Wire and Thread Wrapped Ganutell Crocus

Good afternoon. I have been learning the technique of Ganutell. Here I used instructions from the Ganutell Country Flowers Handbook from Gina B Silkworks.

AW Crocus 1c

I used green stranded cotton to wrap the leaves and to create the stamens. As a beginner I still really struggle with slinky rayon or silk threads so opted for DMC Coton A Broder 25 thread for the petals – far easier to work with. I added colour to the petals using silk paint. Dampening the petals first encouraged nice blending of the colours.

Sorry about the stray cat hair that got into the crocus pic. Willow’s hair does get everywhere!

 

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She is such a darling and loves to help out.

 

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They look lovely alongside one of the pretty butterflies. These were created from the Ganutell Butterflies Kit (Blues) – details blogged previously.

 

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The little vase in this picture was created using my own fabric plus the Vase Heritage Pincushion Kit – also from Gina B Silkworks. The kit contains precision cut cards and full instructions. I fussy cut my fabric to place the motifs around the vase.

Materials:

DMC Cotton A Broder 25 (white), stranded cotton (green and variegated yellow)

0.25mm and 0.4mm copper wire, 1.9mm Perl wire (silver plated)

Florist tape (green)

Silk paints (purple, yellow and red)

Tools required:

Jewellery pliers or tweezers, wire cutters (scissors can be used instead but don’t use your best ones!), clear drying PVA glue and a ruler.

Optional extras:

These are not essential but really useful if you intend to make a few projects. A small piece of florist foam (for holding elements while glue dries), Petal and Leaf Jig and jig top no. 2 (to help shape wires easily and consistently).

 

AW Ganutell Display 1

I am planning a large Ganutell floral display – getting a nice little collection together now – so more Ganutell to share with you all soon xxx.

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Ganutell Tulip

Good morning. I have been learning the technique of Ganutell. I created this tulip using instructions from the Ganutell Country Flowers Handbook from Gina B Silkworks.

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AW Tulip 1c

I used a stranded silk thread in yellow for the petals and stranded cotton (green) to wrap the leaves. To make the central stamen I used Coton A Broder 25 (white) and stranded cotton (black).

I decided to add a tint of colour to the petal tips using red silk paint. I dampened the petals first to encourage a gentle spread and blending of the colour.

 

AW Tulip 1d

The little vase in this picture was created using my own fabric plus the Vase Heritage Pincushion Kit – also from Gina B Silkworks. The kit contains precision cut cards and full instructions. I fussy cut my fabric to place the motifs around the vase.

 

AW Tulip 1e

It looks lovely alongside the pretty butterflies. These were created from the Ganutell Butterflies Kit (Blues) – details blogged previously.

 

Materials:

DMC Cotton A Broder 25 (white), Madeira stranded silk (yellow), stranded cotton (green and black)

Silk paint (red)

0.25mm and 0.4mm copper wire, 1.9mm Perl Wire (silver plated)

Florist tape (green)

Tools required:

Jewellery pliers or tweezers, wire cutters (scissors can be used instead but don’t use your best ones!), clear drying PVA glue and a ruler.

Optional extras:

These are not essential but really useful if you intend to make a few projects. A small piece of florist foam (for holding elements while glue dries), Petal and Leaf Jig to help shape wires easily and consistently).

 

I am planning a large Ganutell floral display – so more Ganutell to share with you all soon xxx.

Ganutell Dog Rose

Good afternoon. I have been learning the technique of Ganutell. Here I used instructions from the Ganutell Country Flowers Handbook from Gina B Silkworks.

AW Dog Rose 1a

I used yellow stranded cotton to wrap wire and yellow seed beads to create the stamens. As a beginner I really struggle with slinky rayon or silk threads so opted for DMC Coton A Broder 25 thread for the petals – far easier to work with.

AW Dog Rose 1b

I used the shiny green Rayon for the leaves. Tricky to work with but I was chuffed to bits with the results.

AW Dog Rose Butterfly 1

It looks lovely alongside one of the pretty butterflies. These were created from the Ganutell Butterflies Kit (Blues) – details blogged previously.

