Any Polymer clay qustions????

elaineinnjJune 24, 2012

Hi, I am a polymer clay artist. I see that there were questions that have gone unanswered so if you want any answers just ask and I will do my best to help.

~~Elaine~~

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bettyn_gardener

Elaine - your offer could not be better timed!! I have a couple of questions. I am making large beads and using Sculpey Ultralite as a core bead, baking it and then putting on a veneer of Premo. I'm finding it hard to get a good smooth surface on the veneer so I'm spending a lot of time sanding ... Any thoughts on getting a smoother surface??

And I am also experimenting on image transfer using Tshirt transfer paper. I first tried burnishing, baking for 7 minutes, removing the paper and then baking for another 7 minutes. Even with diligent burnishing, I didn't get the entire transfer to stay on the clay when I removed the paper. Next, I tried placing the transfer on the clay, spraying it with alcohol and rubbing the paper off the transfer image. This was more successful, but the surface was rough when it came out of the oven, I baked it for 15 minutes - too long?? I am aiming to make pendants - I insert eye pins, so there has to be some thickness to the clay. I am using Tailor Iron-on Light T-Shirt Transfer for ink jet printers that I got at Joann's. I am wondering if the issue is with the paper or the methods I'm using.

If you have any insights I would be so grateful!!

Betty

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 1:34PM
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cleocrafta

Hi Betty, I'm a polymer clay artist & teacher. I suggest you try the transfer method using gin and laser print copies. This process is easy & frugal to do. Donna Kato teaches a free "step by step" tutorial on her site CraftEDU. Good Luck, Cleocrafta

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 8:52PM
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bettyn_gardener

cleocrafta - I looked at Donna Kato's free tutorial - she used water. What's the advantage of using gin? Would rubbing alcohol accomplish the same thing? Betty

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 12:51PM
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elaineinnj

Hi Betty,

I don't bake my bead cores first, I shape my core into a square and put my veneer on then roll the bead in my hands to make them as round as I can, put the hole in then bake them. Try it and let me know if you find it easier this way.

I am on my iPad and couldn't get Donna's tutorial. I will take a look at it tomorrow with my laptop and get back to you. I took a class with Donna and we did use water for the transfer. She provided us with the pictures and I believe they were laser prints.

Elaine

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 1:40AM
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elaineinnj

Hi Betty,

I just checked out Donna's transfer tutorial, it's exactly what she taught in the class that I took with her. The transfer for my project came out great, I get complements on it all the time.

I have never tried the transfer papers so I am no help there.

Here's a tip for using eye pins for your pendants. Before inserting it into your pendant, make a loop on the end, add a tiny bit of clay into the loop then insert it, this will make sure the eye pin does not come out. I got this tip from Jana Roberts Benson at a class she gave in Philadelphia a few months ago. (I hope I spelled her name right). ;o)

I want to say thank you to Cleocrafta for mentioning Donna's site.

Elaine

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 12:07PM
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bettyn_gardener

Elaine -

Thanks so much for responding! I did get the laser transfer to work - it's much better than the ink jet transfer using T-shirt transfer paper - so it's worth the trip to Kinkos!

What clay do you use for your cores? I like using the Ultralite - makes a huge difference in the weight. It's VERY soft, kind of like sculpting with marshmallows, so I don't think I could get it to hold its shape for a veneer.

I did find a tutorial online for baking a round cut out on a light bulb, then gluing two of them together, making a hollow lentil bead. I'm going to try that today.

Lucky you! I can imagine that Donna's class was terrific!

Betty

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 12:07PM
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bettyn_gardener

Elaine and Cleocrafta - Thank you!! I appreciate the knowledge and experience from both of you and also to have someone to chat with... I'll let you know how the light bulb thing goes...

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 4:33PM
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elaineinnj

Hi Betty,

I usually make smaller beads so I don't really have to worry about weight. I use the bead roller for my beads. I know what you mean about the ultralite being so soft and maybe not holding it's shape for the veneer. I think I may try it just to see if it would work. I'll let you know. You have me thinking of the necklaces I made recently, they are very heavy, so I think I will use the ultralite on my next one. The only problem I see would be how to color the ultralite. I'll have to think on that.

I'm glad you got your transfer to work.

Elaine

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 6:01PM
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bettyn_gardener

One thing that's nice about baking the core first is that you can apply a very thin veneer on the bead and it doesn't affect the weight...

I was planning on trying a makume gane pattern using gold or silver leaf - then I remembered that I have gilder's paste. Do you think that would work??

I'm heating up the oven now for the "light bulb bead"... I hope it works!

Betty

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 7:25PM
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elaineinnj

I don't know what gilders paste is. I have used both silver and gold leaf.

I sure your "light bulb bead" will be great.

Elaine

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 7:50PM
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bettyn_gardener

I'll just experiment with it and see what happens. That's half the fun anyway! The light bulb bead came out of the oven mostly fine. There appears to be a tiny bubble in the laser transfer, but it's in part of the image that almost looks like it belongs there... now I need to do a little sanding and super glue the two halves together. Here's a link to the tutorial if you want to check it out. Betty

http://www.polymerclaycentral.com/cyclopedia/flyingsaucerbead.html

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 8:36PM
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elaineinnj

Hi Betty,

I have made these a long time ago, but I didn't use glue, I used Kato liquid. Another way to put the two pieces together would be to put a narrow snake of clay between the two halves and bake it.

I would love to see a picture of your piece when it is all put together.

Elaine

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 2:42PM
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kessy56

Elaine, have you ever made memory beads, flower petals incorporated into oven-bake clay? I'm trying to learn to do them but am having difficulty with the flower petals not staying the true color. Please let me know if you can be of help, I would greatly appreciate it!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 1:19AM
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elaineinnj

Hi Kessy,

I have never made memory beads but I googled it for you. I hope it helps. Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner but Wed. I was traveling to Florida, then I wasn't online much visiting with family and spending time with the grandkids, then working on my beading for a coming up craft show.

Here is the link: http://www.ehow.com/how_7685929_make-clay-flower-memory-beads.html

Please let me know how you make out.

Elaine

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 1:37PM
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elaineinnj

Kessy, I went back to the link and I'm not sure if that is what you are looking for. If you want to place petals into the clay, the way I would do it would be to place the petals on the clay, cover it (I would place card stock on the clay and place a small ceramic tile on top to prevent the petals from curling) then I would bake it. After it is baked I would put a very thin layer of translucent clay on top to preserve the petal. This would be more like a pendant than a bead. When I get back to N.J. I will try this and see what I come up with. I will let you know how it comes out.

Elaine

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 1:59PM
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elaineinnj

I just found this video tutorial for memory beads, I hope it will help. She did mention that the color of the flower does get darker when they are dried.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKNkMfmknp4&feature=share

Elaine

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 2:35PM
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