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1  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / "collages" of photos (for Helena Puck) on: June 27, 2011 11:29:29 AM
(Re making image collages for clay or anything else, in response to your question):

So here are the collages I was able to do (after a frustrating learning curve) on my baby-Photoshop (Adobe Photoelements)... each one is clickable, then clickable again for closeup:

This one is the simplest... it's just a number of whole photos collaged together into one shot, some overlapping (it's my mother in law--baby to 76):

This one involved "cutting out" some of the images before collaging them-- cut out around the head/shoulders, and/or with same white background, one has an oval part of the background left in (my mother-in-law's mother):

And this one was the most complicated because one of the images is the whole "background," with smaller images and also a text box superimposed on it (CD cover art I created for a digital scrapbook of photos of my mother and her brother, including the actual scrapbook cover):

Diane B.
2  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / (re) Easter egg tutorial--smoothing, blowing, various ways to do on: April 01, 2011 09:50:48 AM
kiera-oona posted a link to her video tutorial for covering eggs with polymer clay in the Completed Projects board:
I responded with some info on various ways to blow out eggs more easily and to smooth them...here's all of that:

. . . When I blow out eggs for clay, I use a cheapie egg blower I finally bought.  But before that, I had just used a bendable straw--just couldn't take all that direct hard blowing  Shocked.
There are other things that can be used too (bulb syringes, etc)--they're all listed on my Eggs page if anyone wants to save their cheeks and ear canals!
(...On that page there are also all kinds of ways to do clay coverings and patterns on eggs, and also to cover them partly then soak out the eggshell with vinegar, to use some brands of plastic or papier mache or wood eggs, etc).

. . . Smoothing the raw clay covering can be a hassle too when applying the bits directly onto the egg, but in addition to or instead of sanding, various "smoothing" methods can be used--employing rollers, sheets of thin paper, palms, (wet) powders like cornstarch even water (but not with Fimos or Cernit) and also Vaseline/Diluent/etc (that may mess up the surface visually but that thin top layer can be lightly sanded away after baking), etc.  
There's more info on some of the methods on the Sanding page as well:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/sanding_tumbling.htm > Smoothing Before Sanding

Diane B.
3  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Dinko's "boids" lesson, plus many more of his figures & critters on: March 26, 2011 09:30:48 AM
Just replied to kiera-oona in the Completed Projects board who couldn't remember where she'd seen the tutorial for Dinko's "boids" (which she modified into a polymer-covered pen):

But I also wanted to add more info about Dinko and all his wonderful critters and figures.

The face looks like the ones done by Dinko Tilov (from Bulgaria).  The original lesson for his "boids" long ago was at Polymer Clay Central:
He also has a copy of that lesson at his site:

...After his lesson at PCC, there was a big swap there for "Birds With Teeth"--definitely check all those variations out!:

He's also written two books (one with his brother Boris) on making other critters and figures in his inimitable style:
(You can also "Look Inside" both those books to see more...I click on the Table of Contents link, then choose a word from it to do the Search for to see what you'd like to see.)
more from 2nd book: http://mythcritters.blogspot.com

Dinko actually makes all kinds of amazing figures and critters!!:

interview with the brothers:
4  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / PolyPaste --new product for "gluing" polymer clay, and more (tutorial) on: September 04, 2010 10:29:57 AM
Donna Kato's product called PolyPaste is finally easily available.  

It's really nifty stuff!  It can be used as an adhesive in all kinds of situations (it's tacky and strong), as well as in other ways because it's thick.

