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Topic: BOWLS of polymer clay  (Read 5723 times)
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Diane B.
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« on: June 09, 2006 08:16:18 AM »

BOWLS made from polymer clay


for lots more info on making polymer bowls + examples, lessons, look on this page:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/vessels.htm
(... click on the Bowls & Trays subcategory...)


These are some of the polymer clay bowls made by 6th graders in a series of kids classes I gave at my son's school.









(for the remaining two sets of bowls by other kids, look here:
http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/dianeatglassattic/album?.dir=1dc8)

They were created by applying cane slices to a form, or by draping a sheet of decorated flat clay (disk-shaped) over the form then arranging the excess clay at the edges ...baking the clay on the form ... then removing the form as the clay was cooling. (Each child made one of each type.)

Many types of forms can be used to make bowls this way, but for these classes we used mostly glass custard bowls and a few metal mini baking pans, etc. (generally upside-down). 

These are easy and fun to make if only a few guidelines are followed (see links above).

Other types of vessels besides bowls can also be made from clay... they may use similar methods, or different ones--for example:
boxes (with or without lids), vases, pots, trays, even pendants which are actually containers or large beads, miniatures, etc.   
Some may have their forms (armatures) removed like these bowls, and some may have them left in permanently.




Diane B.
GlassAttic ...polymer clay "encyclopedia"
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm



« Last Edit: January 21, 2010 08:20:10 AM by rackycoo - Reason: to fix images » THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
penguintrax
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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2006 08:24:36 AM »

Very Nice, Diane - glad to have found this place and see a familiar face!

Barbara
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emmycore
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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2006 08:25:51 AM »

How do you remove the clay from the original bowl or whatever you're molding it on? Everytime I do this I end up breaking it.
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penguintrax
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« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2006 08:51:35 AM »

How do you remove the clay from the original bowl or whatever you're molding it on? Everytime I do this I end up breaking it.

Are you using a mold release, such as armor-all, between the form and the bowl?

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Diane B.
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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2006 10:18:43 AM »

For these bowls, we used no release on the glass or on the shiny metal forms. 
 
In fact, for the cane-slice bowls, having the clay really stick to the surface helps keep them on the slanted surfaces of the form, and also help them end up very flat to the surface without air bubbles or unevenness. 
(As a bonus, cane slices or any clay which is pressed tightly to a very smooth surface will have a really shiny finish automatically, without adding anything later).

For the less-smooth brushed-metal mini pans, some kids used just a bit of Vaseline because those surfaces are a bit harder to release from. Vaseline will help stick the clay to the form, but too much will just make everything slip around too much. 

There are several things that allow the clay to be removed easily and without cracking (these are some of the guidelines I mentioned before that are discussed more on the page I linked to):

1. The form must have sides which slope outward, not straight sides (no undercuts too, of course)... so a glass custard cup is fine, where a straight-sided drinking glass, votive, vase, or baking pan is not
.....a rounded votive actually could be used, but the clay must not extend higher than where the votive begins to narrow
.....another exception is having short sides (a straight-sided or a barely-slanted form could be used if the clay walls of the bowl/tray were short --don't extend up more than enough to create a reasonable lip)

2. Weaker clays probably shouldn't be used (Sculpey or the new version of FimoSoft)... they're too brittle in thin areas after baking (and these are thin all over) and will often crack around the rim when removing; the whole bowl  will be more fragile too
(...Premo, FimoClassic, Kato, or Cernit would be best, and I guess one could also use Bake and Bend)

3. It's important that the rim of the bowl be reasonably thick, and that all parts of the rim area be well connected to each other.  When the bowls are removed from the forms, the rim is where the most stress will be applied and if those areas are strong and well-connected, they shouldn't break.

4. here's some info on removing the bowls from my Vessels page:
--Bake the bowls upside down at 265-275 degrees for 15-20 minutes
--Let cool till just warm, or till fairly cool (what works best for you).
--To remove the clay bowls from the forms, first gently begin to loosen the rim of the clay by making several trips around the top, prying with your fingertips or fingernails just a little at each section.
........(If you see any joins in the top area that seem thin or weak, try to keep your fingers centered over that area to disperse the force being put on it)
...Keep going around the edge until you can feel that parts are being released.
...Continue until the whole thing suddenly pops off

(...the shallower the bowl, the easier the removal!)

.....or.... While the bowl is hot right out of the oven stick it under cold running water and with your fingertips work on popping the clay off the bowl by working around the edge and loosening it. There is a big suction thing going on here. (Shaneangel)


For the draped bowls, no release is needed for easily removal, but there is the problem of having a shiny spot anywhere the clay touches the form which is not shiny all over the surface
...in that case, you can use a "release" like a thin tissue or a piece of fabric ...the clay should be heavy enough not to be shaped by these physical releases, and they will leave a regular matte finish on the inside of the bowl
(... if you want a shine, you can then add a clear sealer like Future or Varathane)

(There's more info about smoothing the clay slices, decorating the bowls, making different bowl shapes, leaving spaces between some of the clay on the bowl, and all kinds of other things about making bowls and mini-trays on that page too.)




