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21  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: The random RESIN question thread! on: July 28, 2013 08:33:26 AM
Do you want a sphere mold or a hemisphere mold?  And what size?

22  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: The random RESIN question thread! on: July 27, 2013 08:38:57 AM
There are different kinds of resin, and the 2 main kinds are intended either for deep molds or for shallow molds and coatings.  And one "tweaked" epoxy resin (Easy Cast) can be used for both but has some disadvantages after curing.

You can read a lot about the kinds and how they can/should be used, as well as molds you can use or molds you can make to use with resin, plus much more, in my previous YahooAnswers here (which also include a link to the page at my site on resins):


23  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: The random RESIN question thread! on: June 01, 2013 12:54:50 PM
I don't know why you're getting "bits" on your resin, but here are some other things to consider:

...basements are often damp, and humidity level does matter when curing resins

...your plastic cup may not be large enough to allow enough air to assist with the curing process, or it may keep the temp in a not-good range, etc

..."checking on it" even once or twice could allow bits to be swirled in under the covering

...your paper on the bottom of the resin may contain moisture which could cause bubbling in the resin, especially if it's not sealed... even if it's totally dry or sealed, why wouldn't you "embed" the paper in the resin rather than just pouring the resin on top of it...that would encase the paper fully, and it's even possible I guess that the exposed paper is losing bits that end up in the air??

...not sure why/how you're "soaking the resin off the pendant"...or what the "pendant" part is

...the type and brand of resin you're using could be making a difference

As I said, cured resin is difficult to sand down (you'd often need more than sandpaper for some sanding chores), and it's also difficult to do that in just one area so you can polish or coat it back to fully glossiness.  You can get info on doing it though here:

24  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: The random RESIN question thread! on: June 01, 2013 12:22:44 PM
What are you covering your resin WITH, and HOW? 

Some things will be made from materials that can shed little bits which can get onto the resin.

Are you covering the entire mold and resin, or just covering the resin areas?

When are you covering?...right away, or later?

What kind of area are you using for curing?...and area with lots of dust or lots of air circulation?

Try covering the mold with something larger than it is (width, length, height), like a Tupperware bottom or large cardboard box, or even a dome of aluminum foil.
Do that right away, and preferably in a room that isn't in a drafty or dusty place (and where the temp is in the right range for curing resin).

(To remove any dust or other particles, you'd need to sand down far enough to remove them, then polish the resin and/or coat it with clear polyurethane or a coat of epoxy resin. Sanding cured resin isn't easy though.  If you just added a coat of polyurethane or epoxy resin over your original resin-with-particles, they'd still show up.)
25  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Re: Polymer over Air dry clay on: February 26, 2013 02:05:51 PM
You can use any material under/inside polymer clay that can take the low heat necessary for curing polymer clay (around 275 F).  Those armatures inside the clay will also be insulated from direct heat and so not get too hot as easily as the clay outside.

Air-dry clays and papier mache, etc, are commonly used as permanent armatures under polymer clay, but not sure how much "stone" or other kinds of filler Stonex has in it, etc, and stone might expand or contract a bit during heating/cooling and cause cracking in a polymer clay covering.
(You won't heating the air-dry or polymer clays or the armatures to really high temps by kiln-firing,  so no worries there.)

You might want to check out some of the pages at my site for various ways to make "bases" and also materials and methods for using permanent armatures of various kinds of materials under/inside polymer clay (there are others besides air-dry clays like the wadded aluminum foil mentioned, or wire mesh or "Styrofoam," etc):
http://glassattic.com/polymer/sculpture.htm (click on Settings & Bases for Sculpts)
http://glassattic.com/polymer/kids_beginners.htm (click on Scenes & Dioramas)
http://glassattic.com/polymer/armatures-perm.htm (click on Stands, Bases and on Wire, and more)
http://glassattic.com/polymer/covering.htm (for "Styrofoam" click on Left Inside Clay under Plastics... or click on another material you'd like to "cover" permanently with polymer clay although there are more on other pages as well)

26  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Re: Can I mix fimo clay with kato liquid clay on: February 26, 2013 01:53:15 PM
Hi, glassattic here  Grin

First, the brand of liquid polymer clay made by the manufacturers of Fimo (Fimo Liquid Decorating Gel, or Deko Gel, etc) has been discontinued.  You may see old stock of it here and there, but generally it won't be available.
There are two other brands of liquid polymer clay still available though, the Sculpey one and the Kato one (which is clearer, thinner, more heat-resistant, etc).  All brands of liquid polymer clay can be mixed with all brands and lines of polymer clay though, and all brands/lines of solid polymer clay can also be mixed together (resulting in a new mix with characteristics proportional to the amount of each clay used).

