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1  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / goldfish in a viewing tin on: September 02, 2007 06:27:12 PM
I found the tins in the bridal section (the brand is Wiltons and the box says "15 ct. favor kit) they come with stickers to print and stick onto the plastic lens.

They are kind of flimsy compared to regular candy tins but do have a clear coating on the outside that makes it really easy to position the clay before baking.

(plastic lens removed for this picture to prevent glare) and

The canes are premo this time, you can see where I goofed the head of the fish a little but all in all I like it and there's less distortion than the skull canes (from sculpey 3)
2  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / paper crimper vs. primo on: September 02, 2007 04:03:25 PM

I'm trying for a corrugated texture and set my sights on my paper crimper to do the job. I wanted to show off my results.

After a few tries I figured it out (I think.) The premo has to be about as soft as chewed up gum, rolled out fairly thick, sandwiched between two pieces of wax paper then fed into the fiskars paper crimper. The trick seems to be holding the crimper very loosely and going slow, then letting it sit and cool off (I have a/c in the shop so the ambient temperature is pretty chilly where my desk sits) for about 20 minutes, and slowly pulling it free from the wax paper.

If the premo is too firm the texture makes it really brittle. If the crimper is held too tight then it produces little uneven julienne fries of clay. Too thin of a sheet and it wants to warp as it's being pulled from the bottom piece of wax paper (although when I put the too thin piece down on another sheet of clay it behaved itself nicely when I pulled the wax paper off.

Smaller pieces do much better than larger pieces and narrower seems to have better results than wider.

I'm still trying to figure out what exactly I want to use this texture for, I'm not sure but it's fun to try.
3  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / clay newbie stuff-- skulls & daisies on: August 29, 2007 02:19:04 PM

The hearts are about the size of a quarter. After trying to make a uniform sized heart free hand I finally gave up and made a press mold from one of the ones that I liked. So the guts of the hearts are actually bits of left over clay, and I ended up using cheapo self adhesive magnets because I'm scared the super strong ones will scar my fridge. The rectangle is a 2.5 x 2 inch hinged tin box, and the round one is a flat 2 inch (1 ounce) tin.

I need to bombard everyone with questions now.

Should I really put a clear coat on everything? I like the matte finish that sanding and buffing left, but I don't want to leave the surfaces completely unprotected. Is there a brand of clear coat that leaves a similar matte finish?

I've been cutting the canes and putting the slices onto a rolled out piece of clay, then rolling everything smooth under some wax paper. Is there a better way (with less distortion) to make a clay sheet? (I'm sure there is, but what is it?)

Is there a really good online supplier (for clay and tools) that I should know about?

Is there a best brand for covering tins and jars? I am using sculpey 3 and fimo soft (because that's what I have on hand) it seems to hold really well to whatever is under it, I figured I'd ask though in case there's something better.
4  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / picture of yak (fiber and yarn-- not the other kind) before and after on: January 31, 2007 06:40:36 AM

From left to right: Plied yarn, ball of spun single, knitting needle (that I used for a puni stick) and puni style rolag, and clean yak down.

5  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Inspirations? on: May 04, 2006 04:00:00 PM
The Mill Ends Creations thread https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=85700.0 got me thinking that perhaps we should post a theme or fiber once a week as inspiration, then we could post our results.

Any ideas?   
6  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Patriotic patterned yarn! (Updated 5.10.06) on: May 03, 2006 05:51:56 PM

I actually spun the yarn first (2-ply merino) then wound it all into a center pull ball, got the whole thing wet then dyed the bottom 1/2 of the ball in blue easter egg dye, then rinsed it, then dyed the top half with KA (both in the crock pot.)

Update: How it knits up

7  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Ripley (ala Aliens) a spinner?! on: April 10, 2006 06:33:59 PM
My husband is soooo kewl and I couldn't think of a better place to post it.

According to him he's about 2/3rds finished (some final finishing and then he'll paint the embryo and rub linseed oil into the wood. I'll post pics of the final spindle he's finished. In the meantime I'm wracking my brains trying to come up with a suitable fiber blend to christen the spindle with-- I'm thinking black silk and tropical firestar? Any ideas???
8  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Setting the twist vs. plying myths (geek moment, please just bear with me) on: January 29, 2006 03:11:15 PM
Setting the twist is an impermanent way to 'balance' yarn, unless you're using a perm solution or something it's only a temporary set, think about curling your hair with a curling iron then taking a shower-- what happens? The curls fall out.

If you want to knit a single into a stockinette stitch, then wash it, you'll see the bias right away, some stitches (like garter) will hide the bias. If you weave the yarn in an open mesh and then wet it, it will crumple. Blocking knitted and woven garments is 'resetting' the yarn yet again, and will hold until the fabric is released again (usually by movement or wetting.)

Yes yes, I know, some fibers do have more memory than others but there is no such thing as a balanced single, unless you spin it, felt it, then un-spin it-- which I have done to make stronger lopi style yarn but then the twist goes one way just slightly, then the other way, then the first, etc.

If you want a more balanced yarn then ply it. Notice I said 'more balanced' and not 'balanced' once you spin a fiber into the yarn, you're storing a certain amount of energy in the fibers, they will want to sproing or slink in according to the natural memory of the fibers. Plying transfers the stored energy from the individual single into the spiral of singles (aka the plied yarn.)
9  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / FYI Ball Winders for cheap on: January 22, 2006 04:11:27 PM
Joanne.com has ball-winders on sale for $30-something and on one of the email lists I belong to someone posted a coupon code for 50% off so it's $17-something plus shipping soooo... I ordered mine for $22.94 total.

There is just something inside of me that rebels at paying $30+ for an object my mom bought "as seen on TV" for $10 in the 70s.

Anyway the coupon code is good for a while and is JANA650
10  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Spinning peeves on: September 24, 2005 07:13:09 AM
What really gets your goat when it comes to spinning?

I didn't think I had a spinning peeve but I was watching Reading Rainbow with my child one day (months ago) LaVar was at a ren-faire with a .. eh.. spinner. http://gpn.unl.edu/ram.asp?file=126_042.rm (opens in real player if you want to watch the monstrosity.) It's just painful to watch her card and spin, yes she spins-- as a reinactress, on an Ashford. Okay I know we don't all watch Reading Rainbow for historical accuracy but-- it's just so painful to watch. It makes handspinning look really really hard.

Fast forward to our last real-life encounter with a renfair spinster, who by my best reckoning was working on some rather short cuts of moderately filthy bellywool and handcards (again instead of hackles, which would be historically accurate for the period) and <sigh> spinning on an Ashford.

Anyone else want to slap a rentard; or am I just too easily peeved? I've seen plenty of good spinning demos at fairs and fests, so the bad ones probably shouldn't bother me as much as they do.
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