I got my most recent craft kit of the month club and couldn't wait to start it. This is the picture on the instructions of what it should look like when done. Seems easy enough. Paint the frame white & then add a coat of thinned peach paint, as a wash, over the white. Then press the enclosed 'clay' into the molds & let dry, paint the leaves and glue them to the frame. While this frame shows the orange paint sponged on, I preferred to paint mine on and I like how that part came out. I was stoked to do the leaves.
This is the 'clay' and the mold I got. It's not really clay, but more like a very soft plastic foam that air dries as soon as it's removed from the package. I do like the medium and I have tons leftover, so I've got it in the ziplock bag it came in, stored in a small & sealed tupperware container. It took a few tries to figure out how much of the stuff to use in the molds. My first leaves were awful, but this clay goes a long way so you only need a little bit to fill the molds. They popped out with some prying after they air dried for a couple of hours.
And that's when I realized that my project wasn't going to look anything like the leaves in the photo. This mold should have been inverted. The photo clearly shows leaves with the stem channels recessed into the clay. The green paint pooled beautifully in those lines. Scroll up and look at the picture again. My leaves, however, were going to have raised stems. I thought about pressing the clay onto the back of the mold, but I'd end up with concave leaves.
Painting the dried leaves went OK I guess. I like how the paint looks in the picture vs. what I did. I thinned it with water as instructed, but mine didn't quite blend as well. Maybe I should have done a second darker coat but I didn't. Then I had to paint the raised stems and veins and that was hard. It took a steady hand and a teensy brush to apply the green and I glopped it in a few places when the brush inevitably slipped down the side. I think I was even holding my breath to keep my hand has steady as possible.
And the close up of mine.
Am I happy with it? Um....not so much. I haven't decided what I want to do with it. The leaves have more of a dried-foam, spongy consistency than what one would think of when hearing 'clay leaves'. I have a feeling this might end up in the pile to go to the thrift shop. I will play around with the plastic medium some more before it dries out and see what else I can do with it!