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Topic: first time with the clay..  (Read 1275 times)
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« on: July 01, 2009 02:46:30 PM »

I haven't used the clay much and I'm not even sure if it's polymer clay, but I was wondering if anyone had some thoughts on my little things. You can be brutally honest if you so desire, I want to know your thoughts about then to help me work with the clay more or if I should do anything different...If that made any sense.. but yeah, sorry if I sound so Noobish, haven't posted anything on this site. None of them have been have glaze on them yet but well here they are;
my 3 long neck dinos
my poo, the 2 smaller ones will be earrings and the big one, a necklace  http://s223.photobucket.com/albums/dd51/myiconnation/?action=view&current=dino012.jpg
this is a toaster  http://s223.photobucket.com/albums/dd51/myiconnation/?action=view&current=dino013.jpg   http://s223.photobucket.com/albums/dd51/myiconnation/?action=view&current=dino014.jpg   http://s223.photobucket.com/albums/dd51/myiconnation/?action=view&current=dino016.jpg
these are my stegosaurus' the middle one hasn't been painted yet http://s223.photobucket.com/albums/dd51/myiconnation/?action=view&current=dino013.jpg
Diane B.
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GlassAttic --polymer clay "encyclopedia"

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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2009 09:55:17 AM »


It's a little hard to tell if you're working with a polymer clay or with an air-dry clay since the pics are out of focus and not generally closeups.  (Btw, if your camera won't do shots close up enough, you can always "take a picture" of them on the open bed of a scanner, covered with a box lid, etc... turns out better than one would think!).
So can you tell us the brand name of the clay you're using? or whether you're making the clay at home (in which case, it would be an air-dry clay).  
There are many air-dry clays available for purchase or that can be made at home but they differ quite a lot from polymer clays in all the things polymer clays can do but even just for "sculpting."  
You can find a lot of info about each brand and line of polymer clay, as well as some info on air-dry clay brands/etc on this page of my (polymer clay "encyclopedia") site if you're interested:
and these summary posts about that at Craftster:

I notice for one thing that your sculpts appear to be not totally smooth on the surface, and also that the joins aren't smoothed over (though that's certainly okay if you want them that way).
Air-dry clays do come in different qualities, so if you're not using a very smooth one like Makins, Hearty, Creative Paperclay, or Crayola's Air Dry Clay, for example, it'll be hard to get the same smoothness and good "smudgeability" as you would with any brand of polymer clay (Fimo, Premo, Kato, Sculpey, Cernit, etc.).

With polymer clay, usually we always start every shape as a fully smooth ball, log or sheet, then proceed with the shaping from there; that way the surface can stay free of seams and lumps as much as possible.  
Surfaces can get uneven later in handling/shaping though too, especially if the clay is too soft (Sculpey III, SuperSculpey and especially original Sculpey are the worst brands for that) or your hands or environment are too warm.  
There are ways to deal with that though. Here are some pages that discuss various topics having to do with "sculpting" polymer clay, including smoothing it, lessons on making simple items, etc, etc:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/kids_beginners.htm >Sculpting
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/sculpture.htm >Smoothing... and also >Websites >>Whimsical Sculpts
and much more on sculpting with polymer clay:

You mentioned "glazing" your items so that makes me wonder again if you're using an air-dry clay.  Polymer clays require no sealing or "glazing" at all unless one wants to give them a high-gloss finish (and doesn't want to get that by sanding/buffing), or unless there's something on the surface which could fall off or oxidize... air-dry clays always require sealing to prevent moisture and sometimes bug problems.
If you're interested in clear sealers that are safe to use on polymer clays, check out these pages:

It's also really hard to tell the size of your items, but looking at the eye-screw (or eye pin?) embedded in the top of the poo's for example, they look pretty large and heavy for earrings (and a pendant that size would probably be flat on the back for easier wearing), especially if the are polymer clay (if you used a wadded-ball of aluminum foil inside them as permanent armatures though, they at least wouldn't be as heavy... solid polymer clay can't be thicker than 1 1/4" when baked since it will often crack).

One more thing... you mentioned "painting" your items, so again I'm thinking probably air-dry clay.  Cured polymer clay can be painted but that's seldom done by most clayers since it's so much fun and easy to build all the color right into the clay (in various ways, and almost any color you can imagine).  
If you're interested in doing that, check out this page:
... and check out this page for some info on doing the painting-on-top thing:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/paints.htm >Preparing The Clay... and also >Acrylic Paints

P.S.  Here's another previous post at Craftster you might want to read since it gives info and links to beginners about the things they might want to learn when first getting into polymer clay:

HTH, and welcome (maybe?) to polymer clay!

Diane B.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2009 10:04:39 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

few of my photos
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
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