It took Van Gogh less than an hour---approximately 45 minutes---to paint Starry Night. Apparently he thought it was a failure.
I love Starry Night. My husband thinks its because of that Starry Night image with the TARDIS flying through it, but I enjoy the painting even without the TARDIS.
This instructable will show you how to create your own Starry Night inspired jewelry using polymer clay and cookie cutters. The technique to create your own Van Gogh-like colors is really simple and you can create amazing pieces in under an hour. This is a great activity to do on your own, with friends, or with students for an art project (not to mention a great way to get students to study painters/art).
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Step 1: Tools & Materials
-Polymer clay (blue, green, yellow, white, black)
-Extruder and attachments (optional)
-Pendant tray or Sculpey Ultra Light Clay (for jewelry base in lieu of pendant tray)
-Jewelry findings and cord/chain
-Image of "Starry Night" (for reference)
Step 2: Prep Clay
Working with pre-conditioned clay, roll each piece out and using the threaded side of your extruder, punch circles into the clay. You want a variety of thicknesses, so roll the clay out a few times (or use your pasta roller like I did).
Line the discs up and roll them, this presses the discs together. Roll gently until the discs are pressed and the roll is slightly thinner.
If you don't want to deal with making the discs, you can roll each of your colors out into thinner pieces and wrap them together--then extrude (see next step for a visual example).
Step 3: Extrude
Clay extruders you find in craft stores come with 12-19 different shape discs. I used all of the discs with multiple circles to save on time.
Put the roll of discs into the extruder and push them out the other end. Continue this until all of your clay is extruded.
Step 4: Arrange
I used a flattened piece of Sculpey's UltraLight Clay for the base as it is very lightweight and good for jewelry.
If you look at Van Gogh's Starry Night, there are a lot of swirls and short brushstrokes. I tried to recreate that a big by forming multiple small swirls for the stars and moon. I added some blue and green swirls to mimic the swirling wind (at least that's what I think it is). Then I just tried to fill in the empty spots with tight and loose swirls.
As I placed each piece of clay, I gently pressed it into the white clay. You could also put a little adhesive on the base, but I didn't find it necessary.
Step 5: Shape!
I decided to use a couple small cookie cutters and cut out two pieces for a pendant and two starbursts to turn into earrings. I made sure to get parts of the stars/moon and swirls in each piece.
Step 6: Bake
Following the baking recommendations of the clay you are using, wrap your piece in tin foil and bake for the recommended time. This Instructable uses Sculpey III and Sculpey Ultra Light Clay, both recommend baking at 275 for 15 minutes per 1/4" of thickness.
I wrapped the pieces tightly in tinfoil and then baked for 15 minutes. I waited until everything was cool and opened the foil under a vent to minimize fumes.
Once your pieces are cool, you can paint the white clay a different color to match your piece before glazing.
Step 7: Glaze
Following the recommended use suggestion on the glaze I have, I put several layers onto my pieces, waiting 30 minutes between each layer. The pieces will be 100% cured after 24 hours.
The glaze has a couple of purposes, the main ones being making your jewelry look gorgeous AND protecting the baked clay. Depending on the type of glaze you use, your piece will become waterproof.
Step 8: Jewelry Build
The last step is to add your jewelry findings to and turn your clay into wearable pieces of art!
I use E6000 epoxy glue to attaching bails to pieces and let them dry for a good day before wearing.
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