Clay Fellowship Leaf Pins
There's no such thing as just one way to do something. The whole website is about experimenting and trying different techniques. Here are just a few. Even more examples can be found in our Scrapbook.
If you're looking for even simpler techniques, check out our "quick" fellowship pins for other quick techniques.
The leaf is made of Sculpey, free-hand sculpted in the shape. The wire is 16-gauge florist's wire, free-hand twisted and pressed into the pin before baking. (Another, very thin, layer of clay in the same shape is attached to the back after this.) It's baked in a slow (315) oven for three hours, to make it hard but flexible enough to where if it's dropped, it doesn't break. It's then spray-painted with Krylon Original Chrome paint, let dry, and coated with six layers of green enamel craft paint and one coat of sparkly clear glaze. After all that's dry, I sprayed it with professional-strength spray lacquer (but cover the wire bendies with tape first, as otherwise the lacquer will dull the shine on the wire!) and attached the pin-back with a heavy-duty glue gun. (But, as always, use another cloak fastener beneath this - this one's just for show!)
There are lots of easy to use oven fireable modelling clays... FIMO, Sculpey, Super-Sculpey, etc. Just be sure to follow the temperature directions on the packet when 'cooking' them, as they can be a bit unforgiving and char or even melt! Since it's a brooch you can either bury the pin in the clay to start with (cooking it won't hurt much) or glue it on after. I generally tend to glue and drill out holes for rivets, but then I'm an armourer and like things nice and secure! Speaking of metal, it's possible to cut LOTR silver brooches out of aluminium flashing (they use this stuff down here to waterproof tiled roofs around chimneys and so on) and similar materials if you have some basic tools and patience.
Just about any of the polymer clays will take metallic paint well, especially if you prime the surface first with a light grey undercoat. There are all kinds of metallic paints, some better than others. There are some excellent ones you can get in craft or art stores that have a hi-metallic shine to them, the ones sold in paint stores generally are not as shiny, though are often more robust. If you put a grey undercoat on first if some of the paint chips it won't show as much as the raw clay colour, unless you find a silver clay to start with! I've had good results breaking open those silver paint marking pens and using the paint inside with a brush. Expensive, but the paint is perfect for some applications.
You may also find in some craft stores thin sheets of malleable plastic which is actually used to make costume jewelry. They can be formed into shapes, cut and trimmed and even embossed, then 'set' in a variety of ways.
As someone closer will no doubt tell you some of the big fabric/dressmaking stores will have craft sections where you may find some of these materials. Any good doll-making supplier should have the Sculpey, etc, ditto art stores.
Here's a sample made up by Joy and her son.
This page was last updated 04/22/08