Please make sure your work area is covered and you are not working on an unprotected surface. We recommend working on the Sculpey® Work ‘n Bake Clay Mat, wax paper, metal baking sheet, or disposable foil. Uncured clay may damage unprotected furniture or finished surfaces. Be sure to cover your crafting area appropriately.
Start with clean hands, unwrap and knead clay until soft and smooth, or condition by running clay though a Pasta Machine. We recommend using a designated machine for clay purposes only. When working with multiple colors, clean hands with soap and water or baby wipes (we have found that baby wipes work best) before switching colors. Shape clay, pressing pieces firmly together. Wash hands after use.
Begin by preheating oven to 275 °F (130 °C). After you are done creating; for best results bake clay on an oven-proof surface such metal, aluminum foil, an index card or the Sculpey® Clay Mat at 275°F (130 °C) for 30 minutes per ¼" (6 mm) thickness according to package directions. Oven safe glass or ceramic surfaces are also acceptable for baking; however please note that the baking times may take longer as the glass or ceramic surfaces take longer to heat up. For best baking results, use an oven thermometer. DO NOT USE MICROWAVE OVEN. DO NOT EXCEED THE ABOVE TEMPERATURE OR RECOMMENDED BAKING TIME.
Making the Texture PlateCondition and sheet (at your pasta machine’s thickest setting) one block of Premo (any color) into a rectangular shape, condition the second block of Premo (any color) and sheet into another similarly shaped rectangle (at your pasta machine’s thickest setting) and lay on top of the first one. Using the Sculpey Etch ‘N Pearl tool set and the Sculpey Shape and Smooth tool set, begin making impressions into your texture plate, and adding raised elements. Note: In the bottom right corner of my texture plate, you can see I’ve cut small circles using the Sculpey Etch ‘N Pearl set; these are then secured onto the slab with Sculpey Bake ‘N Bond. The embedded swirls below are simply made with cured polymer spirals. I made those polymer spiral tools by taking ¼” wide strip of polymer, coating one side with cornstarch and rolling into a spiral to cure. Remember as you construct your texture plate, you are creating the surface as a negative would be - so any raised elements will be recessed into your “printed” design, and any etched or impressed elements on the texture plate will appear as raised in the “printed” design. Note: be sure to affix any raised elements on your texture plate with Sculpey Bake ‘N Bond for a secure attachment. Fill the entire space with textural design and then trim the slab neatly into a rectangular shape. (Note: for the purposes of this tutorial we are using rectangle shapes, but you could step-out and use whatever shape you desire)
Bake according to the directions in Step 1
Start Making the Base Frames Condition and sheet (at your pasta machine’s thickest setting) two blocks of Premo Black into a rectangular shape, condition two more blocks of Premo Black into another similarly shaped rectangle (at your pasta machine’s thickest setting) and lay on top of the first one. Using a ruler and Xacto knife, trim your frame to your desired demensions. Remember that this will be the backing frame for your wallhanging, so it will need to be larger than your texture plate. Mine were approximately 5” x 7”. Repeat this step twice, you should have 3 base frames of equal size and shape.
Add the hanging mechanism to the base frames.I decided to embed 4 large jump rings to the backs of the base frames at the 4 corners, to allow for multiple orientation options for hanging each of my plaques. If you plan to hang your wall pieces with only one orientation option, you can simply embed a large jump ring or a handmade formed wire loop into the top center of the side that will be “up”. If you prefer my multiple orientation option, you will measure about 1” in from the corner on each side; holding the jump ring at a slant, push the large jump ring (or formed wire loop) into the two layers of clay, leaving enough sticking out of the clay to allow a picture wire or fishing wire to easily run through the ring. Secure each ring by filling the hole with Sculpey Bake ‘n Bond (see the back rings on photo). Then, sheet a piece of polymer at one of the thinner settings on your pasta machine (I used my #4 thickness) and cut a strip that is longer than the frame, with a width that is slightly smaller than the diameter of the inside of your jump rings. Lay this strip across the base frame, arranging it to go through two of the jump rings on one side. This will further secure the hanging mechanism.(see front ring on photo)Using your tissue blade, trim off any excess clay from the ends. BAKE according to the directions in Step 1
Finish Making the Base Frames Coat the back of the base frame (omitting the strips that cover the jump rings) with Sculpey Bake ‘n Bond. Condition and sheet (using the same setting on your pasta machine that you used for the strips to cover the jump ring holes) enough black premo to finish covering the back side (jump ring side) of your base frames. Cut a straight edge on one of your raw sheets and fit it into the recessed areas. Repeat until all areas of the back are flush to the clay strips that secure your jump rings (your goal is to make the back level). Optional: Add whatever texture you like to the raw clay that you just placed on the back side. I added different textures to each plaque, all in keeping with the theme of the texture plate (circles and spirals).
