Google+ StrebeDesigns: Feelin' Groovy Covered Bottle - Simply Unpredictable

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Feelin' Groovy Covered Bottle - Simply Unpredictable

This is my entry for the Polymer Clay Guild of Etsy (PCAGOE) April challenge with the theme "something covered".

Feelin' Groovy covered bottle
6" tall, each side is about 2 1/2" wide

I have been collecting cool glass jars and bottles for awhile now and when this challenge came up I decided it was a good time to start to upcycle some of them and give them a new life.  I had so many I liked, mmm which to choose?

Stash of glass to cover

I really like the rosy and blue bottles (saki bottles) but I don't think I want to use much clay on those because they are so beautiful by themselves.  For this challenge the object had to be at least 50% polymer clay so they were not going to work.  I finally decided on a balsamic vinegar bottle from Trader Joe's.

Trader Joe's balsamic vinegar bottle

I chose it because the flat sides work perfectly for what I had in mind.  I wasn't sure exactly what I was going to do (no drawing first this time!).  But I did know I wanted something unpredictable, nothing neat and lined up and symmetrical.

I decided to combine two techniques I recently learned from the Polymer Clay Adventure series.  The techniques involved "Cane Mutiny" with Teresa Pandora Salgado and "Polymer Painting" with Suzanne Ivester. I love the organic work of Salgado's cane work.  Freedom to stretch, twist, is so much fun.  From Ivester I learned how to slice your "canvas" and place what you want where you want it.  Then flatten to a smooth painterly look.  So I started by making some cool organic canes.

In progress

Once the canes were made I sliced them in varying thicknesses.  Some very thick ones I flattened with the pasta machine and ended up with a very large "pedal" to make big "flowers" as a base.  I put these words in quotes, because these are strictly my "pedals" and "flowers" all made up! When I wanted to add a smaller shape over the larger one, I would simply carve the shape of the smaller shape out of the larger one and fill the gap with the new shape - as in polymer painting.  I kept doing this repeatedly on all sides, sometimes layering four and fives times to get the organic look I was after.

I made two tops for the bottle, the one shown in the first photo is mounted on a cork, the top pictured below is all polymer clay.

Second top made from all polymer clay

More side views:

Showing both tops

This bottle and other similar items are available in my shop StrebeDesigns.

Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing my story.  I would love to hear your comments.


  1. Wow! Betsy, love to see your process. I also really like the workshops on the polymer clay adventures. I've been distorting my canes from the beginning. lol Now, this gives me a reason to say, I meant to do that!

  2. I love the feel of this piece, the color palette and cane patterning really appeal to me! And as always, love seeing your work process!