Polymer Clay Tutor Cindy Lietz Product Review Videos

Cindy has very recently done 2 videos which review my products. πŸ™‚ The first shows you how to do the Sutton Slice technique with one of my clear stamps called Round Design Patterns #2 .


The newest video shows how to silk screen using dry ingredients like Pearl-Ex and pastel chalks. The look it creates is wonderful ! This is a list of the silk screen names that Cindy uses in this video πŸ™‚ – Tribal Dance, Microbial Doodles, Retro Circuit Board, Stonewalled, Tapestry Flowers, Tile Mosaic #1, Mehndi Doodle.


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You can find all my silk screens and stamps in my Etsy Shop Tonja’s Treasures.


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Please check out Cindy’s site Polymer Clay Tutor ! She has so many wonderful video lessons and you can sign up for her monthly club which provided new lessons each month that will keep you creating and having fun.

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Quick Christmas Star Ornament

I know it’s been ages since I posted anything, so here is a free tutorial. πŸ™‚

I used Sculpey Ultralight clay.

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a silicone mold from First Impressions called Filigree Star,

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leafing pens made by Krylon (available in Silver, Copper and Gold)

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The oldest dullest clay blade I own. πŸ™‚ A dull blade will trim excess clay from the mold nicely without cutting into the soft silicone mold. Plus a way to drill a hole (I prefer a push drill like the one pictured below). I don’t recommend trying to put holes in the raw Ultralight clay. It is very soft and likes to squish easily.

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Condition a small ball of Ultralight and press it into the mold. I like to shape it to fit so I can see what I need to trim, but that’s just me. πŸ™‚ I’m not going to go into deep detail on “How to use molds” because there are a bunch of tutorials & YouTube videos already available on the internet.Β  Trim away the excess clay with your dull blade.

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Slowly bend the mold to pop out the clay.

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I ended up with 27 stars from one pack of Ultralight with just that tiny ball of clay left over. Now bake your stars according to package instruction.

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Once baked and cooled you will need to drill a hole.Β  The drill bit goes through very easily. FYI: did you know Ultralight clay floats? πŸ™‚

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Now pick your favorite color leafing pen and have some fun coloring. Drag the tip of the pen along the raised areas of the Filigree Star design. The paint dries quite quickly. Add a string to hang in on your tree and enjoy !

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Here are all 3 colors – Silver, Gold and Copper. I think my favorite is the Copper. πŸ™‚

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MERRY CHRISTMAS !!!!!!!!!!

So, you have liquid polymer clay. Now what ?

Liquid polymer clay is more than just a bonding agent for 2 pieces of baked polymer clay or attaching finding. It can be used to do image transfers like I did on this candle screen. I tied for 1st place in a contest hosted by Amaco. πŸ™‚ The pictures I used were taken in my garden. Here is the Candle Screen Project written up on their website.

Here is a short tutorial I wrote many years ago that shows how to do liquid clay transfers.

Here is a video that is great too πŸ™‚ Foolproof Image Transfer by Willowbird Studio

Liquid polymer clay can be tinted with various mediums to be used as glazes or grout in your projects. These mediums include oil paint, mica powder, pastel chalks, powdered pigments, and alcohol ink. Alcohol inks must sit on top o the liquid clay until the alcohol evaporates before you mix the color. You can also mix in glitters, embossing powders, spices, or anything that is oven safe. Just keep in mind you don’t want to mix too much of any medium into your liquid clay, because it can change the basic properties of the clay and may not work as expected. I personally like to keep it to to no more than 3 parts liquid clay to 1 part other medium.

When tinted with opaque mediums like the chalks, alcohol ink or powders pigment you can use liquid clay to do glazing techniques like faux ceramic. This is my favorite tutorial to make Faux Ceramic.

If your glaze seems a little too thick , you can use diluent to thin it to the consistency you need.

This is another example of the same project above created by another artist, Valerie Brincheck.

Liquid polymer clay can be made into a grout for your clay project in 2 ways that I am familiar. First is to mix a thick paste made of regular polymer clay and liquid clay. Keep adding liquid clay to the polymer clay and working them together until the clay turns into a paste. The second is to mix in a powdered medium like pigment powders, mica powders, or pastel chalks. This will thicken the liquid clay, but it will still flow. Squeezing the thickened liquid clay out of a fine tip bottle is the easiest way I have found to use it. Fill the gaps in your mosaic and then wipe away any excess “grout” with a paper towel and bake. This next picture uses the paste method.

