Tea Light Holder By Request

My very best friend was the very first recipient of one my tea light holders 😀 In fact if she hadn’t loved them as much as she did I probably wouldn’t have been inspired to make so many more! When I started listing my creations on Etsy she decided to order a custom item, similar in design to the Retro design (which you can see if you click on My Creations) but in various shades of green.

Green Retro Design

Words can’t express how excited I was to have my first custom order! I decided to experiment with a slightly different technique for such a special project and ordered myself an extruder gun – I’d wanted one for ages and this was the perfect excuse! Extruder guns are a lot like sugarcraft guns  – you insert a plug of clay and extrude it slowly through a shaped die by pressing the plunger.

A word of warning: this is VERY hard work! There’s a lot of advice around the web on how to make it easier, I personally was luck enough to find a caulking gun hanging around the house. I slot the extruder into the caulking gun and hey presto – super easy extrusion 🙂

To get this fantastic retro effect takes several steps:

Blend custom colours – small amounts of the chosen colours were blended together with translucent clay so the light will shine through them. I do this by working the two colours together in my hands until they’re fully mixed. This takes time but patience is a virtue, or something 🙂

Make lots of tiny disks – these form the ‘log’ of clay that will be fed into the extruder. Imagine something like a Scooby Doo style sandwich with lots and lots of layers 🙂 I try to arrange the colours in a pleasing way, but I don’t know if it actually makes any difference

Work In Progress

Extrude! Extrude, my pretties! – using the square die on my extruder I create four long square snakes of clay, they don’t look like much right now…

Build a cane – many poly clay designs are created from a ‘cane’, this one is inspired by the art of Gustav Klimt and is known as a ‘Klimt Cane’.  The four square logs are arranged together to make one thicker square log, taking care not to distort the shape but also making sure they are firmly attatched and there are no gaps. This works essentially like a stick of rock, the design runs all the way through and you can take tiny slices and cover pretty much whatever you like!

Cover pretty much whatever you like (am I repeating myself?) –  if it’s safe to go in the oven (at 110degrees for around half an hour) then cover it with clay and bake it – that’s my motto! Ok, so it’s a bit long winded and lacking in ‘zazz’ – it’s a work-in-progress :p

Green Retro Design

I’m really pleased with how it turned out, so was my friend 🙂 I couldn’t possibly ask for more!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Katie
    Jan 17, 2011 @ 23:27:28

    I would also like to add to this post that I am also a proud recipient of one of these amazing tea light holders. Mine is in purple and black and white, with the pearlescent dust on it. It is SO “me” and was possibly my favouritest Xmas pressie this year. Fankooooooos EmilyMagpie xxxxxxxx


  2. emilymagpie
    Jan 17, 2011 @ 23:34:36

    I’m so glad you love it so much, Katie – and it looks so pretty when it’s lit 😀 Why must these things be so hard to give away?? You are so very welcome and I’ll be documenting your custom request to post here soon, too 🙂


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