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1  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / D.I.Y extruder disc with shrink plastic on: June 04, 2014 06:45:58 AM
obviously its not going to be robust as the metal disc but good for custom shapes or one that you will only want to use once or twice.

 i used 'shrinkles' brand shrink plastic (this stuff: www.wizardtoys.com/ )



i drew a circle 3.9cm in diameter (my gun is a cheap and basic with discs that are 1.5cm in diameter) with a simple scale shape in the center and cut it out.

(other brands may shrink by a differant % or if your gun is larger you may have to experiment to find the size you need)

bake according to the manufacturs instrcutions.

you can sand shrink plastic too so if it dosnt fit exactly or if your shape is a little rough grap some wet/dry sand paper (i used 400 grit) and sand away!

the shrinkles disc is thicker than the metal discs but still fits securely.

however shrink plastic dosnt react well with unbaked polymer clay even after 24 hours it started to go stringy and change consistancy (see photo. bottom right) so you will want to clean the disc thoroughly with wet wipes etc to remove any clay after each use.
2  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects / baby hand imprints and outprint tutorial with air dry clay and plaster of paris on: March 05, 2014 07:53:03 AM
just the thing to melt the hearts of grandparents for mothers/fathers day  Wink



you will need:
*air drying clay
*plaster of paris (+an old plastic tub and lollipop stick or similar for stiring)
*rolling pin
*sharp kitchen knife
*newspaper
*old gift box larger than your childs hand
*scissors
*very fine wet/dry sand paper (i used 1200 grit)

step one:
use fresh clay for this as you need it soft. i found my airdry clay to be too firm to get a good deep print so i added a few table spoons of water to the bag, resealed it and left it over night then gave it a good knead. you might want to experiment.
roll out your clay on newspaper/scrap paper to about 1.5 -2 cm thick. i used marzipan spacers to get an even thickness but its not essential.
press the hand or foot in firmly you want a nice deep print





Step two:
cut a hole in the bottom of your gift box. dosnt need to be perfect Smiley



step three:
position the box over the print and push down firmly (otherwise the plaster will leak. if it does quickly push a few strips around the edge)



step four:
mix the plaster and pour it over the print. tap the sides to get rid of air bubbles and allow to dry.



step five:
gently pull the cardboard from the clay (if you are carefull not to damage the print you can get multiple castings)



the plaster has formed a ridge but this can easily be sanded off

step six:
gently (otherwise you can leave marks) sand down the plaster using the wet dry sandpaper and water. do NOT sand the print itself, just around it or you will sand away detail.
you can see the differance between the unsanded print on the left and the sanded one on the right.



here the imprint and outprint together (i trimmed the clay imprint to the same size using the gift box as a guide) think im gonna frame them like this Smiley you can off course paint the prints i would recomend sealing the airdry clay with a varnish too

if you have any questions please ask Smiley

3  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects / birch tree sgraffito mug on: January 09, 2014 12:52:48 AM
i made this mug for a craft swap.
i admired cinnamon teal's sgraffito goldfish bowls and wanted to play around with the technique as its not one i have really used much. i layered white then blue then black glazes then scraped the design using a sgraffito tool and a craft knife





close up of the coaster showing the blue glaze



really pleased with how this turned out Smiley
4  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects / game of thrones and the one eyed dog on: December 30, 2013 10:29:34 PM
a couple of pieces i did for christmas this year

a game of thrones pen pot for my O/H  Smiley


house Lannister and Greyjoy


house Stark and Arryn

this coaster was a pressie for my dad. he got into cider making this year so i came up with a logo (not that hes selling it commercially, the grand family tasting is new years eve.. he might yet be making cider vinegar) based on his one eyed Husky dog 'Wolf'
unfortunatly i had run out of carbon paper so i used typewriter paper to transfer the design onto the pottery, assuming it would burn away in the kiln...it did but it caused a wax resist like effect...repairable but it caused some of the detail to spread and kink particularly on the dogs ruff and the circle. my dad was thrilled anyhow so im happy Smiley

5  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Jewel thief christmas tree decoration on: December 12, 2013 06:16:37 AM


Polymer clay Magpie (well what other bird is going to match a black, white a blue themed tree? Wink.. )
id had the urge to make a magpie cane for a while, finally got there!
im really pleased with how well this reduced though the tail isnt as long as it could be and i missed the feet partly because i wanted to create a 'generic' bird foot cane i could then use to construct a number of other bird canes and because i wanted to try to limet the size of the cane. im still not comfortable reducing larger canes though im becoming more confident  Undecided
the diamond may be a little on the large side but i was reluctant to make it too small as i needed to drill a hole for the gold jump ring  Undecided the oramernt is roughly 7cm/7cm  so the diamond was a fiddle to attatch anyway lol


if anyone is curious about the diamond cane i used this tute: tranchedecane.canal blog.com/archives/2010/04/14/17573249....


