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21  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Re: Where to get FIMO liquid gel? on: September 08, 2012 04:51:32 AM
My Kato Polyclay arrived today. I tested it out. It dries practically clear but I was hoping it would be shiny for my waffle syrup and such.
I just painted over it with glaze after baking.
I hear Fimo liquid dries clear and shiny. Waiting on my order so I can try that.

I'm a little confused about the materials you're using.
Are you using the blocks of *solid* polymer clay called Kato Polyclay, or are you using Kato Polyclay's version of *liquid* polymer clay ("Liquid Polyclay Clear Medium")?

You're also using the word "dries" but neither solid polymer clay nor liquid polymer clay ever dries.  They both "cure" because they must be heated in order to become hard. 
And the hotter any brand of liquid polymer clay gets and the thinner the coat used, the clearer and shinier it will become (and esp. the Kato liquid clay, up to 325 F or more). 
If you're not getting a really shiny and clear result from your Kato liquid clay, you probably just aren't heating it hot enough or making it thin enough.  The same would be true with the Fimo version of liquid clay (Deco Gel). 

22  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Re: My First time working with Porcelain Clay ^_^ on: August 31, 2012 10:14:18 AM
I like the styles on your pendants! but think they'd look even better made with polymer clay Grin (or at least a high-quality air-dry clay**).

Polymer clays can also be "carved" after hardening if you want (with various tools, from linoleum cutters to pins), but are more often stamped or impressed before baking (which is a lot easier), or even made with reverse molds.  There are other ways too.

The impressions made in those ways can be completely "backfilled" with more clay after baking. 
But more often, various colorants (including metallic ones) are used to "antique" those lower areas leaving the colorants only in the depressions (or the reverse, the colorants are used to "highlight" only the upper areas, leaving the lower areas the original clay color . . . or both). 

If you want loads of info on how to do those things with polymer clay (some of which could be generalizable to air-dry clays), check out these pages at my polymer clay "encyclopedia" site:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/carving.htm (most of page)
...(these 3 pages also have sections on antiquing and highlighting)

(You may also be interested in my answer here over at YahooAnswers on the main differences between using air-dry and polymer clays:
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110507004411AAmELzg --read the "list of facts" there especially)

And here's more info on wire-wrapping and also what I call wire "architecture" if you want to check it out:

http://glassattic.com/polymer/wire.htm (Basic Shapes, and scroll down to Wrapping, Etc.)
wire-outlined, etc: http://www.lindagoff.com/wire4.html (also click on Wire One, Two, Three)
some of Julia Sober's work: http://www.juliasober.com/polymergallery.html
some of Mike Buesseler's work: http://thepolyparrot.com/mikeb.html
http://glassattic.com/polymer/pendants_cording.htm (click on More Architecture, and perhaps on Tubes, etc)

** "Cold porcelain" clay is deadly hard to make at home and get right, unfortunately!  If you're interested, there are more tips and recipes re making or buying it, and using it on these pages of my site:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/sculpture.htm (click on Air-Dry Clays near top of list, then scroll down to Cold Porcelain)
http://glassattic.com/polymer/armatures-temp.htm (click on "Cornstarch Clays")

Diane B.

23  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Re: Where to get FIMO liquid gel? on: August 31, 2012 09:35:59 AM
To make the bread crust, she paints the acrylic on the uncured clay

Oh, okay.  I don't think most clayers use paint while the clay is raw but it seems to work for some effects.  Generally, they'd use a brown powder like mica powder, chalk or oil pastel powder, eye shadow, etc while the clay is raw, or after baking a wash of brown acrylic paint, or even the other things brushed on (perhaps in a clear-finish binder).  
For a simple look, a thin sheet of polymer clay can be wrapped around the offwhite bread loaf, or a "bullseye cane" can be created with an off-white clay center and a thin brown wrapping layer then the whole crusted-loaf shaped into a loaf-shaped cane (then sliced before or after baking.


what's the best super strong glue to glue my finished pieces onto a glass/metal cake stand? I had been just using Tacky Glue but is there something more professional?

If you want to use a permanent white glue, use a stronger one like GemTac, Jewel It, Weldbond, etc.
You could also use:
...2-part epoxy glue (the longer the setting time, the stronger the bond)

24  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Re: Where to get tiny glass cake/cookie stands on: August 31, 2012 08:48:12 AM
Glad you found some!  Next time you might want to buy some first to keep on hand then make the food a size that will fit the stands you have.

I'm going to make the flat silver plate out of a button or something I find. Maybe clay covered in silver paint.