 

You can use tinted clay to do faux combed paper. The mica powders are especially nice for this technique!

Here is the tutorial from Fire Mountain Gems

This is a more intricate example of combed liquid clay created by Linda Heins.

Liquid Polymer Clay can be used to make window clings.Β  I have done this and it is so much fun ! Great project to do with the kids. The key is to bake the liquid clay on a piece of glass or smooth ceramic tile. After baking and it’s cooled off enough to safely handle, peal the clay off the glass or tile then stick it to a window. Many years ago I made some dragonflies for my bathroom window. Wonder what happened to them ?Β  Hmmmm. Here is the only example I could find online, also made by Linda Heins.

I almost forgot about making Faux Enamel Cloisonne. I tried this technique a few years back, but I no long have the pictures of what I made. A computer crash ate hundreds of pictures. 😦 Back up your important stuff regularly !Β  But back to the subject. πŸ™‚ I did find some pictures online to show you what I mean.

I found a tutorial by Crafty Goat which may help you get the idea of how it works.

I’m sure I have forgotten some great technique liquid clay can produce. If I have please let me know in a comment and I will add it to the list πŸ™‚

 

How to “Bail Out” a Pendant

Sometime I make a really great pendant and then realize I did not think about how I was going to hang it on a cord. I am going to supply you with some quick and easy ideas on how to add a bail to your polymer clay pendant.

First are the non clay solutions:

Add a jump ring and run the cord through it.

Or a jump ring with a bail added.

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Here is a wire wrapped bail I made.

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Or you can add a screw eye to the clay before or after it’s baked.

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Sometimes you can find interesting filigree findings and connectors that can be folded in half to create a bail. They can add a really nice design element.Β  It will need to be glued in place for it to be permanent.

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Then there are pinch bails. They come is different colors and designs.

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Glue on bails can be handy too.

Here are some ideas if you want to add a bail made of polymer clay:

You can make a tube of clay ( I wrap clay around a knitting needle and bake. Remove the clay while it’s still warm) and attach it with liquid clay, which will obviously need to be baked again to be permanent.

A fold over clay bail can be fun, too.

I extruded a flat strip of black clay and looped it through the holes I cut in this domed pendant.

Unique DIY Displays

I saw a picture of an old drawer that was originally meant to hold letters for a printing press, but someone had taken it and created a jewelry display.

WOW! It looked so creative and original that I started looking for other ways that could be used to display products at an art fair booth. I had no idea there were so many wonderful ideas to be found. Anything from drawers or suitcases, to old windows and picture frames.

Some were DIY built from scratch, some were upcycled and re-purposed. Leave it to an artist to turn an antique cheese grater into an earring display or vintage strainer into a bracelet display.

How about a picture frame and some glass drawer pulls to show off your necklaces?

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Perhaps lining up clear bottles in all shapes and sizes could do the trick for you as with this display.

Whether meant to display 1 item or 50, these were just some of my favorite finds. You can see all the displays I found on my Pinterest Board.

An couple honorable mentions πŸ™‚ Love these little vintage drawers used to hang individual ornaments and this unique way to display bracelets !

Your Images and the Internet

It was recently brought to my attention that someone had taken several of my product images and was using them in to teach a class on making silk screens. NOT COOL !!! I make and sell clear stamps and silk screens with those images and it’s illegal copyright infringement. Just because you see an image on the internet does NOT mean you can copy that image and use it. Unless it says right there in print with the image that you have permission to use that image you must assume you do not have permission. Simple, right?

I preceded to remove all my product images from the internet and put a copyright watermark on all of the images in my Etsy listings. Hopefully this will put a stop to most of the illegal use of the images. Unfortunately, Pinterest is a still full of my images that were shared and re-shared. 😦 I can’t remove them. The downfall of this site is that the artist has no control over the images once they are saved to the website.

I highly recommend watermarking any image you wish to identity as your own and protect it from illegal use. There are several free watermark software apllications online, but non really did what I wanted them to do. I ended up purchasing uMark and it worked beautifully. I was able to very quickly and painlessly add a watermark to all 260+ images I use in my business.