She has a video tutorial at her new craftedu site about it:

...a paste of polymer clay --it's thickness and texture is between that of solid polymer clay and liquid polymer clay
...*very tacky* so will hold things in place for baking, etc
...can also be used between raw and baked clay, or baked clay to baked clay
...(stir up PolyPaste before using to increase stickiness even more just before using)
...won't run when heated, so can be used for gap filling, grouting, and textures as well
...can tint the paste, or mix inclusions into it (microfine glitter, etc)

Can buy here at least:

Diane B.
5  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / mini polymer clay CLOTHING on: April 11, 2010 12:12:43 PM
Just ran across these fabulous miniature polymer clay clothes made by Donna Kato:

One figure (a tiny mannequin, actually) has a striped and pleated 1940's-type blouse, black flared skirt and belt, and spotted neck scarf (mostly striped and bullseye cane slices, made into sheets).  
The the other figure has a South American pattern jacket and heavy scarf (mostly using the "ikat" caning technique, made into sheets).

(I'm assuming the mannequins are around 3-4" tall, and may also be made from polymer clay.)


Diane B.
6  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / suggestions for stretched elastic at waist, or other ideas?? on: September 17, 2009 07:42:00 AM
I have a number of old but want-to-keep pants and summer skirts with (fairly-wide) elastic which has stretched out over the years and I've put off doing something about them too long.  They're mostly the type which have more than one row of stitching all the way through the elastic and casing.

I've tried ripping the rows of stitching out of the fabric covering them (with both a regular seam ripper and a flat one which is marginally better) but that just takes waaaay too long.  
I've also thought of just cutting off the whole elastic-waist area and replacing with a fabric tube and more elastic or even a drawstring (most won't show so could be any color), but I think that should be a last resort.

Anyone else have any ideas for how the current elastic could be cut and "re-tightened" or for how well just putting new elastic right over/under/in-a-casing/etc would work, or just have any other options to suggest??


Diane B.

(Those Bernina Sewing Republic ads on top, right, and top-right of my screen right now, all blinking and scrolling wildly, are driving me NUTS!!  Tongue Angry Angry Angry ...really unacceptable)

7  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / info on "floating" canes (translucent-opaque canes) --sorta tutorial on: August 05, 2009 08:27:26 AM
Someone asked me recently about how to create the "floating" or translucent canes that are often done in polymer clay. 

Some of the more common canes made this way are flower canes.  Slices of those canes are then placed over plain clay or patterned clay (sometimes overlapping) to create a complex "flower garden" look, but these canes don't have to be flowers and they don't have to applied in multiples.
So here are some examples of the results, an explanation of basically what's going on with these canes, as well as links to lessons on how to make them, and answers to some of her questions about specific canes she'd seen:
http://kathleendustin.com/gallery/archive/heart.php (the white stripes and spirals too)


So these kinds of canes are known by various names-- "floating canes," "translucent canes," or
"translucent-opaque" canes which is the name I gave them at my site because that best describes what they actually are.
(They've been around for about 5 years or so? --time slips by quickly so not sure how exact that is).

The basic method is just to combine areas of translucent clay with areas of opaque clay (or at least with "regular" colors of clay) in the same cane. 
Slices are then cut from the cane verrrrry thinly, and applied to a surface --usually a clay surface-- overlapping the slices if desired. 
After baking, the translucent parts of the cane image should disappear (become transparent) which allows the colors of the original surface underneath to show through, but the opaque parts of the cane image will not become transparent. 
(There are a few other ways to tweak the process to get the very clearest results from the translucent clay as well--see below.)
The translucent clay may be used only to surround a cane image that's been created as entirely opaque, or translucent may be used inside the image as well as surrounding it, or parts of the cane might be created as "tinted translucents" (but still basically translucent).
These translucent-opaque canes may be geometric shapes (spiral canes or stripe canes, etc) or they may be picture canes (flowers, leaves, or anything).

...just a few that I really would like to figure out how to do!

Here are some details about the examples you linked to:


This leaf cane doesn't have an added background of any kind, so it could have translucent added around it to become a "translucent-opaque" cane (probably round or square cane then).
Or it could be used as is (and sliced without distortion because its shape is simple, especially if cooled first). 
Or it could be combined as is with other canes to make a more complex cane. 

