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1  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Re: Using Fimo Mix Quick to make molds? on: August 02, 2015 02:03:41 PM
Mix Quick is just a solid polymer clay with a lot more of the oily and plasticizer stuff in it than regular solid polymer clays.  It would be similar to SuperSculpey (which is tinted a pinkish-flesh color) but even softer.  After baking, it wouldn't cure up flexible though, and would probably capture a bit less detail than some of the other brands/lines of solid polymer clay.

If you want flexible molds, generally you'd just need to use a two part silicone putty (best), or you could something like Bake and Bend which will be somewhat flexible even if thicker. Silicone putty will make very detailed molds, where Bake and Bend will do less fine detail.
You could also try making a brush-on latex mold (and then perhaps use it with a stiff "mother mold" behind it).
And you could also try things like PVA glue molds, and silicone caulk molds, etc.

(Sculpey's Mold Maker isn't all that great, especially for durability and some roughness of surface, and is more expensive.)

I guess you could also try to make very thin flexible molds by coating an item with liquid polymer clay, then baking and separating.  You'd have to use a good release between the liquid clay and some materials though. 

You could also just use a pretty thin sheet of solid polymer clay to make a mold since most polymer clays will be flexible after baking if they're thin.  Don't use a brand/line of polymer clay that's brittle after baking when it's thin though (Sculpey, SuperSculpey, Sculpey III, Craftsmart/Bakeshop). Both of the Fimo lines, Cernit, and most other polymer clays will be very strong after baking when they're thin. 
You might need a "mother mold" behind them if they're too flexible though which could even be a hunk of raw clay the liquid clay mold is pushed into.

Why do you need even semi-flexible molds though? 
Are you just having trouble removing solid clay from other molds?  If so, there are ways to deal with that.
Or are you trying to create molds with actual undercuts?  For those you'd need a flexible clay mold or a very flexible clay mold, or perhaps a two-part mold.

There's more info about all those mold making materials, and more, on the Molds page of my polymer website if you're interested: 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/molds.htm
And you might be interested in seeing some of the article I wrote at wikiHow about making Molds too, with some pics:
http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Polymer-Clay-Molds

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2  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Re: Mystery item - how would you use it? on: July 19, 2015 10:24:16 AM
.
Looks like it might be several shapes of ravioli cutters/crimpers, also called ravioli stamps, or if large enough could even be for making pierogi and turnovers, etc:
https://www.google.com/images?q=ravioli+stamps
https://www.google.com/images?q=ravioli+cutters
https://www.google.com/images?q=pierogi+cutter+turnover+cutter
https://www.google.com/images?q=pierogi

Their edges don't look very sharp though, especially since they aren't metal (but fine for pasta dough), so if you used these to cut polymer clay the outer edges wouldn't look really neat and sharply-defined.  You could perhaps cool the clay sheet first though then press the cutter down and kind of wiggle it around before lifting off which could pull in and incorporate some of the ragged edges.

...You could also use them like regular ravioli cutters--through two layers of clay after folding over or layering.

...Or you could the cutters only as stamps for all kinds of polymer techniques.
3  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Re: Really Sticky Polymer Clay on: June 03, 2015 09:13:32 AM
I'd suggest for where you are and what you find too soft/sticky, try Kato Polyclay. 
It's probably the highest quality polymer clay out there and will not be too soft/sticky.  You'll have to condition it though (easy to do if you know how to do it easily**) and perhaps more than you're used to, but the results then will be excellent. 

Fimo Classic is currently the other "best" and firmest polymer clay, but its formulation will be changing the U.S. and it will probably be "dumbed down" (so, softer at least) even though I think it will be renamed Fimo "Professional."

As for Kato Polyclay, it's currently available in local stores only in Hobby Lobby, but you can easily order it online.
It also comes only in pure spectral colors so you'd have to mix any colors you didn't get from those 8.  (It also comes in white, ivory, black, brown, translucent, and mica-containing metallic colors, as well as 4 concentrated "colors".)
http://www.katopolyclay.com
one place to buy:
http://prairiecraft.com

You can also read more about the different brands, etc, how to stiffen too-soft polymer clays in some ways, etc, in my previous answer about 6 answers below, from August 2010.

**slice off slabs from a block, then run through a pasta machine repeatedly, or without a pasta machine beat with a hammer (in a plastic bag, etc) or roll over firmly with a roller of some kind, then stretch, roll into a ball, roll into a log....repeat

.
4  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Re: Morticia and Gomez clay dolls on: May 10, 2015 11:08:13 AM
Really nice custom figures! Love those kinds of personalized things, and sounds like your friend did too.

If you're worried their about weight (on a cake, etc) if she uses them later as cake toppers, you could always attach them to some kind of wide base at the feet.  The base could be visible like a painted wood plaque, or hidden under the frosting like some of the plastic disk bases used for adding items to cake tops), or it could be made from polymer clay too if you want to take the super precaution of protecting the frosting from the clay at least where it would touch, or put everything up on some kind of riser.
(some examples: https://www.google.com/images?q=polymer+clay+cake+toppers )

You could do that even with your hardened topper figures by drilling holes up into the bottom of the clay feet using a drill bit by hand, so you could add rods of some kind to glue or otherwise attach into the base.  This one does that from the beginning, but you could do that now too:
http://www.thumbprintkids.com/pages/detailpages/processdetails/page4.htm

Those things would also help keep the figures upright in use.


5  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Re: Gingerbread Castle Mario-Themed (link to video tutorial) on: April 27, 2015 12:47:21 PM
Great use of polymer clay's ability to create structures, and also a great potential gift!
6  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Re: Koi Pond Hair Clip (tutorial link) on: April 27, 2015 12:39:06 PM
Great way to use mokume gane!  

