♫ happy classical music ♫ Hi friends! How are you? How are you doing? I hope you’re well. Let’s make some clay stuff together! I’ve had lots of people ask how I make my little clay friends that I sell in my shop every now and then and so I figured that I would show you my process. It’s a lot of… fiddling, there’s nothing particularly fancy about it. I don’t use any special tools, but I wanted to walk you through it nonetheless! I use Sculpey polymer clay, it’s a clay that stays soft until you bake it I also use, as you can see, very fancy tools like a Mildliner or a highlighter to roll out my clay, along with a box cutter to trim down on excess shapes and things. When it comes to thinking about the shapes of the pins, I think about like the silhouette of the thing that I want to make as opposed to getting too lost in the details. For instance, when I sculpted that little mushroom earlier I just kind of did the general outline of a mushroom and then making sort of the general outline of like a lemon, and then some of the rectangular shapes are gonna be Gameboys or slices of cake. This is stuff that I all keep track of in my head as I’m sculpting and I’m like, “Okay, this particular rectangle is going to be a Gameboy, and this other particular rectangle is going to be an envelope.” It’s easiest to make things that have pretty simple silhouettes, like houses, gameboys, fruit, usually, because it’s usually round. Obviously, you can make anything you want out of your clay friends But I tend to keep towards… things that don’t have too many add-ons, that aren’t too complicated, that tend to be just like one flat shape. And it’s just a lot of rolling out, smoothing the edges down with my finger, filling in little gaps with extra clay, rolling it smooth, and it’s just a lot of that, until I wind up with a whole little batch of friends that I’m happy with! 🙂 ♫ happy classical music ♫ And then, once you have all your friends sculpted, you’re going to bake them according to your package directions. For Sculpey, it is 15 minutes at 275 for every quarter inch of thickness, and since my pins are about a quarter of an inch thick, I just bake them for 15 minutes at 275 degrees Fahrenheit. And so while one batch is baking, I’ll usually sculpt another batch, just because I made about 40 for this last update, and so I baked about half of them while I sculpt, while I sculpted the other half. And then they came out of the oven and they were so nice! And, uh, very very hot. And so I just let them chill and cool for a bit. You want to leave them be for probably, about like an hour, after you take him out of the oven. And then, the next day, after my pins had all been baked and cooled down, I spent some time packaging my new Sophie cat enamel pins, because I turned my cat into an enamel pin. Her name is Sophie, she’s black, and she has cataracts in both eyes, so her eyes are two different colors, and I love her so much. And so I just… immortalized her in the form of an enamel pin. I love her so much. It turned out so cute! Look!! Look!!!! I love it. It’s so good and it’s so shiny and lovely. And so I basically just spent the morning of the next day just—oh, it’s so shiny and good— I spent the next day just examining each of the pins, seeing which ones were b-grade which ones were a-grade, and then um attaching them to the backing cards. It took…so long, but um, ’tis a necessary process. I felt a little, after a while, that I was [mumbles] I was like, I don’t [small laugh] when you just stare at the same thing over and over and over again for an extended period of time it can feel a little bit like, uh [incoherent mumbling] You kind of get like tunnel vision, it’s fine. ♫ peaceful piano music ♫ [quiet creaky footsteps] [to Sophie] Hello! [small kiss on forehead] [to Sophie] Hello! [fridge door opening] [microwave beeps] [muffled clunk of door closing] [thunk of microwave being shut] [to Sophie, quietly] S’up, buttercup? [quiet creaky footsteps] Guh. ♫ peaceful piano music ♫ And now it’s on to my favorite part of the process: [sing-song] painting!! I love painting pins. It’s so much fun. It takes forever, but it is just such a delight. I use Holbein acrylic gouache and, um, a myriad of little, pretty small, paintbrushes. When it comes to painting my pins, I tend to paint them like in batches according to color and so that way it helps me not waste a bunch of paint. [small laugh] So, I will, for instance: I needed this specific brown to paint like on two different cake slices and so I painted both of the icing, or both of the icings on each of the cakes and I will also