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All levels of ability

Bold Critters full of personality are ready to jump right off your bench. This masterclass is for those seeking a sense of fun and whimsy in their work making it hard not to chuckle along the way. Using Photopolymer plate-making techniques you'll create your own textures, as well as utilizing found textures to form the Metal Clay body of your favorite critter. This outer layer will be laid over a “backbone” structure creating a hollow form. Using dried to dried construction you'll put the critter together allowing you to explore proper dimensional construction, forming, and carving.

Finally, you will be presented with options for including a gleaming glass eye. Either a premade eye from a professional glass artist will be fired in place in a 2-part firing, or you will learn how to hand paint your own and add it in a cold connection.

UV Kit

  • UV Light

  • (5) 3 x 2/12 steel-backed photopolymer plates,

  • Exposure frame


Material List:

20 g + 5 g Art Clay Fine Silver and 25g  PMC Sterling 925 (We will make our own 960 using a 50/50 mix of the Fine Silver and PMC 925), Your own original drawing or photograph, Borosilicate Glass Eye (test fire to 1250˚ F), buy or bring, UV Light, (5) 2 x 2.75 Steel backed photopolymer plates, Exposure frame, Soft brush, Overhead Projector Sheets compatible with your printer, Black fine tip markers of any 3 sizes, Super Sculpey® Original Polymer Clay (Beige) or Sculpey® Premo (light color), 21 g. Sterling Wire if you are making a pin, #0 Conical rubber shaper, Carving tools or dental tools of your choice, Needle files, Diamond drill bit assortment, Needle files, 1/8” foam paper or applicator for smoothing, 3M polish paper, 400 grit sandpaper, polishing cloth, Rotary tool, Eve® Rubber polishing wheels and knife-edge for Silver, blue (medium), pink (fine) and 3M Radial Bristle Brushes 400 grit to fine for a rotary tool., Basic Tool Kit (whatever you have), Kiln

If painting your own glass eyes:
Vitrea 160 paints, white black, and the colors you want to paint the eye.
Glass cabochons the size you want for the eyes.
Aves Apoxie Clay (2 part epoxy clay)

Whimsical Critters Master Tutorial by Holly Gage

  • Lessons are in a PDF format are for students who need no teacher guidance with the lesson. You do, however, have an option to purchase a 1 hr. question and answer session by appt.

    To purchase a private session in addition to the self guided lesson, select the "A Private Session with Holly Gage." separately. You can select how many sessions you would like. Sessions are live on the Go to Meeting platform. This option is for seeking answers to questions and have an interest in seeing  Holly Gage perform select demonstrations.

    ©2021 Gage Designs. All rights reserved. This lesson and information within are protected under copyright law. Sharing or reproduction in whole or part are prohibited.

  • Each tutorial suggests what Metal Clay to use, but you can use the clay you choose with these guidelines in mind since clay preference is an individual choice.

    I tend to use Metal Clay with a good melting surface, which means adding water to eliminate imperfections on the greenware surface makes an excellent "self slip" that you can move around with a brush or healing tool to smooth the surface. Many of the lessons use this technique.

    Since PMC Sterling is discontinued, the handmade 960 (1/2 PMC Sterling and 1/2 Art Clay Silver) you see in some lessons can be replaced with another strong clay with good carving properties — 950, 960, Sterling Clays, and Base Metal Clays that carve smoothly without chipping.

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