Saturday, April 9, 2016

Polymer clay art

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! 

10 thoughtful remarks:

Valerie-Jael said...

That's a nice idea, I used to do something similar in my class with the old ladies at the care home, but we glued the pins to the clay after the baking.
Glad you are having fun with all your supplies and able to show us so much. Have a nice Saturday, hugs, Valerie

froebelsternchen Susi said...

No, I have no tip for you about how to keep the clay from distorting.
You got nice embellishments - good to use in assemblages I think!
I am looking forward with what you will surprise us next time!
Always ideas in your head and you are an experimenting No 1 girl!

Happy Saturday!

My name is Erika. said...

Nice. Now you have really fancy office supplies that they charge a bunch for in store. Very very clever idea. Thank for letting me know about paint adding to stencil strength. I did not know that but it makes so much sense. Now my turn to pass on some info, just in case you didn't know about it. When you bake polymer you let out toxic fumes. The instructions never tell you this.(Of course one batch probably doesn't put out that great an amount of fumes). If you don't have a strictly only polymer toaster oven, they recommend putting a cookie sheet over the clay and then using big butterfly clips or clamps to be sure it stays closed by clamping the 2 sheets together, and then open the top off outside. I heard this when I took a clay class years ago with Laurie Mika and on of the art teachers at my school also told me this. If you know this already of course you can ignore it, but I want you to be safe. Have a great weekend-hugs-Erika

Unknown said...

I've done only one polymer clay project years ago, so I have never tried this myself, but what if you rolled your items out half as thick and then used two cut the same to "sandwich" the clip? That way the shape wouldn't be distorted. Mareena

Jeanie said...

Very clever and well explained! I love cute office supplies!

I've been silking and Sharpieing up a storm today. You created a monster -- results to share soon.

And thank you for comments on the Gypsy that just made my heart scream happy! Cheers!

Sandra Cox said...

That's a great idea and would make wonderful gifts.

Corrine at said...

Another totally cute project and the sturdy clips will hold them forever. Great idea! xox

Meggymay said...

Another great tutorial and super idea. Sorry cannot help with the distorted clay issue.
Yvonne xx

Dianne said...

these would look great in the wonderful journals that you sew!

Halle said...

I wish I could stand the smell of polymer has so many wonderful possibilities such as these you shared.