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Topic: First Poly clay project - Dinko Bird  (Read 3808 times)
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AgentAlmost
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« on: February 22, 2006 04:20:03 AM »

I've always been meaning to try my hands at polymer clay for quite some time and just kept putting it off but since all 2oz bricks were on sale at Michael's for a dollar I decided to go down there, get a bunch of packets of premo and give it a shot. Since I didn't have any projects in mind when I went to michaels I pretty much bought one packet of every color so when I made the bird I didn't want to waste my whole block of blue and instead wrapped it around a ball of aluminum foil. I guess I didn't smooth out the foil enough because the clay took on alot of the bumps and creases of the foil, even after I laid another layer of clay.

I made the bird from a tutorial located here: http://www.polymerclaycentral.com/castle/lesdinkobird.html.  Of course mine looks nowhere near as good as his but considering that this is my first foray into sculpting with anything save for good old play dough more than a decade and a half ago, and that my fingers are far from nimble, I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.






And if anyone who's experienced with polymer clays is reading this: what other materials would make a good lightweight core? would play dough, or home made flour clay work? I've been thinking about using dried flour clay as the core for my next bird but don't know if that would be such a good idea.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2006 04:18:30 AM by AgentAlmost » THIS ROCKS   Logged
CwT
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2006 06:55:10 AM »

Ping Pong Balls ?
I like marbles but they are part of the piece , will upload photo of my 1st project sometime Cheesy
News Paper
Havent played with it much myself Smiley
« Last Edit: February 22, 2006 06:56:59 AM by CwT » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2006 11:33:57 AM »

AWWWWW!!!! that made me giggle, good work! 'tis very funky!
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Diane B.
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« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2006 12:08:25 PM »

Hi , and great "boid"! 
 
Dinko Tilov has done lots of really fun stuff too (...I was about to give you a link to his websites to show some of the other things, but it seems that he's taken down the old sites, and hasn't redone them... boo hoo.  Hope this doesn't mean he's having a hard time, etc., or even that he's saving everything for his next book; he has always shared freely). 
There's a little more of his stuff on the polymerclaycentral site if you didn't see it all (mostly in the Castle area), and a lesson on making a dragon somewhere I ran across this morning I can't find now.

Quote
if anyone who's experienced with polymer clays is reading this: what other materials would make a good lightweight core? would play dough, or home made flour clay work? I've been thinking about using dried flour clay as the core for my next bird but don't know if that would be such a good idea.

There are lots of things that can be used as cores under polymer clay -- lightweight or not so light, removable or left in, shrinkable, etc.  Tightly-scrunched aluminum foil is a favorite, but check out many of the others on these pages at my sites:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/armatures-temp.htm
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/armatures-perm.htm
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/covering.htm (other types of "permanent" armatures)
and this page too:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/sculpture.htm

That last page also has a subcategory on "Smoothing" polymer clay -- especially for sculpts but works for anything-- that might be helpful. 
You can get your aluminum-foil ball smoother in the first place by roughly pressing it into shape, then pressing it or hitting it with a hammer to compact it well.... and/or you can roll your ball on a hard surface (a round depression if you want a round ball) too.  Another thing that helps is to cover with one layer of clay, then bake... cool and cover that with another layer.  There are other things you could use though too, like an empty eggshell, polystyrene shape, papier mache, etc., and even carved vegetables (in addition to other "clays"), or you could also use a cheaper (and weaker) clay like original white Sculpey in a box for a core.

You mentioned also not wanting to waste your colors, so if you didn't know already, polymer clays can be mixed with each other to create many many more colors, or they can have alcohol inks, oil paints --or a little acrylic paint-- and other things mixed into them as well, to give new the colors.

If you're interested in finding out more about those things, look on these pages:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/color.htm
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/inclusions.htm
and maybe this main page on fauxs too:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/Faux--many.htm

Hope that helps, and have fun!



Diane B.
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http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm

If you want an all-polymer clay board here at craftster, vote here!
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« Last Edit: April 14, 2006 08:29:49 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2006 04:15:49 PM »

Great job.  He is super cute!  I think you are going to have to make him lots of friends!
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« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2006 04:20:19 PM »

I love all the dinko stuff. I used a dinko skull for my cake or death tic tac toe board. I really like your bird. Your best bet would be a foil ball to use less clay. I would suggest using acrylic paint if you don't want to buy too many colors.
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« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2006 02:06:58 AM »

Thanks for all the replies.

