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Topic: Getting Started With Polymer Clay (Check here before asking questions)  (Read 54644 times)
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HippieKender
The most precious thing one can make is a friend.
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I tend to lick circular things.


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« Reply #160 on: November 29, 2010 04:14:30 PM »

I'd say paint one half and lay it on the unpainted side until it dries then paint the other half.
If its a bead, you can find something to put in the hole (snugly) like a toothpick to use as a handle while you paint then stick the toothpick into styrofoam (or even raw clay) to keep it off the table while it dries.
Some colors of acrylic paint may need more than one coat. Or you can use a primer.
To bake non-flat items I use batting (the stuff toys are stuffed with). I put a layer of it on a piece of cardboard then set the item to be baked on the batting. It will keep it from getting a flat spot.
You'll want to paint after you bake. I don't know that paint will hold up to the baking very well.
As an alternative to painting, you could always use pre-colored clay.  You can mix your own custom colors or use the standard colors.
Hope this helps Smiley
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illegalcreativity
« Reply #161 on: March 03, 2011 02:12:04 PM »

I've only played with polymer clay a few times, and all the times were failures

the first time, it burnt. fair enough, my brother was baking a pyramid at the same time, so his needed more time and I didn't take mine out

a few times after burning many pieces, get this-- it melted.
clearly, melting is an issue and it won't magically form back into its shape after I take it out

After the melting incident I never played with polymer clay afterwords, which is a shame, because there's so much you can do with it.
it was a while ago, but I remember I looked at the temperature and it was definitely 275 (as the package said to bake it at), and I only baked for about 5 minutes until I saw it started to melt. I don't remember if there were any fumes, but there probably was.

any ideas? should I try again?
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HippieKender
The most precious thing one can make is a friend.
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I tend to lick circular things.


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« Reply #162 on: March 04, 2011 08:25:23 AM »

You should absolutely try again! You might want to invest in an oven thermometer - a lot of times the dial on the oven is not accurate. By having a 2nd stand-alone thermometer you can ensure the oven is the right temperature.
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illegalcreativity
« Reply #163 on: March 04, 2011 12:19:16 PM »

yeah, I really wanna play with polymer clay, but (I heard) the fumes from melted clay are toxic, so I didn't wanna risk that in something we cook our food in :/

I'll look into another thermometer
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KimK
« Reply #164 on: March 08, 2011 02:21:04 PM »

Hi, new here in this forum.

Is there a way to get the clays to swirl the colors and then start to form it?

Thank you

Kim
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Diane B.
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GlassAttic --polymer clay "encyclopedia"


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« Reply #165 on: March 11, 2011 12:26:11 PM »

Quote
Is there a way to get the clays to swirl the colors and then start to form it?

KimK, there are various ways to create swirls of color using polymer clay...you can create vague amorphous "swirls" all the way to spiral swirls of color that are sharply differentiated, for example.  

The plain old "marbling" technique can be done by just mixing bits of colors in your hands (perhaps rolling into a ball, then log and twisting that log before rolling it back into a ball for flattening or to use that way).  Or you can do things like twist two or more colored logs of clay together, then do the twisting, balling, etc., method.
You can stop with those methods while the clay is only semi-marbled and the colors haven't mixed too much, or you can continue till the colors are almost mixed.
You can also just use any clay patterns you already have and ball, twist, etc.  The amount and order of the twisting or placing colors together at any of the stages can result in very different looks.
Check out this page for more info on "marbling" colors in general:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/color.htm > Marbling Effects

Or you can also create gradient blends of all kinds (aka "Skinner blends") and mix-blend tyour colors.
Check out this page for the gradient blends:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/blends.htm > Skinner blends

The spiral bicones often called "swirled bicone" beads are different though in that their colors mostly stay distinct.  More info on those here:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/beads.htm > Swirled Bicones (near bottom of list)

HTH,
Diane B.




« Last Edit: March 11, 2011 12:26:58 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)
Diane B.
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GlassAttic --polymer clay "encyclopedia"


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« Reply #166 on: March 11, 2011 12:58:52 PM »

Quote
. . .the first time, it burnt. fair enough, my brother was baking a pyramid at the same time, so his needed more time and I didn't take mine out. . .
a few times after burning many pieces, get this-- it melted.

illegal creativity, I'm mystified about your polymer clay actually melting.  It should never do that because of the type of plastic it is (it should only darken then burn--and smoke and stink-- if the temp gets too high).  The only "clay" I know of that will actually melt is "modeling clay" (plasticine-type clay)...higher-quality brands of that would be Claytoons and especially Plastalina, for example, but it also comes in long rectangular sticks (for kids) made cheaply by companies like RoseArt, etc.

