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Topic: Polymer clay photo story  (Read 1798 times)
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kunoni
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« on: January 01, 2011 08:30:39 PM »

**If this is in the wrong board- let me know**

I would like to do a little photo story-thing using polymer clay. I have already decided on the names of the two main characters, and have a few ideas. My main question is: do you guys have any ideas for what the characters should be? something clever, so not just a small dinosaur or something. My first idea was teeth, but that's been done (http://mymilktoof.blogspot.com/). My second idea is a popcorn kernel, for there's several ways I could go with that:
1. The reason they show up on my door is because they're those lone kernels left in the bottom of the bag/bowl of popcorn
2. One photo story being when one of them goes in the microwave  Grin Grin

the problem with that is that I'll definitely have a hard time replicating a kernel in polymer clay, and making it easily identifiable as a kernel. Also, it'll have a hard time standing up, for kernels don't have a large surface on the bottom to stand on.


thank you.... Smiley
p.s.- anyone done a photo story before? Or have any links to photo story blogs/ stories?
« Last Edit: January 02, 2011 11:58:55 AM by kunoni » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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Diane B.
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« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2011 09:32:05 AM »

(definitely, the right board  Grin)

I'm glad you included a link to the kind of thing you have in mind since there are loads of ways that "polymer clay could be used for a photo story"!  So what you're wanting is to make 3D polymer clay items, then place them in one scene (of a sequence of story-telling scenes) at a time so you can take a photo of the scene; then you want to publish those photos on a blog (or perhaps print out for actual little books/etc).  Right?  Fun thing to do!!

I think the popcorn kernels themselves would be very doable.
In this pic of unpopped kernels the one in the lower right has more definite markings than some of the others, for example:
http://matthewrice.wordpress.com/2008/09/05/popcorn-glorification
It has a impressed shallow (vertical) groove on it that's kind of "white" which would be another good identifier for popcorn kernel-ness, as well as it's several different colors (and amount of translucency--adding translucent clay would be important for the yellower parts, and enclosed baking would be good to keep any colors from darkening too much).
Here are other images of kernels:
http://images.google.com/images?q=popcorn+kernel

You could even have a story with one kernel and one Pop(ped) to identify the plain kernel even more, and I've definitely seen polymer clay (popped) popcorn in the past.

As for standing the kernels up, they are pointed on one end so you could do things like these for example:
...stand them on their broad end
...add "legs" of some kind, or feet
...stand them in a shallow pot/skillet
...put them onto a background of some kind that travels with them
...put a wire in the bottom of the kernel, then bend it backwards and hold down with clear tape/glue/sticky dot/silicone glob, etc...and/or put a wire in the back side then attach to something else
...use sticky "glue dots" or even clay on the bottom, or make a translucent base (or same-color base as whatever surface they're standing on) from Elmers GlueAll or glue gun glue, or some other kind of glue or colored acrylic paint, etc
...give them a little bit of popped popcorn that sticks out of the bottom

As for other photo stories, there have been regular books done with photos of polymer clay figures/etc (sometimes all clay, sometimes mixed media), and of course there are loads of scenes telling stories with polymer clay and/or mixed media. Let me see what I can Google:
Hmmm...can't find the books I had in mind, but here are a few sort of "related" things:
...and Maureen Carlson has some "story boxes":
http://www.maureencarlson.com/rc_pip_storyboxes.htm
many of Garie Sim's projects for his kids have a storytelling element:
http://www.garieinternational.com.sg/clay/play_clay/clay_idesign.htm
.... http://www.garieinternational.com.sg/clay/clay_story.htm
http://www.claysquared.com/SavingSalamanders.htm
http://dailyartmuse.com/2010/03/12/nancy-calefs-peoplescapes

Of course you could always just look at any storybook and just substitute clay characters and make the scenes yourself, or check out some of the many "clay animations" and see how they do things (but do fewer shots, like their "story boards," etc).

And sites on how to make your own storybook should have some good ideas:
http://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+draw+storybook

Diane B.


