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Topic: Best Gold Metallic For Ancient Or Antique Jewelry?  (Read 1246 times)
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« on: October 14, 2010 07:28:20 AM »

What is the best way to get the look of old gold when making jewelry out of polymer clay? In the book, Creating Your Own Antique Jewelry, Taking Inspiration from Great Museums Around the World by Cris Dupouy, black clay is recommended which is baked and then painted with "jars of model paint." I'm wondering about this because I read that some oil based paints react to polymer clay. I'm new to clay and would appreciate any info. Here's a link to the book on Amazon.com/:

Diane B.
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« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2010 10:17:29 AM »

There are various choices for ways to get a metallic effect on polymer clay, and the clay underneath can be any color including but not limited to black. 
It's just that a dark color or toned-down color will look more like old dirt and grime that's collected in the crevices of an old item, but any color that's toned down or darker than the "original" color of the item would have been when it was new, would work.**

That book was written by a person (in France) who's not primarily a polymer clayer though, so some of the info isn't what would be suggested by a clayer.  It's more from the point of view of someone who works in theater, etc, who learned to use polymer clay for parts of some of the things she wanted to replicate and then uses other materials she's familiar with like paints, and who also uses only purchased stones, etc (many of which could also be quite convincingly made from polymer clay too--we call those "fauxs").

I haven't read the book but one review about it on my site indicates that she's recommending "model paint" (like Testors/etc) which would be a no-no on polymer clay unless the clay had first been sealed (paints and finishes that are petroleum-solvent based, and must be cleaned up with paint thinner/etc, can eventually begin dissolving polymer clay over time making it sticky or worse). 
Model paint isn't the same material as artists' "oil paint" though which is not petroleum-solvent based--it's linseed oil based instead, can take a long time to dry and isn't usually opaque but could be used for some effects (rebaking oil paint for a short time can help speed up its hardening).

Instead, when a metallic (or any other color) effect is desired to "highlight" (a technical term in polymer clay) just the top surfaces of a dimensional polymer clay item, a metallic acrylic paint/ink could be applied, but much more often metallic powders are the materials used (either mica-based powders like Pearl Ex, etc, or real-metal powders like the Mona Lisa ones), and sometimes metallic waxes (Gilder's Paste, Rub 'N Buff).  Even real-metal leaf or metallic foils can be used for some things.

For loads more info on creating "aged" looks with polymer clay, "highlighting" and its opposite "antiquing," using paints/powders/waxes/etc, and also making faux gems and doing fancy "onlay" effects, check out the following pages (the categories indicated in particular) at my site for examples, lessons, techniques, etc. 
Since this would be a bunch of links, just go to the Table of Contents page at the site then click on each of the names of pages listed below from inside the alphabetical navigation bar on the left there:

...Fauxs-Many Types > Metals and > Ancient & Aged Looks ...also various gems if you want
...Powders, Waxes--Metallic > Techniques for All Powders,
as well as Mica Powders, Real Metal Powders, Metallic Waxes
...Paints > Acrylic >> Pearlescent, Metallic
...Molds > Antiquing, Highlighting, Staining
...Onlay > Dimensional Onlay >> Ropey, Textured, Shaped things...Bezels...Bas Relief

You might also want to check out the Jewelry page > Miscellaneous >> Renaissance, etc., Jewelry, Crowns

Diane B.

**Or instead, the dimensional clay item could also be antiqued in its crevices as well as highlighted on its top surfaces, which would create a slightly different or completely different color in the crevices rather than just letting the original clay color show through unchanged. 

« Last Edit: October 14, 2010 10:41:25 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2010 10:43:39 AM »

Diane B. thanks so much! I plan on using the info to experiment and see what I find works for the look I want.

In the book I mentioned the author used semi-precious stones like turquoise, plus colored glass, and faux pearls, etc. She "sets" the stones into the pc and designs a bezel of polymer clay around them before they are baked. What type of pearls would work for this? Would real freshwater pearls stand the heat? What about less expensive acrylic pearls and acrylic faux gemstones? I might try making some faux turquoise to use, but I also would like to use some rhinestones and pearls, etc.

Diane B.
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« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2010 11:07:26 AM »

Anything that's "natural" can take the relatively low heat used for curing polymer clay**, including real gems of any kind (pearls, jade, etc) and wood/paper/cotton/earth clay/ivory/metals/rock/etc/etc.  Glass and ceramic are fine too.  
It's only the plastics that can be iffy.  Most will work if treated right** but a few will be right on the borderline for being affected by heat in the 200-300 F range and could change color or actually deform in some cases (or even shrink/melt).  
"Pearls," abalone, etc., can also be made quite convincingly though from polymer clay as fauxs (see that main Fauxs page link for those).

As for the really clear gems, sometimes those can be made from things like liquid polymer clay and other materials, but generally you'd use real glass or crystal, or you'd use the plastic ones, bake with care, and experiment.**

P.S.  Just ran across these examples too:

**though read up on my Baking page for ways to make sure the temp in the oven cavity that actually gets to your clay isn't higher than you think it is, at any point during baking (and you might want to not use certain brands/lines of polymer clay since they'll darken more easily than others in general):
« Last Edit: October 14, 2010 11:13:49 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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