Miniature Succulent Garden on a Glass Jar | Polymer Clay Sculpture | Stephanie Kilgast | Skillshare

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Miniature Succulent Garden on a Glass Jar | Polymer Clay Sculpture

teacher avatar Stephanie Kilgast, Contemporary artist.

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.



    • 3.

      Lid Base


    • 4.

      Sculpting the Plants


    • 5.

      Finishing Touches


    • 6.



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About This Class

A fun project based class where I will guide you through creating a miniature succulent garden on top of a glass jar.
So you can recycle ugly lids into art and embellish your home.

No special skills are needed for this class! It is fit for beginners and for children. 
However, as I am using blades, children need to be supervised if they want to take this class!

I recommend watching these beginners classes first :
- Polymer clay Basics:
- Art and Colors, How to Pick and Compose:

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Lid Base
Sculpting the Plants 
Finishing Touches



Meet Your Teacher

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Stephanie Kilgast

Contemporary artist.


Inspired by natural forms, Stéphanie Kilgast’s artwork is an ode to nature and its current biodiversity. Plants, mushrooms, insects and other animals encounter in a vibrant swirl of colors under her brush or sculpting tools.

Since 2017, in her series “Discarded Objects”, she grows colorful organic sculptures on human-made objects, celebrating the beauty of nature in a dialogue with humanity, questioning the lost balance between human activities and nature.
Her work has a cheerful post apocalyptic feel to it, a reassuring reminder that nature has the capacity to grow back, if we only let it.