You can read a lot of good info about liquid polymer clays, get lessons for using it, the various brands, etc, on this page at my site (but I haven't kept the site up for a few years so some things may be different, links broken, etc):

And if you're a newbie, you might be interested in other aspects/lessons/etc re polymer clay too.  You can check out all the polymer clay topics covered at my site from the Table of Contents page:

27  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Re: Molding compound using a polymer substance?? on: January 18, 2013 11:38:41 AM
Just now seeing your question.

I *think* you are wanting a material that you can create an impression in (like handprint or footprint) then harden, and not to later use that hardened impression as a mold to cast some other material in.

If that's the case people often use polymer clay, and for that purpose most often they'll use the brand/line of it called original plain Sculpey (which comes in a box) --mostly because it's cheap and white. 
The kits you'll see for doing that at home usually use Sculpey, but include a frame to put the clay in, etc. (you can use a frame of your own).  Because that particular line of polymer clay is somewhat brittle after hardening (in the oven) when thin, baked slabs of it could be broken if stressed much so best to put the clay on the backing in a frame or on something else like a plaque/etc to give it more strength and protect it from getting stressed.

Polymer clay doesn't have to be mixed with anything, and it will never harden until it's heated sufficiently (unlike air-dry clays).
Also polymer clay will take and hold details much better than most air-dry clays, although the softest polymer clays will sometimes not create or hold those details as well as the regular brands/lines (like Premo, Kato Polyclay, FimoClassic, and Cernit--sometimes FimoSoft is okay).

You can read more about making those handprint/etc things, if that's what you're asking about, in my previous answers (at YahooAnswers--I'm Diane B.) here:
And you can read about the "kinds" of clay there are these days here too:
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100621051506AA53JtD (ignore the 2nd paragraph)

As for sensitive skin, that might depend on just what you mean by sensitive --a normal baby?, a person with many allergies?, etc.  A few people may react to raw polymer clay; if that's the case, they'll usually try a barrier cream and then gloves of some kind (if they're allergic to latex, there are others).  You can read all about those things on this page of my site:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/safety_health_cleaning.htm (click on Rashes & Allergic Reactions)
(Normal babies and kids would be fine for doing the handprints though.  Just wash their hands afterward--and before they can put them in their mouths though not "toxic" even then.)

If you don't want to use polymer clay, some air-dry clays will be better quality than others (e.g., Creative Paperclay), and even some grain-based homemade clays should do well enough though all air-dry clays will shrink a bit while drying--like salt dough clay (...and btw purchased Play Doh isn't grain-based, though some homemade "play doughs" are).

If those don't answer your questions, ask here again with more detail and I'll try to remember to check.
28  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Re: cutting canes evenly on: December 31, 2012 12:52:39 PM
There are various sharp blades sold for cutting polymer clay canes, and many clayers like the original blade we used--a tissue blade for cutting stuff in pathology.  Generally, you'll want a medium to long blade for cutting canes unless those canes are tiny or baked, and should be quite sharp.  Most will be flexible too.

The best way to firm up canes for slicing is to let them sit overnight, but chilling in the freezer or frig awhile can be helpful too. 

As for making slices all the same width, there are ways to mark canes or just use a ruler of some kind (even one you make yourself), but generally clayers get close enough with practice and usually a bit of variation in thickness won't matter.
Practice and a few tips can help make "even" slices too, the same thickness throughout.

Brand and line of polymer clay can make a difference too re ease of slicing without distortion.

There are loads of tips on cutting canes, and also on various kinds of blades to use, on these 2 pages of my site, if you're interested:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/cutters-blades.htm (the "Blades" category)

29  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Re: So I baked clay on a cookie sheet and I guess you're not supposed to but why...? on: December 31, 2012 12:36:57 PM
The main reason you're probably thinking of is *safety* (for use later with food or cooking). 
That's not really a problem in your case though because your surface is not porous, and there are no little crevices in it where the clay/plasticizer could get trapped and be hard to remove. (So just wash your baking tray with soap and water well or wipe with alcohol till clean.)

Other factors can apply to metal baking trays and polymer clay though when curing especially:
...One is that if polymer clay is baked *in direct contact* with a very smooth surface (metal or aluminum foil, glass, ceramic, etc), it will have a shiny spot in those particular areas after baking.  That's because polymer clay softens slightly when heated but enough to take on the surface texture of anything it's touching.
...The other one is that metals and ceramics, for example, *can* heat up higher than the oven cavity's air temp and therefore darken the bottom of the baking item or just speed up baking from one side.

