other three conditioned pieces of clay. Stack piece of White Translucent onto pearl mix, and other piece of White Translucent onto silver-flecked mix. On thickest setting of Clay Conditioning Machine, roll each individual stack of two colors together through once. Stack both rolled sets of two colors so they alternate colors in this order: White Translucent, pearl mix, White Translucent, silver flecked. Run this stack of all four colors through once on thickest setting.

STEP 5

  • Cut length of rolled clay in half and stack so colors remain in same alternating pattern. Repeat two more times to have eight sets of stripes, or 32 thin layers (eight of each color).

STEP 6

  • Take vegetable peeler and push blade straight down into stack of clay through all layers to work surface. Repeat with curve of blade going in different directions; don’t be afraid to overlap indentations and work up to edges. Once stack is indented to liking, use hands to push on all four sides to compress stack closing up holes. Set stack aside.

STEP 7

  • Trim scrap paper slightly smaller than length of pipe. Wrap paper around pipe; tape ends together so paper stays around pipe.

STEP 8

  • Condition 1-1/2 blocks of White Translucent; roll large sheet on medium/thin setting through Clay Conditioning Machine. (Note: Sheet needs to be big enough to wrap around paper-covered pipe from top to bottom with small overlap where ends meet around pipe.) Overlap ends of clay; use blade to cut straight down to paper through both layers, being careful to not cut through paper. Gently lift cut edges of clay; peel away extra layer on each end. Position two cut ends back down so ends butt up against each other; smooth seam closed. Use blade to cut away extra clay hanging off ends of pipe. (Note: It helps to place blade flat side against ends of pipe and turn it so it cuts clay flush to ends of pipe.)

STEP 9

  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions to bake clay on pipe on parchment-lined baking sheet for 15 minutes; let cool. Once clay has cooled, do not remove it from pipe.

STEP 10

  • Position stack from Step 6 on work surface. Use acrylic roller to smooth top of stack while firmly pressing onto work surface so base is positioned flat and sticks to work surface. Use blade with slight downward bend to cut thin slices off top of stack.

STEP 11

  • After cutting three slices from stack, take pipe with clay baked on it and lay slices of stack onto baked clay tube on pipe. Firmly press slices into place, overlapping each slice slightly. See Photo 1. Press out any air bubbles as you work. Continue cutting slices and adding them until entire surface of baked clay tube on pipe is covered.

STEP 12

  • Position covered clay tube on its side on work surface. Using moderate amount of pressure, roll clay tube back and forth on work surface, smoothing surface of clay tube. Re-trim excess clay off ends of pipe. Bake clay tube for 15 minutes; let cool.

STEP 13

  • Once cool, remove clay tube from pipe. (Note: Because it was formed over paper, it should slide off pipe easily.) Use sandpaper to sand entire outside surface and ends.

STEP 14

  • Use acrylic roller to flatten leftover stack of clay from Step 11 to 1/4” thickness. Add several drops of Sapphire Blue ink to clay sheet. Let ink dry on surface; fold sheet in half and roll through Clay Conditioning Machine on thickest setting. Repeat process until ink is thoroughly mixed into clay.

STEP 15

  • Roll blue-tinted clay through Clay Conditioning Machine on thickest setting. Use 1-1/4” circle cutter to cut circle in center of sheet. Squeeze small amount of Bake N’ Bond around edge on one end of clay tube; spread into thin layer using finger. Look down through tube and position it on rolled sheet of clay so centered on cut hole. Gently push tube into clay being careful to keep it level. Use craft knife to cut around outside of tube as close as possible; remove excess clay. Use finger to smooth seam on outside of tube between cut sheet of clay and tube. Return to oven and bake for 10 minutes.

STEP 16

  • Roll 1/4”-diameter blue-tinted log long enough to wrap around outside of clay tube. Apply thin layer of Bake N’ Bond around base of tube (baked on sheet with cut-out hole); be careful not to go up tube more than 1/4”. Wrap log around base of tube, pressing into Bake N’ Bond. See Photo 2 and Photo 3. Use blade to cut through both ends at angle. Remove excess clay; use finger to blend seams. Return to oven and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool.

STEP 17

  • With remaining 1/4 block of White Translucent, roll 1/2 block of clay on thickest setting through Clay Conditioning Machine. Add two drops of Sapphire Blue ink; let set. Add small amount of Interference Blue powder. Condition ink and powder into clay by running through Clay Conditioning Machine on medium/thin setting. Use small snowflake cutter to cut out shapes.

STEP 18

  • Press snowflakes on clay tube. Pick up light blue heat-set crystal; press onto center of each snowflake. See Photo 4.

STEP 19

  • Condition remaining 1/4 block of White Translucent medium/thin setting through Clay Conditioning Machine. Cut out several circles using 3/8” circle cutter. Press circles on clay tube around snowflakes. Pick up clear heat-set crystal; press onto center of each circle. Return clay tube to oven; bake for 20 minutes and let cool completely.

STEP 20

  • Position tea light in center cut-out circle. Set candle shade over light.

Tip

  • 1. For best results when using clay, use an oven thermometer for accurate temperature reading.
by Gretchen Amberg for Polyform Products
Sparkling Snowflake Light
Sparkling Snowflake Light Full View
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