Tips and Tutorials:
How to make an Utena Duellist's Ring
You will need:
One silver (or silver-coloured) ring of the correct size for the wearer (see below)
A fineline black waterproof marker pen
Now the big problem with this one is sourcing the materials, the actual making is fairly easy.
First you need to find a ring. It needs to be approximately the right shape for the job and ideally it needs to have a circular hole for the pink rose seal to be inserted. If you can't find one with the right shape you might have to drill out the hole for the seal, in which case make sure the ring is silver metal all the way through or it'll be really obvious/tarnish later. DO NOT USE PLASTIC. You're going to put the ring in the oven.
I've searched high and low and the best rings I've found for the job are sold by a Mexican ebay seller called 'sombrafuentes' and are actually Green Lantern rings. But if you can do better best of luck!
Now you have your ring, you need to prepare it to receive the seal. If it already has a circular hole, great. If not, you may need to drill one out (this relies on you having a friend/relative who is good at DIY). It's important that the hole is truly circular, because it is very obvious once you've filled it with pink clay if it's not!
Mix up some pink polymer clay to the right shade for the rose seal, and fill the hole in the ring with it so that you have a pink circular shape which looks right. Make it as neat and smooth a surface as you can - I find that pressing the ring with the soft clay onto a sheet of clean paper is effective.
Now put the ring on a plate in the oven with the seal not touching the plate, and bake it. Don't overcook as the clay will discolour, and you're only using very small amounts so you may not need as long as usual.
Tip: while you're doing this, make a whole load of other smooth pieces of the same pink clay and bake them. These are to test your pen on later. You'll want them. I promise.
Once the ring is baked, make sure the pink seal looks neat. If the edges are messy, a sharp knife will probably clean them up. If the surface isn't smooth, some fine sandpaper helps.
Now for the difficult bit. You're going to draw the rose crest onto the pink circle. I haven't found any better way of doing it than drawing freehand, I'm afraid! And it gets worse: marker pen can bleed into the clay, even after it's been thoroughly baked, making the lines look messy. Varnish (even same-brand polymer clay varnish) may dissolve the marker ink, making it smudge everywhere.
It is therefore REALLY IMPORTANT that you test your pen (and varnish if you're using it) on your test pieces of baked clay before you try it on the ring itself. It's a good opportunity to practice drawing the design too.
When drawing the crest, do the two circles first (the inner one and the one around the edge). If you can find something to draw round and get these circles perfect, the rest is fairly easy.
And that's it! Very simple really. I never did find a pen/varnish combination that I was completely happy with, so I generally didn't varnish at all... if you found something that works, let me know and I'll post it here!
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