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Topic: I don't know what I'm doing.... first clay post! (DROWNING IN PICS)  (Read 2966 times)
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alhrayth
« on: November 07, 2009 06:34:36 AM »

SO, yesterday I was in a big home decoration/craft/garden store and I found myself looking at these tiny packest which read "Fimo".. and I exclaimed "but it is that stuff they use on craftster!" and promptly bought a couple of packets.... without a real project in my mind. So at home I sat down and started playing arounf, doing tiny little things because I was afraid to waste the tiiiiiny portions of material.
These are the results of my first attempts, almost all pendants. C&C welcome, suggestions even more!
some of the bits are really wonky because I seriously have not tools and I totally improvised.... but I gave them names, just for fun

This is an overall view, after baking,


"My name is...."

the white pearly fimo, in a simple teardrop name tag with my name drawn in and some white beads embedded


"My heart has been run over"
a white round base with a purple flat heart, a chain was used to stamp the wheel tracks on the heart


"The heart flies away"
I tried going 3D... in this as well as the previous one, the purple is not pure but mixed in with some white


"On a purple cloud"

this is the purple straight on, the pics are a little dark - IRL it's a very vibrant color


I also tried mixing up the colours a little, and got this set

"Going 'round and 'round"


I am still undecided on how to string the pendant, if on a chain, a string, a ribbon... HuhHuh

Then I got a lovely pale lilac, almost pink pearly color that called to become a flower...


unfortunately at first I thought I'd match it with pearly earrings, now I'd definitely prefer to have matching earrings so I'll have to try to mix up a matching color.... I have some more clay left and I'm wondering what I might try to do now...
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ninjanator
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2009 07:10:36 AM »

great stuff! I really like the "my heart has been run over" one - very cool texture Smiley and yes, FIMO has tiny portions *sigh*
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when I'm wearing my crafty pants: etsy
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Hadassah
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2009 07:12:43 AM »

The lilac flowers are just gorgeous! I'm still not very good at clay... I've been drooling over all the little food pendents on here that look so life like! You're well on your way to becoming a great clay genius!
Way to go, love the lilacs a lot!
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Kurtzie
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« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2009 07:26:05 AM »

love the swirls in the cloud!
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lustinthemovies
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2009 07:31:04 AM »

They are all so very very cute
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Diane B.
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« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2009 09:50:32 AM »

Very nice... looks like you might be hooked too.  Grin  It's great that you're starting to mix your own colors as well...that opens up a load more possibilities in polymer clay.

Quote
 I have some more clay left and I'm wondering what I might try to do now...

Since you've already done some things that have textured or dimensional surfaces (the Balinese Filigree, stamped and textured pieces), you might want to learn to "antique" items like those to give them even more visual dimension.  To antique a surface, you'd simply rub a dark brown acrylic paint (or any color you want) down into all the crevices and lower areas of the surface, then wipe off the paint only on the upper surfaces with a paper towel, etc.  That leaves the color only in the lower areas (as much or little as you want), and can look like shadows or aging if you've used a dark-type color, or just gives dimension if using another color.  Using white can even give a just-dug-out-of-the-fossil-bed look too.
...You can also do the opposite, which is called "highlighting" (rubbing the color only on the upper areas of the textured or otherwise-dimensional surface).  That's often done with metallic powders, but paints could be used too for some things too.
You can get loads more info on antiquing and highlighting on at least this page of my site (since those processes are also done on molded items):
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/molds.htm (near bottom of list at top of page, click on the category called Antiquing, Highlighting, Staining)
...and ther may be more on the page called Paints > Antiquing & Patinas and the page called Powders for using metallic powders, waxes, etc, in those ways

Another quick idea that just occurred to me would be to make and bake more of those little roses, then glue them onto glass ball ornaments (clear or colored ones), perhaps 4 of them around the  middle with one on each side, or near the top with some leaves and maybe even ribbons or other embellishments down farther on the ball (E6000 or 2-part expoxy glues are good, or even strong "white glues" could work since there wouldn't be much stress on the clay).
There are lessons on making various kinds of clay leaves on this page if you want to check those out (or you could use mini-artificial leaves, etc):
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/sculpture.htm ...click on Flowers & Leaves
And this page has more on making xmas ornaments with clay in all kinds of ways (in fact, you could probably decorate an entire mini-tree with tiny ornaments of clay--or clay mixed with other materials):
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/Christmas.htm (click on Glass Ball Ornaments--those are often completely covered with clay too-- or on any type of xmas things you'd be interested in)

As for other things you might want to try with clay, I've made suggestions for various kinds of things that clayers can do even when they're beginners in this previous post:
https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=192069.msg2020704#msg2020704
And/or check out this page at my site:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/kids_beginners.htm (click on Adult Beginners, then on any topic that seems interesting)

Welcome to polymer clay!

Diane B.
 
