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1  Re: Works-in-progress in Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions by atomicjam on: December 18, 2010 02:05:02 PM
Love this thread.  Love those spacey galaxy blends by maxxev earlier.

I've been making more crazy skinner blends...

Guess what colour this 'pattern sheet' will make?? Dont cheat, guess..!

Tertiaries!! The small blobs in the middle were mixed by hand first and as you can see the skinner blend came out the same  Cool.  Now i know its not the nicest or best blend in the world but the point is it managed to produce the desired results.

Next are some shots of the sheet mid blend.  Because the blend is done using the base colour channels many different colours come through as the primaries start to mix. All the horrid yellow blotches in the first one are from the clay sticking to the pasta machine.  If you take your time and avoid the blotches the half mixed blends can look quite nice. (honestly)

And finally all the different patterns below (i call them patters)  will result in exactly the same blend as they all use exactly the same proportions.

Ok, no need to read the next bit unless you want a headache...

The point of all this is to have independent control of each colour channel in the mix so that you can introduce a blue, say, at one very slow rate, while having the white kick in really quickly.  I noticed that if you blend a dark colour into a light colour the dark will come in really abruptly. So a blend from black to white will start white and then all of a sudden be much darker. It seems to do this even with a very, very thin sliver of black and loads of translucent*.
This way (once the method has been perfected) I think I can get much more gradual blend.  Also, and this is the main point, I can have nonlinear graduations of multiple channels!!!
It's hard for me to explain but basically you can have a blend from yellow to blue, passing through green, blending at one rate (linear). And then also have a white channel to mute parts that is being introduced at a different rate (non-linear).  So you can have zero white in the blue. Then gradually add loads of white as it passes into green. When it hits green have very little white. Remove all white as it blends into yellow. And then re-introduce the white again for a very pale yellow at the end. Impossible to do if you just blend the pre-mixed colours.  If that makes any sense?  Basically control of each colour channel for a non-linear blend.    I'm writing it all up to put on a web site but don't even have a site yet so will be a while before that happens.

If you want a better description of what I mean by non-linear blends (and an even bigger headache) you could read post 16 of this thread from Physics Forum where i got a few diagrams to help explain. http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=427246
Warning though: my explanation of things are pretty confusing and I got a couple of complaints saying it was hard to follow.  But I'll lay it all out in easy to follow steps one day.  The guy that helped me on that site understood perfectly though and brought up a really good point.. Is there really any benefit to this method?  Well the more i play with it the more I think that maybe there is.  Really the proof is in the pudding so i'll have to make some spectacular blends once I've nailed the process.

Dont worry if your  Huh. I am too  Cheesy

*I have also noticed that mixing translucent in to de-saturate the colours is less effective than getting the proportions correct.  If you mix allot of translucent into the black, and then blend the black into the white, the resulting gray has just as much translucent in it.
I.e mixing trans with the black is also mixing trans with the white.  You end up desaturating all the colours. Even the white. Better to get the proportions right in the first place. That said, using translucent does help.

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2  FIMO Colour Charts in Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions by atomicjam on: December 18, 2010 11:21:41 AM
I found some colour charts for mixing fimo.  They're probably not that useful as you just do it by eye, right?
I've never seen them before so maybe no-one else has. And I havn't needed them yet but they may come in handy...

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3  Re: Off-cuts and Scraps in Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions by atomicjam on: September 20, 2010 07:43:16 AM
...trying to get wire into something like most of those especially after they're cured would be a total disaster...

After I made them I though in the future, if I make more, I could put some wire in before I fire them. But decided that bending the wire uniformly would be too difficult. Using some sort of backing is a much better idea.

Oh, I'd thought you were making these as jewelry gifts for your mother and sister.

