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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Life of an Artful Pen from beginning to end, part 1

buttons and text

I wanted to try to give you a glimpse into how I make my Artful Pens.

So here goes.

4 artful pens

The photo above shows 4 of my pens at different stages of it's "life." Pen "A" is the pen before it is embellished, when it is "born." Pen "B" is what the pen looks like after I add the first round of Apoxie Sculpt. During this phase, I want to make sure the pen clip is completely hidden from view. This also gives me a better foundation to build my designs off of. You may notice that I also attached something to the top of the pen cap. This is my little ladybug, which is my "mascot"/theme for my business and my line of work. Within the ladybug I inscribe my initials "CL." Pen "C" is at the stage when I attach my design to the pen itself. And Pen "D" is when my design is coated with a layer of gesso just before painting.

ladybug pen toppen cap top

pen with Apoxie Sculptpen with original pieces

The first photo shows a pen with balls of Apoxie Sculpt. I measure out equal parts of part A and part B of Apoxie Sculpt and then mix both parts together for at least two minutes to ensure that it is mixed thouroughly. If it is not mixed thouroughly, it won't cure/harden properly, not fun. The second photo shows my pen along with a few original pieces made from polymer clay. These "originals" will be used to make silicone molds.

piece glued to plastic sheetback of piece glued to plastic

The two photos above show how I prepare my pieces to be made into molds. I use either clear pieces plastic or thin pieces of cardboard that I save from packaging. There's nothing more exciting than to have a package that can be used to help you out with your projects. I prefer using the plastic since you can see through it. Anyway, I get my plastic and cardboard stash and find sizes that will work well for each piece. Then I grab the good ol' glue gun and add a dollop of glue to my piece and carefully position it on the plastic backing.

pieces ready for silicone mold

Using the backing helps to achieve an "even" edge to the mold. And when I say "even" I use the term very loosely. The photo above shows a few pieces all ready to be molded with silicone.

Stay tuned to my next blog post when I show how I make the molds from silicone.