She built her reputation and her sculpting skills around hyperrealistic miniature food sculptures. Her wo... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hello, I am Stephanie Kilgast and I have been sculpting professionally for over 10 years. I've also been teaching and wrote a book back in 2013. I'm mostly known for hyper-realistic miniature food. Over in the most recent years, I've been diving into the natural world, replicating nature in very bright and vibrant colors. In today's class, I would like to show you how to recycle your old glass jars and transform them into lovely little succulent gardens. For that, you can use any type of glass jar you have at home. I really would like to encourage you to recycle those who already have, instead of throwing them away, and not by new glass jars for this project. In this project, I'm going to show you how I sculpt the succulents. I have picked very realistic colors for the succulent, however, you can pick and choose which colors you like best. It is a very fun class that's absolutely accessible to beginners, and it is a great project to do with your kids or on your own during these holidays. The assignment for this class is pretty straightforward. I would like you to make your own succulent garden on your glass jar. I also invite you to share your project with the class at the end. For that, you can simply create a project just beneath this class to share pictures of your work. I really hope you will take this class, but more importantly, that you will enjoy it. 2. Materials: For this class, you are going to need some glass jars with metallic lids. Some basic sculpting tools and brushes. Some polymer clay and colors that you like best. I am going to use variations around green, and blue, and some purple. Some good quality acrylic paints in white, resin-based varnish, and optionally universal glue. If you have never used polymer clay before, I would highly suggest that you watch my polymer clay basics class first. You can find it on Skillshare. I left a link in the description box below. If you'd like to use colors that are different from mine, I have a class about colors on Skillshare as well. 3. Lid Base: I picked this glass jar. The first thing I'm doing is to add some clear resin based varnish on top because I know from experience that this works as good as glue. So I use the varnish, the resin based varnish from Cleopatre, that's a French brand. Alternatively, you can also simply add some actual glue on top before the polymer clay, or you can simply sculpt everything on the lid and bake the lid. Then after, you just remove the clay and glue, the clay on top, to be sure, it sticks nicely. If you don't glue it, the clay will not hold onto metal. It's going to keep it in place, but you can easily remove it. Which is fine as well if you're not sure you're want to keep it that way so you don't have to glue it. It makes it more durable, and then wait for it to dry. You're not going to need the glass parts which we're only going to sculpt on top. We're also only going to bake the lid. We are going to start to put some dirt on it. I'm going to use simply brown clay, and put it on top. Depending on your lid, you're going to maybe want to put more or less. I'm just going to fill in the middle. It looks nicer if it's not too perfect so if there are few bumps in there. I am going here for an Earth look and this is why I picked brown. However, if you want to make it look like sand, just use a beige colored clay, and it's going to work just as fine. To texture it, I'm using a toothbrush, and simply pushing it into the clay to give its nice texture. Now, I'm going to work on the plants to put on top. 4. Sculpting the Plants: I picked different colors for the circle ends, I'm going to show you a couple of different shapes that you can do with them. The first shape I'm going to show you is one that looks like a flower. For that, we are going to first roll-out the chosen color into a thick snake. Then we're going to cut slices and I'm going to cut seven. We're going to first form a ball, then pinch one side into a spike. Then we're going to push the ball down and push the sides to have a leaf and then you repeat for all the leaves. So first the tiny ball, then you are pinching one side, then you are pushing down, push on the side and then puts it next to the first one, then repeat until you have a full circle. Once you finished the first circle, you are going to take the snake and then cuts again seven slices of the same thickness. But this time the leaves need to be a little bit smaller so I'm going to simply cut off a bits on each slice and then the same technique applies. First-round, pinch on one side, push down, push the sides and then you want to place it at the intersection of the leaves just below. Now you might want to add a little bit clay in the middle to fill it up and you also wants to pull the other leaves up like so and maybe give them a gentle twist in the middle. Then for the next round, we're going to continue cutting slices, only this time we are going to cut them in two. Again, same technique, but with much smaller balls. For the last round, we are going to cut it even smaller, so the same slice that's cut in four pieces. We are first going to make three leaves and then keep the last one for the middle. The last one, I'm pinching both sides, I flatten it just a bit, I fold in two and I place in the middle and this is how I finish it. Now I don't like here the lines that I made, so I'm just going to smooth that down a little bit. For more natural shape, I'm just pulling the first leaves up. Now I can place this onto my lid, you just want to make sure that you add some liquid clay first and then put it on top and then slightly push it down way you can without destroying the shape. Once you get more confident in your sculpting, you can also sculpts directly onto the earth. Now for the next one, we're going to make plans that resembles the snake plant. It starts like the first one which is starting to cut slices, a little thicker this time. This time we're going to start in the middle and go outside, the leaves also going to be different in shape. We always start out with a ball of clay and then we roll out a thin cone, flatten it and then give it a bend in the middle. This time we're going to work directly onto the clay, onto the earth. Just make sure that you have some space around. We start with a ball, make a cone, flatten it, bend in the center. Now we're adding layers but on the outside. For this one, we're making a flower but much bigger. We're going to cut thick slices and we are starting with five leaves. There are no spikes on this one so just keep it a lot simpler. You want an oval shape. Then you want some bend in the center. Then simply push it down and repeat for the other leaves. Now of course you want to repeat that but with smaller leaves. Now for the inside, I'm going to finish it with three small leaves. I'm going to cut two like so, and just cut them in half. Now for this one we're also going to cut slices, and it's a little bit similar. However, I'm using less leaves for this one. Again, I'm starting with the slices and this time I want to pinch on both sides and then push down. We can already put it wherever we want it to be and just make a circle and add up until we have a finished plant. Again, the next round has slightly smaller leaves, so I'm just cutting some clay off. With the same technique you can achieve very different kinds of looks with the plant by simply changing the color and the shape of the leaves, you can get very different looks for all the plants. To finish this one off, I am simply going to make three tiny leaves in the center. Now the next one is slightly difference, so we're still starting with the slices to make all the leaves. However, this time we are starting from the inside and you are going to work toward something that vaguely resembles a rose. We are making just tiny balls and then pushing them down, be sure to brush off your fingerprints. We are starting with one using a tool or toothpick, you are going to roll it onto itself, like so. Then you are simply going to add around that first roundish, around that first roll, you're simply going to and the other leaves. Once you're happy with the size of your green rows, you're going to twist the bottom slightly and then cut off the excess. Decide where you want to put it onto. I'm going to put one here, brush some liquid clay and then add the rose to your composition. Push down the clay gently to make it stick without destroying the shape. You can give the leaves gentle twist for more realism. Then just keep going until the whole lid is covered. Once you're happy with your composition, you can then add some more texture on there. I like to keep some of the earth visible and so at the end, once the [inaudible] position is done, I am texturing it a little bit more so it looks more natural. You simply poke with a needle tool, it can also be a toothpick or a pin into the clay to make it a little bit crumbly. Once you're happy with your composition, you can bake. 5. Finishing Touches: After baking and cooling off, I'm using some white acrylic paints. To give them their matte appearance, I'm using a dry brush that I dip into white acrylic paint and then I brush over all the sculptures. Once the painting is dry, you want to seal off the acrylic paint and for that, I am using the Dura Clear, Extra Matte from DecoArt, which is a very good varnish. The other option is to brush everything with a thin layer of liquid polymer clay and bake it again, and that will seal off the acrylic paints as well. Polymer clay itself doesn't need sealing, but acrylic paints does, so you do need to either varnish or seal everything with some liquid polymer clay and then let dry again and you are done. 6. Conclusion: Thank you so much for taking this class. I really hope this was insightful that you've learned a lot, and that you had fun with this very specific project. On the same principle of this glass jar, you can also pick and choose other shapes and colors, you may want to watch my other Skillshare classes to get ideas on which shape you could use, to put onto the lid of your glass jar. Don't feel limited by cyclones, if you want to do something else like corals, flowers, leaves, and why not crystals. It will also help a lot the other students to share your project with the class, as sometimes it can be a little bit intimidating to start on a new project. If you would like to share your work on social media, you can also tag me, I go by the Monica petitplat on all social media like Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. Thank you so much for watching this until now, and I hope to see you in my next class. Bye.