Polymer Clay Faces

Stephanie Novatski 2005

   
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Thanks to a fellow list member and friend and a new beading magazine, I have discovered the joys of Push Molds and Polymer clay. I am not a sculptor, but the push molds make it very easy to create a perfect image. Pictured below are two of the many Push Molds available on the market today along with some of the clay I used.

Follow the directions on the clay and push molds to make the faces. I found through experimenting, brushing the mold lightly with cornstarch or water or chilling after the clay as been molded makes the faces release easily. I have also found not all paints adhere to the dried clay. Acrylics work best. Pigment powders also work wonderfully on the faces before they are baked. Once painted, I used clear nail polish to seal them. I am by no means an expert, this being the first time I have ever used Polymer Clay, so I suggest you research different paints and finishes that can be applied to the clay. Here are some of the faces I made, some painted, some pearl clay with pigment powders mixed in.

 
Once you have completed the faces, glue to a piece of felt. I used E6000 glue for this. Choose your beads and/or embellishments.    If beading the face, you will need enough size 6 seed beads to encircle the head. Here are two faces with my choice of materials   

Materials:

  • Polymer Clay
  • Push Molds
  • Paints
  • Beads
  • Felt
  • Glue
  • Pin back (optional)
  • Lace

Beaded Face

Step 1: Adding the base row of beads. This row uses the size 6 seed beads. Make sure you have enough to encircle the entire head     Step 2: Using a beading needle and beading thread (I prefer Silimide), bring needle up from back as close to head as possible anywhere around the head.    
Step 3: Place 2 beads on needle and send needle to back of felt at the end of the second bead close to the head.     Step 4: Bring needle up from back of the felt between the two beads just added and go through the center of the last bead.    
Step 5: Add two more beads and repeat from Step 3. Repeat until you have surrounded the entire head with size 6 beads.     Step 6: Bring needle to back of felt and knot but do not break thread.    
Step 7: Put needle through all beads around head and tug to bring beads as close to head as possible. Repeat and bring needle to back and knot and tie off.    Step 8: Trim excess felt close to stitching so it doesn't show from the front of the head.    
Step 9: Bring needle up from back between two beads. Put needle through two beads and thread 2 size 10/11 seed beads on needle. Put needle through back of bead that thread is coming out of and through next bead on head. Pull needle though and snug beads close to head.    Step 10: Repeat around the head. Depending on the shape of the head, you may need to only add 1 seed bead. Keep the beads snug to the head to make sure they fit without buckling.   
Step 11: Bring needle to back and knot. Bring needle to front close to head as possible. Thread needle through the small seed beads to straighten them out and snug close to head. Circle head twice and tie off.    Step 12: You are now ready to add beaded embellishments such as a ruffle, flowers, stars, leaves, bugle beads, or other decorative beads, --the possibilities are endless!   
Step 13: Starting at any point in the row of size 6 seed beads, add your beaded ruffle, leaves, picots, etc. In the example, I added a picot edge with size 3 bugle beads and size 11 seed beads.    Step 14: (Optional) Your face can be used as is, or more beads can be added. Here I added flower beads around the face. It is now ready to make into a pin or attach to a CQ block.   

Lace Embellished Face

Step 1. Glue face to a backing (I used a small crocheted doily). This face is made from flesh colored clay. The features were added with fine point pens and make-up.    Step 2: Arrange lace and tack in place     Step 3: Embellish with beads or silk ribbon. The face is now ready to be made into a pin or attached to a block.   
Here are more examples of what can be done with the faces. Embellishments include fancy fibers, beads of all types and sequins.   
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