Looks like this leaf was made with an "ikat" method, but could have been other ways too:
> Leaves
> Layers > Striped > Ikat 


This opaque flower cane has had translucent added all around the image (and not inside it).

The petal cane for making the flower cane was probably made with a splice or flame cane technique, using wedges:
> Flowers
> Other Symmetrical Geometric Canes > Wedges


This opaque butterfly cane has had translucent added all around the image.

The technique for this type of wing cane is primarily using "bullseye" or "wrapped" canes pressed together in various ways and sizes --in this case, the canes use Skinner blends rather than solid colors:
> Wrapped > Bullseye

There are a few butterfly canes in the Bullseye Canes section of that Canes-Instructions page too, but there are probably many more of them on this page:
> Wings (>Caned Wings)

> Continuous blends (Skinner blends)
> Bullseye Logs


This pic shows a bead which has had many translucent-opaque slices added on top of a raw pink clay heart shape, and some of the slices are overlapping.  In this case, none of the canes had used translucent clay inside the images, only surrounding the images.
> Translucent-Opaque Canes
> Flowers
> Leaves
(chrysanthemum canes will be covered probably both in the Flowers and the Translucent-Opaque categories on that page, if you're interested in making those)

And there's lots of info on these two pages as well on cutting translucent canes and using translucents in general to get the clearest results from them:
> all the subcategories under Cutting Canes
> Clearest Results especially

Any more questions, just ask! 

Have fun,

Diane B.

8  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / EGGS... covering eggs with polymer clay on: March 29, 2009 10:26:48 AM
There are various ways to "cover" eggs with polymer clay, and many different looks that can be achieved!

This page at my site has lessons, examples, troubleshooting, etc., for all the things below (as well as which plastic eggs work, etc.):
The eggs used can be real eggs which have been blown out, or they can be certain types of plastic eggs (usually available just before Easter).  Wood or papier mache eggs can be covered too.

The eggs can be any size, and real eggs can even be "partially" covered then soaked overnight in strong vinegar to dissolve the shell leaving behind a hollow egg shape of clay with empty areas in the design.

Clay covered eggs can be used in various ways too, as:
...xmas tree ornaments
...Easter eggs
...rattles (with seed beads, etc., inside)
...boxes, possibly hinged
...miniature houses
..."bodies" for sculpts

They can also:
...have "feet" or other parts added to them
...be turned into baskets (possibly adding handle, or just used as a form)
...sit in "stands" made from polymer clay or other things
...just sit around in a group in a bowl for decorative display

HippieKinder posted two covered eggs in the Completed Projects board:
...and there may be others that have been posted at Craftster too.
She used two techniques for covering the surface of the egg --sheets of stripey clay (from leftover canes?), and Balinese Filigree highlighted heavily with several colors of mica powder (Bal.Filigree in polymer clay is the technique of onlaying spirals and other shapes of thin "ropes" of clay onto a clay surface of other clay or onto another material...other manipulations are possible too).

And here are a few more I've found:
Balinese Filigree and cane slices, by CozmicStardust
cane slices with sculpted flower on top and ring stand underneath, by __themidge

Have Fun!

Diane B.

9  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / questions from Lady Anca on: February 23, 2009 10:53:00 AM
Lady Anca, I'm answering some of your questions from another thread here in their own new thread since they're separate topic....plus questions you asked in another thread.