 

« Last Edit: January 03, 2011 10:53:16 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)
kunoni
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« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2011 11:52:30 AM »

Whoa! Information overload! Nah, I'm joking. That was very helpful! Seriously- thank you. I've seen tons of photo stories people have done on their blogs, but right when I want to find them I can't.
I think, I'll use uh.. what's it called again? Cold porcelain clay. Only because I ran out anyways, and the kind at my craft store is half translucent, so I could add some color (chalk pastel) to it while kneading, creating a translucent color, and add the solid color (paint) after it's dry! That would reduce the cost of having to buy polymer clay and translucent clay, especially since I know I can work well with cold porcelain.
little feet of popcorn? that's a great idea. I figure I'll mess it up and it'll look alien-like, but it never hurt to try.
 **figure I'll ask this anyways**
would it be possible to take some popped popcorn bits, glaze them many times, and glue them on? I guess not, they'll get all soggy?

ok well, just wanted to say thanks again! Grin

ETA: I found another photo story. It's less photo, more story, but: http://www.weewonderfuls.com/make-a-long/
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kunoni
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« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2011 12:18:16 PM »

I did drawing/blueprint of the kernel and it looks like an octopus. Back to the drawing board. Anyone have another idea for a different main character?


after careful consideration, I THINK I'll do teeth. i figure, since my plots and characters are different, it doesn't matter if it's been done before? I am certain that this isn't the first time a storybook thingy has been done about a bunch of teeth, I know I have a children's book in my room about the adventures of teeth right now.

I am still open for ideas about different main characters though.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2011 01:24:31 PM by kunoni » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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Diane B.
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« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2011 10:45:07 AM »

Quote
I think, I'll use uh.. what's it called again? Cold porcelain clay. Only because I ran out anyways, and the kind at my craft store is half translucent, so I could add some color (chalk pastel) to it while kneading, creating a translucent color, and add the solid color (paint) after it's dry! That would reduce the cost of having to buy polymer clay and translucent clay, especially since I know I can work well with cold porcelain.

Not sure maybe what you mean about having to buy "polymer clay and translucent clay"...one of the "colors" of polymer clay is Translucent which can be colored with various colorants inside the clay or painted on after curing.  It can even be made less translucent by adding white oil paint along with any colorant or various kinds of powders/inclusions/etc, or mixing with a bit of solid clay (yellow, e.g.).
Cold porcelain air-dry clay is fine too I guess if you don't mind that it will need to be sealed well, may shrink, and won't be as tough and hard as polymer clay (it isn't any cheaper than polymer clay, I don't think).

Quote
little feet of popcorn? that's a great idea. I figure I'll mess it up and it'll look alien-like, but it never hurt to try.

(Not sure if you're thinking of feet made from popcorn kernels, or feet under popcorn kernels...I meant adding a couple of feet under a kernel of popcorn with wire or something else, or even like this:
...shoot, can't find the cute little "footed" bowl by Tory Hughes I was looking for, but here are a few similar:
http://desiredcreations.com/gallery3boxes.htm
http://hgtv.sndimg.com/HGTV/2004/05/27/cds1654_4c_lg.jpg
http://images.google.com/images?q=%22polymer+clay%22+foot+feet
http://glassattic.com/polymer/sculpting_body_and_tools.htm (click on Hands&Feet or on Other Access-Shoes)
...Oh, maybe you were talking about the idea I listed of having just a bit of popped corn peeking out at the bottom of the kernel to act as feet?? That might be a little harder to pull off than just using the kernel with something underneath or way of attaching that's clearly not popcorn.

Quote
would it be possible to take some popped popcorn bits, glaze them many times, and glue them on? I guess not, they'll get all soggy?

Are you asking about sealing a piece of popped popcorn?  If so, you could do that and I don't think it would get soggy if you did the first coating quickly and/or lightly (if you wanted to add more coats, the seal would already be fairly well present after the first one even if light). 
You could try just dipping or painting the popped kernel into or with polyurethane (Future might be a little "wetter"??), or spraying lightly with artists fixative or acrylic spray then adding your thicker sealer (which could also be paint). 
Then the sealed pops could be glued onto something else, or could have had an armature or have legs, etc, added before that (the final seal will need to cover any gaps around entry holes and connection points).

As for "other" characters, with polymer clay that could be anything at all since it can be made to look like anything.  Do you have some favorite fruits or foods, or flowers or stones/gemstones or other nature materials, or animals, or activities (balls, etc) you particularly like to do?  If so, those might be more "right" for you than teeth?  Or, your avatar is cute... how about a pair of actual feet or striped socks with feet in them as your characters?

Diane B.