6  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Granny Weatherwax pumkin (+sort of tute- marker method) on: October 30, 2013 11:09:44 PM


i came across some amazing pumpkins done using a similar method and wanted to have a go myself. learnt a lot from this.
remove the skin of the pumpkin (try not to take off too much of the flesh when you do this)
you need to hollow out the pumpkin much thinner than for a usual carved pumpkin so the design will show through. i made the shell of mine about 1cm. i then left mine to dry out for 24 hours (depending on your pens you may not have to do this but i found a slightly drier surface helped)
draw the design with an oil based marker pen (sharpie do one...try ebay) if you dont have one (i didnt.. Undecided ) use cd or permenent markers and keep scribbling on paper to keep the ink flowing. alternate pens frequently, even with frenzied scribbling its hard to keep the ink going. i went between about 6 pens.
a dry eraze white board marker works well but has a tendancy to spread so use sparingly on anything detailed. works wonders to cover large areas Grin (i only had one in green as you can see...but the colour wont show when lit)
i used a knitting needle to carve into the pumpkin to bring out a few highlights. because the skin is so thin you dont need to carve deeply with a knife or similar, a dried out biro works just as well Smiley



my second traditionaly carved pumpkin...lego wolverine! Wink
7  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / 'segmented' polymer pieces on: August 28, 2013 06:40:20 AM

ive been trying to move away from bangles and experiment a little with other forms and shapes. these are my latest pieces Smiley



ive been experimenting with ink ( ...well......okay.. ....i admit. im too cheap to use ink. its food colouring lol...and a water based 'waitrose' own brand at that...) and translucent polymer clay.
 i covered the beads with a sheet of white clay, drippled on the colours (i added a sprinkle of salt to concentrate the colour and add variation) then baked the beads. i gently scraped off the salt once cured and covered the beads with a sheet of translucent clay. then baked and sanded again.
i was hoping to avoid varnish as i prefer a more durable finish hence the use of translucent but the  translucent clay 'crackled' particularly on one of the beads (center, right. as you can see below Undecided) and water seeped in during the sanding effecting the ink and ment i had to give the beads a coat of satin varnish anyway Roll Eyes





another segmented necklace


i wanted to use seed beads between my focal beads but because they were much too small to thread on the thicker black cording i had to stitch the finer nylon to the ends on the black cording, secure with glue and then slide down the last focal bead on each side to cover the join. took me ages to figue it out but im pleased that am now confident using differnt cords in the construction of a single piece Smiley



my bangles are usually solid pieces, this is my first elasticated bracelet.
im really pleased with how this turned out but it took me ages to sand all those indervidual beads lol





as always comments or questions are more than welcome Smiley
8  COOKING / Dessert / cake batter decoration: game of thrones & wolverine on: July 21, 2013 09:18:23 PM
id wanted to try out this method for ages (finaly got round to using my piping bag i got for christmas too... Embarrassed )
i was surprised how well the design holds as the lines particularly on the wolverine cake were quite thin (cone size: 0 ). unfortunantly i managed catch the edge of the rack when i moved the cake and it cracked across the middle. So gutted!





oh well...if ever there was an excuse to try this again... Wink
i went for a black and white design because i only had black and red food colouring (im not much of a baker) both claimed they were not 'bake stable'. this was indeed the case with the red (it went brown) but the black was clearly lying Grin

the house stark version came out crack free...until i put the candles in Roll Eyes
i know it would have looked better with white chocolate icing but i didnt have any and i couldnt bear the thought of my chocolate cake without chocolate Embarrassed





really easy technique, i had fun doing this  Smiley deffinatly one to experiment with. maybe colour next time...

9  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Polymer clay scratch board bauble (+written tute) on: May 31, 2013 01:09:16 AM
Male house Sparrow bauble
using polymer clay as Scratchboard...fina lly got down an idea thats been sitting on the shelf in my head for far too long. just about any item you can cover with polymer clay could be fair game for this tecnique and you could easily use a differant colour marker or clay Smiley



i covered a plain glass bauble in white polymer clay then baked and sanded. since i didnt need a buffed surface i used 400 grit followed by 600 grit sandpaper just to get the bumps out, then i covered it with permenant marker (buff and rub with your fingers (or a rough cloth if you are leaving the house the same day as this will stain your fingers a rather fetching black/blue colour) to remove 'scribble' marks.
depending on the brand of marker you may need two coats. i used a CD marker
 i then scrapped the design using a craft knife and a thick needle. you can trace the design onto the bauble or draw it first with a pencil first.
finish with a coat of varnish.
 im quite pleased with how this turned out especially since ive never tried scratchboard before Smiley



10  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / boiled sweets to create hollow bead forms on: March 06, 2013 07:58:45 AM
further experiments using sugar to create hollow polymer clay forms



an extrension of my pressed damp sugar method (http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=420721.0#axzz2Mm77nf6c ) but using boiled sweets in place of sugar



each of the beads measures 3.5cm in length by 2.5 cm wide
im really pleased with how this turned out, bit of a change from bangles too Grin

this was made using the same method. i made the bead form over a 'pear drop'




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