Polymer clay, full speed ahead!

It’s always as I’m looking at the semi final product that I realize, ‘Snap, I forgot to take pictures as I was going!’. So it is again with this new Polymer Clay mold I purchased. oh, also I bought polymer clay!

I actually bought Michaels’ brand clay first, Craftsmart. After all, I had no idea what I was doing, so start with the cheap stuff right? WRONG. I googled my problem, and it didn’t seem too common, so maybe it was a bad batch, but this stuff was hard as a rock and WOULD NOT condition.  I don’t know if maybe it started curing on a hot truck on summer or what exactly happened, but it would soften up for a few seconds after letting it sit in front of the Snake’s heat lamp.

No Bueno.

Suffering my 3-4 dollar loss (breaking the bank here, I know) I went back out and bought some Sculpey III. Given that both have been sitting on the shelf for the same amount of time (read: at least a year. No one really buys enough of this stuff at my Michaels for it ever to need to be restocked. Trust me, I know. I reshelved it.) I was nervous whatever happened to the Craftsmart would have affected the Sculpy too. Thankfully I’ve had no such issues.
Screenshot 2016-01-28 at 11.14.31 AM
The Sculpy had no issues conditioning and bending into tiny detailed forms. I actually should have refrigerated it and tried to smooth out my nail marks from the overly soft clay, but I was too excited to see what it was liked when baked. I’ve never seen or worked with polymer clay in real life.

Delighting in my little rose bead I immediately went to learn about Canes. At this point the only tools I had were a blade and a little rubber sculpting tool that’s way too large for the scale I’ve been working in.  What you’ll notice is missing from the list, when I say I want to make canes (or anything with PC really) is a rolling pin. An acrylic rolling pin.

I searched everywhere for a cheap alternative to the acrylic roller at Michaels. The Fondant Section at stores with bakeware, the toy section for plastic kitchen sets, Ikea, and well–that’s about it. I work 2 jobs, I don’t have much time for searching. There’s art to be done! Grabbing some parchment paper and my father’s wooden rolling pin, I set to work.

A bulls-eye Cane looks easy enough for starting off
lacebeadfinalMinimal rolling and precision, plus fun results. (in the back of my head I’m thinking DRAGON EGGS)

So after much consternation of rolling without a roller or a pasta machine, I finally hold up my finished cane in all it’s beginner glory. I need something to do with it now.

CROCHET HOOKS

I’d seen pictures online of people who made handles out of clay.  It seemed like good fun. Despite my dislike of big bulky handles.

Screenshot 2016-01-28 at 11.14.37 AMScreenshot 2016-01-28 at 11.14.23 AM

Everything for a bit more distorted than I’d like when putting it on the crochet hook, but that’s what first attempts are for. My biggest goal in wrapping the hook was covering up the raised indicator hook size and brand. I know I’m not the only one whose fingers that rubs raw, right? Pulling out my handy dandy set of alphabet stamps (that I really have no idea why I thought I needed at the time of purchase, but i’ll be damned if I won’t find a use for them now), I stamped in the hook size, baked, and filled with varnish.

Okay so that’s two things down and a fear of using up the little bits of clay I still had left now over taking me. (Are you seeing the trend of how scrooge-like I am with my supplies until I’m comfortable with them.  It’s weird. I don’t get it either.) I set them aside for a month or two, and focus on markers and paint for the rest of the year.

Yesterday was my last day working at Michaels, and some sort of wild hare possessed me at the last minute, and I decided that I needed a pasta machine, some molds, and all sorts of polymer clay tools with my employee discount before I lost it.

 

First thing in the morning I brushed my teeth, fed my fish, and went to go play with my new tools. 4 hours later I have a little doll. (with her sculpted booty)

 

If you ignore my poorly painted crazy eyes, my brush was way to big for the job. I decided she was going to be a little Dalish practice model (despite having the face of a dwarf).

My next goal: make a little person with arms and legs. I’m not sure why I decided my practice sample was going to be a legless venus de milo. I blame the fact that I’m still sick and sleep deprived from snowpacalypse. Also, if I really get into this, I’m going to need better paint.  I’ve been practicing with my new acrylics and quickly remembering everything I hate about acrylic paint.

In the last 2 days I’ve learned a lot about both clay and molds and anxiously await putting that knowledge to work.

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