Haven't been back to Craftster in a while and just noticed another post with your clay and freestanding resin aquarium link. Really nice job, and thanks too for the exact time and temp you've found to work for baking (thin) polymer clay on cured epoxy resin.  I subscribed btw. Smiley
7  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Re: Miniature Seahorse tank (link to tutorial) on: April 27, 2015 12:30:46 PM
(written before I noticed that the poster is the original tutorial maker...lol)

Nice job! Everything looks great and quite a good conversation piece too.

Thanks for the link to the tutorial too.  That's the first time I've seen an actual specific time and temperature given for curing raw polymer clay on the outside of resin (220 F for 10 min, she says) though I suspect clay any thicker than that would require longer heating and therefore wouldn't work (unless cured separately and later glued on).  Helpful.

I was also surprised to see the hot glue used for the sand since I'd have assumed PVA/permanent-white glue would be used which does work fine inside resin.  Since resins heat up while curing, didn't know if the hot glue would be adversely affected, and at what temperature.  Hot glue is certainly quicker than waiting for PVA glue to dry though. She doesn't heat the hot glue/sand base when curing the polymer clay reef in another video though (bakes separately then glues onto the sand base).

If anyone else is interested in seeing all 9 of her videos combining resin and polymer clay, start with this link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cclLqO8Ypug&list=PL0u_IUM0hsTygj1I2rQSWROoyHnuwbIpX
The other 8 videos will be in the right hand bar.

8  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Re: my first poly clay creation on: April 27, 2015 11:56:20 AM
Nice! And isn't it fun to make bowls (and boxes, trays, etc) with polymer clay!?  Plus you combined this one with stamping into the clay, a double whammy. Really great to see at least a few of the many other uses besides plain sculpting for polymer clay being done here at Craftster.

9  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Re: Baking glass ornaments? on: April 27, 2015 11:45:15 AM
As mentioned, polymer clay is used on glass ball ornaments (even the still colored ones) all the time and no special baking considerations are needed (and especially if the clay will be completely covering the glass since it would be a buffer between the clay and glass).

If you're interested in more on covering or embellishing glass ball ornaments, or other glass and ceramic items, check out all the info and links (though some are now broken**) on these pages of my polymer clay site (some overlap):
http://glassattic.com/polymer/Christmas.htm (under Ornaments, click on Glass Ball Ornaments)
http://glassattic.com/polymer/covering.htm (under Glass, click on Ball Ornaments)

**here are lots of examples though, showing different ways of using glass ball ornaments with polymer clay:
https://www.google.com/images?q=polymer+clay+glass+ball+ornaments

10  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Re: gloss on: April 27, 2015 11:25:52 AM
You might need to use epoxy resin as a coating on your clay items (I assume you meant polymer clay items) if the others are absorbing too much moisture (and turning cloudy or milky over time).  

Various kinds of clear-drying finishes work well as sealants as long as they aren't exposed to too much moisture and/or over too much time (and all will be more moisture resistant if allowed to "cure" over a week rather than only "drying").  
So various thinned-down PVA glues (including Mod Podge) can work fine if conditions don't become too moist or for too long.
  
But tougher clear finishes are usually necessary (or can be added on top of other finishes) if there will be more moisture.  In general, of that type I'd say that acrylic fingernail polish should normally work okay, and certainly cyanoacrylate floor polishes like Mop 'N Glo, Future (or Pledge with Future Shine, Klear, etc).  
Clear polyurethanes are thicker than floor polishes and perhaps even tougher.  You'd generally buy those in the wood finishes aisle of hardware stores, and the brand Varathane has been a favorite of polymer clayers a long time because of some extra characteristics it has (the water-based gloss version).  The same thing may now being bottled as one of the "Sculpey finishes" nowadays, though even if it's exactly the same it'll be lots more expensive by volume than buying at hardware stores.  Polyurethanes also come in "marine" versions which are even more resistant to constant moisture but since they can't be applied directly to polymer clay, you'd need to put a water-based sealer on the clay first then put the marine version over that.

Epoxy resin as a coating may or may not be better than the polyurethanes, and they're a little more fiddly to use.  But you could certainly try them.  There are various brands but the most common brand of regular epoxy resin at craft stores, art supply stores and hardware stores, would often be Envirotex Lite though there are other brands** (at at hardware stores, they may also be called "bartop resins").
You can read a summary of the kinds of "resin" there are, basically how to use them, and get a link to my page covering resins (same as below) in some of my previous answers about resins at YahooAnswers:
http://ca.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20091115185640AAXBfZF
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AqRoGzjtN95Is41Kmm_SHHfsy6IX;_ylv=3?qid=20091011042033AAytK0x
places to buy resins (also using resins in molds and cells, which you wouldn't be doing--you'd only be using them for "coating"):
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100206091500AA7eXFv

You can also just put cured polymer clay items directly in your terrarium since polymer clay is waterproof for all intents and purposes.  If you were to put them underwater for long periods of time, you might eventually see what looked like a whitish coating on the darker colors since polymer clay can absorb a tiny bit of moisture under those conditions (especially the less-dense brands like the main Sculpeys, where the densest brand is Kato Polyclay).  You could just remove them awhile to let the surface dry out though if you wanted.  (It's not recommended to put polymer clay inside aquariums though just because it's possible that small fish could be affected but that's not understood well.) You can read more about using polymer clay around water on this page at my site, if you're interested:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/outdoor_snowglobes_fountains.htm

**http://glassattic.com/polymer/other_materials.htm (under the category Epoxy Resins, click on Brands)
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