Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Jeweled Strongbox

I like fantasy and medieval decor items. When I was looking for a way to feature some of the faux gems that I had learned to make, I came across an old cigar box in my craft supples. So I decided to make a small strongbox.

To accomplish this, I used polymer clay,
faux cabochon gems set in medallions, and a little paint. I’m afraid my photographic diary of the project is somewhat incomplete but I’ll show you what I have.

First of all, I needed to made polymer clay corners for the box. So I made a template from which I could cut the clay.

I wanted each corner to fit perfectly but I also wanted to paint the box. I have fired clay attached to wooden objects before. The flashpoint of wood is higher than the cooking temperature of the clay so this will work as long as you are mindful when baking it. However, I didn’t want to apply the clay to the painted box because I didn’t know what the oven would do to my paintjob.

So I made some handy foil corners onto which I could build the corner clay pieces. The clay can be baked over the foil and the foil peeled off afterward, allowing me to paint the box and then adhere the clay pieces later.

The foil is formed like hospital corners so the folds are along the edges of the wood.

Once I had the first corner covered in foil, I made the clay corner piece by cutting out the previously created pattern out of a smooth sheet of clay. This was placed on the corner and the joined edge smoothed before embellishing.

Then I made the other four corners.

The bottom corners had just two sides each and were made in the same way as the corners.

I also made smaller cabochon medallions for the four vertical sides. I baked all of these, setting the box with its corners on a large glass pan. The medallions were all baked on a glass pan as well.

When it was done and the box cooled, I took off the foil, painted the box, and glued the embellishments to it.

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