Today is a good day! Not only is it the Saturday before Mother’s Day, but it’s our turn to show an art piece made with resin clay and ICE Resin® as part of the Inspired Remnants, Curious Dreams book tour and blog hop.

I thought it would be nice to give a little tutorial on how to make this mixed-media necklace using Fix It Sculpt, ICE Resin, a little wire, ancient coins and some ribbon. Before I go any further, I want to state up front why I used Fix It Sculpt for this project, rather than the favored Apoxie Clay that so many artists and fans on this tour swear by. The reason is pretty simple. I usually work in metal and resin, but being a mixed-media artist I have a studio full of products I’ve used over the years in my art work. I just happened to have on hand Fix It Sculpt when Kerin asked me to participate in this book tour. I also live 2 hours away from the nearest big city, so there wasn’t any time to run to town to buy the Apoxie clay. If there ever was a person who needs to win the Aves giveaways, that would be me. (grin)

Let’s get to it. One of the things like to do is make a mold of my favorite found objects and then re-create the object in resin clay or ICE Resin. The process is the same, only the final look of the pieces are completely different.

by Jen Cushman

To make the focal of the necklace, I dug around in my stash of old hardware that I’ve purchased at flea markets and garage sales. I found a round metal door knocker that I decided to make a mold of. I used a two-part silicone putty for the mold.

To make a mold, “eyeball” two equal parts of compound, which will always be two different colors so you can tell the two apart and also know when its fully mixed. Mix the putty thoroughly for about a minute, flatten out your ball into a flat disc shape and then press your found object firmly into the putty. Do not squish your object around because it will keep it from getting a nice, crisp mold of the object. A firm push should do it.

Let your object sit inside your mold until it hardens, which took about 30 minutes with the product I used. Pull out your object and voila, you have a mold.

Pull two equal parts of Fix It Sculpt (or Apoxie clay) and begin mixing the two compounds together until you get a nice clay ball to work with. Push the clay into the mold, smooth out the back of the clay with your fingers for a nice finish and put the mold and clay aside to air dry.

Make another small batch of clay using the same technique to create some beads to go along with your focal. Hand form the beads, using a deeply-etched rubber stamp into the clay for some texture. Create one side of a wire wrapped link out of 20 gauge steel wire and push it through your clay bead. Leave the other side as is and finish your wrapped link after your clay has dried. If you try to do your wrapped link too soon, you will mush your clay and create deformed beads.

I then did the dishes, threw in a load of laundry and took my daughter outside to play on the swing and slide. When I finished all these things, I came in my studio to a lovely molded clay focal and some beads.

The next step was to get out my acrylic paints and add Titan Buff as a base coat to both beads and focal and let dry. Next I painted on Phalo Blue and immediately rubbed off most of the color with a paper towel. Then I added some Ultramarine Blue and let it sit on the clay for about 2 minutes, until mostly dried and then rubbed it off with the towel. I set those aside to dry for a few minutes. The next step was sanding the clay with a piece of 300 grit sandpaper to give the pieces a worn, textured look and allow the Titan Buff undercoat to pop through.

I had planned to add an image to the inside of my molded clay bezel, but I realized I liked the impressions of the mold and decided to keep it simple by just adding a touch of rhinestone chain. I opened my 1oz ICE Resin plunger and squirted equal amounts of resin and hardener into a disposable mixing cup and mixed thoroughly for about 1 minute with my craft stick. (Because I was mixing up only a small amount of ICE Resin, I could tell it was mixed well after only a minute). I set that aside for 5 minutes to let the bubbles caused during mixing to dissipate.

Next, I dripped mixed ICE Resin onto the clay bezel and the rhinestones until it filled the rim of the clay bezel. I decided I wasn’t looking for a dome on this piece, just a nice shiny glasslike surface.

I set this aside for the evening while I worked on some other art projects in various stages of completion. The next day, I completed the necklace by making the loops on the open sides of the clay beads, wire wrapping the ancient coins into bead links and creating a swirled bronze bail for the pendant. I added some ribbon for color and then made a Shepherd’s hook clasp. I attached the links with bronze jump rings to finish the piece.

by Jen Cushman

All in all, I am happy with the necklace. I was going for the look of an anicent architectural piece made contemporary by its soothing blue-and-bronze color palette. I was thinking of something a mermaid would wear if she lived in ancient Greece.

Just so you know, I had never heard of Fix It Sculpt before Kerin started teaching her online clay classes. I had seen some air dry plumbers epoxy in my husband’s tool box, and I’ve taken 2 semesters of ceramics at my local community collage, but I never in my wildest dreams think I’d be mixing those two things together one day to create a necklace like the one shown here.

Inspired Remnants, Curious Dreams by Kerin Gale is a fabulous book. She poured her heart and soul into it to teach others what this clay can do. If you haven’t bought the book yet, go get it. You will not be disappointed. And the things it does in conjunction with ICE Resin….oh my!

Now, on with the hop. Be sure to visit these artists’ blogs and see more clay goodies. Also, be sure to leave comments now at the bottom of this post to win some wonderful goodies that I outlined in an earlier post on the subject. This includes ICE Resin and some bezels.

UPDATE: Good news, our comments are now working. Those of you who came here yesterday, were re-routed to our our ICE Resin Susan Lenart Kazmer Facebook Page to leave a comment for a chance to win prizes. So, we are going to honor that and go pick a winner for our 1oz size resin and some mixed metal bezels. I will do an updated blog post for Monday morning and open up the giveaway for ALL the prizes and keep it up for a week. Thanks for your patience and please accept my apologizes for our technical glitch on this very important day of the blog hop.

Here’s wishing you a truly Artful day! — Jen

May 1 Kerin Gale Remnants of Olde: http://RemnantsOfOlde.com/posts

May 2 Alicia Caudle Altered Bits: http://alteredbits.wordpress.com/

May 3 Lesley Venable Flatwoods Folk Art: http://www.flatwoodsfolkart.typepad.com/

May 4 Christine Lehto Lilly Bug Studio: http://lillybugstudio.com/blog/

May 5 Seth Apter The Altered Page: http://thealteredpage.blogspot.com/

May 6 Nancy Perennec Little Bit Wired: http://littlebitwired.blogspot.com/

May 7 Jen Cushman ICE Queen Zine: http://www.iceresin.com/category/inspired-remnants-blog-tour/

May 8 Happy Mother’s Day!

May 9 Beth Robinson Strange Dolls: http://strangedolls.wordpress.com/

May 10 Brenda Schweder Brenda Schweder Jewelry: http://www.brendaschweder.com/

May 11 Esther Verschoor Vanessie Art Dolls: http://vanessies.blogspot.com

May 12 Kecia Deveny Lemoncholy’s Flight of Fancy: http://www.lemoncholys.blogspot.com/

May 13 Rachel Whetzel A Year In The Life Of An Art Journal: http://oneyearartjournal.blogspot.com/

May 14 Shannon LeVart MissFickleMedia.com: http://missficklemediacom.blogspot.com/

May 15 Marlaine Verhelst Marlaine Verhelst Art Dolls: http://marlaineverhelst.com/blog/

May 16 Lisa Jurist Mud Hound Studio: http://mudhoundprimitives.blogspot.com/

May 17 Michelle Bernard Yesterday’s Trash: http://michellereneebernard.blogspot.com/

May 18 Kerin Gale Remnants of Olde – Alan Rogerson feature: http://RemnantsOfOlde.com/posts

May 19 Facebook Party!Apoxie Clay & Epoxy Clays Page: https://www.facebook.com/#!/home.php?sk=group_158159677562761