Thursday, October 13, 2011

How I Make Polymer Clay Eyes

One of the distinguishing traits of my amigurumi crochet charms are their eyes. As far as I know  mine are the only plushes with handmade eyes.  Here's a quick overview of how I make them. I'm not use to writing tutorials, so bear with me.

Here's a snapshot of my tools and supplies. It includes liquid clay which I don't use in this technique but I can't live without it. I bake them in a pyrex pie plate. And the tools you see on the top right is my Sculpey Etch n Pearl set.

And if you care anything at all about your working surface, cover it in wax paper.

 I select the color that want for the iris of the eyes. Here, I'm using a tan color. I knead and roll it out into a pencil size log.  To cut I use an exacto knife. There are special cutting tools for polymer clay but what I work with is so small that an exacto fits the bill very well. After a bit of finger rolling into a ball, I place the bits of clay onto the pyrex dish.

Then I press them into a button shape. Meanwhile I knead black polymer clay and use that special tool to cut the black clay.

You can see how the clay is stuffed into the concave pearl end of the tool. Now carefully, center the tool onto the colored clay and press. Not too light or it won't stick. Not too hard or you'll cut, smush or otherwise distort the roundness of the eyes.

Then I press the black irises to finish forming the button. After that, its a matter of the holes. The other end of the tool is a really nice point. I poke through the clay and make sure I get the "ting" sound of the tool hitting the glass plate. If you don't go far enough, you end up with a hole that will close up on the back side. If that happens you can use your exacto blade to ream out the hole after baking.

I bake them for about 15 minutes at 325 degrees.  Now that you see how I do it, what's your trick?

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