Thursday, February 18, 2010

Using Cutters with Polymer Clay Try 1

I bought myself some of those baby cookie-cutters that you use with polymer clay and gave them a try last night. The plan was to stack 3 colors of blue clay and then cut a 3 colored bead.

It didn't work very well. The clay stuck inside the little cutters and had to be pushed out with the end of a pen. The end of the pen bent the disk into terrible shapes and left funky marks on the end.

I used a tiny 1/2 inch circle and a slightly larger 1 square.

So instead I rolled everything into balls and them mashed them with the end of the rolling pen.

They look OK but are a little boring.

I'm going to try again using starch as release on the cutters

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tumbling Polymer Clay Beads

In the past I tumbled Polymer Clay with sandpaper. But I didn't like it because the sandpaper sticks together and it is a pain. So I bought some tumbling grit -- the kind they use for rocks and have been experimenting.

The kind I got is labeled step 1 , step 2, step 3 and so on.

I started tumbling with step 4, this definitely sanded the beads a lot leaving them with a sanded finish. I have continued and am now on step 6. They are looking pretty nice and don't seem to have any fingerprints any more.

This is removing a reasonable amount of clay so it would be bad if I had thin slices of cane applied to my beads. I don't though so I haven't had a problem.

I have ordered another tumbler so I can run two at once. I got another toy one but I had to order it. Michael's doesn't carry that brand anymore.

I took one of my old (6 mo? a year?) canes and reduced it in size. The reduction seemed to work fairly well although the cane was brittle to start. I sliced it up and will use the slices for testing out the tumbling.

The plan is to take some beads from untumbled through all of the steps and keep some from each step for comparison. I have some other old beads I am going to try too.