Making the Amber Winds Candle Holder

My first candle holder design is going to be that of a silhouetted tree with it's leaves blowing in the wind. As you have probably guessed by now I really like the design of a tree caught in the wind with it's leaves blowing away ;-). This candle holder is 3" tall. I begin with a simple sketch taped to the inside of the glass acting as my guide. Each branch and twig are rolled by hand and carefully pressed on.

All the branches have been added and the trunk is filled out.

Time to form the leaves. I start with the veins, using two large blunt ended upholstery needles, I bend them into shape, add the sides and then with gentle nudges, I give the leaves their contour.

Six leaves have been added. Now I place the border. The thin bands are extruded and then the end pieces are hand shaped and textured.

Adding the final leaf.

Next I brush on a bit of dark gold mica powder for a pearly effect. Mica powder sticks wonderfully to raw clay. Then the glass goes into the oven for about 45 minutes.

The glass is cooled and I combine the "amber". It is easy enough to fill in the background and sides, but the leaves are a bit tricky. The clay smears over the leaves hiding the fine detail.

To clean things up, I brush over the tree and leaves with rubbing alcohol. The alcohol softens and dissolves the clay and the mess can be simply wiped away.

A final trip to the oven and the candle holder will be done.

And here it is finished.

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  1. Really Really pretty, great technique.

  2. how did you blend the amber effect? I would love to try to recreate a gem for steampunk piece I have that lost it's acrylic gem at my last DragonCon

    1. I don't have an exact recipe for this mix—I just mixed until it looked the way I wanted it. The polymer clays I used are Sculpey 3 and Premo. I used a large portion of translucent clay which I cut into chunks with a ripple blade and then I added some gratings of yellow/pearl (a combination of cadmium yellow and pearl that I mixed myself), sweet potato/gold (another combination I mixed myself using sweet potato and a little gold), and a little copper. Then I gathered it up and kneaded and twisted gently until I got a swirling pattern. It's really very easy, just be careful not to mix too much or you'll lose the swirling and translucency.

      Hope it works for you. And if you have any more questions, ask away! :-)