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Old 11-06-2012, 02:14 PM   #1
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Default Christmas Trees

Here are 2 blue ribbon winning versions of the 4 sided tree from SSWC
It's only 1 sided with a 4 sided base.
The first one is cut only
The second is cut then the holes are filled with clay and baked.
Total creation time is about 70 hours.
1/4" Baltic Birch Ply
Hunter Green Paint
Bake-2-Harden Clay.
Clear Poly Urethane Finish
Looks cool under black light.
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File Type: jpg Christmas Tree.jpg (50.7 KB, 74 views)
File Type: jpg Decorated Christmas Tree.jpg (42.4 KB, 79 views)
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Old 11-06-2012, 02:38 PM   #2
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I like them both but really like your thinking on the clay filled one.
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Old 11-06-2012, 02:53 PM   #3
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That is very cool! I'd like to hear more about the process for filling the frets with clay. I'm thinking there is a lot of creative potential there.
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:05 PM   #4
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I like both of them. I would be interested in how you did the clay too. I was thinking about trying something similar but was not sure if the clay would stain the wood.
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:22 PM   #5
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I love the clay filled one! (BUT they are both wonderful!)
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:58 AM   #6
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They both look great, But the clay filled one is really nice. You would think the clay would shrink when baked an fall out
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:13 PM   #7
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Wilson View Post
That is very cool! I'd like to hear more about the process for filling the frets with clay. I'm thinking there is a lot of creative potential there.
Thanks for the comments,

Ok let me see if I can make this as painless as possible.

The clay was an experiment... It is "Non-Shrinking" Bake-able purchased at Jo Anne Fabrics I believe, but I'm sure any big craft store will have it.

After cutting the piece...I painted it with good Krylon Paint Let it dry for 24 hrs.

Then I applied 2 coats of Min-Wax Spray Shellac on each side letting it dry for several hours between coats.

Now comes the fun part...
I used an old cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil...
I took a piece of clay and rolled it in my hands to soften... Taking a small amount of the clay... I pressed it into the fret as hard as I could... keeping pressure on the tree so it stays flat against the cookie sheet. After filling the hole I picked the tree up and "CAREFULLY" used a razor blade and scraped off the excess from both sides of the tree being careful not to scratch the paint. Sometimes there is a film residue around the fret depending on how much squeeze out there was. Usually a careful light scraping will remove this. Just try not to use more clay than you need for the fret.

After several hours of carefully adding the clay... I followed the instructions on the clay package and baked it... Let it cool...then coated it again with a clear finish like urethane or whatever. The clay becomes hard and your done!

Sounds easy but it's not...filling all the holes and frets takes a long time especially in this piece that has over 200 cuts and holes. The little holes on the edge are the hardest but really adds the detail.

Picking a place to start is important!!! you want to do the parts where you are likely to mix the clay colors accidentally and working away from there.

You will probably have to scrape excess clay off the same fret/hole several times because you may get another color in it by mistake or have residue on your fingers, or leave finger prints, or squeeze some out of another hole while pressing a new color in.

Rest assured you can do a final scraping before baking to remove any mistakes.

I'm not sure if something like "In-Lace" or some other epoxy would look better but I'm sure it would be tough to keep the colors from running out the back side and either mixing or covering the piece completely.

I will probably never do another one of the trees again but who knows????

If you have done something similar or have any suggestions..PLEASE POST THEM.

I hope that helps
Rick
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:25 PM   #8
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Nicely done. Only thing you need to be aware of is the clay gives off oils and fumes so a dedicated oven would be nice, I use a toaster oven myself when I do work with the clay. Thanks for sharing it with us. Never thought of black light... hmmmm...



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