 

Materials:

DMC Cotton A Broder 25 (white), stranded Rayon (green), stranded cotton (yellow)

Pale yellow seed beads (size 11)

0.25mm and 0.4mm copper wire, 1.9mm Perl wire (Vintage Brass)

Florist tape (green)

Tools required:

Jewellery pliers or tweezers, wire cutters (scissors can be used instead but don’t use your best ones!), clear drying PVA glue and a ruler.

Optional extras:

These are not essential but really useful if you intend to make a few projects. A small piece of florist foam (for holding elements while glue dries), Petal and Leaf Jig and jig top no. 2 (to help shape wires easily and consistently).

AW Dog Rose 2

I decided to add a tint of colour to the petal tips using silk paints (red and mixing white to create pink). I dampened the petals first to encourage a gentle spread and blending of the colour.

AW Dog Rose 3

The little vase in this picture was created using my own fabric plus the Vase Heritage Pincushion Kit – also from Gina B Silkworks. The kit contains precision cut cards and full instructions. I fussy cut my fabric to place the motifs around the vase.

I am planning a large Ganutell floral display – so more Ganutell to share with you all soon xxx.

Ganutell Geranium

AW Geranium 1c

Good evening. I have been learning the technique of Ganutell. Here I used the Geranium Kit from Gina B Silkworks – it contains everything you need to complete 3 pretty flowers (wire, Perl spiral wire, florist tape and threads). This kit is a great starter for beginners. The thread included is a thicker Perle 5, much easier to handle for the less experienced. For my flowers I changed to a finer Perle 8 thread in red and yellow, with yellow stranded cotton for the stamens, making up according to the kit instructions.

AW Geranium 1d

The little vase in this picture was created using my own fabric plus the Vase Heritage Pincushion Kit – also from Gina B Silkworks. The kit contains precision cut cards and full instructions. I fussy cut my fabric to place the motifs around the vase.

AW Geranium 1e

AW Geranium 1f

Tools required:

Jewellery pliers or tweezers, wire cutters (scissors can be used instead but don’t use your best ones!), clear drying PVA glue and a ruler.

Optional extras:

These are not essential but really useful if you intend to make a few projects. A small piece of florist foam (for holding elements while glue dries), Petal and Leaf Jig (to help shape wires easily and consistently).

AW Geranium Butterfly 1

Note: The butterflies come from the Butterfly Kit (blogged earlier this eve).

 

I am planning a large Ganutell floral display – so more Ganutell to share with you all soon xxx.

Ganutell Butterflies

AW Butterflies 1a

 

Good evening. I have been learning the technique of Ganutell and started with a Butterfly Kit from Gina B Silkworks – it contains everything you need to complete 3 pretty butterflies (printed cards, wire, spiral wire, beads and metallic thread). The kit also comes with brooch backs – to make these into lovely brooches. I have used the Blues colourway but it also available in Oranges.

AW Butterflies 1b

 

I am planning to create lots of Ganutell flowers for a bigger project and thought that these would definitely enhance a floral display nicely. They would also enhance any dried or artificial floral display. I have left wires untrimmed to attach to my project later.

AW Butterflies 1c

Tools required:

Jewellery pliers or tweezers, wire cutters (scissors can be used instead but don’t use your best ones!), clear drying PVA glue and a ruler.

Optional extras:

These are not essential but really useful if you intend to make a few projects. A small piece of florist foam (for holding elements while glue dries), Petal and Leaf Jig (to help shape wires easily and consistently) and Butterfly Wing Pattern Pack (used with the jig – also has useful patterns for other wing shapes and suggested combinations for several different butterflies and dragonflies).

AW Butterflies 1d

AW Butterflies 1e

The little vase in this picture was created using my own fabric plus the Vase Heritage Pincushion Kit – also from Gina B Silkworks. The kit contains precision cut cards and full instructions. I fussy cut my fabric to place the motifs around the vase.

More Ganutell to share with you all soon xxx.

New Year, New Beginnings, Sculpey Polymer Clay Butterfly Necklace Set

Good morning. I had only ever tried out polymer clay once several years ago to make some beads but experienced absolute disaster as I scorched most of them on baking. The majority were consigned to the bin and I never got around to trying it out again! I would just look in envy at the gorgeous projects others were making with this medium.

I have since used various air dry clays and had been meaning to give polymer clay another try for ages, particularly for making beads and jewellery. However, I wasn’t feeling all that confident with my ability, or with my very old gas oven which varies so much in temperature (front to back and top to bottom).

