Sculpt Miniature Mushroom Earrings from Polymer Clay | Stephanie Kilgast | Skillshare

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Sculpt Miniature Mushroom Earrings from Polymer Clay

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.

      Mushroom Cap


    • 4.

      Mushroom Into Earrings


    • 5.

      Mushroom Stems


    • 6.



    • 7.



    • 8.



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About This Class

A fun project based class where I'll guide you through making your own mushroom earrings using polymer clay.
These could also make a fun gift for your loved ones!

I am a professional sculpter who has been sculpting since 2008, and I will guide you through easy to follow steps with simple tools so you can make your very own pair of mushroom earrings.

The class is built as follows :
- Introduction
- Supplies
- Making the Mushroom Cap
- Mushrooms into Earrings
- Making the Mushroom Stems
- Highlighting
- Sealing
- Final Words

Once you have finished your project, please share it with the class!
If you want to share it on social media, tag me @petitplat and use the hashtag #petitplatclasses

Have fun!

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All music by Amarante
Ultraviolet (Instrumental), Elapsed Euphoria (Instrumental), Good Morning Fire Eater (I AM Somebody vs Copeland - Amarante Cover), My Dark Side (Instrumental), Enchanting the Enchanterer (Instrumental)

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. Intro: Hello, my name is Stephanie Kilgast and I am a contemporary artist and I mostly sculpt with polymer clay. I have been sculpting since 2008 and I have run a successful Etsy shop where I would sell miniature for jewelry, and I have made over 6,000 sales. I also wrote a book where I explain how to sculpt miniature food around the theme of holidays, so about Christmas, Easter, Halloween, but also birthdays and weddings. You can find my book on my websites. More recently, I have focused on my artistic research, and right now I am interested in the dialogue between human-made objects like tin cans or found objects, onto which I grow very colorful, erotic, and often surrealistic natural growth like mushrooms and crystals. I'm also exploring the same theme in watercolors. If you're interested in following my work and seeing what I do on a daily basis, I use most social media and I always use the same moniker which is petitplat. For the record, petitplat means little plate in French because at the beginning I was sculpting solely miniature food. You can find me on Instagram, where I have more than 100,000 followers. On Facebook where more than 32,000 followers. But also on Twitter, which I don't really use, it's just synced with the other accounts. But if you really like Twitter, that might be an option for you, and I also have a YouTube channel. Today I want to share with you a project-based class, and I decided to explain how to make mushroom earrings. Mushrooms are the heart of my artwork these days, so I have sculpted tons of them. There are so many out there that it's easy to play around with shapes and colors of the natural world. I am going to guide you through easy steps with simple tools that you probably have at home already, to create this fun and trendy earrings. This would also make great gift for someone you love. Once you've made the project and your own earrings, I would love to see them. So if you happen to post them on social media, please tag me and use the #petitplatclasses. I really hope you will take this class. If you do, grab your clay, a toothpick, an exacto knife, wire, and a cutting plier, and let's dive in. 2. Supplies: These are the supplies we're going to need for this class. I am using some translucent cernit or fimo, some fimo whites, and some red. I brought out different shades of red and some liquid clay. We are also going to need some acrylic paint. These are all going to work out and not bleed into your clay. If you have one acrylic paint and are not sure about it, I would recommend that you try them out first. These are all tested so no problem all of them. But if you have something else, test it before to see if it bleeds. As for the tools, we're going to need a blade, a brush, a toothpick or a needle pin, a clay shaper, although you could go away with using just the toothpick. Then we're also going to need an X-Acto knife, a diamond filer to file the earrings at the end, and some sandpaper. For the earring findings, I'm using some silver wire, cutting plier, and a round-nose plier. 3. Mushroom Cap: Now, for the mushroom caps, we are going to start with two balls of clay. I used red, but you can use whatever color you like, and you are going to push all the sides down to form a dome. Then you are going to texture it with some sandpaper all around, and it also helps to shape the dome a little bit better. Here, just another angle to see how I go from a round ball to a dome, so I push all around. Then I use the sandpaper to give it some texture and just you readjust the shape. Don't worry if it's not perfect, we are making something that is natural and organic, so a little bit of imperfection is fine. Then I'm simply adding some indents into the mushroom cap. As usually in real life, mushroom caps tends to break. I readjust with the sandpaper if needed. Repeat the same on the other mushroom cap. Then I'm adding the tiny bits of white onto the I'm Amanita mushroom because this is what we're doing here. For that, I use some white clay, so I'm mixed white and transluscent in equal parts. I did the same for the red. I always mix half translucence to half a color. That way it doesn't look as plasticky than if you use the color by itself. For these mushrooms, I simply add little bits of clay using a needle tool. However, if you don't have any tool at home, a toothpick will do the job just fine, or even a needle, or a pin. It is good to use reference pictures for this so you know where to place your dots. Repeat on the other one. Here, just a different angle of view to see how it's done and simply repeat that same process on the other mushroom cap. 4. Mushroom Into Earrings: To transform your mushrooms into earrings, we're going to need some wire, a ruler and a cutting pliers. I am using sterling silver wire simply because it is one of the most requested wire from customers. I cut out two pieces of six centimeters, that I am going to use for the earrings. I use these pieces of wire to punch holes into the mushroom caps before baking, so simply push it down, move it a little bit around so there's enough space. I place the mushroom caps onto tiny mosaic tiles and then bake them into my ef color stove, which is a candle oven and is really handy. It's a candle oven that is for baking and it is from the brand EF color. 