Monday, July 11, 2011

Cool Shades for the Summertime

Summer is heating up and shade is in high demand. These sunglasses are a great clay project when you need to cool off. You can find inspiration at the pool or the beach for a funky set of shades.

Clay (stoneware, terracotta or a non-hardening modeling clay will work)
*Slip (slurry made from old, dry clay and water to use as paste with stoneware or terracotta)
Colored paper, thin craft foam, glitter or metallic wrapping paper for the lenses
Buttons, beads or small ornaments for decoration on the frames

1.       Start with a piece of clay the size of a baseball. Roll four clay coils about five inches long and flatten each of them slightly. Keep a small bit of clay aside to use for decoration on the frames.
2.       Take two of the flattened coils and form them into the sunglass frame shape you want for your glasses. They can be round “John Lennon” frames or funky  cat-eyes. Press the ends together to form the lens.*
4.       For more decoration, make little ornaments like flowers/palm trees, fish or flags and attach on to the outside corner on each side of the sunglasses frame. If you are using non-hardening clay, you can also use buttons, beads or other fun ornaments and press them into the clay.

4. Use the remaining two coils to create the temples of the glasses. You can enhance them by drawing patterns along with pieces with your pencil.
5. Connect the pieces together by blending one of the temples onto each side of the frames.* 
5. If you are using stoneware or terracotta, fire your sunglasses and attach paper or thin craft foam for the lenses of the glasses. I love to use lime green, yellow or gold for the lenses.
6.       If you used non-hardening clay, you can make flat pieces of clay for the lenses and sprinkle glitter on the lenses or use metallic wrapping paper cut to fit in the frames for a mirrored look.

*If you are working with stoneware or terracotta, you will need to use the slip as glue to attach the temples to the frames. Using the pencil, make scratch marks on both surfaces you will be joining. Apply the slip to the piece of clay you are adding and press the piece into place.

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