I was!  I mean i am.  I mean I will.  I mean... oh damnit!  You made me feel guilty. I am making pressies. I'll perserveer at it. I've got these earings I did... What do you think of these... (Thats only half the pair, and they need finishing)

Onlays with backing clay frames and stuff like this can easily be used for other things though . . . like embellishments for tops or sides of small or large boxes/vases/other kind of containers including bottles (or just their lids or cork toppers) and veneers on anything, as miniatures in various ways (shields, or background diorama stuff for sculpted figures), as mobiles, as embellishments for covered frames or switchplates or book covers, as tile components tiles in a "mosaic" wall piece or for display or even under a layer of epoxy resin as coasters/tabletops/trays/etc, as part of triptychs or other panels just for display or displayed alone on a mini easel, as plant markers, perhaps inside little snowglobes, or you could even stock up on Christmas ormanents starting now (to put on regular or miniature trees), etc.

lol, your great Diane!  Thats 24 ideas you listed (i counted them) just for things to do with onlays on a backing.  And I bet that was just of the top of your head. I like the plant markers idea. And I've made some numbered markers. These where tests to see how translucent translucent Fimo is with numbers for the different settings on my PM. If I did them nicer they could look ok. (and maybe do the 4 the right way round)

Can't find the faux ivory box Emi Fukushima made that was a good example of a onlay-with-clay-backing on its front but try to imagine from the examples here (and her last 2 pics are a few examples of cutting the backing clay "frames" in non-regular shapes; she has a 3-layer stack here):

Wow, I really like her black and white teapot's. And the two Geisha pendants at the end.

I will make some more stuff as soon as I generate some scraps...
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4  Re: Works-in-progress in Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions by atomicjam on: September 18, 2010 07:25:28 AM
Well I tried assembling it as suggested, and.... It worked!  Grin Cheers again for the tips.  

The grid has distorted allot, and I don't like the shape that much (is too wide at the base), but all in all not bad for a test sample. I can almost see how to do the whole jester now  Grin

P.S I couldn't use pre-baked bits in the end because I had to bend the curve into it post-assembly. If you know what i mean!?
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5  Re: Off-cuts and Scraps in Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions by atomicjam on: September 15, 2010 10:57:02 AM
the odd cane slice for the petals and a few off cuts of skinner blends for the swirly bits add a brooch back and your done Smiley

I really like that black and white one. Beautiful shape. and the ammonites could be really good if you sanded it a bit.
I tried using blend off-cuts to make some stuff. They didn't come out too well though and I ran out of off-cuts. I'll have another go at it when I get more (and i'll keep the off-cuts in future)...

I quite like the one's with the grid recessed into them. Adding a second pattern/colour scheme makes all the difference.

You might want to try making some of your slices into "mobius beads" as their creator Mike Buesseler called them

I tried doing one of these but the slice split down the join line, where the cane segments had been re-combined.  If I leave the whole cane to settle for a while (a month say) will the join between the different segments become stronger?

You don't get to see my attempt at the mobius bead, sorry.

Aww, ok then. Here it is...

Shame it split 'cos it looks really good when the grid distorts.

And it's a good idea to spend a few minutes to practice making nice shapes.  I've been doing it when I relax watching films.

Another good idea after reading glass attic was to make tools and aids out of scrap clay. I need to make a cutting guide at some point. I also saw Nougatgee used her scraps to make a little creature. I might have a go at that.

I'll post again if i manage to make anything nice...

P.S I just saw the bi-cone method. I might have to try that too...
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6  Re: Works-in-progress in Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions by atomicjam on: September 15, 2010 10:34:38 AM
The jester cap thingie is really striking ...looks like some of the "sculpted" flowers made with cane parts sometimes. 

im loving the look of the jester ornament so far.

That jester piece is doing my head in.   I want to produce a certain effect but am having trouble getting it right.
In this amazing sculpture by Jeffrey Lloyd Dever there's an orange highlight along the edges of the blue 'pods'.  I really want to try something similar.
The heavy black lines on the jester hat thing are an attempt at it. It didn't work. I thought one way to achieve it could be using that backed face culling (iirc) technique that you mentioned before Maxxev.  I though you could gouge out a groove along the edge and then fill it with the highlight colour. 
Or another way could be to build a sort of cross like shape with the highlight colour, fill it's recesses with a skinner blend, and the sand the whole thing back until it's smooth?!? 
What I want to do is get a different colour running along the edge of the hats, er, protrusions. I just dont know how to make that?

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7  Escher Pull Cord Handle in Polymer Clay: Completed Projects by atomicjam on: September 13, 2010 02:47:05 AM
I never post on this board 'cos I never finish anything but today I finally got something to a state that I guess you could call complete. I made a pull cord handle for a light switch! I just covered my existing one with clay. I quite like the contrast between the wood and the clay. I hope my landlord doesn't mind me 'modifying' her light fittings. Shocked

Here it is not quite finished as it's not on the cord yet...

