For a long time I have thought that plunge cutters, used for sugar art in baking, would be great for shaping clay. I had used air-drying clay before and although it was easy to use, the finished results were quite brittle and the edges not very smooth so I decided to try something else. It had to be readily available, preferably in a range of colours and strong once set. I had got it in my head that it had to be something sophisticated, when I thought of clay and I had in mind that it would be quite hard and must be quite difficult to use. But it couldn’t be simpler… FIMO!
When I was a kid I used Fimo to make little models it always set really well but probably because of that association I’ve never seen it as a great raw material but I gave it a try and it’s perfect! Yes it might be for kids or seem too simple but if you just see it as a material it fulfils what’s needed and is a great clay.
Here’s how I made my brooches.You will need:
Choose your Fimo, it comes in a huge range of colours and even with effects like glow in the dark.
Roll a small amount into a ball.
Roll it out into a smooth circle to fit your cutter. Keep it around 3-4mm thick so that it will be strong once it’s been fired.
The plunge cutters are essentially just like a normal baking cutter but they also have a design on a second surface that you plunge down onto the clay to leave an impression. Once your clay is rolled out choose which cutter you’d like to use.
First press it onto the clay and then use the plunger to imprint the design.
With the design imprinted it should look like this.
Once made, follow the instructions on the Fimo for how long you should fire them. Mine took 30mins and then they were really strong and durable, which is really important since they’ll get a lot of ware.
Then all you need to do is attach the brooch finding (fastenings) neatly with a glue gun and you’re done.
I even made some lovely yellow leafs too!
You can find more of my hand illustrated and clay brooches in my online shop.