Diane B.
--- polymer clay "encyclopedia"
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
« Last Edit: June 09, 2006 10:30:55 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
emmycore
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« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2006 10:28:22 AM »

Awesome, thanks. I was using a glass with straight sides and no releasing agent. I'll try these tips next time.
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krafty_kelly
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2006 05:54:33 AM »

Wow, I am sitting here with my jaw hanging open!  I cannot believe that those were made by grade 6's.  They must have had one fabulous teacher.  Did the kids make the canes too?  Great job on this, you have inspired me to try it.  Great explanations too.
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Diane B.
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« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2006 01:50:17 PM »

Quote
Wow, I am sitting here with my jaw hanging open! I cannot believe that those were made by grade 6's. 


 Grin Grin... The lesson to take away from that though is that there are many fabulous (and widely varied) things that can be made with polymer clay, and many of them are pretty darn simple. 
(And btw, sometimes things that look hard, aren't.. and some things that don't look hard, are --or at least require more practice and info.)

I gave a series of 5 classes to those kids during the 6th grade, so they actually started the first class in the beginning of the year (bowls were toward the end of the year).  Some of the kids were totally new to polymer clay, but I had given a few polymer-related classes (e.g., making heads for fingerpuppets, etc.) to some of them as young as first grade. 

Quote
Did the kids make the canes too?


They didn't, but they could have because they had had at least a little experience with making them earlier (we didn't have time to do both bowls and the canes in one class of just 70 minutes).  So I did make the canes, but I restricted myself mostly to canes they had learned earlier:
...the kids who had been around since 3rd grade had learned to make 2 canes (spiral and wrapped) in one class I gave (turning catfood cans into lidded treasure boxes) --but some were newer students. 
...the 6th graders had had a class earlier in the year on covering Bic Stic pens with canes, so in that class they had learned to make 3 canes (which are kind of the basis for all canes):
......spiral cane (jellyroll)
......wrapped cane (bullseye) & also "lacy" cane (which is just many wrapped canes put together)
......simple checkerboard cane or stripes cane
Then they learned to cut the canes apart, and re-combine them, to make a more complex cane pattern.

Maybe I'll dig up some photos from those things and post them here or in another thread.

As for the draped bowls, I did make the simple marbled disks (again because of time), but some of the kids re-mixed and reflattened theirs more to their liking! 
Some also used slices from some of their leftover cane ends and some of mine to embellish some of their disks before shaping and baking them as bowls.

Quote
They must have had one fabulous teacher

Thanks Grin.... I must admit I was a real taskmaster when I gave those classes though.  Seventy minutes just isn't a really long time with only me and 6 fidgety kids.  This was in a parent-pariticipation school though so all the kids knew me, and since they liked what they got to do, they allowed me to set some firm rules and keep moving.  I learned a lot doing all the classes I did with them!!!

Quote
Great job on this, you have inspired me to try it.

Excellent! ... if you want to make the cane-slice bowls, why don't you check out this page too for basic info on making canes (or maybe you'll want to start with a draped bowl instead):
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/canes--instructions.htm


Diane B.
--- polymer clay "encyclopedia"
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
« Last Edit: June 10, 2006 01:56:28 PM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
TAddictedAngelT
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2006 01:51:37 PM »

wow. those look amazing!
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krafty_kelly
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2006 03:56:20 PM »

Wow, thanks Diane B. I have just bookmarked that link.  I think I want to be one of those 6 fidgity kids in your class.  Lucky kids. 
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Polybeadry
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2006 12:36:47 PM »

Wow, did the kids make those canes and the designs in the clay too, or did they just shape them? Those are awesome for an adult, much less a sixth grader! I'm impressed! Wow!
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Diane B.
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« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2006 03:10:02 PM »

Quote
did the kids make those canes and the designs in the clay too, or did they just shape them? Those are awesome. . .


Thanks, I think so too!  The kids were Very Proud  Grin
As for whether they made the canes, I answered that in my last reply so just check down a few responses.


I hope some of you guys will try a bowl or two... they're so-o-o fun. 

If you start out by making a really short-walled bowl** over a glass custard bowl, e.g., and just use a simple cane like maybe a spiral-jellyroll, it should be a breeze.

