Sometimes I just have to experiment just to see if something is going to work or not. That’s what I did today. In this article I am going to show you the process I went through to create a beautiful black and white polymer clay Mandala. I say it’s an experiment because the mold I will be using is technically for liquid bakeable sculpey clay. But I’ll be using Sculpey III oven bake clay.
What is a Mandala?
Per Wikipedia, Mandala is defined as : A geometric configuration of symbols. In various spiritual traditions, mandalas may be employed for focusing attention of practitioners and adepts, as a spiritual guidance tool, for establishing a sacred space and as an aid to meditation and trance induction.
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You may have heard of a dream catcher. This is a form of Mandala. In some Native American cultures a dream catcher is a handmade willow hoop with a woven net or web. The dream catcher may also include sacred items such as certain feathers or beads. Traditionally they are often hung over a cradle as protection.
What will we need for our Polymer Clay Mandala
Pictured are the supplies we’ll need to create our Mandala. I’ll be using a Sculpey Mandala Silicone Mold. It also comes with a plastic scraper. We’ll need an acrylic roller, black and white (or colors of your choice) polymer clay, and I am working on a 6 inch by 6 inch ceramic tile. We will also be using a round polymer clay cutter that is slightly larger than the Mandala mold.
The first thing we will want to do is use our pasta roller to roll the black clay out on its thickest setting, which for my pasta roller is number 1. For the white piece I rolled it out to number 6. I want the white clay to be rather thin. Cut both pieces of clay to about 1 centimeter larger than the Mandala mold.
The first thing to do is lay the white piece of clay over the preferred area of the mold. You really only need your clay to be as large as the mandala you choose. I had to cut mine down a bit. Then I placed it over the mandala mold and pressed it into the mold. You can use the acrylic roller but I also used my fingers to press it down.
Once you have it pressed in all the areas of the mold, use the plastic scraper to remove the excess clay. To do this hold the scraper at about a 45 degree angle. I started in the middle and scraped one side and then I did the same on the other side wiping the clay off of the scraper after each swoop. If you notice any areas that do not have clay, you can use the scraper to fill those areas in.
You will most likely end up with clay on the outside of the mandala. You will want to remove any excess clay. I use a cotton towel. You could probably use a paper towel for this as well. (I have an abundance of towels from my place of employment)
Now you have the white polymer clay in the Mandala mold. The perimeter of the mold is all cleaned up. And you are ready for the next step. Take the piece of black clay and lay it over the Mandala with the white clay in it.
Using your acrylic roller, carefully roll over the black clay. I say carefully because this can be slightly tricky. The first time I did it the black clay ended up rolling with the roller. I just had to reposition the black clay and change the way I was putting pressure on it. At first I started in the middle of the piece and worked my way out. Then it was secured enough that I could just roll it as I normally would. Put enough pressure on it to the black clay is able to “grab” the clay in the mold.
Now you can peak under to make sure the black “grabbed” the white clay. In this case, it was a success.
Remove the remainder of the white clay from the mold. And now you see the Mandala on the black clay. (pretty cool!) You will notice around the edge on the black clay there is white clay from the surrounding sites. This won’t matter, you’ll see why in the next step.
Now you will want to use the round clay cutter. As you may remember (if you read the post on Creat a Polymer Clay Pendant in 6 Easy Steps) I place cling wrap over my piece. This will help create smooth rounded edges for our Mandala. Place the cutter over the Mandala being careful to center the mandala in the cutter.
Press down firmly and give it a little wiggle to be sure you have a nicely cut edge. Remove the cutter and now you have a very nice polymer clay mandala.
But of course we aren’t done quite yet. Now we’ll want to bake our mandala according to the manufacturers instructions for the clay you are using. I almost always use Sculpey clay. I bake mine on 275 degrees for 30- 40 minutes depending on the thickness of my piece. This mandala piece is not very thick so I baked it for 35 minutes. But be sure to check the instructions for your clay you are using.
Once your clay has been baked you may need to sand and buff the edges. If you haven’t seen my post on How to Sand and Buff Polymer Clay Pendants, feel free to check it out.
I normally love to resin my pieces but I prefer to be able to see and feel the definition in this piece. I will add a decorative bail to this pendant and a black cord necklace. Once that is done your polymer clay mandala pendant is complete.
This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclaimer for more information.
In this post I showed you my experiment which was to create a polymer clay mandala pendant using a mandala silicone mold and Sculpey III oven bake clay. I used black and white clay but as far as colors go the options are endless. Here is a picture of a black on red polymer clay mandala. Overall I would say my experiment was a success!
I would love for you to leave a comment below and let me know what color variations you would like to see in a mandala. You may also follow me on Instagram to see my other polymer clay creations.
If you find you have clay stuck in other areas of the mold, you can simply take a small bit of clay and dab those areas. The stuck clay will in turn stick to the small bit of clay in your hand. You’ll be left with a very neat and tidy silicone mold.