Pringles Tower: Part 2

 

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Based on comments coming in, a lot of you are wanting more information on the polymer clay and exactly how I use it in my projects. So I’ll try going into a bit more detail. For those familiar with the stuff just skip through those parts.

Okay, we have the foundation on our tower and we’ve let it cure over night.

For this next step you’re going to need these additional items;

• wide blade putty knife or a steel ruler.

• white glue

• Sculpey

• sculpting tools

• Clay press or rolling pin.

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Step 1: Prepping the foundation

Fresh plaster is pourous with a dusty surface. We’re going to start applying Sculpey in this step. Polymere clay doesn’t like to bond easily with plaster so we need to prep the surface.

Take your white glue and brush the plaster surface with it. You want complete coverage. You can let the glue dry or, (my personal preference) complete the next step while the glue is still wet.

Step 2: Rolling out the Sculpey

For those of you who haven’t worked with polymer clay before, let me go over some basics. Sculpey comes out of the box hard as a brick until kneaded like bread. The more you work it the softer it gets. Keeping the stuff at room temperature will make he task easier. I’ve found pounding the stuff with a rubber mallet is a great way to soften up a lot of material quickly btw.

Once you’ve sculpted your masterpiece you bake it (250 to 275 degrees for twenty minutes) and it plasticizes. The nice thing about the stuff is that you can repeat this process. Sculpt a bit, bake. Sculpt some more, bake again. Sculpey is also sandable and can be carved like soap. It’s all so very forgiving. Make a mistake and just start again.

Roll out a sheet of clay approximately 1/8th inch thick. Use your putty knife to cut a strip out of this sheet, tall enough and long enough to wrap around your tower foundation. This doesn’t have to be exact, you’ll be stretching, massaging the clay as you wrap around the plaster. Use a sculpting tool to trim away the excess.

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The picture below shows the foundation sheathed in clay — unfortunately I didn’t think to take pictures before starting the next step – but you get the idea.

 

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If you’ve ever made stone work pieces out of foam the process is very similar.

Using a sculpting tool (I prefer a 1/8th inch wooden down with a tapered end) you begin by scoring the clay and just getting basic shapes/outlines. Again, Sculpey is forgiving – if you make a mistake or don’t like the way your stone work is coming together, just use a finger tip to smooth out the clay and start again.

You can go tight stone work with uniform stone sizes/levels or go more freestyle. Google “medieval stone walls” or something similar to find some examples to follow if you’re having trouble deciding.

I wanted to go with rough hewn stonework as opposed to something tightly dressed. This photo was my original point of reference starting out but I departed from it and went with rounder edges.

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After scoring the clay and getting a basic grid down, I find it’s a good idea to set the piece aside for several hours to let the clay firm up again. Firm/cold Sculpey is easier to shape/texture from my experience.

Next installment I’ll go into more detail on  sculpting process.

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