Saturday, May 17, 2014

Reproducing vintage items in polymer clay

For the last few days I've been working on my online shop, so I have nothing to show you.  I still have a fair amount of work left, but I'm hoping it'll be done tomorrow or Monday.  Once I get one page the way I want it, theoretically the others will go quickly.

Today (well, I guess since it's after midnight it would be yesterday) Steve and I went to our friends' house for a game day.  We try to get together every month or so, and we alternate who hosts.  Cindy and Russ have similar tastes in games as we do, so it's always a lot of fun.  We played Dumb Ass, Sequence, and Settlers of Catan.

The other thing we like to do (besides eat, eat, and eat some more) is to see what the hosts have been working on.  Russ does a lot of modeling, remote control cars, and working on "actual" cars, so the boys talked about that, and Cindy and I looked at the polymer clay reproductions she's been working on.

She picked up some beautiful vintage German cabochons and decided to make molds out of them so she could get more mileage out of them.  Also, if she wants to make earrings out of the cabs, if she makes a mistake when drilling holes, it's likely she won't be able to replace them.  Vintage items are usually available in very limited quantities.

Here are two of the cabs she's made molds out of:

In both cases, the original cab is in the upper left, and the reproduction is in the upper right.  The big purple blob in the center is the mold.  She uses a molding compound (like this one that Christi Friesen sells) to make the impression, then she presses the clay into it.  In these examples she enhanced the raised parts of the reproduction with Gilders Paste.  Not only does she have a very inexpensive replica that she can drill without worrying, but she also can change the look of the piece by using a different color of polymer clay and a different color of Gilders Paste.

She hasn't limited herself to vintage cabs, however:

The originals in those pictures are buttons - some new and some old.  She made molds of each and made flat reproductions using polymer clay.  These haven't gotten the Gilders Paste treatment yet.

While I was looking on her desk, look what I found:

I have a feeling I might be able to get some polymer clay cats to play with some time in the future!

While I was taking pictures, Cindy sneaked outside and sprayed some of her reproductions with a sealant:

Without sealing, the Gilders Paste can be rubbed off, which especially isn't good if you're using it for jewelry.  She's using a new sealant, and she hopes it's going to work.  Other sealants have not.  Cross your fingers!

Here is a close up of the card she's spraying (I waited until she put it down first):

These cabs could also be used for bead embroidery, so this opens up a whole world of possibilities for her.

I have a few molds I bought a while ago.  As soon as the Bead&Button Show is over, I think I'm going to try them out.

If you'd like to see the items Cindy has for sale, you can catch her at the Milwaukee Bead Show in early October, or you can look up her Etsy shop, Beadwork Ingenieur.  The shop is on vacation right now, but it should be back open soon.

Thanks, Cindy, for letting me post about you and your reproductive exploits!  Wait... that didn't sound right.  :)

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