Diane, since I posted this thread I have learned a bunch of new techniques most from your site actually. I have since been shaping the foil cores with the back of a steel tablespoon. I haven't thought about using a hammer, have to give that a try. Sometimes I'll lay a layer over the core, bake it, sand the layer then add another layer but most times I'm just too impatient however when I do have the patience to try it, my finished product comes out pretty smooth. I have tried to mix my polymer clays to get new colors but the resulting color is never what I would have expected, I guess I have to brush up on my color theory.

Teapotdinky, I actually did made these marble effect beads from translucent clay which I rolled out thin painted acrylic on, and let all of the colors dry except the one that I wanted to be the dominant color, then I rolled it and squished it a few times to marble it, rolled it like a cane cut a bunch of slices, rolled the slices into bead shapes and poked them with a needle. I haven't gotten the hang of shaping the beads uniformly yet but they do look great. Maybe I'll post a pic soon. I'm thinking of using this technique for other things than beads. A marbled pen would look really cool.

Kymporter: don't worry, soon the dinko bird will have so many brothers and sisters that he'll wish he's an only child.
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Diane B.
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« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2006 11:24:53 AM »

Quote
  I have tried to mix my polymer clays to get new colors but the resulting color is never what I would have expected, I guess I have to brush up on my color theory.
[/size]

AgentAlmost, a lot of the problem re mixing colors isn't with you!   Most polymer clays are not "pure" colors, and often contain other bits of color (which may not be obvious) and which can tone down your colors or keep them in a certain color range no matter what you do.   
Clay brands differ on this too... for example, the clearest colors come from Premo or Kato clays (primaries and secondaries) ...the most toned brand is FimoClassic.  Kato comes in 8 basic "spectral" colors (pure rainbow colors, and also change color the least during baking) ... Premo was developed specifically to have pure colors which used oil paint names so they could be mixed in a similar way (Premo's red, blue and yellow each come in a warm version and a cool version too). 
The very best colors for mixing though can be magenta, turquoise, and lemon yellow for the clearest and truest palette, though of course all kinds of other palettes are wonderful too.

There's a load of info on all that, plus recipes for many individual colors and whole palettes on the Colors page at my site that I linked to in my first post.


Quote
. . . marble effect beads from translucent clay ....I rolled out thin painted acrylic on, and let all of the colors dry except the one that I wanted to be the dominant color, then I rolled it and squished it a few times to marble it . . .I'm thinking of using this technique for other things than beads. . . .


Cool!  ... do post them.

Be careful of using acrylic paints inside polymer clay though, if not dried first.  Acrylic paints contain water, and since polymer clay is oil-based, water (or even moisture from hands) can get trapped in the clay, then swell during baking creating bubbled areas, etc.  Usually a little acrylic paint is fine mixed in wet, but it's less trouble to use other colorants like oil paints or alcohol inks, etc. 
Another tactic is to let the raw clay item sit out overnight to allow some of the moisture or air to work its way out and evaporate off before baking.

Coating sheets of clay with paints and inks is something that's often done for the "mokume gane" technique too.... but there, after any acrylic paints or alcohol inks are dry, the layers are stacked, and then distorted in various ways; then parts of the distorted stack are shaved off (or sanded off if baked) to reveal incredible patterns, and in that case the paint used will show up as a very thin "layer" of color in the pattern.
If you're interested in the mokume gane technique, look on this page:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/mokumegane.htm
(...for this version, click on "Paints & Inks" under "Between Layers"...)

Oh, and if you're interested in more on marbling colors, look at the "Marbling" subcategory on the Colors page I mentioned above.

Quote
. . . I haven't gotten the hang of shaping the beads uniformly yet but they do look great. . . .

Re shaping beads, are you talking about uniform sizes or uniform shapes?
 
Most clayers actually prefer the slight variations of hand-rolled beads to exact round balls, etc.,  but if you want that, you could always purchase or make a set of "bead rollers."  They're certainly not necessary though because it's usually possible to handmake beads close enough to the same shape that they seem the same. 