If you were using polymer clay for sure, did you perhaps have something on or in it that was another material (which might have melted)?  Polymer clay does soften somewhat when it's heated so may droop if thin, etc., but should never melt.

Quote
I remember I looked at the temperature and it was definitely 275° (as the package said to bake it at), and I only baked for about 5 minutes until I saw it started to melt. . .

About temperatures and polymer clay, there are some other issues you may have had.  First, when you looked at the temp, were you looking on the dial of your oven or looking at the dial of an oven thermometer placed near the clay?  Ovens of most all kinds are notorious for not actually heating to the temp you've set on the dial, and many ovens also have hot spots, or can be way too hot if you don't wait for preheating to finish, etc.

If you were using a line of polymer clay like Sculpey III, SuperSculpey or original plain Sculpey, those temps won't actually work well too (even though that's what's recommended on the package).  And if your piece had thin areas or projecting areas, those areas will burn more readily too.  Other issues can be the type of material you might have been using as a baking base, or how close the clay was to the coils or sides of the oven, etc.

There's loads of info on all those factors, what to avoid and what to do, various kinds of ovens and baking techniques on this page at my site, if you want lots of helpful info:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/baking.htm

Quote
I don't remember if there were any fumes, but there probably was.

As for "fumes," there are normal smells associated with heating polymer clay, and there are bad-for-lungs fumes that will be created if the clay actually burns (accompanied by thick black stinky smoke).   The smells aren't the same as the fumes though.  This page has more info on the actual health issues re polymer clay when it's not used correctly or a person is especially sensitive, etc:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/safety_health_cleaning.htm (the whole first half of that page)
There are also ways to contain the clay while curing though, or places to cure it, etc., that can prevent even the smells if you want (see that Baking page above for more on those things).

Quote
I never played with polymer clay afterwords, which is a shame, because there's so much you can do with it.

Absolutely! ...and you shouldn't give up just due to the things above.  Polymer clay is a very different medium and there are just a few things to learn about how it works, and how to make it do what you want, etc!  So keep posting questions if you continue to get bad results, and we can probably tell you what's happening and how to avoid it (if that's possible, and it usually is).

HTH,
Diane B.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2011 01:03:49 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)
illegalcreativity
« Reply #167 on: March 11, 2011 02:22:25 PM »

hey, Diane--

I actually don't remember what brand my clay was, but if I was the one that bought it, it should've been Fimo or Sculpey
I don't remember if it was me that bought it though ..

I looked at the dial for temperature (I know), but I mean... we use the oven to cook, so it can't be 200 degrees off or something? I don't think the clay should've melted regardless though ..
I was making miniature cakes, so there weren't any real protruding areas


I feel like I forgot a lot of the important details, so I guess I'll try again and see what happens
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Diane B.
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Joined: 01-May-2004

GlassAttic --polymer clay "encyclopedia"


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« Reply #168 on: March 11, 2011 05:13:19 PM »

illegalcreativity, believe me, there is a huge difference between ovens and in the temps in various parts of even the same one.  
And since polymer clay is a plastic, it has a critical temp at which it will begin to darken and even burn (around 385 F), so a difference of only 10-20 degrees could make a big-big change...not so true of foods.

You also hadn't mentioned before that you were making a miniature item when you baked.  So even if it had no really-thin areas, the whole thing was probably thin relatively speaking so didn't require as much curing time--and if you were using Sculpey III, the situation would be even worse for heating too high or too long.  
Or if you were using a baking surface that absorbs heat, that also would have created a higher temp next to the clay, or the item could have been in a hot spot...all kinds of things.

Do report back (but be sure you're actually using a polymer clay).
« Last Edit: March 11, 2011 05:13:44 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)
illegalcreativity
« Reply #169 on: April 04, 2011 06:44:21 PM »

hooray!
successfully baking polymer clay things of all shapes and sizes! my art teacher asked me to make an octopus, and the tentacles were really thin, and the body pretty thick so I was worried about burning the tentacles and the body not being baked enough, but it turned out fine Cheesy


I guess my only concern is how to be sure that I baked it long enough .. >:
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