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Owlistare -2nd Poly Clay Piece

About this design:

This is my second polymer clay piece. I named him Owlistare! As this is only the second piece I have done, I have learned some valuable lessons...I'm gonna share them in hopes that I can prevent someone else from total destruction :) : 1.) Do NOT, I repeat DO NOT try to enlarge your bead hole after you bake it! Otherwise you will end up cracking your newly baked creation, like so!(see pic) 2.) If trying to enlarge the hole fails, do NOT try to use a needle to CRAM waxed linen into the hole. You will only enlarge the crack you created previously. 3.) Be very careful when doing wirework with your polymer clay pieces and make sure no sharp edges touch your piece...otherwise you can gouge out pieces of your polymer clay! I don't have a pic of this one...but I did it just the same! I nearly ruined my owl just to create the bracelet! Sheesh! Such is the life of a beader! ;)


polymer clay owl, various Czech glass(including some of the new dark neon beads) 7 ply plum waxed linen, 22 guage wire, natural gray leather, button and flower and leaf for embellishments

Additional Images:

Read the comments (or add your own)

  1. Julie Shane
    Julie Shane says:

    DARN… I have to take back all the stuff I said about the cardinal. The Owl is a HOOT!!! In THE best way!
    Go girl! I love what you are doing!

  2. Fresh Baked
    Fresh Baked says:

    It’s just adorable!! Also, love your winter red cardinal.
    Welcome to the joys of polymer and the lessons learned. I feel your pain! Regarding the problem of the holes…don’t know if this is helpful, but I cut short pieces of very straight wire in gauges that I’m going to be using with the beads. Then, carefully push a piece through the bead and leave it while baking. I can either use that piece of wire to finish the jewelry or replace it with a longer length of wire.
    The great news is that there are soooo many wonderful polymer artists who generously share their experiences and lessons on the web.
    Share more of your creations with us!

  3. Deb Harding
    Deb Harding says:

    Oh my gosh he’s the cutest thing!! Okay did you use different color clay or paint him?? Love the bracelet!!

  4. Beadzilla aka Wanda
    Beadzilla aka Wanda says:

    OMG you are seriously really good at this poly clay thing! Your owl is just so darn cute, I want to hug it! Thanks for the pointers, and please keep on sharing!

  5. JenniferLynn
    JenniferLynn says:

    Why did you wait so long until you tried it? You’re a natural! I love the owl, he’s so darn cute and happy.

  6. Elis Mom
    Elis Mom says:


  7. Gail Layne
    Gail Layne says:

    Oh my! He’s just sooooo cute! Love the whole bracelet too. Think you have discovered a hidden talent. You are really GOOD at this clay stuff!

  8. puppychick  labratbecky
    puppychick labratbecky says:

    Great job!!! We all have to learn those little lessons. :) I see you have also discovered that the clay colors stick to your fingers. The back of your owl has darker (purple?) finder marks. I personally LOVE that because I think it adds character and I do it with my pieces but for those who want pristine clay, take note. I have one other hint for you: when you attach pieces of clay to each other ( the eyes ) it helps adhere them if you either poke a toothpick through them into the main body of clay or smear them a little bit at the edge with your finger or small tool. Clay fibers bind to each other when lined up.

    All of that unsolicited advice said…. (sorry)
    I think this whole piece is UNIMAGINABLY FABULOUS!

  9. puppychick  labratbecky
    puppychick labratbecky says:

    finger marks, not finder marks

  10. puppychick  labratbecky
    puppychick labratbecky says:

    :) Seriously, Jess, the take home message from me is that I think this shows incredible imagination and design skills. I love the little feather marks on the owl and I really like the fishtail weave addition. that really caught my eye along with all the little bits attached here and there. :) Any color stuck to your fingers will stick to the clay but usually that ends up being a perfect tie-it-together addition. LOVE love LOVE this!

  11. SweetBirchDesigns
    SweetBirchDesigns says:

    WOW! Thanks sooooo much for all the encouragement and wonderful comments! I really appreciate them! :)

    Linda, thanks so much for the advice. I will remember that. Can you just bake any metal wire? :)

    Deb, so far I like using colored clay and I like to mix my own colors…When I have an idea in mind for color then I try to think of what color paint or patina would work with them!

    Becky, thank you! I tried to utilize the clay fibers like you said and it worked wonderfully to blend! Also, I did use vintaj patina on him…that’s where the fingerprints came from lol…it works but it does make it super sticky until it dries…it’s kinda touch and go because unlike metal, the clay tries to absorb the patina super fast and it dries very quickly…so if you use too much you end up having to dab it off with your finger( I tried a cloth like you can use with metal and talk about fuzz city!), forever marking your lovely creation, literally and figuratively with your own personal fingerprint.

    Thanks again chickies, the encouragement is very much appreciated and inspiring! You all are so wonderful! :)

  12. puppychick  labratbecky
    puppychick labratbecky says:

    :) !! I have bright orange fingerprints on the back of a cream pendant because I was braiding rust colored waxed linen just before playing with the clay.

    I tried Vintaj black paint and you really have to wipe that off quickly. And you still end up with the sticky factor. I totally know what you went through!! LOL

    Keep at it, Jess! You have a lot of talent!