paint in batches because you want to make sure that each section of the paint dries before you try and paint another color onto it, of course, or else the colors will blend and it can look kind of like sloppy and messy. The waiting for them to dry part is the hardest because I’m very impatient. But I noticed that if I take my time, and I actually wait for everything to dry, everything looks very neat and tidy and it’s very very lovely. I also have to say that these cake slices are— probab-I just, I have been on such a cake binge lately. Not like a binge, but I just, I keep thinking about cake. I’m drawing cake. I’m making cake pins. I-I went to like, high tea the other day, and I had an amazing slice of royal wedding cake. I just, I feel like Honey senpai from Ouran High School Host Club. I just can’t stop thinking about cake. So, I loved these pins also to help the paint move around more, I will often just like add a tiny bit of water- I don’t know if you can see it, but you can kind of see how the paint is like I added too much water to this particular little section. You can see how the paint is kind of like spreading and separating So I recommend adding like, dipping your paintbrush in some clean water, just like a, just like a little dip, before putting it in your gouache because it just helps it move around more and it also just-you just basically get more mileage out of your paint. Usually I will also do two coats of gouache on pretty much anything. Like, for instance, on the heart where the gouache is covering like a really large area of solid color, I will usually do two coats. I think I forgot to do that on some of my pins. That’s normally the thing. So then…basically painting pins takes me like a full… [small laugh] like a full workday. Just because it’s a lot of waiting for things to dry, a lot of my pins have like small details. I will often I have to wait for paint to dry so that way I can draw like faces on some of them but.. [small sigh] Again, it’s very, um, therapeutic and quite soothing it just it’s just a very, uh time-consuming, but it’s really fun to watch this like large batch of kind of white, featureless, clay blobs turn into these colorful fun…things!! Also, gouache has, even acrylic gouache, has a very very slight color shift and so I find that my colors dry maybe, I don’t know, like half a shade darker than they go on wet. So that’s something to keep in mind, but I usually find that it’s not too much of a big deal because when I glaze them with resin later, which we’re gonna talk about, it’s a, it’s a, [sigh] it’s a pain of a process but it’s so worth it because it makes the colors just so rich and saturated and really vibrant and beautiful. ♫ pretty flute music ♫ I always have to remember to paint the sides of the pins just because—you don’t have to worry about painting the back because those you’re just gonna attach a magnet or a pin backing to ’em anyway. But I do want to make sure to paint the sides just so that whatever angle people see these from, they’re fine. Here you can see that I’m adding in like the-the, like-the peach, the light peach color for the kind of gills of the mushroom. So think about the color on your pins kind of, again, in batches and blocks Ideally I’m like, Okay, well, if I need to use, if I pour out a bit of red, I paint all the pins that I know we’re gonna have red on them, ideally. Sometimes I still end up wasting a little bit of paint. And, the details sometimes make all the difference. Like, these are just little rectangles that are super easy to sculpt because all it is is just cutting it into a rectangle and smoothing out the corners with your fingers, and then you just paint on some nice little lines and suddenly you have a cute little envelope! Also, the wonderful thing about, like, hand making clay pins is that obviously people know that they are going to be hand sculpted and so people aren’t expecting them to be perfect and immaculate like they would, say, like a factory manufactured enamel pin. Which is what makes making clay things for friends or family or customers so fun! It’s a very-it’s a labor of love, I should say, and um I-I-I don’t fret too much about things being like there’s a smudge here and there, if there’s a tiny sort of—if like, maybe the edges of my pin aren’t perfectly smooth or what-have-you, um, I just kind of let it be because it’s the charm of the medium. You know what I mean? Also, I will use, I often use Posca pens, Posca paint pens, or any kind of paint pen really, to add in details just because it makes it easier to like paint on circles for faces or