LADY ANCA: . . .can i use liquid polymer clay in order to make transparent "lentils" like those made from resin? I want to make those so i can glue a photo on the back, but i cannot find resin here, and i have to order diamond glaze from the USA...
DIANE B: . . .when you say "lentils," do you mean actual lentil shapes like the lentil beads made from polymer clay which are two shallow hemispheres joined together, or you do mean something like the small glass "pebbles" to which crafters sometimes glue photos/etc on their flat back sides (usually with E6000 glue), or are you thinking of another shape?
And what size are you thinking of for the pics and/or the clear tops??. . . you can't really get end up with truly clear effect with liquid clay when it's thick (as when poured into a mold, or even in a single layer).  The Fimo brand of liquid clay (does turn out "pretty clear" even when it's thick if treated right, but would probably not be as clear as you're wanting ...
LADY ANCA: ....I want to make those little pebbles in a medium size i guess, maximum 5 cm, minimum 2cm. . .i've seen that you can use DG3 instead of resin and i also understood that DG3 is the new Diamond Glaze. . . i want to use any material that replaces resin, one that is more simple and that is easy to buy (most materials i don't have because i cannot find them in my country and ...shipping costs a lot

The glass pebbles that many crafters glue photos/etc to the bottom side of, are much thicker than the "domed" clear coverings created by dimensional glues such as Diamond Glaze and the newer DG3 (also by Judikins, which has better clarity--fewer bubbles, etc-- and stronger adhesiveness). 
The glass pebbles come in various small sizes and thicknessneses (they're usually available in bags near the floral depts of craft stores, etc.). Images are glued onto the back of them with E6000 or another silicone glue, or even with a regular white glue or dimensional one like Diamond Glaze, etc.
Here are some pics of those:
or used with polymer clay frames/bezels:
http://moodywoods.deviantart.com/art/odd-exhibit-45448929 ... http://www.celidonia.it/English/fairies_treasures.htm

If you want to create your own clear thick finish over a photo or other image though no matter what size/shape it is, dimensional glues will give a clear covering of any shape like that and will dry slightly domed. Dimensional glues won't be as scratch-resistant or humidity-resistant though as using a clear polyurethane or Future** floor polish though, or as having used an epoxy resin which is what is most-often used in cases like this; check out these links for examples of epoxy resin used this way:
video tutorial using Easy Cast (a special epoxy resin): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAEKnv0OU08
....(dimensional glues can be made less scratch- and humidity-resistant though by adding a coat of polyurethane)

So which effect did you have more in mind? 
And do you want to put your clear coating in a cell of some kind (bezel, etc.), or do you want to create freestanding shapes?

**in other countries, Future-Pledge is called by other names, but those should also work... for example:
....Norway ...Clear
....Sweden ... Sidolux?
....Netherlands ... Pronto Wax for wooden floors with a brown cap or "Parket Plus" (Edah, C-1000, Super de Boer)
....France and Belgium ... "Klir" --white plastic canister, sq.red cap (Auchan, Leclerc, Intermarche, Atac, Castorama, Carrefour, Monoprix)
.......Belgium now Johnsons Sols Plus-- just new labeling (Delhaize Supermarkets, Colruyt)
....Germany ...substitute for Future "Erdal Glnzer" or "Aldi Stodil" (DroMarkt or Mller stores, Marktkauf)
........ Xtracolour is distributing a product marked as 'Acrylic Gloss Clear' that smells suspiciously like Future Floor Wax.

Diane B.

P.S.  You might be able to get info about finding and/or shipping supplies from the clayer Dinko Tilov though I think he's in actually in Bulgaria:

P.P.S.  You might also want to read the (very long) Random Resin Thread over at the Jewelry and Trinkets's Discussions & Questions board:

P.P.P.S.  If you never got information about making a "gradient" blend without a pasta machine from your question last July, check out this page at my site:
...click on No Pasta Machine?--Other Ways
And perhaps this page too: http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/blends.htm
And for info on baking clay (and avoiding burning, etc.), check this page if you didn't get an answer before:

10  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / TRANSFERS...new easy technique using PARCHMENT paper on: February 06, 2009 09:21:19 AM
Recently there appears to be a new hopefully-foolproof method for doing transfers onto polymer clay that has been discussed in the polymer clay community. I haven't even had time to add the info to my glassattic page on Transfers as of today.
This one involves using baking parchment paper, especially with images from toner or the new permanent inkjet inks (no liquid clay required for a direct transfer to clay, no solvents/soaking required), though the parchment should be as smooth as possible (Reynolds is a bit too textured/bumpy for the best results).