 

Info on copyright

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_infringement

http://www.stockphotorights.com/faq/#copy

http://webdesign.about.com/od/copyright/a/aa081700a.htm

http://www.wikihow.com/Avoid-Copyright-Infringement

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/copyright-fair-use-and-how-it-works-for-online-images/

http://lifehacker.com/5992419/the-best-ways-to-be-sure-youre-legally-using-online-photos

http://petapixel.com/2013/08/21/qa-what-should-you-do-if-your-photos-have-been-infringed/

Die Cutting Polymer Clay: My First Experiments

I did some research into die cutting machines and chose the Silhouette Portrait. My research indicated that the Silhouette has the ability to cut quite intricate images. Not many devices have this ability. The Silhouette uses software to tell the machine what images to cut. It does not use physical shape dies. I really liked this feature, because I can cut images I designed. The reason for buying a die cut machine? I heard rumors people were cutting Precious Metal Clay (PMC) with a die cut machine. “Hmmmm, interesting”, I thought. “I bet I can cut polymer clay, too.”

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Sound theory, but it took some experimenting to get it right. First off, when PMC dries it becomes somewhat leathery feeling and firms up. This is not the case with raw polymer clay. It can be down right squishy and sticky in the best of situations. The first cut I did was terrible. LOL The clay was pushed and pulled and dragged. A complete mess and the blade was packed full of clay.Β Β  After some thought, my solution was to place a piece of plastic deli wrap over the sheet of clay before I cut it. Plastic deli wrap is not to be confused with the waxed type of deli paper.Β  They are completely different. The deli wrap keeps the cutting blade from getting all clogged with clay and helps it glide over the surface of the clay, so you get a smoother cut.

This is the deli wrap

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I also found that polymer clay does not like to release from tacky adhesive side of the cutting mat that came with my Silhouette Portrait machine. So don’t use that side. πŸ™‚ You can leave the protective sheet on the tacky side and use the back to die cut your clay, but I chose to purchase some inexpensive “cut your own” stenciling sheets to use to die cut my clay. They are made of the same material so they work great in my Silhouette.

Here is my first cut, the one I couldn’t get off the tacky side of the cutting mat. I destroyed the clay getting it off. LOL

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Another issue I had was getting the clay sheet thin enough to die cut. Even using the thinnest setting on my pasta machine ( I tried both the Makin’s Machine and the Atlas Marcato) did not get the polymer clay sheet thin enough. I used a piece of the “cut your own” stenciling material to run through the pasta machine with the clay and Ta-Da, it was finally thin enough to die cut. πŸ™‚ I used the next to thinnest setting on my Makin’s Machine.

Here are the successesΒ  I have had so far die cutting raw polymer clay.

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Polymer Clay Is Acid Free and Safe For Scrapbooking

Polymer clay is listed in β€œCreating Keepsakes” magazine’s approved list of products, which means it has been tested by archival experts and is acid free. Good news for all you scrapbooking addicts. πŸ˜‰ You can make one of a kind frames, tags and embellishments for you scrapbook pages when you can’t find exactly the right color or design you need in a retail shop. It just take a little imagination and an oven. πŸ™‚

I have found a list of great links you might like to check out. (click each picture)

Mica Shift: Great for beginners

Mica Shift is one of those techniques that has many levels of possibilities. For beginners is perfect to experiment with because you only need one color of clay. If you don’t like how it turned out just roll the clay into a sheet again and start over. It’s especially fun now that Premo polymer clay comes is several new colors of metallic clays. The new colors are Peacock, Copper, Purple, 18K Gold, Antique Gold, Magenta, Bright Green & Blue are fabulous !!! The still have 3 of the old colors too: Gold, Silver & Pearl. The Pearl clay can be tinted with small amounts of the opaque clays or with alcohol inks to create your own custom colors. Just be sure to let the ink dry completely on the surface before you mix it in.

Mica Shift is simply the particles of mica in the clay being disturbed or distorted creating the illusion of depth and layers or chatoyancy like you would see in Tiger’s Eye gemstones. First you must align the mica particles so they all lay in a single direction. The easiest method is to condition the clay with a past machine so you have a smooth sheet of clay to begin you project. The process of conditioning the clay with the pasta machine aligns all those mica particles with little effort on your part.

