Thursday, June 23, 2011

How to make a Matryoshka Doll Pendant?

Matryoshka dolls. I have been fascinated with these Russian nesting dolls since I was a child. I remember the hours spent opening them, laying them out in a file and nesting them back again. I have now about 5 or 6  different ones and I am so pleased that my daughter enjoys them now as much as I used to enjoyed them when I was her age.

Some of my Matryoshka dolls

A few weeks ago, my artist friend Adriana from Clay Cat Shop showed me her new line of Matryoshka dolls and I got Matryoshka fever!!!

Clay Cat Shop Line of Pendants - the inspiration!

I so wanted to make my own with images of my 2 kids and of course the kitty. If you want to have your own one, you can follow my how to, or even better and quicker, go to Adriana's Etsy shop and get the real thing. I am so impressed with her art - it is awesome!!!! You can also follow her blog (click here)

So here is my version - I am not sure I have used the right materials as I have not done clay before - I literally went to Michael's store and bought what I thought was going to work!

  • Air Dry Clay (I got a Crayola Pot)
  • Acrylic paint in your favorite colors
  • Finishing Spray - Clear Glaze or Varnish
  • Paper clips
  • Paint brushes
  • Rolling pin        

First you need to make the little hoop for the pendant (you can buy ready made hoops at jewellery making stores - Michael's did not have any I liked so I decided to make my own). Take a paper clip and with some metal clippers, cut  one of the loops off.

With tweezers, bend the legs of the hoop one to each side so when you insert it in the clay it will hold the dry clay and not let your hoop fall off the pendant.

Take your clay and make a small ball in your hand, form the ball into a egg shape.

Carefully flatten the egg a little (you can do it with your fingers or use a rolling pin to be more precise). With your fingers, shape the flatten piece so it looks like the matryoshka shape.

Carefully insert the hoop on the top of the head and reshape if necessary. 

Wet your fingers in water and carefully smooth out all the edges and surface of your little matryoshka pendant. Put in a flat plastic tray or plate and let dry for one or 2 days.

Once dry, you are ready to paint. First draw the main shapes with a pencil - I drew a mom (me), 2 kids and a cat! you can draw whomever you like! that is the beauty of it.

Start painting. I started with the faces and the small details, but then realized that I should have started with the dress (do as I say not as I did!). The reason is that when you then do the dress, you may go over the details by mistake and will have to do the details again. Have fun with your colors and details.

To paint the dress, hold the mathryoska pendant in between your thumb and index finger so you can paint the front and back at the same time. Wait until the paint dries (a minute or so) before putting the doll down again on your table - that way you will not smooch the paint.

To paint the faces use the smallest paint brush you have. For the eyes, do a couple of ovals in white, paint a dot inside on your eye color and then a smaller dot inside that with white. Use brown or black to do eyelashes and eyebrows. Put 2 dots in between the eye and a little lower for the nose and a curved line in red for a mouth. Personalize with freckles and glasses if you like.

Let the doll dry for a day. Now you will use the spray to get a clear varnish on the matryoshka pendant. For this you will have to hang the doll on some sort of rack (I used a file organizer). That way the clear varnish will not have any smudges. Follow the instructions on the can - I put a paper napkin behind the doll so I did not spray varnish all over my table. Let it dry for a day.

Now your matryoshka doll pendant is ready to wear. You can put it on a nice silver necklace! I am sure people will love it!

Thanks so much to Adriana for the inspiration!


Comiendo en LA said...

Que lindos te quedaron; eres una artista!

Adriana (ClayCatShop) said...

Muchas Gracias Carelys :) Muy buenas tus fotos y detallado proceso. Me alegra que te haya inspirado a hacer manualidades de nuevo. :) el porceso creativo es realmente magico! :)

Aqui les dejo el nuevo link en Etsy para las "Matryoshka Family" de ClayCatShop

Todas mis esculturas en clay son 100% hechas a mano, originales y sin moldes, vienen con certificado de autenticidad, firmadas y con el sello de ClayCatShop. Cada una es una pequena obra de arte :)

Un besito y suuuuuper feliz fin de semana!!! :) Seguimos en contacto! :)

Adriana (ClayCatShop)

Adriana (ClayCatShop) said...

Ups! "Proceso" creativo! creo que necesito mi cafe! ;)

Party Artist said...

LOL - Now I want a nice coffee too! Adriana, yours are so much prettier, but anyhow. It was fun to do!

Ana Laura said...

Más que hermosas muchas gracias por compartir!!

Janett-Cocinando/MisManualidades said...

muy lindos!

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