Here is the info I have so far:

transfers using baking parchment paper

(orig. suggested by Valerie Aharoni)

Valerie's lesson: http://valerieaharoni.com/2008/12/those-elusive-transfers.html
(no water or other release agent needed)
...print image onto parchment paper ...reverse image if want, or if it contains words/letters/numbers
......(you won't see the image well on the baking parchment because the paper is translucent. Trish H.)
...cut the paper to the image (size?)
...lay the image onto a sheet of raw clay...once the image makes contact it begins to immediately transfer... can't reposition the paper so I always use a large sheet of raw clay and trim excess later
...burnish (does need to be too hard)
...remove paper... all of the ink will have transferred! (while burnishing you can see the ink moving off  the paper, leaving it looking more like plain parchment paper). Valerie
(or, lift one corner to make sure it's transferring, then burnish more if not)

Trish H's video lesson (slightly different?--DB check)

mostly from Valerie:

...I've used a Brother bw laser and a Samsung color laser with great results (laser printers use toner instead of ink, like a photocopier would).
...I have used an Epson and HP inkjet --does work, but not as vivid...(and coverage may not be complete... some newer inkjet printer use special "permanent inks" though which do work well)
..... Canon inkjets are the most temperamental so some adjustments in the process may need to happen. I am hearing that the print is transferring but that the transfer is not permanent so a layer of liquid clay set by heat gun should work (or in oven?) to make the transfer permanent.
...don't make your ink (or toner?) setting too thick on paper bec. may then smear (author?)

...I have used 3 different brands of baking parchment paper... all 3 work but one worked better.
... The smoother the parchment paper, the better the transfer.
... my parchment paper choice is BAK-O-MATIC by Dixie.
........my Bak-O-Matic is 'silicone' treated "from vegetable oils"?
... Bak-O-Matic is available thru restaurant and commercial kitchen suppliers.... it's used to line huge pans (and comes in a box? ...DB check Smart & Final)
....Valerie is also selling this paper at cost through her etsy site:
...(anonymous said) Reynolds parchment paper from the grocery store has a little too much texture on it for perfect transfers...not all parts of it will lie flat on the clay, and may leave parts not transferring.
..."baking" parchment paper is the same on both sides...the reports of paper being used that is different one side from another has me wondering what paper is being used in those cases
...The paper I use is flat.... When I tried the papers on the roll, I simply put the cut sheet into the printer with the curl opposite to the feed path.... Some who are using paper from a roll are finding that if you take a plain piece of copy paper and put a fold about a inch from the short end, then tuck the baking parchment into that, it will feed better, but I simply find the 'straight' feed path, the one where the paper does not need to go around the roller. It may be in the back, or a drop down door in the front.

It's amazing how good the transfer is, and I was also able to apply texture (stamping) on top of the transfer as the toner color stretches and gives with the clay.... other transfer methods leave more of a decal on the top of the clay so stamping cuts and tears the transferred image. Susan


Valerie Aharoni's blog http://valerieaharoni.com


Trish H's trick for loading small-size, or thin, or slippery, papers into copiers (and printers?)...

 ....I came up with away to feed the (thin, slippery? baking parchment) paper without having to tape it to another sheet.
I folded over about 3/8" of the top of a plain sheet of paper.
I creased the fold using my finger nail to get a very sharp crease.
I slipped the parchment paper under the fold and loaded it in the paper tray.
I used the printer setting for Thick Paper (under the Paper Tab) and kept the Best Quality set (under the Graphic Tab).
This tricked the printer into thinking it was a heavy piece of paper.
Note: Be careful to design your image so it's low enough on the page to miss the 3/8" top of the folded paper. Trish H.
(also see below for other techniques that can work)


Diane B.

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