I was immensely flattered when renowned polymer clay artist Debbie Bulford asked if I would like to take part in this month’s Sculpey polymer clay challenge. Oh gosh! I really wanted to get the process right this time. I needed a challenge like this to push me into giving it another try.

The theme was ‘New Year Celebrations’ and could be interpreted how I liked to make any item with Sculpey Polymer Clay. I thought that ‘New Beginnings’ would be an apt title for my creation. New year, and evolving myself with new techniques and challenges. What better than the metamorphosis of caterpillar into butterfly. So here it is – my ‘New Beginnings’. I am going to enjoy wearing this over Christmas.

AW New Begin NL finished 1

Before starting on this piece I knew that I had to research and learn more about the properties of the clay. I also wanted to ensure that the baking was done under more controlled conditions. I put my scientist head on first this time. I read around, watched lots of YouTube videos and carried out several baking trials before I started on my piece. My baking times are longer than many others use but I have based them on my trials with my particular baking conditions. Renowned polymer clay tutor Cindy Lietz is also an advocate of longer baking. I am going to blog all my findings and trials in another posting after Christmas. I hope that others just starting out will find it useful to help them begin with their own creations.

Materials:

  • Von Chef table top oven with raised silicone baking mat and oven thermometer (see pic below)
  • Scrap card to sit items on for baking
  • Sculpey Premo Polymer Clay (57g packs): Black (2 packs), Antique Gold (1/2 pack), White (1/4 pack),Wisteria (1/4 pack), Blue Glitter (1/8 pack)
  • Sculpey Bake & Bond
  • Antique bronze coloured copper wire (1mm and 0.6mm), plain copper wire (0.8mm and 0.6mm)
  • Mica powders (Jaquard – Super Bronze, Aztec Gold, True Blue, Flamingo Pink)
  • Clay extruder with petal and circle discs plus an adaptor to make hollow tubes
  • Acrylic roller, glass mat, Teflon mat, various clay shaping tools
  • Leaf shaped push cutters (3 sizes – 5cm to 3cm length range)
  • Pasta rolling machine
  • Ready made antique bronze leaf toggle clasp and earring hook findings

Step by Step – how it was made:

I first tested my oven to achieve even temperature without big fluctuations – 125 to 130 degrees centigrade. The important thing is to have the oven hot enough but without it getting too hot and causing scorching. I used a raised silicone baking mat to raise my baked pieces away from the hot surface (the temperature fluctuates immensely right next to the base as the thermostat clicks on and off)

Note: The clay will give off a slight plastic smell while baking but if you get an acrid smell it is too hot (ventilate the room well if this happens). I have given baking times for my pieces based on my experiments – different ovens may give different optimal baking times. Thicker pieces will need longer than thinner (more about all this will be included in my blog after Christmas along with how I tested my optimal baking times etc.).

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Clay was conditioned by hand kneading and by passing repeatedly through the pasta roller. Black clay was extruded using a circle disc and adaptor to make a long tube of clay (approx. 6-7mm wide). Different coloured micas were applied to the surface to give shimmer. This was then baked in a lightly curled up state to set a slight curve into the tube (40 mins). The baked clay was then sliced to make beads approx. 2-2.5cm long.

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The beads were then threaded with 1mm antique bronze wire. At one end the wire was looped and pushed into the end of the bead to close the opening. A loop was created at the other end with extra twirls and coils added for an organic look. A little space was allowed at the bead ends for wrapping clay to cover the open bead ends and loops were aligned in a horizontal orientation (see next step).

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Thin ‘cords’ of black clay were created with the extruder and wrapped randomly around the beads using Bake & Bond to ‘glue’. The open ends of the beads were covered to hide the holes and ‘set’ the wires in place.

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The bead ends covered and wires anchored with clay coils.

 

The leaf/petal shaped disc was used and the extruded ‘cane’ sliced to make little leaf shapes. These were squished, shaped and attached onto the beads. A little Bake & Bond was used where needed (i.e. if attaching to the prebaked clay areas). I designed the slightly curved beads to fit around the neck so they had a front and back side. Leaves were added to the front so they would not be lumpy and sticking into the skin (particularly as the pendant section is quite heavy). The fresh clay embellishments were dusted with mica powders then baked for a further 60 minutes (10 beads for the necklace and 2 for earrings).

