Polymer Clay Easter Eggs
Create your most sophisticated Easter eggs ever using an innovative polymer clay technique from artist Liz Smith.
- Large egg
- Egg blower
- 2 packages white clay
- 1 package blue (or other color) clay
- Pasta machine or craft/clay rolling machine
- Polymer clay blade
- Doll needle or very thin knitting needle
- Acrylic rod (sold for use with polymer clay)
- Polyester batting
- Sandpaper in 240, 400, and 800 grits
- Water-based polyurethane (optional)
- Linen or denim cloth (optional)
Remove inside of egg with egg blower, according to egg blower instructions. Rinse inside and out and allow to dry.
Mix 1/4 package blue (or other color) clay with 3/4 package white clay to make a light blue.
Make a "Skinner" blend (a strip of clay with a color gradient) using the light blue and white. To do so: a. Roll a whole package white clay through the pasta machine, set at the thickest setting. b. Roll the light blue clay you have created through the pasta machine at the same setting. c. Trim each strip of clay into an elongated right triangle, and abut them along the hypotenuse to form a rectangle. d. Fold the rectangle in half, matching up short ends, and run through the pasta machine fold -- first on thickest setting. Keep folding and flattening until the colors blend together in the middle (about a dozen times total). e. Turn clay 90 degrees, and run through one more time, white side first, to make a long strip with white at one end blending into light blue at the other. Trim and square off the 4 sides with a blade.
Flatten the rest of the unmixed blue clay into a slightly longer and slightly thinner rectangle than the gradient rectangle. Trim and square off the 4 sides with the blade. Lay blended clay on top of the solid blue clay. Carefully roll the two strips together, starting at the white end, to form a fat "jelly roll" log.
Compress the jelly roll to remove air bubbles and elongate it slightly. Place log on a flat surface and roll back and forth, pressing from the center outwards, until you have formed a long "cane" about 1/2 inch in diameter.
Cut slices about 1/8 inch thick from the cane with the blade. Place slices on eggshell, abutting edges, to cover whole egg.
Pay attention to the location of the bottom hole of the eggshell, and poke a small hole through the clay slice that covers it with a doll needle or very thin knitting needle. This will allow air to escape during baking.
Hold egg in the palm of one hand, and smooth out seams between the slices by rolling an acrylic rod over them. Be sure to re-poke the small bottom hole if it gets smoothed closed.
Lay egg on its side on a bed of polyester batting, and bake in an oven according to polymer clay manufacturer's directions (usually 275 degrees for 25 minutes).
When egg is cool, sand it under water (either a stream from the faucet or a shallow bowl) using wet/dry sandpaper in 240, 400 then 800 grits; let dry.
If you like, you can varnish egg using water-based polyurethane, or buff the egg with a linen or denim cloth for a smooth matte finish.