Sunday, May 23, 2010

Polymer Clay Ankhs

I have always been fascinated with Egypt.  I can remember being in elementary school and my teacher teaching us about the Egyptian measuring system, about how the measurements were purportedly based on the measurements of the ruling Pharaoh.  Then I could recall art history in high school and our extensive study of Egypt and its influence on other cultures such as the Mycenaeans and the Romans.  My sophomore year of college I went to New York and never made it past the Egyptian exhibit at the Metropolitan.  Now as an adult, my living room is decorated in an Egyptian theme. 

There you have fascination with Egypt.  It is only fitting that I created a craft that speaks to that.  I make a lot of jewelry; however, it is difficult to find beads for ankhs.  Sure, you would find gold or silver charms, however I wanted my own ankh beads to use for jewelry.  Some time ago I purchased some ebony jewelry that featured ankhs.  So what did I do?  I made molds of course!  I purchased some Amazing Mold Putty some months ago and had made a few molds that I had not used until now.  A little expensive, yes, but very worth it.  Anywho, it is also addictive.  So here is what we have:

I made this mold from the original (which I no longer have).  It was a shell carved Africa shape with an ebony ankh on the top and was a pendant.  I made the cast of it with the putty.

I bought some pearl polymer clay (Premo) because I loved the iridescent look it had as it caught the light.  I was going to see if the putty lived up to its name

This one was of a second larger ebony ankh pendant that I no longer have.  It was the first mold and I kind of messed it up by coming in too much around the ankh.  It is difficult to get the piece out after it is made because of that.  You can compare it with above (which was done properly) to see the difference.

These are from the first batch I fired.  I just made molds from the ankh portion of the mold and was pleased with the results.  I left them in the oven too long apparently and some were discolored brown.  They had this beautiful marble look to them so I didn't mind.  30 minutes at 275 degrees would need to be adjusted for this clay.

Then I made these earrings which I absolutely love.

Here are the pieces prior to being fired.  This would be my second batch.  These kept their coloring...I lowered the temperature to 260 at 30 minutes.  I will make earrings and necklaces and possibly charms and loc jewelry from these.  I will post those results later.

The ankh beads will be for sale soon either on my etsy or my moyartic site.