« Last Edit: January 03, 2011 10:51:43 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)
kunoni
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« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2011 12:34:11 PM »

LOL. I confused you. I did a sketch of both ways for corn, (wire and popcorn feet) and it just doesn't look right. I'm visual, so if I can't draw the base sketch right, I know I can't do it right in clay.  I've made up a little story about 3 "tooth aches" that come to live with me. Smiley Those are chipped teeth, and teeth with cavities, plus a small "baby" tooth that got pulled out because of a cavity. Cheesy I think I'll use that as a base point. The teeth will not be shiny white too, as these are supposed to be the cause of tooth aches, the improperly kept teeth. I am still considering using polymer clay, but I plan on making about 6-7 models of each tooth (resulting inn 21 teeth) and I know one pack of white won't do. I think I'll need 2-3, possibly 4. I'll see what coupons we have. What polymer clay do you suggest? The teeth will be about 4 cm tall. that's a bit less than two inches, and will need to stand up to some rough handling (I'm super clumsy) but still be able to have ~some~ detail work.
my goodness, tons of questions. Grin
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Diane B.
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« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2011 08:48:38 AM »

If the teeth will be as large as 1.5 inches tall, you'll probably want to use an armature under the clay to avoid possible cracking while baking and just to save on clay (the highest thickness recommended for polymer clay while baking is 1.25").  Then you'd just cover the armature with clay.

There are many materials and items that can be used as armatures under polymer clay but tightly-scrunched aluminum foil might be best for you.  Some clayers coat the foil with permanent white glue (then dry) or even with hot glue to give a bit more tooth for the clay to stick to while raw but it also will allow any swelling and cooling of the layers to be gradual, though not necessary.
You could also use things like thoroughly dried paper pulp shapes, other cheaper brands of polymer clay (like original boxed Sculpey perhaps) which you'd prebake, wood balls/etc (paint or clear finish those if bare), polystyrene foam shapes from packing foam or packing peanuts (can cover with aluminum foil first if want it not to shrink and make somewhat hollow), and various other materials/items.
More info on those here:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/armatures-perm.htm
http://glassattic.com/polymer/covering.htm (pick the material you want to cover with clay)
...and for ps foam, check out Plastics >> Left Inside Clay or >> Removed

The plain boxed white Sculpey I mentioned before (called Polyform clay if purchased at an art supply shop...found on the bottom shelves at Michaels) would cost around $11 or so for 2 lbs which makes it pretty cheap.  You could use that for the entire covering (and/or the armature). 
It is one of the "brittle" polymer clays after baking anywhere it's thin (or projecting), but generally speaking, all polymer clays will be fine/strong if the baked clay is rounded and thick--even for "clumsy" people.  And all will do detail, but original Sculpey will be pretty soft and not do really fine detail and be tougher to handle well because of that too (especially if it's warm in the room, or the clay has been worked a lot without cooling). The new cheap CraftSmart clay at Michaels might be similar.
If you want a stronger clay though and are perhaps planning to make only a thin clay layer over foil, etc., or want to do finer detail, probably best to use Kato Polyclay, Premo, FimoClassic, or even Cernit (its White is usually opaque, but its other colors are somewhat translucent unless White mixed into them).  You can buy larger "bricks" of most of those brands online for cheaper by volume usually, and even their small bars will usually be cheaper.
You'll almost certainly want to mix your white or other colors with some Translucent though unless you want a really "cartoony" opaque white color for your teeth.

Btw, what colorants are you planning to use to tone down the white to make a browner enamel color, and/or the cavities?

For "non-shiny" finish, just don't put a gloss finish on the clay, or if you have more gloss than you want from the clay or a finish you can also sand gently with 0000 steel wool or very fine-grit sandpaper (then buff a bit), etc.  Kato Polyclay will have a natural slight sheen without anything being done to it but not a shiny gloss, and Sculpey and Sculpey III will be the most matte.

Diane B.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2011 08:31:17 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)
kunoni
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« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2011 04:01:49 PM »

Thanks! I plan to dry brush some paint on at the end, before sealing. I have a sealer that'ws matte, no idea what it's called, but it works well with polymer clay. I will definitely use an armature (tin foil.) I may have to wait a few weeks to start, I know i'm not going to michael's anytime soon, but i will definitely print this out to use while choosing my clay.

Thanks again! so much.
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LinearEquation
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2013 09:06:14 PM »

I know this thread is old, and you might have moved on by now... but as I was reading through the thread... I kind of thought, why not use a packing peanut as a character....Huh? That'd be easy as to stories and "posing"...

Anywho... just a thought....

LE
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