Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Found ... Polymer Clay Part 1 (Post 15)

For some time I have been interested in working with Polymer Clay, because its a way of expressing your own personality and giving you the opportunity to create individual works of art.  If you've been following my blog, you will know that from time-to-time I tuck away tools of the trade ... a secret hoarder, (ok not so secret to you ... but schhh it is still a secret in this household!).   So, Finally I unleashed the Pasta Machine.

I follow a few fellow jewellerymakers who have recently already taken that first step, and seeing their great work it has made me take that 'first plunge' also.

'Colour Me New'

The clay that I have used is called Fimo.  Its quite a science to work out what to go for.  I finally settled on two types: Cernit and Fimo Classic.

I got a few colours of each and for my 'Colour Me New' project I used Cernit in Green, Black and Yellow.

Cernit has a translucent look to it and is used for dolls because of its porcelain look.  

Before you can work with Polymer Clay, (PC) from now on!  You have to condition it.  That just means warming it and making it very pliable so that it is easier to work with and does not have any 'dry spots' which would cause it to crack.  Aha ... this is where the pasta machine came into its own.  Needless to say, once you use the pasta machine for PC you can NOT use it for food!!!!  

After rolling the clay in my palm, I then flattened it a bit and started feeding it through the pasta machine.  It didn't take long and I made some thin sheets of PC in black, green and yellow and put to one side.

I'd read about a technique known as Mokume Gane which I liked the idea of.  Its basically layers of PC in different colours which you then use any object to create a impression with and with a sharp blade you shave away layers leaving a very pretty design - you hope!  

I made 3 green sheets and 3 yellow sheets and 2 black sheets.  I then alternated them one on top of the other; using an acrylic roller I gently pressed the sheets together.  I then raided my other half's garage and found some quirky shapes, in the guise of screws and washers and a couple of bottle tops.  

I made random shapes on to the PC and then using a sharp blade, (they call a tissue blade), I slowly and carefully peeled off a few layers and wow ... I was left with an amazingly brightly coloured clay.  At this stage, I still hadn't worked out what to do with it ... but I fell in love with the colour and thought what an unusual pendant this would make, especially with the raggedy edges.  So I folded the clay back on itself around a cocktail stick and ... 'Colour Me New' arrived.

I baked it in the oven at 130 degrees for approximately 45 minutes, alongside a donut ring and coin shapes and some very little dark green spacer beads I'd made.  It was afterwards when I thought the coins would make lovely little delicate earrings - I think it works well, what about you?

It is safe to use your oven, but you MUST invest in a proper oven thermometer as you really don't want to set the place on fire!  Just wipe the oven out when you finish.  I worked with the windows and doors open - quick exit?  No, I wasn't sure whether there would be any fumes.  Actually, there wasn't - you could hardly smell anything.

And ... there we have it my 1st Polymer Clay project.  Any questions, send me your comments and I'll do my best to answer them.

Still to come ... three more projects!
  • Aztec
  • Opal Fruits and,
  • Apache Awakening

Remember - I welcome your comments, successful blogging I think should be a two-way process.  Look forward to hearing from you!

'Keep Watching and I'll Keep Blogging' ... Part 2 to follow soon



  1. Wow brilliant, a lovely Mokume Gane cane. It is a suprise everytime you cut off that first slice!

  2. Thanks, it is a surprise because with swirls etc you see what you get as you go but each slice of a mokume gane is different!


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