To distort or disturb the mica you have many option. Objects like a ball stylus, a pencil, knitting needle, etc. can be drug along the surface of the clay sheet to create shallow lines and designs. Run the sheet of clay through your pasta machine 2 or 3 times (making it thinner each time) and you will still see the lines you made, but the sheet will be smooth. Other items such as texture sheet and rubber/clear stamps can be used to make more intricate patterns. (*Tip – I always use a release agent like water or Armor-All to keep the stamps from sticking to the clay.)

Here is a very simple project of mine showing a basket-weave Mica Shift project.
And couple by my friend Kellie called Twisted Rope Mica Shift and also the Satin Swirl Egg.
And a few more beginner level projects:
Jelly Roll
And a nice video showing the technique for you visual learners πŸ™‚

The secret to a really nice Mica Shift finished project is the sanding and buffing. You will first need wet/dry automotive sandpaper starting with 320 grit up through at least 1000 grit and a buffer with a muslin cotton wheel. (*Tip – Use the muslin buffing wheel with only a couple rows of stitching at the center. I do not recommend flannel cloth wheels. They tend to be very hard to use on polymer clay and leave gouges in the surface.) I will be the first to admit sanding is tedious and I do not like doing it at all LOL but it’s one of those evil necessities. I always work in water to keep the dust from sanding the clay contained. Add a couple drops of liquid soap as a lubricant. Start with the 320 grit to smooth out any lumps, bump or imperfections. Once it feels smooth all over, then move on to the 400, 600, 800 and 1000 grits. The 1000 is really just polishing, because the paper is so smooth, but that is the whole point, yes? πŸ™‚

The electric buffer takes a very light touch. Don’t push the clay deep into the wheel, the fast momentum of the wheel can grab the clay right out of your hands and fling it across the room. I put an empty box on it’s side, with a layer of quilt batting in the bottom, behind my buffer to catch any projectiles that may leave my hand. You don’t want to break a window or your favorite vase πŸ˜‰ A bit of practice and you’ll be an expert on buffing in no time.

Some eye candy to inspire you πŸ™‚

Jan Geisen mica shift beads

Jan Geisen mica shift beads


Donna Kato

Donna Kato


Donna Kato

Donna Kato


Sherri Kellberg

Sherri Kellberg


Rita Seale - PCC Contest Entry

Rita Seale - PCC Contest Entry


Kathy Weinberg

Kathy Weinberg


Laurel Steven

Laurel Steven


Into The Dawn Designs

Into The Dawn Designs

Happy Claying πŸ™‚

Freely Sharing Ideas

A list of recent free tutorials from the blogs I read. Lot’s of great ideas here. πŸ™‚

Carolyn shows us how to turn a large tube bead into a Fan Pull And her tips on texture for those tube beads. Carolyn also has a good idea for making your own texture plates.

Marie Segal did a series of cane tutorials on how to make African Trade Beads out of polymer clay.

Here are the following parts πŸ™‚
http://mariesegal.blogspot.com/2011/03/african-trade-beads-part-2.html
http://mariesegal.blogspot.com/2011/03/african-trade-beads-part-3.html
http://mariesegal.blogspot.com/2011/03/african-trade-beads-part-4.html
http://mariesegal.blogspot.com/2011/03/african-trade-beads-part-5.html
There may be more parts, so keep your eye on Marie’s Blog. She actually has a lot of great free tutorials on her blog, so read all the back posts πŸ™‚

Zuda Gay has a couple nice floral tutorials on her blog.
sculpting a little leaf
how to make a hibiscus flower

I used Google translator on this French blog, but you know how accurate that is LOL It a tutorial on how to a hollow bead make hollow beads using what I believe is a cotton ball bead covered with clay, baked, then drilled and de-cottoned. *G* Here is a picture of her finished bead used in a necklace.

Cristalline always has wonderful tutorials πŸ™‚ This watermelon cane is no exception.

Here is a whole list of tutorial on her blog.

Another French blogger that always seems to have something fun to learn on her blog is Parole de Pate. This month it’s Extruded Whirlwinds, Imitation Mother of Pearl, and a Caged Bead

And yet another French blog with a fun Faux Knit design.

If you need to translate any of these links use Google Translator. Paste the web address into the box, choose the languages and click translate.

Having trouble getting that prefect wire wrapped loop? Tina can help πŸ™‚ Try this free tutorial.

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