Some of you may remember a while ago when I won some polymer clay and clay tools in exchange for a tutorial.
I try to keep all my unused, but open clay in plastic bags, but I thought I would try to use the open clay today before it got too old. Granted, I've never had clay go bad on me before, but that doesn't mean that's an excuse to save it into the next millenium.
Since I had a specific project in mind, I needed small cutters What could be more perfect than the ones I won? After rolling and conditioning, conditioning and rolling, the clay was finally ready to use.
From my office, I recycled various sizes of paper clips to turn into ornaments or embellishments. I literally have thousands of clips left over from when I was actively consulting. Instead of buying one box of 100 clips, I ordered 10 boxes of each size and style. Now I have so many of those various sized clips, I'll never use them all.
Toward the end, I got in a hurry and created a few blended beads. They got larger, the more I wanted this project to end. I was surprised how much time I spent just conditioning, rolling, shoving, and repairing. And that was before they were baked!
Speaking of baking, please be sure to line your baking pan with either old index cards (you can tell I've used these before) or parchment paper. Baking the clay directly on metal makes clay shiny. If that's the look you are going for, feel free to ignore this step.
Using a cutter of your choice, cut out various THICK embellishments. Try to find the middle of the cut piece and shove the paper clip up it. Please do not let your mind go there regarding this step. I thought it, too!
Unfortunately, I distorted every piece I created in this step. I suspect I should have found a better way to try to close the "hole" I created when I was doing all that shoving.
Some turned out better than others. I left a couple of pieces plain to bake on their own. I thought I might be able to find a glue or adhesive that would hold them in place, thus keeping them from distorting.
Bake per package instructions. All clay brands bake at slightly different temperatures, but I bake ALL my clay, regardless of brand, at 265 degrees F (gas mark 3/4, 134 degrees C). Since these were thicker than I usually make my clay, I allowed them to bake for an hour in my old dedicated to clay toaster oven that was given to me used years ago.
Today is Day 9 of 22 and I repurposed some unwanted paper clips and used all my opened polymer clay to make embellishments/clip ornaments and beads for art. Thanks for joining me, and if you have any ideas of how to keep the clay from distorting, I would LOVE to hear them. It would certainly improve my paper clip art!