When I picked my daughter up from preschool on Monday, she was so happy to show me the picture she made for us. “Mama, mama,” she said patting my arm to get my attention because I was talking to her teacher. “I made you and daddy a Thankful Chicken!” I couldn’t help but breaking into a huge grin because she seriously says the cutest things. Her teacher immediately corrected her to say it was a Thanksgiving turkey, but secretly I thought she was more brilliant than all the other kids in her class because it was indeed a very happy and very thankful chicken. Now that’s art!
A few weeks ago, I was shopping for some artisan bakery items for a girlfriends get together when I found these adorable candy turkeys. The head baker had just made them and packaged them up. Not sure if you know this, but I’ve been embedding candy into ICE Resin for a long time now. I’ve also covered Peeps in it at Easter, lips and hearts at Valentine’s Day, candy monsters for Halloween and sweet shoppe Snowmen for Christmas. This is my first turkey though.
Because I’m so thankful I get to live every day of my life as a working artist, writer, business woman and instructor, I thought it might be fun to share a little stepped-out tutorial on how I repurposed candy into a wearable holiday-themed art necklace. Of course, just as this little guy from A.J’s Fine Food Market in Phoenix, Arizona created by an unknown food artisan is no longer a cupcake topper, my necklace is not really a turkey. In honor of my smart, creative, miracle baby girl, whom I’m also so grateful for, this necklace is titled “Thankful Chicken.”
Step one: Prepare your work surface by having your candy items ready on a non stick craft mat. You can use a plastic trash bag (the heavy kind, not a grocery bag), but I prefer a silicone mat because the resin won’t stick to it and because it’s surface is completely smooth so the dried resin peels right up.
Mix up ICE Resin according to the directions and use a disposable paint brush to paint a layer of ICE all over the candy piece - front, back, sides and bottom. Set aside 6-10 hours to dry.
When the resin-covered candy is dry to the touch, drill a hole into for attachment. For less dense candies, you can use a sharp-pointed awl in most cases if you don’t have a drill. I have my flex shaft always at the ready on my workbench, so it’s quickest for me to use my drill.
Now comes the fun part. Add beads to your candy to turn it into jewelry. I drew a bead on the end of a piece of 20-gauge bronze wire and then threaded on two small spacer beads and a larger crystal rondelle bead. Then I put the “resinated” chicken (turkey) on it. I added another spacer bead and a red crystal and then made a wirewrap loop.
To finish it off, I pulled some Industrial Chic by Susan Lenart Kazmer chain from my stash and made a necklace. Since I wanted it on the longer side, I didn’t worry about a clasp. The necklace slips easily on and off over my head.
All that is left it to wear a complimentary top for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving dinner with my large extended family. When we go around the table like we always do to say what we’re thankful for, I will be answering my family, my work, my friends and my new chicken.
Here’s wishing you an AMAZING Thanksgiving and a truly artful long holiday weekend.