Notes on a polymer clay clock

I’ve been planning on writing this post since the beginning of my blogging career but I never got to it until now. I mentioned this polymer clay clock on the list of future posts I wanted to write in the 1st blogiversary post. Out of all the things in the list, this one seemed the easiest to start with. The costume write-ups will have to wait till better time.

It’s been many months since the last writing in the category Notes on completed projects. To refresh your memory a bit, I created the category for all the things I had made before the start of Dust and fabrics, so I don’t have enough photos for a proper tutorial. Earlier I have written construction notes on a galaxy dress and a ”frozen” notebook cover.

And by the way, my little piggies mentioned in the last post have almost made themselves home! They’re two saffron colored and pink-eyed baby girls. Videos and pictures of them can be found on their very own Instagram account if you’re interested!


 

But back to the clock itself! The idea for creating it came to me from pure need to get rid of a big chunk of white polymer clay that I had had for so long that it was beginning to dry. Many years ago I attended a weekend course where they taught us to make decorations with a polymer clay technique called mille-feuille. The roses and leaves that I put in the places of numbers are actually from that course! (Mille-feuille decorations stay good for a very long time when they haven’t been cut.)

So due to the course, I had much white clay, but nothing to turn it into. After browsing a while the Internet for inspiration, it came to me that a cloud-shaped clock would be awesome. Besides, I didn’t have a wall clock so it would definitely be useful. Another idea I got was that I could make little polymer droplets to hang from it so it would be a rain cloud! With the rain drops it would look like a dream-catcher, too, so it would be two in one.

Polymerclock1

The cloud was made from the white clay only. The raindrops had the leftovers from black and blue as well. My budget for the project was very low as usual, so I didn’t even buy any polymer clay tools for it: instead of pasta machine or rolling pin I used my feet (yes, you read correctly, “feet”!) for the rolling out of the clay and a basic crafting knife for cutting of mille-feuille. The wire and jewelry supplies I had already, so total cost of the clock was about 10 euros which went to the buying of clockwork and hands.

I put grommets (the same I use with sewing) to the lower edge of the cloud to get something to hang the raindrops from. I had thin jewelry wire that I used for the hanging. Crimp beads hold the wire secured.

Polymerclock2

The raindrops have more grommets on them for neat finishing, and also crimp beads to secure the wire. I bent a cookie-cutter to the shape of a drop that I used to make all the raindrops same shaped. It had to be thrown away afterwards because you can’t use polymer clay tools on food, but I think it was worth it. The chessboard pattern was made of mille-feuille cut-outs but the rest of the raindrops got their design by chance; I rolled out, cut and layered the clay until it was something I liked.

I found cute metallic beads from my jewelry tools box so I decided to add them to the longest of the wires. The stay put in the middle of the pieces with more crimp beads.

Polymerclock3

I sometimes find interesting things on the street like this metallic leaf. It was once an earring but it got a new life as a part of my clock. I think it makes it all the more interesting.

Polymerclock4

I replaced numbers 3, 6, 9 and 12 with roses and the rest of the numbers with leaves for more abstract style. The points of the leaves point upwards between 9-12 and 12-3. They face downwards between 3-6 and 6-9.

Polymerclock5
Look at the hideous air-bubbles that decided to form themselves in the center of the clock face :/

The clockwork was easy to attach even for a beginner, which was something nobody told me in advance. You just make a hole in the center of the clock face and place the peg of the clockwork in it, then press the hands onto it. The hole in my clay cloud got smaller during the baking, but it was luckily fixed with crafting knife. Baked polymer clay is as easy to cut as a bar of soft butter as long as the knife is sharp.

There was actually a hand for seconds as well but it continually got stuck so I got rid of it.

Polymerclock6

The rolling out of the clay is possible to do without a pasta machine or a rolling pin like I mentioned a few paragraphs ago, you just need baking paper, a drinking glass and your feet for it. This is how I used my feet instead of a rolling pin: I placed the piece of clay between two sheets of baking paper and walked on it until it was flat enough 😀 Walking on it made the sheet of clay thin but very bumpy, so a drinking glass helped me to smooth it out. It worked for me at least! It made my feet numb, though, which is something to consider before trying it out yourself.

Here is what the clock looks from behind:

Polymerclock7

As you can see from the image above, the grommets for raindrops were not placed symmetrically on the cloud, so the clock tends to tilt to one side. To help it, I usually tape a polymer medallion to the lighter side which keeps it in balance.

During my rolling out (=walking on) of the clay the baking paper got stuck to it and the end result looked quite bad, but luckily on one side only! Of course the worse side became the back.

During the baking the edges of the cloud started also to spread out a little but it was easy to fix with the crafting knife.

Polymerclock8
The back is not so pretty to look at.

I love the clock very much, but sadly I don’t have enough room to hang it on my wall just now. When I have it though (which I’m sure will happen some day in the future), it will definitely be put back to use!

I have no idea what I’ll be writing next as I have started to make Christmas gifts for my sister and boyfriend, but I can’t write anything about them just yet. The Frozen inspired footstool cover is close to completion so it might be its turn next!

As always, thank you for reading! And I hope these construction notes gave you some ideas!

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