it makes it easier to paint on like smiles or like color in the like pupils and stuff on eyes, so Yes, I love using Posca pens, though I have to say for- I will usually have to go in with two coats if I use Posca pens for like the spots on the mushrooms or for eyeballs on faces just because, um, It dries a little… sheer over the gouache. I don’t know if I’m using the paint pens incorrectly. This is my experience. So I’ll usually go in with a second coat or I’ll block it in with the Posca pen and then fill it in later with- and then I’ll just go over it later, once it dries, with white gouache just to kind of up the opacity of it. ♫ happy classical piano music ♫ And you can see here how I’m turning this little round rectangle into a GameBoy! It’s just a matter of leaving a little square blank and then you have a GameBoy. And then I just paint in the the buttons and the d-pad and then ya have…a GameBoy. It’s great. And then these are little bottles which was a new design that I was trying, I put roses in them later and I think they turned out very pretty. It’s just fun to make cute fun things. Just cute fun things that you know you’ve made with your hands from beginning to end. It’s very satisfying. It’s also really fun- I have a couple that I have on my backpack and people are like, “Oh my god, I love your pins!” and I’m like, “Thanks, I made them! From start to finish!” But now, y’all are just gonna get a good old, uh, painting montage. So, I hope you enjoy! ♫ happy relaxing classical music ♫ Also, Jordan came over last week to help me pack, or, to help me prepare for my shop opening. She was helping me assemble little stationery sets which I am so excited about! They turned out so cute So she was over to help me assemble all the pages and the stickers in with the envelopes. These are still available on my shop, if you wanna snag one. 😉 And I actually also still have some of my little clay friends up! So if you want to give one a good home, I have a link down in the description. ♫ happy piano music ♫ Connor: I just need ya to know, that you are my favorite human. Chey: You’re MY favorite human. [small kiss] [kiss kiss] Chey: Love you all the time.
Connor: Love you all the time. Connor: [sigh] All right, Soph, you ready? Look at all of our frieeends!! Look at all of these friends! I love looking at them all bundled together, It’s so bright and colorful and great! I love it. Oooh, I’m so happy with how this batch turned out. Y’all have no idea. Aaaah! I love the cake slices. The cake slices are still my fave. I also do really love the houses. But now I get to go through the very not fun or finessed process of glazing them with UV resin. I don’t have an elegant way of going about this, which is why I’m not showing you a lot of like up-close details of this process because it’s not great. Basically, I made these little like clay columns that I Mod Podge my pins to, and I let them sit there for a bit, so that they can kind of adhere to that. I use that as a little turning thing and I paint on like a nice, thick, somewhat even, layer of UV resin and then I slide it, veeery delicately, into this little like nail…drying, UV lamp…thing. And then, let that sit in there for four minutes, and then it dries (cures) and then I clean off my brush in a little glass of rubbing alcohol to get the resin off. It’s a pain of a process but look how pretty it looks!! They turn out so glossy and lovely, and the color is so rich and vibrant, and it’s… kind of annoying to do, but it’s so worth it because they just turn out so good. I mean like just look at ’em! Look at all of our friends! They’re so shiny and beautiful. Guh! And then I’ll also usually let them sit out in the sun (like, on the windowsill in sunlight) after I glaze them with resin just to get rid of the extra tackiness. I love them so much. They turned out so cute. Ohhh, they’re all—I love looking at them all together. It’s just a big, colorful, happy family. :”) I really hope that this inspired you to give making clay things a try. It’s very fun! Sophie and I send our love. My little Soph Loaf. Eee! Thank you so much to my patrons, um, thanks for just being great. Thank you for your support. You make it possible for me to spend like three days, making cute fun pins and things. Thank you so much for watching! I think you’re the bee’s knees, I love you to the moon and back, and, um Stay brilliant! [laughter] Soph always gives me little love bites, and also sometimes not so much love bites. Sometimes she just bites me. Like that. Anyway, I love you so much. I will talk to you soon. Stay brilliant. Bye!!