**I made a bunch of little short ones for holding my earrings at night.

To apply cane slices directly on the bowl, the jellyroll cane could be left round and the slices from it applied overlapping each other (then flattened before baking with a hand roller, or by rubbing over a thin sheet of paper placed over them)... or the jellyroll cane could be reshaped into a squared cane, and the slices applied butting each other (then smooth same as above).

If you want to try a draped bowl, lay all the slices on a sheet of waxed paper in a rough disk shape (overlapping or not)... then later flatten all the slices into a smooth sheet by putting another sheet of waxed paper over the slice sheet and rolling over it with a roller of some kind (even a straight-sided drinking glass will work)... lay a tissue over an upturned glass bowl and drape the flattened disk over it, arranging the excess as a fluted edge
(... or leave the tissue off and snug the whole disk around the glass bowl slowly and gently so that it touches the glass all over, like the cane slice bowls)
 
... bake 265-275 15-20 minutes...let cool just a bit, then remove (pop off the cane slice or snugged clay ones as suggested below... the loosely-draped ones should lift off easily)

You can even give the bowl more "importance" Cheesy by giving it feet too.  Just press 3-4 clay balls onto the bottom of the bowl, or press on a ring-rope of clay, but most any thick shape should work. 
(One of the polymer clay pioneers, Tory Huhges, gave one of her bowls actual feet Grin ... all kinds of animal or people feet have been used on occasion since then.)



Diane B.

GlassAttic....polymer clay "encyclopedia"
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
« Last Edit: June 15, 2006 10:05:23 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
Polybeadry
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2006 03:27:08 PM »

Oh sorry, I should have read further, I was just bowled over by the bowls. ha.

I also just realized that you are THE Diane of glassattic. I just wanted to say, I love your site, its awesome, inspirational, incredible, wonderful, fantastic. I have learned SO much from it and I give it out to people who want to know more about pc all the time! Gald to "meet" you!
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HappyMadison87
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2006 11:25:41 PM »

Wow! Those bowls are super-neato! I love the look of the draped bowls. Me likey. :-)

I have a question, though...I've heard that polymer clay should never be used for anything that will come in direct contact with food, because even after baked, some of the oil (is it called plasticine?) may still leak out and get into food. Are these bowls just for decoration and not for eating?
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Subversive
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« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2006 04:49:25 AM »

It's not that the plasticizers get into the food, it's that the PC is porous and the food can get into the clay, and then it would get nasty 'cause it would be virtually impossible to get out.
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Diane B.
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« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2006 09:39:27 AM »

It's not that the plasticizers get into the food, it's that the PC is porous and the food can get into the clay, and then it would get nasty 'cause it would be virtually impossible to get out.


Actually, it is true though!  Grin 

In fact, there are several different but related concerns re using food and clay:

The first is baked clay in direct contact with food.
I should have mentioned before that these polymer bowls should not be used for morning cereal or any other foods.  Again, we're erring way on the side of extreme caution for properly-baked clay (it is just a plastic bowl after all), but it's one place where we do that since it is theoretically possible that the plastiizer may not have been totally and completely baked out (especially by those who don't know the fine points of proper baking), and could leach into food, or liquids especially, a little bit... and also hot foods could make the clay soften a bit.

If you do want to use your bowls for food though, leave the baked clay on the outside of a (glass) bowl (don't pop it off)... then you'll be using the glass, not the clay, in direct contact with the food (but you can still see the decorative clay through the glass)... metal or other opaque forms don't work as well for this obviously.  Glass plates are a great thing to use this way too.
Some bowl shapes and sizes will allow you to see the decorative clay better than others... for example, a bowl with tall sides or almost straight tallish sides will kind of block the view of the interior of the bowl.
Or you could simply sit a smaller regular bowl or container inside your clay bowl, then put the food/dip/whatever in that.

These bowls (or "trays" if they're short-walled) can be used for all kinds of things besides food though too.

As for porosity, actually properly-baked polymer clay is almost not porous at all (plain original white Sculpey has a little more "tooth" to its baked surface, but not sure even it is porous).  Remember, baked polymer clay is just plastic.  In fact, properly-baked clay can be submerged in water for 6 months or more before showing any signs that the water is beginning to be absorbed... even then it's just on the surface. 
There were even experiments at one point with baked clay vases, showing that they held water without leaking for quite a while (a layer of liquid clay inside was even better), although there the water pressure should have forced the water into the clay sooner.

The last concern is not using porous items, or items that have crevices with raw polymer clay. It may be impossible to thoroughly remove all the plasticizer from these, so those types of items or tools (pasta machines, for example) are definitely not recommended for use with food after use with clay.  Personally I have no problem thoroughly washing a metal spoon or something like that after using it for raw clay, then using it for food later.



Diane B.

GlassAttic....polymer clay "encyclopedia"
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
« Last Edit: June 15, 2006 10:18:05 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
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