Introduction: Using a Form to Create Hollow & Interesting Shapes in Polymer Clay

About: I make lots of different things. A polymath at heart who likes to make pretty and tasty things, but also occasionally just plain useful and ugly things too.

In this instructable I'll be showing you how to incorporate forming over foil to create unique shaped items from polymer clay. I came up with this when I wanted to make a jellyfish and it came out really well, then i carried this on to jewellery forms too.

Step 1: Condition Your Clay (if Necessary)

If you have any cold or older fimo clay, you can break it into small pieces and CAREFULLY microwave it on high for 5 seconds at a time on a plate lined with baking paper. You're gently warming it from inside so it'll soften and be more easily mouldable.

HUGE WARNING: Do not overheat. Do not walk away. If polymer clay is overheated it can release toxic gas so this is a bit of a risky step but it'll speed up work if you don't use polymer clay often. I find pinching the clay into small pieces and then re-kneading them together helps soften the clay too.

Step 2: Build Your Form

This is where you may need some planning depending on your design. If you want a ring or bracelet, you're going to need to replicate your finger or wrist out of foil. Bunch up the foil into your shape and get it about the right size/shape then cover in a smoother layer of foil. You're going to be layering the clay on top but avoid pressing the clay into the foil.

If you're making a standing object, you need to just guess at where the centre of gravity is going to be and how to support it in your design. This takes a little practice. My first jellyfish only barely stands up - there's slightly too much weight over the side with less tentacles.

Step 3: Covering the Form and Prepare for Baking

For a jellyfish shape, just flatten out a circle, making it a bit thinner and larger out the outside and try to form into a hemispherical shape.

Artistically flop your clay onto the top of the form.

Make legs that are a bit longer than your form. This will help support the shape when the foil is removed after baking.

Preheat your oven to the correct temperature for your clay.

Step 4: Baking & Cooling

Place your creation onto a baking tray and bake for the recommended amount of time given by the manufacturer.

After baking, remove from the oven and cool over the form. Polymer clay is very slightly flexible so very carefully and gently remove the foil. You can also squish & compress the foil to make it smaller for easier removal.

Step 5: Admire!

This technique can really allow you to get very creative and make all sorts of leggy and airy creations. I look forward to seeing what everyone else comes up with using this technique!

I've included a few more examples of what I've done using this technique here too. Have fun!

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