Thursday, May 20, 2010

Polymer clay and stamping

My friend Cindy from the Loose Bead Society works a lot with polymer clay.  I loved the pieces she's shown me so far, and I've been itching to get my fingers wrapped around some clay again.  It had been quite some time - possibly before I met Steve in 2007 - since I last worked with clay.

So, duly motivated, I grabbed a package of old, old clay and started conditioning it.  For you non-clay enthusiasts, that means kneading it and rolling it in a pasta roller until it gets soft and pliable.  The clay is so old that this took the better part of an hour and made my poor hands very, very sore.

Finally, though, I was able to do what I like to do best - roll it out flat and stamp on it!  I use Staz-On ink on clay to make sure there's no smearing.  I got some very good impressions and rolled the rest of the conditioned clay into beads.  I mixed the ink (purple, unsurprisingly) into the clay to tint some of it and left some of it white with just a hint of purple marbling.  On some of the beads I stamped small flowers - some dark, and some lighter.  By this time I think the stamp pad was getting coated with a bit of clay, and when I stamped a final circle with a flower, it was slightly blurry.  I'm calling it "artistic" and "on purpose".

After baking, here's what I have to work with:

This is half a package of clay, by the way.  My hands were too tired to condition the other half!  You can see the blurry one at the top of the circles, right under the beads.

Here's a close up of the biggest circle:

And here's a close up of the "patterned" beads:

After baking, I coated everything with liquid polymer clay in hopes that I'd get a nice glossy finish.  I hadn't done that before and wanted to try it.  Well, they didn't turn out glossy, but they look nice anyway.

What am I going to do with all of these pieces?
How am I going to affix the circles to anything when there aren't any holes?
Why is everything purple?
Will I be able to get the beads off of the little skewers?

These questions and more will be answered in a future blog post - stay tuned!


  1. You are SUCH a goober! You can warm the clay in a number of ways other than with your hands! (No other bodily parts needed either!)

  2. Yeah, Ms. Anonymous-who-isn't-because-she-posted-the-same-comment-on-Facebook? Would you like to be a guest blogger and inform those of us who are too lazy to look it up on the Internet or in our books how to do that? I'm telling you - my hands were KILLING me by the time I was done!