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Beads, extruded ‘cords’ and ‘leaf cane’ created with extruder discs.

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Leaves added and mica powder applied ready to bake.

 

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Finished beads after baking.

The beads were joined together with 1mm wire using random swirly joining loops (5 beads each side of the clasp). Note the slightly curved beads were orientated so that they would fit the curve around the neck. I tried connecting with double jump rings but they gave too structured a finish. The random swirly loops gave the more organic look that I was after.

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AW New begin 11

The front branch was created next. I estimated the size by holding up the beaded section onto my neck and estimating the width and depth that I wanted. I created a shallow ‘V’shaped branch approx. 10cm across and 5cm deep using 1mm wire as an armature for the clay (to give it extra strength). Attachment loops were created at the apex and tips.

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2 ‘sausages’ of black clay were slit and wrapped around the wire armature to create an organic branch shape. Extruded ‘cords’ of black and gold clay mix were wrapped and twisted around the branch to give added texture. Mica was brushed over to colour (see pics below).

Next the leaf embellishments were created using a blend of black and gold clays and push cutters (rough Skinner Blend to get colour variations – see below). The clay was put through the pasta roller to create sheets of approx. 1.5mm thick. The push cutters were used to cut and emboss the shapes at the same time. Leaf fronts were cut from the blended colour sheets and the backs cut with black clay.

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0.6mm copper wire armatures were added for extra strength and to help with shaping (which also held the shape while baking).

The leaves were arranged onto the branch and wires pushed into the clay to hold. Mica powders added extra colour variation. The branch was then baked for 40 mins.

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Note some wire ends were left protruding on the left and right sides to aid attachment of embellishments later.

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The branch back.

0.8mm copper wire was used to make an armature for the caterpillar. Black clay was rolled and cut into slices to make disc shaped beads which were thread onto the wire and pushed together. A small amount of white clay was extruded with a small circle disc and sliced to make little circles for eyes. Shaping tools were used to add texture details and a little mica powder added extra colour. The caterpillar was attached to the branch using Bake & Bond and baked for 30 minutes.

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Several Skinner Blend mixes were created to makes canes which were wrapped with black clay and joined together to make a butterfly cane. There are lots of video tutorials out there about making blends. Triangles of glitter blue or Wisteria clay were blended with white by repeatedly passing through the clay roller.

AW New begin 16a

The long blended strips were then folded concertina style and eased into a sausage shape. I didn’t worry too much about getting it perfect as it was not really essential for this project. A thin layer of black clay was then wrapped around the outside to make a Bulls Eye cane with a colour gradient across the middle.

I then started combining these canes to build up my butterfly cane. I really struggled with this bit. However, I did manage to get some pretty canes. I definitely need a little practice at this!

AW New begin 17a

Some of my attempts at butterfly cane – oh dear! One of my distorted canes was however perfect for creating the newly emerged butterfly wings and I was really pleased with how it looked. I again used a 1mm bronze wire armature to add strength and to create an attachment loop (baked for 1 hour).

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I persisted and made another butterfly cane. I really struggled with reducing it so made it close to the size that I wanted. However, where I wanted a delicate butterfly look it turned out to be more of a moth look instead! Again I used a wire armature (0.8mm copper) to add strength and to hold the shape while baking. The butterfly was attached to the branch using Bake & Bond and the piece was baked for another hour.

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AW New begin 20

The newly emerged butterfly was attached at the base using double jump rings created with 1mm wire. The branch was attached to the necklace beaded section using 1mm wire and ‘organic’ loops.

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One of my ‘reject’ butterfly canes also made some lovely earrings to coordinate. I made a couple of delicate slices and added holes using a ball tool. Baked for 1 hour.

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The butterfly wings were attached to the beads using jump rings created with 1mm bronze coloured wire. Ready made hooks were attached to the bead tops.

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I have loved my first big adventures with polymer clay and I know that I will enjoy wearing this one. A definite statement piece! Here’s to new beginnings x.

AW New begin finished NL 4

AW New begin finished tree

Hopefully there are not too many typos or errors in my post – rushing around to get ready for Christmas – tee hee. Wishing you all Happy Holidays and a fabulous New Year, Anne xxx.