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Topic: gemstones and other decorations with polyclay  (Read 574 times)
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Krafty_Karasu
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« on: February 02, 2009 11:25:55 AM »

so I was wondering...

my first polyclay project included the use of gemstones.  the instructions I was using said to place the gemstones in the clay, then bake.  I don't see this being a problem.  but here's where my question comes in...why do other projects using (for example) chatons tell you to press them into the clay, then pop them out before baking.  could something happen to the crystal?  or would it be safe?
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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2009 12:11:09 PM »

Mostly it depends on whether the "gemstones" are natural or basically plastic.  Natural materials (and certainly rock, minerals, glass, etc.) can tolerate high amounts of heat without problems, but synthetic plastics can't. 
Depending on the type of plastic though, some of them can tolerate the very low temps we use for curing polymer clay and especially if they're somewhat protected by being mostly buried in the clay, cured a shorter time or lower temp, baked using an enclosed or partly enclosed baking method, etc.  The dividing line between exactly how much heat those plastics can usually take and what they can't though falls right around our baking temps (200-300) so it can get tricky for many plastics.

For plastics that can't take the heat (and may discolor, become cloudy, distort, soften, or melt), it's best to make an exact impression in the raw clay with the "stone," bake, then glue the stone back into the impressed area.  Since polymer clay doesn't really shrink while baking, it should fit perfectly.

Some plastics will also be affected (dissolved) by the plasticizers in raw polymer clay, so those can begin to get cloudy wherever they're touching raw clay if left in direct contact for very long.


HTH,

Diane B.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2009 12:19:21 PM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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Krafty_Karasu
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« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2009 02:46:23 PM »

see, I knew I could have sent a private message to you, Diane, but I figured there may be other people interested in this and they could benefit from a topic like this.   Grin

and yeah, I figured there shouldn't be a problem with natural gemstones (that's all I'll use for fear of damage to any other kind of stone, like plastic).  but Swarovski crystals should be ok.  hmmm...sparkly...

thanks so much!
« Last Edit: February 02, 2009 02:47:11 PM by Krafty_Karasu » THIS ROCKS   Logged

Will swap for ceramic bisque steer skulls!
Always in need of things like these!!!
Found another soup of acrylic, seed, glass, wood, polymer, metal, and shell beads!  PM me if you want to swap!!
LOTS of fabric available too!!
angeli
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2009 02:19:43 AM »

Hello!  You're right, swarovskis are great inclusions.  I usually string them through a thin wire, twist, then insert into the clay. this way they have "roots".

Other inclusions I use are glass seed beads and swarovski flatbacks.
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