I was tired of my ugly plastic sponge holder. I read that baked polymer clay is pretty water resistant, and people have made outdoor scultpures with it. So I decide to use polymer clay to make the sponge holder.
I didn't want to create anything with too many parts sticking out (like bear scultpures with arms, etc) because I was afraid of the pieces breaking off.
The Starry Night picture was perfect to use to 'paint' on the clay.
1. Sponge to use as reference
2. Cardboard / cardstock paper
3. Polymer clay - I used Fimo Effects - the sparkly blues, whites, and yellows
4. Pasta machine or rollers to flatten the clay
5. Varathane High Gloss Polyeruthane Varnish.
Note: Using the wrong varnish could adversely affect the baked clay.
Step 1: Create the Base
1. Take a piece of cardboard or cardstock paper and place it against a sponge. The walls of the sponge holder will be smaller than the actual sponge. Cut a rectangle that is about 2 centimeters less in height and 2 centimeters less in width than the sponge. Cut a 2nd rectangle of the same size.
2. Flat a piece of clay for the base. I folded it to make it thicker.
3. Place the sponge on top of the flat piece of clay. Take the cardboard rectangle and place it on one side of the sponge. The sponge holder walls will be curved to allow air through the sides of the sponge to allow it to dry. Curve the cardboard rectangle slightly (see picture) beside the sponge and take an exacto knife to gently mark the outline (don't cut all the way through). Repeat for the 2nd side.
4. Trim the clay around the base. The sides will be about a centimeter or so from the lines that were marked for the walls.
Step 2: Create the Walls
1. Flatten a piece of clay. Place the 2 cardboard rectangles over it and trim 2 rectangluar pieces of clay that is slightly larger than the cardboard. Take the 2 pieces of clay and use it to outline and cut 2 more rectangular pieces of clay.
2. The cardboard will provide extra stability for the walls so that it can remain upright while baking. Place the cardboard and sandwich it between 2 rectangular pieces of clay. Press the edges together and smooth all the way around. Repeat for the 2nd rectangular piece.
Step 3: 'Paint' the Sponge Holder Wall
The walls of the sponge holder will be 'painted' using rolled pieces of clay. Roll yellow, dark blue, and white pieces of clay. Mix the blue and white clay together to create lighter shades.
Begin 'painting' the walls by placing the rolled clay on the clay wall. Refer to the pictures for the process. I started off by laying down the yellows and whites, then added the blues around them.
Step 4: Assemble the Sponge Holder and Finish Off
1. Deepen the indentation for the walls that was marked previously with the exacto knife on the base. I used a ball tool to run it along the lines.
2. Take the sponge holder wall and insert it in the indentation. Press the wall against the base of the clay.
To help keep the wall in its curved shape, roll a small piece of clay and pressed it against the bottom of each corner and smoothed it out.
3. Cut 3 holes in the bottom of the sponge holder (to allow sponge to drain and not collect water).
Neaten the cut edges (trim the ragged pieces of clay and smooth it out).
4. Repeat step 2 to attach the 2nd sponge holder wall.
5. I rolled a piece of aluminum foil and put it gently between the walls to keep it from tilting/collapsing inward while baking.
Bake as directed on clay package.
7. Allow the baked piece to cool. Apply at least 3 coats of varnishing (allowing it to dry completely between each coat).