For both problems, you can just place a sheet of plain white paper on top of the metal tray then place your item on that when ready to bake.  Paper has approximately the same surface texture of baked polymer clay.  You can even accordion-fold the paper for baking beads, pens and some other items.
Other materials will work too under (or over or around) the clay, and especially when you're trying to "protect" the clay from darkening, etc, while baking. 
There's much more info about ways to protect the clay while baking, baking surfaces, safety, and more on the Baking page of my site, if you're interested:

P.S.  Polymer clay is not "toxic" in the true sense of that word--well, unless you burned it, passed out, and breathed the thick black choking smoke for long enough to kill you.

30  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Re: Why are Polymer Bangle Bracelets So Tricky?! on: November 14, 2012 11:42:45 AM
There are lots of ways to make polymer clay bangles, even the solid, round or mostly-round ones, but I'm guessing you're just going for the basic very-round bangles that are baked on a cylindrical form.
Here are loads of examples of polymer clay bangles though:

--blending the join between the two butted ends is almost impossible to do neatly!

It's helpful to cut the ends at a slant rather than straight across, and then lightly press/wiggle and even stroke them lightly together to join the seam.  (If any smearing occurs, it can be sanded off later**.) You can do that with 2 ends by overlapping them side-by-side, then cutting through both at the same time (on an angle) with a long sharp blade; then joining. 

Even when joining clay rod ends that have been cut straight across, you can press them together a bit then pick up and gently roll the join between your fingers rather than just rolling it on your work surface. 
Also letting the clay parts sit together awhile (even overnight) will increase the strength of the bond by letting plasticizers from each end leach into the other end, or you can try putting a tad of liquid clay on one side or Diluent (now called Sculpey Clay Softener) tho best to let absorb a bit, or just rub each side gently to warm and soften a little.

The rest of any shaping is just kind of pressing or rolling around or on the surface, etc, till the join looks good and is the same diameter as the rest of the rod/bangle.

Or you can do what some clayers do which is just to put another bit of clay around the join so the seam won't show at all. You'll see some instances of that in the links above.

--after wrapping on can, any attempts to texture, decorate, or even join the clay made it stretch bigger, becoming loose on the can

Texturing and embellishing the clay is often done before making it into a circle and baking. 
Those things can also be done on the form (cylinder, rod) but if you're using a soft clay (Sculpey III, Craftsmart, or even FimoSoft especially) they'll more easily distort and stretch and especially if warm..those first 2 shouldn't be used for bangles at all though since they're weak after baking in any thin areas and bangles are "thin".

If you want to do those things while the clay is on the form, make sure to use a form that's rigid (not like a toilet paper tube or even empty aluminum soda can--maybe a stiffer metal like a regular food can, or fill your soda can with water--it can be baked with the water), and also perhaps even smooth (like metal, etc) so that the clay will tend to stick to it and not stretch as long as your texturing/etc is applied straight down (and gently).

--with many bracelets on one can, there was the risk of bracelets shimmying down can during baking, and touching each other

If you want to bake more than one bangle at a time, you could use more than one can (preferably a stiff-metal can) or that one can could be cut into segments. 

You could also lay the can down while baking (preferably on a nest of polyester fiberfill or pile of baking soda to retain the bottom clay's shape while it bakes--and softens), or you could make some kind of horizontal rod or cording it could hang through while baking.

You could also put something between the bangles on the can, but nothing that would leave an impression when the clay softens during baking --perhaps a strip of polyester batting, or a tissue or piece of cotton fabric folded-over to make a strip, or something else.

So far, they DO seem sturdy (baked a couple times for extra hardness), but i feel that i have little control using this method.

Baking any polymer clay longer will polymerize it more and more and therefore make it stronger (though more likely to darken if not protected***), but it's also important to use brands/lines of polymer clay that will be strong enough after baking when they're used for "thin" items like this.  So as mentioned above, Sculpey III is not a good choice even though it will feel "harder" than the strong brands; Kato Polyclay and FimoClassic will be strongest, followed by Premo and Cernit.  FimoSoft is not quite as strong.

(Not sure what you mean in this sentence by having "little control using this method.")

You might want to look into the other ways of making bangles with polymer clay, which include all kinds of methods like making the bracelet in two parts with a hole or channel running inside each one, then using elastic or two elastics through them both; making the bracelets over a pre-baked polymer core, or over a non-clay armature of some kind; making the bangle flat on the inside; etc.

Here are a few tutorials for the simple round-solid ones I just ran across:
more of maxevv's bangles (scroll and click through the pages):

And you can get lots of info on making bangles in all kinds of ways as well as other polymer clay bracelets, if you're interested, on this page of my site:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/jewelry.htm ...for the type you're doing, click especially on "Cuffs" under the Bracelet category (though unfortunately many of the actual links have been broken by their owners)

** http://glassattic.com/polymer/sanding_tumbling.htm
*** http://glassattic.com/polymer/baking.htm (click especially on "Darkening, Scorching")

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