It's pretty easy to make miniature plates (and platters, etc) from polymer clay and would probably work better than a button.
The methods for making mini plates with polymer clay are roughly the same but there are differences in how neatly clayers cut the disks (if they cut), the sizes of the "pressers" they use to create a depression in the plates, whether the plates have flat or fluted edges, whether any color or pattern is built in or painted on, etc.
I've found a few examples online, but most are the not-too-neat type (and most don't use paper under the clay on the work surface when rolling or pressing, so pulling the clay up creates distortion).

There used to be some good tutorials for excellent mini plates online but the ones I was looking for are gone.  Here are a bunch more for different types though:

The easiest way to make a simple miniature plate is just to press directly down on a ball of clay using something flat to create a disk with rounded edges (remember to do that on paper); press until you have the diameter and thickness you want. 
(Some people use a round cutter instead to create the disk but the plate will then have straight edges that probably will need to be rounded/softened, and often the cutters used aren't thin metal so the cut doesn't look neat).
Then press in the center of the disk you created with something that's narrower in diameter than the plate, and is round and flat (perhaps a new pencil eraser, or a dowel end). 
I like to have some kind of depression and rim area on plates, and personally I want only a narrow rim, but anything is okay.
(Instead of making round impression in the plate, you can just kind of press up the edges of the plate from the underside to make a narrow kind of rim.)
A very thin disk could be placed on the bottom side of the plate (after shaping) if you wanted to simulate the "foot rim" of normal plates.

Of course, you can always make a mold from a plate you buy/find/make so that you can more easily make many more. 
In this pic, a mold is made from a fancy plate using two-part silicone putty.  That mold is intended for casting with resin, but you could also use it as a pushmold for polymer clay (tip: use a ball of clay that contains a tad less than would completely fill the mold so you won't get "edges" spilling over).

Tip: using at least a bit of translucent in your white (or any other color) plates/etc will make them more realistic looking...also of course, using a gloss finish if duplicating ceramic glazed plate

You can get all the color on the plate from the clay itself, or paint it after baking (all over, or just a pattern), or even make canes and use the slices to create plates**.

If you want a metallic-colored plate, while the clay is raw, you could use silver leaf or silver real-metal powder in for the absolute shiniest, or mica powder in silver which will be a little less "hard" shine. 
Or after baking, you could rub the plate with silverish metallic wax, or paint it with acrylic metallic paints or with silver powder mixed into water-based clear finish.
There's summarized info about all those "faux metal" possibilities in my answer to this question at YA which includes several pages at my site with more detail on each, if you're interested:

** like these fabulous "Delft" plates made by Alan Vernall
(would be easiest to create round canes when making plates or bowls rather than square tiles like he used elsewhere...then just use one thick slice to make each plate)

25  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Re: Where to get FIMO liquid gel? on: August 30, 2012 01:19:41 PM
Acrylic paint is sometimes baked on polymer clay to create antiquing after the clay is cured.  That's a smaller amount though than "painting on top of polymer clay" in a thicker covering layer to get all the color (after baking).

Both acrylic paints and clear water-based finishes like polyurethane, etc, are bakable, though they aren't usually baked a long time or even for quite as high a temp...so perhaps 250 for 5-15 minutes.  I *think* most acrylic paints would be fine for hotter and longer, but as I said that's mostly done for thin layers not all over the clay. 

Where have you seen clayers "painting on polymer clay while raw with acrylic paints," then baking?  If you show me where you've seen that, I may immediately know what you're talking about and can add more info.

I just realized this is the way people make the clear syrup look for waffles and such. I like TLS mixed with clay for a thick icing look.

If you're interested in using liquid clay that way too, you might also want to check out the Frostings, Icings, Jellies, etc, section of my Miniatures page too (under "Foods") as well as the Liquid Clays page:
And they can be extruded through icing tips, etc, too:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/claygun.htm > Extruding Liquid Clays
26  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Re: Where to get FIMO liquid gel? on: August 29, 2012 08:13:39 AM
It's been discontinued by the new manufacturer, Staedtler. 
I've seen a few bottles online left over from before though so you might try just a regular Google search, or try eBay, etc.

The good news is that of the 3 original brands of liquid polymer clay, the Kato Polyclay one is still going strong, now called "Liquid Polyclay Clear Medium" (it's better than TLS too--in fact, many clayers have preferred it). 
Note that all liquid clays are milky looking before heating...they will get clearer the hotter they get and the thinner they are.

You may be able to buy it locally if you have a Hobby Lobby since that's one of the few places to carry Kato Polyclay in general, but otherwise you'll have to order it online (and btw, the larger size is only a couple of dollars more but you'll get about 4 times as much liquid clay). 
Here's the page at Donna's selling site that carries it:
(she also sells precolored liquid clays, but you can create your own too)
...and polymerclayexpress.com also carries it, at least

For much more info on the characteristics of the brands, all the ways liquid polymer clay can be used, how to make them all clearer and more if you're interested, check out the Liquid Clay page at my site:

27  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Re: Steampunk mini books on: August 24, 2012 09:21:04 AM
Really nice minibooks!!  And the resin dome is another great effect with them.

