The making of this FIMO tile for the FIMO 50 World Project

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FIMO is celebrating its 50th birthday this year and has asked polymer clay enthusiasts to contribute 10x10cm tiles with a design of their choice for their Fimo 50 World Project. The idea is to create a globe with all tiles and each tile will be auctioned off for a good cause. For more details about this click here.  I am pretty late with my own FIMO tile as I have been so busy with my sculptures. The deadline for sending off the actual tile is at the end of April.

Fimo tile
“Underwater World”

I first had to come up with an idea of what I wanted on my tile – as I am still in sculpting mode it had to have sculpted elements. I am following a group on Facebook where people show off their tiles and there are some stunning tiles to admire – which meant I had to make sure mine was good enough!

I asked friends what I should make as I was torn between sloths, cats (no surprises here!) and an underwater picture. They thought the latter was a great idea.

First I made a rough sketch and cut out a cardboard tile with the exact measurements to measure out the clay.

Though Staedtler’s website doesn’t really specify what brand of clay you can use I decided to use FIMO – I still have loads of very old Classic and some Soft FIMO left and haven’t tested their new Professional range yet (though I only heard good things from my suppliers). Using the old blocks caused a bit of an issue. I don’t know how many years old these packs of FIMO were, but conditioning was a right pain! Thank God I have a motor for my pasta machine. After I had chosen the colours I wanted to use I started conditioning and spent a whole afternoon just doing that! The worst was actually the blue, red and yellow. I ended up with blue hands!

Blue hands - turning into a smurf!
Blue hands – turning into a smurf!

The next step was creating the water and sand. For this I marked the line on my paper tile and cut it (I actually did this twice as I wasn’t happy with the first one). I then cut each colour individually with the help of the cardboard stencil and attached them carefully.

Underwater World - background
Underwater World – background

The next step was creating the seahorses – for those I used a mould I made from an existing charm. Again I had to make extra moulds, because I wasn’t happy with how they turned out. I accentuated the lines which didn’t come out so well, added tiny beads for the eyes and dusted them with Mica powder (apart from the orange one).

Then I worked on the starfish which were really fiddly – and I tried various ways to make them. I used tiny round cutters to create the dots on them. Then I made the shells and nautili. The final piece was also the most difficult one – my octopus. For the purple seahorse and the octopus I had to mix the purple first and made the mistake of using red and blue – which just turned to some dark mud colour. I used that colour for the backing of the tile. Luckily I found some Magenta in my stash and mixed that with the blue, which worked well. However, creating the octopus to actually fit the tile turned out to be a real challenge. I am not a miniaturist – but I admire people who can work at a very small scale. It took me 3 or 4 attempts to get it to the right size. I was in two minds whether I wanted to add tiny suckers, but decided less is more. Instead I wanted to give the octopus a bit more colour and added the tiny yellow dots.


The final piece I made for the tile was the coral. And then it was time to assemble the tile. For this I put a piece of easy-leave roll you normally use for wrapping and freezing food. I use this also to keep my opened clay fresh. As it is see through I could easily decide where to place all components. I also asked my husband what he thought. Only when I was happy enough with the composition of the piece I actually attached the pieces and baked the tile.

After baking I added another layer to the back and my signature.

Back of the tile
Back of the tile

As I used Mica powders I needed to either varnish or spray the tile – I opted for the spray I have which is quite similar to PYM which you can’t get in the UK. The product I have came from Germany courtesy of my sister, who brought it a few years ago when she came to visit us.

I hope you like my effort.

Let me know below.

Thanks for reading 🙂

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