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Topic: My first adventure into poly clay (and everything went wrong). ^_^;  (Read 3125 times)
Tags for this thread: video_game , zelda , legend_of_zelda  Add new tag
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« on: January 08, 2010 01:14:42 AM »

So, this is the result of my first trip down the road of polymer clay. My main goal was to use the clay to enhance my other interests, such as making jewelry. Therefore, my first attempt was making videogame (zelda and kingdom hearts) themed charms. Sounds simple right?
WRONG.  Shocked
Where to start. Lets make a list.
Wrong type of clay used? Check. (Sculpey...the no number kind. So mushy and unwieldy.)
Only had white available so I had to paint each piece even though they are crazy small? Check.
Burned a bit in oven? Check.
Decided to paint at 3am (out of stubborness to finish) when I was too sleepy to hold the brush straight? Check.
Glossy polymer clay glaze not bonding well to acrylic paint? Check.
So yeah, that all happened, and now i have no idea if these are even acceptable to wear or not. I tried to pretty them up by adding beads to the jewelry I made with them, but....ehh I dunno. Thought I'd post them anyway so I can at least feel good about having tried!  Grin
Anyway, this one is Zelda (orginal NES version) themed. Those are glow in the dark beads I had laying around that I used to spruce it up. The charms are painted poly clay.

This is a close up of the octorok and triforce.

This is a close up of the boomerang, white sword, and container heart.

This is a Kingdom Hearts themed necklace. The pendant is a poly clay heartless, the rest was from my bead collection that I added for flavor.

A close up of the pendant.

Thanks for looking!  Smiley
« Last Edit: January 08, 2010 01:16:11 AM by phantasmafreud » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2010 03:06:08 AM »

It doesnt look wrong to me! I love the necklace, its very cool and quirky!  Smiley

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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2010 05:45:55 AM »

Don't be so hard on yourself, they're not bad, especially for your first time!  I especially love the heartless necklace, which I think is definitely good enough to wear out!  I'm sure your next set will be even better!;D

« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2010 07:34:38 AM »

On behalf of those of us with too many it-is-late-but-I-will-finish-if-it-kills-me-though-the-world-conspires-against-me projects to count...thank you for posting.  And the Heartless is adorable!  Some of those little baddies are way too cute to bop with a Keyblade, if you ask me.
Diane B.
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2010 09:11:16 AM »

Wrong type of clay used? Check. (Sculpey...the no number kind. So mushy and unwieldy.)
Burned a bit in oven? Check.

Well, as one who's always trumpeting about it being best not to use the 3 main Polyform Sculpey clays* for many things, I won't comment further, but the easy-burning part is also probably not your problem and resulted from the clay you used.  Even if you had an oven thermometer and were using it correctly to know that the temp was actually what you thought it was, original Sculpey will darken (actually turns purplish too) at lower temps than any other brand/line of polymer clay, and especially at it's "recommended" temp (unless that temp has changed since the latest reformulation).  The manufacturers don't give ways to avoid that but there are at least a few.**  SuperSculpey-flesh and the pkgs of Sculpey III are somewhat better but still easier to darken during baking than others (if you want virtually no darkening at all, go for Kato Polyclay).

* Sculpey, SuperSculpey-flesh, Sculpey III are all very soft so hard to get good details with and to avoid distortion & fingerprints, and will also be brittle after baking in any clay areas which are thin or projecting.
In order of firmness of the precolored brands, (important especially if you have hot hands too) would be Fimo Classic and Kato Polyclay, followed by Premo and Cernit, followed by FimoSoft.  The order of strength for thin areas would be about the same except the first 4 would be pretty similar to each other, followed by FimoSoft.
** http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/baking.htm (...click on the category Darkening, Scorching, Burning)

Only had white available so I had to paint each piece even though they are crazy small? Check.

Any polymer clay can be colored not only by coloring the surface after baking, but also before baking and shaping by mixing pre-colored clays into white clay (or any color), or by using various colorants on the surface (paints, alcohol inks, powders and pigments of various kinds, metallic leaf, etc.).  
Some of those colorants would be artists' oil paints or shavings from oil pastels, alcohol inks, artists' pigments, fabric dyes, ground spices, and even dry tempera and crayon shavings (tho can be other problems with those), as well as various more particulate colorants usually called "inclusions" like glitters, metallic powders, herbs, sand, dirt, etc.
It may take a lot of those to create a really saturated color though, and often they're added to translucent or tinted-translucent colored clays so more of the colorant will show up, etc.  You can sometimes get away with using acrylic paints but since they're water-based and will end up trapped inside an oil-based clay, they can swell when heated and cause problems (using only a little, or leaving clay colored that way out a few hrs or overnight before baking can often help).
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/letters_inks.htm (Inks for Tinting)

Glossy polymer clay glaze not bonding well to acrylic paint? Check.

I don't know about this one unless you were using a thick single layer of the old Sculpey Glaze (the one that's clear in the jar), or you're in a humid area and haven't waited long enough for the paint or the finish to dry.  Generally, clear glazes of all kinds should do fine over acrylic paint.  
You can try what's called "re-baking" though to see if that thoroughly dries and "hardens" even more your clear finish... that's often done by clayers anyway to make the finish even stronger and harder, and it will also tend to make it smoother since it very slightly softens the finish filling in any uneveness.  Try the rebaking at only 200-250 F for 5-15 min.

HTH, and show us what you make next!  (with a better and a pre-colored polymer clay  Grin)  What you made already is totally fine though if you don't have future problems with it!

Diane B.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2010 09:22:51 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

few of my photos
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2010 05:56:51 PM »

 Grin Well I REALLY like them! Especially the necklace. I have done that 3AM gonna finish it thing too. All amped up on coffee. Fine job, I must say.

In the sun she warmed her wings and listened to cicadas sing.
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« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2010 04:00:15 PM »

I think that they are absolutely amazing! I would totally steal that bracelet"^.^"

What is it with 3 AM? I did that last week finishing up the Star Trek Christmas swap!
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2010 07:39:59 AM »

great job on your first try! they are actually pretty good, don't be so hard on yourself. i love the necklace a ton!
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2010 01:09:41 AM »

Aww, thanks everyone!  Smiley
It was a...harrowing experience, but I'm glad now that it wasn't all for nothing!

And Diane B., WHOA, thanks for all that info! I'm going to have a long sit down and sort it all out.  Grin
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