polymer clay tiles for mosaics

nicethymeMay 27, 2008

seems like eons ago a GW regular Haziemoon showed her AMAZING celtic stamped PC tiles mmmmmmmmmmmmm

my mouth watered and I asked her every bit of detail on how she did that mmmmm they were beautiful! what she said was go buy Laurie Mika's book on Mixed Media Mosaics! (I wasn't in the position to do that at that time but someone here graciously sent it along to me) another wonderful person shared some things that she no longer used and boyoh did it open my world right up!

now I truely love adding stamped tiles to things I make because I can include my thoughts (inane as they maybe! LOL)

There are way better examples of PC tiles by alot of talented artists, but I'll share with ya all how I do it and you'll see how easy it is to get that look.

polymer clay is that premo, sculpy, fimo.. brands that bake in the oven. each has differing temps and times so be sure and look at the package.

I usually just roll out a bigger piece, stamp then trim but because had to fit as a replacement I cut it to size before stamping.

Now its stamped with the correctly spelled word and you can see there is a bottle of black acrylic paint and a baggy of gold mica dust.

now I painted the clay and then wipe it off so that it remains in the grooves of the stamped letters.

then I dip my finger into the mica and rubb it on the tile

now bake in a covered dedicated pan (only for clay) seal it with 2 coats of Future floor polish. Mask with tape before grouting

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THanks NT, because I have been wondering how to make those words. Way cool.

Is it really that easy?? I bet not, but great instructions.

i have a dumb question. Does the clay smell strong when you bake it?? And what do you use to bake the clay???

I get migraines from strong smells, so wonderiinga bout the odor. I thought someone posted awhile back that it had a really strong smell when cooking??

thanks, i appreciate the info.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 6:59PM
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thanks nicethyme, great tutorial. I make kiln baked ceramics, but polymer would be so much easier and quicker for mosaics.

I stupidly gave away a bunch of clay tiles I had made in a ceramics class because I didn't think I would use them. Now I am kicking myself, because they would have been the perfect thing to use on my other bowl. DH is always after me to get rid of stuff and as soon as I do, something comes up and I need what I donated.

mermaid4life, you could bake the clay in a toaster oven outside and then you wouldn't be able to smell anything. Just be sure it isn't near something that will catch on fire like your house.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 7:16PM
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the smell is not that strong unless you burn it. I cover my pan tightly and then I don't open it until I've removed it to the deck so the fumes don't bother me much. each brand is different too, some are smellier than others

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 8:19PM
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thanks gals, now i just need to find a cheap toaster oven, We used to have one, but i threw away awhile ago.

Yep springville.. i do that All of the time,

Nice, i just LOVE all your mixed mosaics... You are so talented.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 9:12PM
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Thanks so much for this, NiceT! I've been wanting to try some of these...and your tutorial will help! It's especially good to have the pictures!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 6:20AM
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You're starting to lure me in....I was at an estate sale this morning and was disappointed to not find a toaster oven! And yesterday I actually picked up a package of sculpy and then put it back, lol!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 3:10PM
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Nearly missed this one. Very nice tutorial, NT. You'll pass Laurie up soon on technique and ideas. LOVE the things you've been doing.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 10:16AM
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Hi, Debbie here in Central FL..can I put these on a bowling/gazing ball or in a birdbath for year long outside exposure? And would I maybe bend the clay TO the ball BEFORE baking? to make it fit/sit better if longer words etc? Thanks, looks terrific..I found a great pic/saying on an Asian style calendar that I have, want to do the birdbath. Have a ball and some pots waiting to be grouted..won't say for how long..life is too busy for me!! lol Side pad off garage too to be finished and grouted, then stencil a bit o' bamboo on the wall behind it..great ideas, but ..have ADD and too much WORK to do! ;>) thanks again, LOVE this forum!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 3:31PM
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Debbie, most folks will say that clay isn't for outside but we've had members of this forum report that clay tesserae has held up but faded outdoors. I've not tried it

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 4:06PM
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Thanks NT, I usually do mine from ceramic, but I will try this method. I think I have a package of fimo somewhere around here and will try it tonight. I have some letters in the studio that are for bricks or stepping stones, I bet they will work ok for this. Thanks again for the tutorial. Carol

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 8:42PM
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NT, where did you get your stamps??? I have been looking for the past week online. I really really want to try my hand at this polymer clay, perfect for adding words to the mosaics. Do you usually buy the terra cotta clay??

I just love your work. Thanks again for the tutorial

    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 11:48AM
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Thanks Mermaid, you're sweet.

I got mine at Delphi along with several colors of mica but only because I had a gift certificate. They tend to be pricey and you likely can find better prices somewhere else.

Here is a link that might be useful: letter stamps

    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 12:08PM
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Thanks NT. Those look much sturdier than the rubber stamps I was looking at and not that much more expensive for the quality. Now I just need to see if I can fiid them any cheaper. Shame I didn't look at Delphi earlier, DH just bought me the beetle bits complete system at Delphi for my bday and I could had added this..

    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 1:32PM
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HobLob has metal stamps. I used poly clay to make the steeple/cross on my little concrete church in a flowerbed, and it didn't last but about a yr. I don't recommend clay for outside.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 9:25AM
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Thanks Slow, what happens to it outside? does it crumble? I can't remember who (maybe Cacbeary) had some PC on a stepping stone and says its fine????

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 10:13AM
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Here's what happened. I even had a metal pin half-way up inside the cross. The part of the cross that wasn't pinned fell forward - sorta looked melted. Need to make repairs w/the wire mesh/concrete.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 4:15PM
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aw slow, how sad!..maybe because it was upright and not flat? maybe I'll try the same idea but with the self-drying clay, gray or terra? I really want to put some words in the birdbath, even if the birds can't read it..lol
"In the stream, where you least expect it, there will be fish.."..good one for me anyway.. and the picture looks like mosaic, great colors. I have some glass and tiles, and broken plates too. But need to finish the bowling ball and planters! I found a lg teal tile to FInally finish the slab off the garage..why do I have to work when I have so many other fun things to do!!?? :>P oh well..

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 9:30PM
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if you are looking for stamps you could use the alphabet stamps that go with wood burners or just by looking in the scrapbook section of your local craft store they are use to emboss metal or paper, and there is also leather stamps they could serve the same purpose , stone stamps, & do not forget you can make your own stamps out off polymer clay. these Ideas are what I use as you can tell I must have a messy craft area!!!!! I use a 50% coupon to buy my polymer clay supplies so you could always get you pasta machine cheaper sign up for the michaels online newsletters & coupons. also here are some websites I go to to buy things



:(sorry could only figure out how to post one site!):

I am a Polymer clay artist who is hopefully going to get to do real mosaics soon I have my supplies just need the time & work area to get me going!! I am a member of the poly clay club which is a fun club that does polymer clay challenges, letters of love for sick children, artist trading cards, & monthly projects. They have free projects on their site!! But this month I'm excited about the challenge because it involves polymer clay mosaics.
Mosaics are Definitely something I've always wanted to do but did not have the time but my children & getting bigger now so if there are any tips on getting started with real mosaics? Besides keeping my fingers because I'm accident prone!!!:) please tell me!!

Here is a link that might be useful: This is the challenge any Ideas for doing mosaic would help! I want to win!!! Thanks

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 2:40PM
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I saw those tiles.......bought clay and never had a chance to try it. Right now kneading clay is a huge thing for me,
I so wished I would've tried it!........you never think you might not be able to do something so simple.
My one fingered typing is getting really fast so who knows!!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 5:42AM
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