Saturday, May 30, 2015

Saturday Share - Polymer Clay Headpins

Recently, I was presented with the challenge of coming up with a headpin component that could be used as a functional embellishment to another flat component.  With our fearless leader, Jennifer Cameron's gorgeous glass headpins as inspiration, I decided to try my hand at polymer clay ones.

My finished pin bouquet!
I started by making balled headpins of 18g copper.  Then I formed small round balls of clay. Initially, I wanted to keep them round and embed the copper pin within the ball, but they kept getting way distorted and plus, I wanted to texturize the clay.  I opted to flatten the balls by pressing them into my rubber stamp, then pushing the headpin through the middle.

Raw clay with headpins, and little balls waiting to be smushed.
I questioned whether just baking them as is would be strong enough for functional use, so I added liquid clay between the pin and clay.

Translucent liquid clay around the base of the headpin.
I pushed the clay base up to the pin, then cleaned off the excess liquid clay.
I also added it to the back of the piece, trying to work it down in the crevice!
I let them dry overnight and then debated how I was going to color them.  I decided I wanted them to have an "old world" feel to them and the texture plate I had used reminded me of a damask-type pattern, so I opted to use Pearl-Ex powder before baking, which left them with an irridescent glow.

After baking, I sealed them with Varathane in a matte finish.  Success!

In a light bulb moment, I thought this design would be cool with translucent clay, and had recently acquired a few packages of  Pardo Translucent clay.  After I first started playing with polymer clay, I purchased a great tutorial by Ginger Davis Allman, of The Blue Bottle Tree, featuring faux glass effects and wanted to give it a try.

After tinting the base clay with various alchohol inks, I made my bases as before.

After adding liquid polymer and  Pearl-Ex, plus some additional texture.

These turned out just ok...not very translucent though.

These, however, turned to molten blobs!

Well, as you can see, I need to go back and figure out my baking time/temperature for these!  My hubby really liked these burned ones, though!  I definitely will be adding some of the original ones to my shop and will be playing with the translucent ones some more...stay tuned!

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. How fun Melissa. I have made a few polymer clay headpins but I shaped them like the teardrop lompworked headpins that I have seen. I like your discs.

  2. Very cool. I loved seeing how these worked. Thanks for sharing.

  3. These are beautiful little creations! Love the pin bouquet! I even love the burned blobs!

  4. I love that Jesse thinks the burned ones are the best. haaaaa.

  5. I'm with your husband. I really, really like the burned ones. Call me goofy, but I love the gritty, art noveau look. As Bob Ross always said, "There are on mistakes, only happy little accidents."

  6. I like this idea.


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