« Last Edit: November 07, 2009 09:56:22 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
alhrayth
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2009 03:14:41 AM »

WOW thank you Diane for your post and your link... your site is awesome and there' SO MUCH to read and learn!! Thank you!!!!
I confess I have still a lot more to read, but I have a quick question... the things I did so far are relatively flat and thin and I baked following the packet instructions (though I read that I could have raised it a little from the 110C)... now I was considering trying a figurine, which would be bigger, and rounder, definitely thicker... how does that affect the temperature/baking time? Do I have to keep it in there longer, I guess? But how can I understand when it is enough?
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Diane B.
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« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2009 10:25:13 AM »

You're welcome! Grin

As for baking, the bottom line is that polymer clay hardens by polymerizing its non-filler ingredients, which turns them into long chains of molecules.  The more polymerization occurs, the longer the chains will be and the more completely cured the item becomes (which makes it stronger, and also less likely to leach out any raw plasticizer over time).
So the heating time must be long enough to get all the way to the center of the item and polymerize that innermost area, or the heating must go on a longer time (there's a formula for that relationship).
 
Polymer clays can darken though, or even scorch or burn, so there is usually a "best" maximum temp for a particular brand but that heat must be very even and consistent when it reaches the clay to count on that temperature (there are special ways to do that--see below). 

The upshot of those things is that given a certain baking temp, thicker items will take longer to cure than thinner ones. 
The instructions usually given are 15-20 minutes per quarter-inch of thickness, with a maximum of 1 1/4" of thickness (you'll need to use an "armature" under the clay if it will be thicker than 1.25", especially because large solid items can crack while baking or cooling as well as just take a loong time to cure).  Really tiny items can take less time though, and most items can be cured in about 20-30 minutes if the true and constant temp is around 265-275.

Other factors can matter too though.  For example, the baking surface that the clay is sitting on (some will get hotter than the ambient air temp), how close the clay is to the top or bottom coils or to the sides of the oven (in those areas the air temp will be higher than the main-cavity temp) and also where any hot spots in a particular oven might be, and whether there are projections from the clay (sticking-out parts that might be thinner, or might be closer to the oven sides or coils).
 
Some brands of polymer clay are more sensitive to higher temps though so may darken more easily-quickly. In order of most-sensitive to least-sensitive/best, they would be:
original Sculpey... SuperSculpey & Sculpey III...most of the others...the temp king, Kato Polyclay)
Also, translucents of all brands are a little more sensitive than colors in that brand (or colors with a lot of translucent in them which isn't always obvious).


You can read a load more about all these things on the Baking page at my site, and also check out some of the ways to keep the temperature as even as possible to avoid darkening, the deal about the "new lower temps" for some brands, and more:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/baking.htm
You might also want to read one particular category of the Characteristics of Clay page called Strength...Rigidity, Flexibility:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/Characteristics.htm

HTH,

Diane B.

P.S.  If you're wanting to try a figurine next, you might also want to check out the "sculpting" pages at my site for tips, lessons, examples, etc.  You can see all the things covered on each of the 6 sculpting pages from the Table of Contents page: http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm ... or just click on these page names from alphabetical navigation bar:

Sculpting-Gen
Sculpting-BodyParts-Tools,etc.
Heads
Armatures-Permanent
(ignore Armatures-Temporary)
Miniatures
« Last Edit: November 08, 2009 10:44:29 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
alhrayth
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2009 08:01:36 AM »

before posting a couple of other experiments I made, I'm posting an update here: I varnished some of the pieces and I love how smooth and brilliant they are... here is the round swirly set, with the earring hooks mounted and the pendant ready for a chain:



and the swirly purple cloud:

this one I tried to do with one varnish and it became all sticky and bad, so I rubbed it with a pearly purple eyeshadow on the ridges, and went over it with another varnish that I saw on another piece went ok... and this is the result. I think I like it better than before, but as the rose set, it needs matching earrings now!



C&C?
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Diane B.
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« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2009 09:04:27 AM »

Fun!

Quote
this one I tried to do with one varnish and it became all sticky and bad . . .and went over it with another varnish that I saw on another piece went ok . . .

One important thing to know about polymer clay as a material is that it can be eaten into by anything containing a petroleum-based solvent, so certain kinds of finishes and paints aren't good for polymer clay.  The stickiness (or actual dissolving) of the clay may be seen immediately, or the clay may seem fine but have the stickiness begin to appear only up to six months later.

The Finishes page at my site talks about some of the okay and no-okay types of finish (and paint*), but basically you will want water-based things and won't want those that clean up with paint thinner.  Some sprays can be problems too only because of the ingredients in their propellants.
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/finishes.htm
*for paints, look on this page, but you'll generally want to avoid those that call themselves "enamels" in case they're the bad kind
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/paints.htm
(some kinds of markers will also be problems... for those see this page:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/letters_inks.htm )

Diane B.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2009 09:07:51 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
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