I learned a lot of interesting techniques from the experts about playing with clay thanks to the public mini workshop held during the 2nd Annual Philippine Polymer Clay Festival this year. I guess the most obvious learning was that if someone was creative enough and do variations of the basics that I have listed below, it could turn into a real business.
I believe you can only move on and be on your way to make pieces as beautiful and complex as this if you've mastered the basics.
Soften the polymer clay with a pasta machine to break its original package shape. The softened clay will be easier to mold. Make sure you clean the pasta machine after every use especially if you're using both light and dark colors (the remaining clay in the pasta machine will stick to your new color).
After getting the desired shapes and designs, the clay is placed in a convection oven to bake and harden. The clay used in the sparkler demo became elastic like rubber when baked.
Applying Images on Clay using Magic Transfer Paper
This technique makes it possible to put images, designs or logos in your clay. Short cut clay at its best.
1. Print the image on the Magic Transfer Paper using a laserjet printer or photocopy the image in the Magic Transfer Paper. Colored or B&W on either side of the paper is fine.
2. A white colored clay was used in this demo.
3. Burnish (rub) the Magic Transfer Paper with the image facing down on the clay for 5 to 10 minutes. Leave the paper on the clay the whole time.
4. Get a container with water. Place the clay in the water and swirl the water continuously. The paper will dissolve slowly until only the ink is left on the clay.
*Remember to flip the image or you'll end up with the inverted mirror image like the Colt45 below.
Stamping Designs and Using Sparklers
1. Once the design has been stamped on the softened clay, it is time to bring out the sparklers. They cost P100 at The Bead Lady.
2. Use your hands to apply the sparklers for more coverage - like the purple. Use the brush for less coverage - like the blue. Do not use the same brush for different colors.
The sparkles give that shiny metallic finish to these bracelets.
Combining Multiple Colors to Make that Swirl
1. Stick the colors you want together just so that they form one piece.
2. Start folding and rolling them into the machine. Stop at the point when you can still see individual colors with blended parts. The number of times you do this is basically up to you but just remember that overdoing it will either turn the whole clay to a dark solid color or black (In this sample and for demo purposes, the remaining clay for this combination was a brighter shade of purple, see in next technique below) .
3. Some blend colors to get their desired color. To repeat the same outcome, they would have to remember the exact amount of color per clay, how many times they folded and rolled the clay color mix.
4. Get a cookie cutter (in this case, the demonstrator used a clay cutter since it's smaller) and form a star.
This cute clay bracelet must be a combo of colors and has sparkles as accent.
How to Use Molds and Removing Techniques
1. They used silicone molds here from The Bead Lady.
2. First Technique - Wet the mold first. Press the clay and remove easily.
3. Second Technique - Apply Sparklers to the mold. Press the clay. You'll have a sparkly and whole shape when you remove the clay.
4. Cut the excess clay from the shape using a shaping blade.
5. Use the round edges of your paintbrush to round and smoothen the edges.
You're ready to make multi-color shapes and designs!
The Clay Fest is a gathering of clay enthusiasts invited by and mostly graduates of The Bead Lady workshops in Cubao Expo.
Don't fret if you missed this event and I got you all interested. I have compiled a list of some of the participants with interesting pieces in my previous post. As for workshops and materials, just go to The Bead Lady over at Cubao Expo and she'll take care of you! Have a Guiltless time!