After several years of minimalistic color design practices, lately, I had started venturing into colorful territories, trying and incorporating something bold here or something crazy there. This contest here gave me a boost to try out some combinations of colors I have been wanting to do. Unfortunately, I got pretty late to get started on this project and since I'm away from my home (currently traveling and visiting people), I had to make do with whatever supplies I could manage to get.
I regularly design eyewear (as an illustrative hobby), however, this is the first time I'm making a fully usable pair of frames! (which you'd see through all the mess-ups I would keep mentioning below). Honestly, this project is pretty versatile, in the sense, you are free to use a lot of materials instead of using exactly what I used (in some cases I would recommend so).
So welcome to my roller-coaster of an instructable :)
- Air dry clay (substitute - polymer clay)
- Paper clay (optional)
- Aluminum foil
- Markers / Sketch pens
- Nail paint - Nude shade
- Nail paint - Clear
- String / Ribbon
- Transparency; aka overhead projector film (Optional)
- sand paper
- adhesive tape
- marking tools - for creating impressions on clay (I used the other end of a paintbrush)
Step 1: Some Exploration (not at All Required for This Particular Project)
Like I mentioned before, this contest got me too excited to try out all the colors of the rainbow together in something. But, I'm more of a thinker and planner and spend way too much time in that instead of actually doing. So I ended up taking some paper clay disks, and before they dried, colored them with soft pastels. What I tried here is some mixing and matching of colors, the challenge being that I had to use all 7 colors of the rainbow.
You may see it as a mini exercise on colors to get going.
Step 2: Design the Eyewear
After playing with colors, it was time to sketch out a design. I didn't have a ruler or any such measuring tools at hand and hence used my prescription glasses to trace out (more like eyeball) basic proportions for the frame. You may notice that the final output, isn't entirely matching the sketch. The sketch is just to give an idea on how to proceed.
Step 3: Cut Out a Stencil
Now, cutting out the sketch, I traced it on cardstock, cut and mirrored it to create a complete frame. This will be used as a stencil in the further steps.
Step 4: Preparing the Clay
I used an air dry clay; it is widely available where I stay. It is basically a two part epoxy compound (resin + hardener), dries super hard (but is brittle and would shatter if it falls from a considerable height - survives minor accidental drops). You may use whichever (curing) clay you may have access to.
Now this clay is mixed as instructed on the pack, and rolled out.
Step 5: Tracing the Design on Clay
I placed the stencil on the clay to proceed to the next step. I made a mistake here to use the wrong side of the cardstock face down on the clay, as you would see later, it stuck to the clay :(
Step 6: Cutting Out the Excess Clay
Next, I used the box cutter to cut around the stencil and then peeled off the extra clay. This step was a breeze.
Step 7: Peeling Off the Stencil
Please be careful in this step. I messed up and had to redo the whole thing, which later on became a mess.
Step 8: Making Impressions
This clay fully cures in 90 mins (within 60mins it would be unworkable), and I had to race against time to make sure I wasn't messing up like in the previous step.
Using the backside of a paintbrush, I created depressions in the frame as marked in the sketch. This would then be used to "stud" the faux stones :)
Then it was left to cure.
PS: I got carried away with the impressions as you can see. However, it was looking too busy, and I sanded it off later.
Step 9: Sanding and Painting
Next thing to do was a LOT of sanding.
I painted a nude shade of nail paint, on the frames in two coats. You will see the difference between coats in the images. Then left it to dry.
Step 10: Making the Faux "stones"
This was a painful process, to be honest, but was fun nonetheless. All I did, was take tiny pieces (about a centimeter and a half) of aluminum foil and rolled it into balls. This would result in teeny tiny balls that would look like stones. I made at least 50 such balls.
Step 11: Glueing the Foil Balls
Just added glue to the depressions. And then I placed the foil balls into the depressions. It was then left to dry.
Step 12: Coating Over the Foil
I used clear nail paint, to coat over the balls. This was done so that they would receive ink well later.
Step 13: Painting the Balls and Glazing
Carefully, I painted over the coated balls, using the cool colors of the rainbow - Violet, Indigo, Blue and Green. This was then again coated with clear nail paint to make it look glazed (and stone-like).
Step 14: Making Clay Leaves
For this, I rolled out some paper clay and left them to cry.
Step 15: Coloring and Cutting the Leaves
Next, I just used to sketch pens to color the leaves; this time the warm colors - Red, Yellow, and Orange. Then I cut them out into leaves.
Step 16: Glueing the Leaves
The clay leaves were then glued down in a pattern, on the frame.
Step 17: Making the Bridge
Since I had messed up initially with the stencil, I now had to make a bridge (the part that rests on the nose) again, using the epoxy compound I used for the frames. This was left to dry and then painted exactly as done for the frames.
Step 18: Glazing the Leaves
I then glazed the leaves too with clear nail paint.
Step 19: Adding Strings
I simply glued down two strings (roughly 45cms long each), on either side of the frame. I would recommend a better glue, but I had to manage with the PVA I had.
(PS.: You would also notice a reinforcement behind the bridge. Well, I hope you do a better job than me when peeling off the stencil and not have to do this :P )
Step 20: Done!
Finish off the edges with nail paint. And Done!