5. Mushroom Stems: After baking the mushroom caps, you are going to put the wire through the hole you did previously. So simply push it through and sometimes it's a little bit tighter, so you might need a pliers to push it through. Then create a loop on the downside of the mushroom cap. This will ensure that the earring finding will stay in place after baking, and so you want to lose the earring finding or it won't get out of the mushroom earring. [MUSIC] Do the same on the other mushroom cap. [MUSIC] Then brush some liquid clay on the bottom of the mushroom cap. For the gills, I make a tiny ball of white clay and I simply push it onto the cap. I smooth it down on all sides. For the stem, I rolled out a cylinder of white clay. I cut one side. I brush some liquid clay onto the stem and then I push it onto what is going to be the gills. Then using any kind of tool you have at home. So even a toothpick, gently push the clay from the stem down onto the gills. Here I am using a clay shaper, but again, you can use any kind of tool. I often use metallic tools for that. Now for the gills themselves, what we are going to do is to push lines into the clay. So you need a tool or something that can draw very thin lines. Here I got a little creative. Usually I use a spatula tool, a handmade tool, but it's not available anymore. So I used the back of an X-Acto knife to make those fine lines. However, it might be a ruler or you could also draw the lines with the pin or a needle. So just get a little creative and find what could suit your need if you don't always have the exact tool that I have. Sculpting usually is lot about finding the right tool and once you have something you like, you tend to use just that one. [MUSIC] Here I am using a needle pin just to show you what you could do with things you have lying around the house. So again, no need to buy tools if you don't have them, usually with a bit of creativity and if you open your eyes, you can find a lot of non generic tools at home to work with. [MUSIC] For the mushroom ring, also called the annulus, what I do is to sink a very thin tool. So here I am using my X-Acto knife, but I usually use a spatula knife. I sink the tool under the skin, so to speak of the mushroom, to create that kind of skirt looking like rings. I hope the video is little bit more clearer than what I'm trying to say here, but it's really is a simple way of doing it. Then I texture all sides. [MUSIC] I repeat everything on the other mushroom earring. Basically, what you want to keep in mind is to take your time if you want a very realistic results as realism comes with a lot of details and details usually take time. This is the key to making good-looking mushrooms if you want a realistic look. Just take your time and finish sculpting you mushrooms. I will get back to you after baking. [MUSIC] For the baking, I recommend putting your mushrooms onto some papers so they stay months after baking. 6. Highlighting: After baking and cooling off, I am adding some paints. I use acrylic paints from various brands that I have all tested before, so I know they're not going to bleed into my clay. Here I am using brown puzzling paint from Pebeo, which is a really good brand. I have never had issues with bleeding into the clay. It's a craft acrylic paint, it's not too expensive. It's easily found in France, but I also heard it's easy to find in the USA. What I do is simply to brush over all the gills as to highlight all the details. You just want to be sure to be dry brushing so you don't use any water. You dip your dry brush into the acrylic paint, and then you remove most of the paint from the brush by simply brushing it over the tile before applying it to the polymer clay. Otherwise, you are going to end up with too much paint and you are not going to be able to remove it and brush over all the imperfections that you sculpted before to highlight them. To form the earring findings, what I use a pen or a tool, and I am simply going to push both wire around the tool to round it up. Then this is really important, you want to file the tips of the wire so the ends are smooth. Because if you don't do that, you might hurt your ears when wearing them. 7. Sealing: When using acrylic paint or dry pastels onto polymer clay, I highly suggest to seal everything. The best way of sealing some medium onto the polymer clay is to use a layer of liquid polymer clay. Polymer clay itself doesn't need any sealer. You might want to use varnishes, and if you want a shiny or a dead matte look, but it's not a necessity. However, sealing the acrylic paint is necessity. So what I am doing is simply use a brush. I always use with liquid clay, and I simply brush thin layer of liquid clay onto all mushrooms, and then I bake again. After baking, you might want to vanish if you want a glacier look. That's pretty much it. 8. Outro: For the final tips, you might find it difficult to get the right amount of detail, if this is your first sculpting class. I would suggest to try and redo the earrings before baking. It's clay. if it looks ugly, just smoosh it down, and redo it over, and over again. That being said, you don't want to get crazy about it either. I think it's really crucial to finish a project, and not just be disappointed, and never finish it. You have to remember, we all have to start somewhere. It's okay if your project is not as good as you wanted to be. Because the next one is going to be better. The more you practice, the better you will become. You can also play around with colors, acrylic paints, and drivers tells to color your mushroom camps. I have another class about mushroom sculptures, that really dive in to those specific adults, mediums. I would highly suggest that you take that class as well. Once you've made your earrings and if you are sharing it on social media, don't forget to tag me at petitplat, and to use the hashtag, petitplat classes. You won't miss my new classes. Don't forget to follow me here on Skillshare. Right now, I am posting about two classes per month. Once you subscribed to my channel, you will get instant notification every time I post a class. Thank you so much for taking this class. While you're here, maybe check out my other Skillshare classes. I really hope to see you in my next one. Bye.