If you work from home, chances are you don't have a nameplate on your desk to let people know your title, your specialty, or just your regular old name. As a freelancer or small business owner, you know how to hustle. You're in charge of everything from product design to marketing to the shipping department and when things get rowdy, you're the one that has to keep it under control. You have a lot on your proverbial plate. While there may not be many warm bodies crowding around your at-home water cooler to discuss office gossip, you still deserve a bold nameplate that announces how important you are around there.
You don't have to be the boss of anyone to make a statement, though. Create your own sculptural phrase and let people know how creative you really are because look at what you just added to your mantel! You know your way around a roll of wire and there is no stopping you now. Honestly, you should just pin this under your 'Things to Make and Gift at Christmas' board because now all of your friends will wish they had their own name, title, catchy phrase resting on their mantels, too.
-oven bake clay—Sculpey brand is my favorite because it's soft enough to make you not want to cuss as you work it into your preferred shape. You can purchase small or large packs depending on how many you're making or how large you want them. I used about four 2 oz packs on each of my nameplates.
-artistic wire—Different gauges will be easier to bend. 16 gauge was thick but it also makes it trickier to work with. 18 is easier and 20 is the easiest depending on your phrase. You can find these at most hobby stores.
-acrylic paint and paintbrush
-pliers or something round to help with shaping (optional)
Step One: Using your wire and possibly a pair of pliers and another round object, shape your word or phrase. The 18 and 16 gauge wire is easy to smooth out if you make a mistake, so it's a great option for your first try. The thicker wire is a little less forgiving, so shape carefully. My first word didn't turn out how I wanted, but I nailed it on my third try. I suggest working with short words unless you have a lot of clay. Keep in mind that the width of your word needs to be about 1" less than the width of your clay base.
Step Two: Turn on your oven and set the temperature to the manufacturer's instructions. Roll out and shape your soft clay so that it's about 1" wider than your wire word. I rolled mine into a cylinder and then flattened all of the edges using a metal lid and the surface of the table to create a long rectangular shape.
Step Three: Carefully insert your wire phrase into the clay to create holes for it to rest in. You can gently make an impression and then use different wire to poke into the clay so you don't bend anything out of shape, too. Then follow manufacturer's instructions for baking time and bake your clay block. Once it's out and cooled off, paint it with acrylic paint.
Switch 'boss' out with a longer phrase and you've got a fun sculptural piece to style in your studio. Switch it out with a new baby's name and you've got a thoughtful gift for a new mama. Basically, you could take this one in a few different directions and have a winner every time. Enjoy! -Rachel