If you're not getting the same volume of clay in each bead though (when you want that), one way to do it is to roll out a uniform-thickness sheet of clay (with a pasta machine if you have one), then use a small cutter to cut out identical shapes, and make your beads from those (or cover those base beads with uniform slices from canes, etc.).  You'll have to figure out a sheet thickness and a cutter which will give you the exact volume you want though.
Another way to do it is to roll the clay into a uniform-thickness log (try rolling over the log with a sheet of glass or acrylic), then cut the log into equal slices for the beads (some people use a Marxit, ruler, or comb to mark equal segments first).

These two pages have info on how to learn to roll beads well by hand, and use bead rollers, as well as various ways to make holes in beads:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/beads.htm
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/beads-holes.htm

HTH and keep up the great stuff!


Diane B.
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« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2006 12:52:39 PM »

then I rolled it and squished it a few times to marble it, rolled it like a cane cut a bunch of slices, rolled the slices into bead shapes and poked them with a needle. I haven't gotten the hang of shaping the beads uniformly yet but they do look great.

You may want to try freezing them before you poke the holes in them. Take a small portion out of the freezer and poke those, when you're done pull out a few more. This will help them keep the shape better.  Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2006 12:25:22 AM »

Here's a pic of some of the beads I talked about. Since my digital camera doesn't have a macro feature this is the clearest shot that I could get.



« Last Edit: January 21, 2010 08:58:46 AM by rackycoo - Reason: to fix image » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2006 09:13:52 AM »

Ooooo, those are pur-ty!  (They'd almost look like faux rock or gemstone of some kind if the colors were a more toned down... have you tried some of the techniques for faux jade?)   Translucent clay is intriguing stuff, isn't it??

Btw, if you were thinking of these beads when you mentioned getting uniform ones, I can understand!  Medium-long oval shapes can be harder to get the same with than others, though it can be done with a little practice (I think yours look just fine anyway --except for perhaps two which are definitely larger and one is darker too so attention is just drawn to it quicker).  When you start using an equal-volume method before rolling, I think you'll find you'll be doing very well (...remember that the wider the circles in your palm you roll a bead, the more oval it becomes... when you pay attention to that, you'll  begin to get a feel for doing the rotations the same every time, and in the same part of the palm, then a little tweaking on a few beads afterwards if necessary, is all you'll need to do).

Btw, just so no one else gets the wrong idea, holes aren't "poked" into raw clay beads ...they'll distort too much that way even if cooled.  They need to be screwed <no comments please  Cheesy> with a toothpick or skewer or needle, etc. 
However, holes (esp. larger ones) which are put into flatter pieces of clay often can be poked at least a bit, but the "neatest" hole is created by removing a small disk of clay with a drinking straw or small cutter by pressing or slightly twisting it into the clay, then pressing out or blowing out the little bit of clay, or cutting straw tip off to use the straw again --rather than poking the clay then just pushing it aside) (more on that on my Beads-Holes page).

I see your beads are a bit shiny too ... did you use Future (don't like quite shiny enough for Varathane maybe), or did you sand and buff?




Diane B.
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If you want an all-polymer clay board here at craftster, vote here!
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« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2006 09:38:23 AM »

I just started using a very tiny drill to drill holes after my beads have been baked. At first it was scary (the stupid thing only has one speed), but the results are great!
Speaking of great results, those beads really are pretty. I will have to try that!
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« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2006 03:42:21 AM »


I see your beads are a bit shiny too ... did you use Future (don't like quite shiny enough for Varathane maybe), or did you sand and buff?
If you want an all-polymer clay board here at craftster, vote here!
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=72141.msg813624#msg813624


I just sanded and buffed them with automotive sandpaper, working up to 1500 grit but it seems that the camera fibbed a little, the beads do have a slight shine to them, but not as much as the picture would suggest.  The one bead in the middle is intentionally longer because they were made with the intention of being used on a bracelet, but any size difference in any of the others is unintentional.
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« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2006 10:23:13 AM »

Quote
I just sanded and buffed them with automotive sandpaper

My least favorite thing to do is sand and buff a bunch of small beads!  Tongue (actually it's mostly the sanding, since I can buff them on a wire fairly easily with my electric buffer).  If you do many small beads, you may want to look into sanding them in a tumbler, or one of the other electrified short cuts (more info on those on my Sanding-Tumbling page).

Quote
working up to 1500 grit


Oh, a glutton for punishment!  Cheesy ....LOLOL.



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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)
bowtie
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2006 10:54:25 AM »

Adorable! And yeah, for the middles I usually use tinfoil..
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