The end cap pops in to tidy it up...

Another shot so you can see the top...

Here it is in situ..

And an action shot!..


Oh yeah, I made a tiny mistake and put the birds on upside down on the bottom half. But any bird worth it's feathers can fly upside down anyway.
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8  Re: Works-in-progress in Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions by atomicjam on: September 13, 2010 02:16:41 AM
I love this thread! Everyone's work is so different. Keep 'em coming people.  Here's a couple more pics of some half finished stuff...

Big blocks to be turned into...

A checkered cane.  Ready for a jester-like ornament I want to do.
I'm pretty annoyed with myself. Each square has a highlight on it and when re-combining the reduced canes, I assembled two of them back-to-front so half the highlight's are up-side down. Angry 
To the left is green stripey cane inspired by Maxxev's work.

A cool shot through my magnifying lamp. The orange thing is a test for the jester ornament.

And my top-secret project.  I've been doing a study on Skinner Blends just to practice them so that I get better. I've come across some interesting stuff though. I'm working on writing it all up but it's taking ages so here's a few teaser shots...

Well that's me done. Next!
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9  Off-cuts and Scraps in Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions by atomicjam on: September 13, 2010 01:45:45 AM
I was brutally attacked the other day by my mum and my sister. They both ganged up on me and told me to make them jewelry!   

Okay, I'm not being totally fair. What they really said is that I should try and make use of the off-cuts and scraps by turning them into something.   
You know when your mixing clay and it sometimes makes a cool swirly pattern? Or you cut bits off canes or whatever, and the off-cuts look kind of good? Well they suggested I use them rather than mash them up into 'scrap clay'. I usually just clump similar colours together for future use but have tried to actually make something with them this time.   

Below are some off-cuts/scraps that I would normally have just ditched...

These stripey green things were made using a practice Skinner Blend.  Inspired by Maxxev's amazing work I decided to make a stripey cane. The effect is stunning. I'm not so skilled at making nice shapes from it though...

These are some sperms I made while mixing and conditioning clay. While mixing I noticed some nice patterns/effects and just ripped that bit out and spermified it. The one on the right is a practice run at making twin tails.

I'm not sure what this thing is, but whatever it is, it's got a hat!

I guess you could make some pendants or something out of these. They need buffing up, or abit of varnish or something though.

Anyone else got any good ideas for scraps that are too good to be scrapped?
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10  Re: Works-in-progress in Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions by atomicjam on: June 13, 2010 10:12:49 AM
Here's some more WIP pics.  I tried to make a pot using the Escher cane on a lightbulb...

Covering the bulb...

Messy workspace (yes I arranged the tools and stuff for the shot - only a little though).

Nearly finished pot. It's been sanded and polished abit in these pics but I wasn't happy with the finish at all.   I eventually used some ancient Fimo glaze that I had lying around to cover it.  It made it shiny, but it also made it smell of chemicals.  I then tried sanding and polishing the glaze but it just dulled it.  I've now given the half-finished pot (sans legs) to a friend.  He asked for it though so he can't complain that it isn't finished.

I just got a new 'daylight' lamp that uses real daylight spectrum. I'm really pleased with it. It's definitely more accurate for seeing the colour of things.  It's made these photos come out really well and the pot actually looks better in the pics than it does in real life.  The above pic is back-lit, so you can't really see the detail. In the one below you can start to see some of the mistakes. Cracks/spaces between the tiles and the skinner blend isn't very good.  That daylight lamp is so amazing though that it makes the pot look better than it actually is (kind of defeating the objective but it's only in the photos that it looks better. In real life the lamp shows up all the imperfections.)  These pics where taken on my mobile phone.

In the pic below taken before any sanding you can see how bad it really is.   The tiles don't match up very well.  The shape is abit deformed (sanding fixed that though). Huge cracks and gaps. The blends above and below the pattern are dire. I'm very disappointed with those blends.  I made lots of mistakes making this pot.  But it's all a learning experience.

Looks much better in the other pics, right?  Well that is how it was meant to look and the last pic is how it really looks. Cheesy The next one I make will be amazing though (determined emoticon).
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