  13. SweetBirchDesigns
    SweetBirchDesigns says:

    Thanks Becky! :) Yeah, wrestling with waxed linen is another story for another day…LOL! I admire anybody that can deal with it and work with it! I guess for me it’s the texture..I keep feeling like it’s stuck to my fingers! The waxed linen was a first for me! Sheesh! Yeah, I used the black vintaj patina on the cardinal and thought that I had ruined it since my red cardinal suddenly looked like I had rubbed it in tar! I panicked! However I did find that sanding it off with a softer finger nail file worked rather well and then I used glossy red acrylic paint over that! Do you use acrylic paint to paint your clay pieces? How do you keep them from being sticky? What do you use as a sealer? or do you use a sealer? I read that you don’t have to use one but I don’t know! What’s better?….Takin a breath now..shew… 8)

  14. puppychick  labratbecky
    puppychick labratbecky says:

    I was going to try acrylics next. I am not sure what is the best paint but I am guessing anything the clay absorbs will make it sticky and yes, I think if you paint it you have to seal it. There are tutorials online that address painting the clay. I just haven’t watched them yet. Next time I find one, I will send you a link. I know there is at least one you can get to on Etsy.

  15. puppychick  labratbecky
    puppychick labratbecky says:

    Sculpey makes a sealer/gloss and that is what I use. I am sure there are more choices out there…

  16. Granny Nancy
    Granny Nancy says:

    What an adorable owl. I’m in awe of someone who can make something like this. Shall I assume you can’t wear gloves when you work with colors?

  17. Chicky Zee aka Alice
    Chicky Zee aka Alice says:

    WOW lovely!

  18. Gail Layne
    Gail Layne says:

    I was wondering about the gloves too. I just ordered some clay (Premo, is that a good kind?) and reading all this is super intimidating! When you paint the piece do you have problems with brush strokes because of it becoming sticky? What about using those little sponge brushes? If you’re using a mold do you take it out before or after its baked? Can you use rubber stamps or would they stick to the clay? Sooooo many questions…

  19. SweetBirchDesigns
    SweetBirchDesigns says:

    Nancy: I haven’t actually tried gloves yet but I suppose you could wear gloves while working with the colored clay! The clay isn’t sticky until after you paint it…so I guess one could try to wear gloves…that might actually help keep your fingers from sticking to the paint and making fingerprints! Will have to try it and see! :)

    Gail Layne: Yes the Premo is a good brand! I actually just bought some Premo too! The Premo is like the higher end of Sculpey III clay…which works well too! I think the difference might be that the Premo is a little firmer but yes it is good too! I actually really like both! If I might ask, where did you order your clay from? I haven’t really noticed too many brush strokes although I think it really depends on what kind of paint you use! As Becky mentioned, it is probably necessary to use a sealer once it’s painted as to keep the sticky feeling at bay! As far as the molds, you can usually just pop the clay out before you bake it…although I imagine if it’s a silicone mold for baking you could just bake it in the silicone mold….but I guess you would have to make sure what temp the mold can withstand. The clay is actually quite firm, so you can definitely use rubber stamps with the clay…if it gets too soft and starts to stick to your stamp then just refrigerate or put it in the freezer for about 10-15 mins to help it firm up…Truth be told I actually tried using some of the vintaj embossing and decoetch folders like a stamp to see if they work and they do…you just have to make sure that your clay is firm! Hope this helps! :D

  20. SweetBirchDesigns
    SweetBirchDesigns says:

    Gail: I just read that with the silicone molds that are specifically for clay, you just pop out the clay and then bake it! Also, it says that misting your silicone mold with water helps the clay not to stick!

  21. SquirrelGirl aka Angela
    SquirrelGirl aka Angela says:

    Absolutely adorable little owl you’ve created! And your bracelet design is the perfect home for him. I love it! Thank you for all the tips as well as everyone else. I’m trying to soak it all in for future reference! ;)

  22. No Photo
    D Germany says:

    I have been intimated about working with clay. It’s hard to believe this is just your second piece! It’s beautiful! Because of you, I am going to try it.

  23. Gail Layne
    Gail Layne says:

    Thanks ever so much for all the info! I’m sure you saved me a lot of aggravation. I ordered my clay from Amazon Marketplace. They had a ton of colors and the price was really reasonable. Thanks again!

  24. Little Round Chick
    Little Round Chick says:

    Cute, cute, cute both the name and the owl! Love it! :)

  25. Asia
    Asia says:

    This is simply adorable, I had been also successful with enlarging the holes using the Dremel, you don’t need a sealer if you put bake your painted piece again at a slightly lower temp. The folders work very well and the stamps the deeper the better :D

  26. Gail Layne
    Gail Layne says:

    Asia, Great tips! Thanks!!

  27. Crazy Beader
    Crazy Beader says:

    Remarkable owl – - and I enjoyed reading all the info about working with clay. Great design to go with the owl, too – - -

  28. SweetBirchDesigns
    SweetBirchDesigns says:

    Your welcome and thanks to everyone again for the wonderful comments and all the amazing tips! You all are amazing! :D

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