Trim off any excess clay from the back side, using your xacto knife. At this point you can cure the back again to prevent marring the raw clay on this new layer or, if you have the four jump ring hanger option, you can proceed to the top layer before curing. To do so, flip the base frame over and coat the front of it with Sculpey Bake ‘n Bond.
Sheet enough clay, at the thickest setting on your pasta machine, to cover each of your 3 base frames. Cover each base frame with a sheet of raw clay each. Using your acrylic roller lightly roll over the clay sheet to adhere all sides to the base. Using water and your fingers, smooth out as many bubbles as you are able, trying to keep this top sheet as flat and smooth as you can. Using your xacto knife, carefully trim off the excess raw clay. Cure the Base Frames again
Final finishing of the Base Frames If you decided to add a texture to the back of the base frames, you can highlight that texture by rubbing some acrylic paint and wiping off the excess. (I used white acrylic paint to highlight the recessed textures in the back of my pieces… I like the chalkboard effect that occurred after I wiped off the excess paint). You could also use mica powders or any other method you prefer for this type of “antiquing”. You might find that you need to “clean up” some of the side edges, if there are any areas where you can see the different layers. You can either take Sculpey Wet/Dry Sand Paper Multi-pack and sand out small imperfections, or you can backfill with some raw clay or Sculpey Translucent Liquid Clay Clear. If you do backfill with raw clay or TLC, remember you’ll have to do another curing of the bases.
Making a mono print using Chalk Pastels Condition and sheet one block of Premo White on your pasta machine’s thickest setting in a rectangular shape. Condition and sheet another block of Premo White similarly, on your pasta machine’s thickest setting and stack it on top of the first sheet. (set this stack aside while you prepare the texture plate for printing). Select at least two of your favorite coordinating chalk pastel colors. I like to use coarse grade sandpaper to create a spreadable powder, by simply rubbing the chalk pastel over the sandpaper until I have a small pile of color powder. Using your paint brushes, randomly brush the chalk pastel powders onto the texture plate. Tip: you may want to consciously brush some areas with a thinner coating and leave other areas heavily coated (some of this will just happen naturally) this will give more depth to your print. But, do be sure to cover the entire plate with powder, as this will release it from the clay.
When you have powdered your texture plate to your liking, you will turn it face down onto the Premo White double sheet stack that you made at the beginning of this step. Using your palm press the plate firmly into the raw clay. You can also use your acrylic roller to help press the texture plate deeper into the raw clay Tip: I like to place the raw clay on parchment paper, so that I can easily lift up the entire thing, keeping the texture plate embedded into the raw clay, and flipping it over to press on the (parchment covered) raw clay side as well. You want to be sure you press it in all areas, to transfer the design in its entirety.
When you are satisfied that you have pressed the entire design into the clay, you can carefully lift one corner of the raw clay to peek and be certain that it was pressed into the plate enough. If it didn’t transfer well, simply lay that corner back down and press some more. If you’ve checked your corners and all looks well, you can slowly and carefully lift the entire sheet of clay off the texture plate. You will now see your texture print revealed. Clean your texture plate using soap, water and a toothbrush, to clean the nooks and crannies. Dry the texture plate thoroughly before making another “print”.
Using a ruler and an xacto or tissue blade, trim the piece into a rectangle of your desired size. (keeping in mind that this should be smaller than your previously made black base frames).
Making a texture print using Mica Powder Condition and sheet one block of Premo White on your pasta machine’s thickest setting in a rectangular shape. Condition and sheet another block of Premo White similarly, on your pasta machine’s thickest setting and stack it on top of the first sheet. (set this stack aside while you prepare the texture plate for printing)