You mentioned your pages sticking together from the glue/decoupage.  I'm wondering if coating each with clear polyurethane then letting cure as well as dry would make that happen less?  (polyurethanes can even be heated/baked 5-15 min at 225-250 or so to further harden them and speed up that process--in polymer clay we call that "re-baking" since the clay will get baked a second time).
You might want to check out too some of the other ways that "pages" are made for polymer clay minibooks since many should work for any kind of covers (I had first thought your covers were polymer clay since all those same effects can be created with it):

(Btw, to avoid the stink and lung-stuff with rub-on metallic pastes have you tried using metal and metallic powders, probably with a binder since not clay, or leaf or even some of the thin acrylic metallic inks?--there's more info about those materials at my site if you're interested. Oh and have you considered using "transfers" instead of paper images under resin or alone?  Those can be colored in all kinds of ways too.)

28  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Re: Where to get tiny glass cake/cookie stands on: August 20, 2012 07:37:55 AM
You'll need to buy these at a hobby store that sells supplies for homemade dollhouses, or most likely online, if you want them to be totally transparent glass.  (You could make them yourself if you wanted a translucent glass or ceramic.**)


** http://glassattic.com/polymer/miniatures.htm > Foods >> Dishware, Bakeware
and for making anything faux metal:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/Faux--many.htm > Metals

29  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: Alternatives to Mold Release? on: August 18, 2012 08:36:36 AM
> And what's a method that would involve putting an eye pin in the charm without using a drill? Most of the tutorials I've seen on YouTube require drills, and hardwares here in my country do't carry that kind of drill. <

If you're talking about casting resin in molds, generally *bails* or other findings are just glued onto the hardened resin rather than drilling a hole and putting in an eye pin (or eyescrew, whatever).  Much easier, and the the hole won't be white if you forget to put in more resin and the shank won't be seen inside the resin as well.
Here are various kinds of glue-on bails (there are also some pinch-on types, or you can create your own in various ways):
(the flattish portion gets glued on to the back of the resin at the top so that the loop sticks out above the edge of the resin)
30  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Re: Achieving a Matte Finish / Simulating Old and Dusty? on: August 14, 2012 08:28:13 AM
You might also want to check out a few pages at my site for info about doing both those things in various ways:
(click on > Varathane >> General Info, then scroll down to paragraph called "Making Gloss Varathane NOT-Shiny" though should work for most any clear water-based finish too)

Here's some of what's suggested there:
(Going over a piece with matte glaze can look cloudy and thick.)
Some light abrasives that can be used to take down glossiness are:
...very high grit wet-dry sandpaper (1200 or higher)
...light pumice powder (hardware store)
...0000 steel wool
...sanding sponges
Or before baking, other fine abrasives can be used like cornstarch, Bon Ami or on very fine sandpaper, and more.  And one person recommends "finger-polishing raw clay with water, then using no varnish at all after baking." 
Another idea is just to "texture" the raw clay with a very-fine material of some kind (high-grit sandpaper?, pouncing repeatedly with an emery board or fabric, etc); those things will physically and visually break up the smoothness of the surface so it can't look shiny.

After any of those (after baking), can then be lightly buffed by hand if you want a less dusty-lightish look (...and don't reheat the clay since that can partly melt the surface clay back to a smoother appearance).  Or leave as is.

If the item is highly dimensional, that could leave a more glossy look in the lower areas after dulling the upper areas (if not using a fine tool or toothbrush/etc. to get down into those areas), so if necessary you could later "antique" those areas with a matte acrylic paint (artists' tube paints work best) like dark brown, or even mix a bit of very fine powdery material (even dirt) into it to make those areas grubbier looking**.  Other colorants can be used down in the crevices instead too.
If you don't know about "antiquing," check out at least this page at my site:
(click on Antiquing, Highlighting, Staining)
("Backfilling" on the Carving page would be another possibility, but perhaps more stuff in the lower areas than you'd want.)

If you really want to make something look old-old in particular, also check out this page:
....click on Ancient and Aged Looks
That page also has lots of other materials that can easily be simulated with polymer clay so if the material/item you're making is one of those, you might get more tips from those categories as well.  (There are a few other materials with their own pages too, like faux wood, faux ivory, and faux turquoise.)

** "inclusions" of all kinds can be mixed into polymer clay, or into liquids like paints, clear finishes, etc (e.g., dirt, ground spices and herbs, and more):

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