Friday, November 1, 2013

Tutorial Embossed Polymer Clay: a Couple More Ideas

I would like to add a couple more ideas to the tutorial described in my previous two posts (below).

As you can see, in this tutorial I explained how to use a lever paper punch to create a custom stencil for embossed design.  However, you may also use commercially-available stencils.  Please refer to the picture below.  To obtain this design, I used two plastic stencils - one of them is for a letter and the second one is for a decorative corner.    


Please note that a better (deeper) design may be obtained when a thicker stencil is used.  The design created with a thin stencil is more shallow and less visible.

Here is another idea: to create your own pattern, cut a stencil out of a thick paper.
  
I decided to make a rather complicated stencil, with two trees (see below).  After sketching the trees, I cut them out with an X-acto knife.  I can now use the obtained silhouettes of the trees to make an impression in my clay in the shape of these trees.  However, if I want to have these trees embossed in polymer clay, I will have to collect all the little cutouts of the spaces between the tree branches and glue them onto a separate piece of paper.    


Too bad I cannot show you this design finished in polymer clay since I am still away from my studio...  You will have to use your imagination and experiment a little bit to use this approach.

Happy claying!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Tutorial Polymer Clay Embossed and Impressed, Part 2, Christmas gifts, DIY gifts

Look for the first part of this free polymer clay tutorial in my previous post.

Following the steps described in the first part of this tutorial, you made and baked a polymer clay veneer with embossed and impressed design.  

Your next step is to sand the edges of this veneer with a piece of relatively rough sandpaper (100 grit or similar).


Below are the pictures of the polymer clay veneer edge before and after sanding.


At this point the obtained polymer clay veneer may be used to decorate the notebook cover.  However, if you would like to highlight the design with acrylic paint, it could be done in one of the two ways described below.


Option 1. 

Apply small quantity of paint onto your index finger.


Gently tap the polymer clay veneer with your finger. 


Repeat as needed until the whole veneer is covered.


Option 2.

Paint your polymer clay veneer with acrylic paint in contrasting color.  Let the paint dry.


Using a piece of sandpaper, sand off some paint to reveal the pattern underneath it.


To complete the project, first put the covers back onto your notebook.  Gently press the wire loops together to restore their original shape.


Using Super Glue or glue E6000, attach the obtained polymer clay veneer onto the cover of your notebook.

This technique may be used for decoration of many other objects, such as picture and mirror frames, various boxes, business card holders, jewelry. etc.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tutorial Polymer Clay Embossed and Impressed, Part 1, Christmas gifts, DIY gifts


In this free polymer clay tutorial, I will show you how to create an embossed effect in polymer clay using stencils.  These stencils can be made out of paper or plastic, handmade or commercially-produced.

While the techniques explained in this tutorial may be used to decorate many objects (including jewelry), I decided to demonstrate their use for transferring a plain and inexpensive journal into a beautiful hand-made gift.



First of all, you will need a blank journal to decorate.  The ones I am using in this tutorial can be found in most craft stores (particularly, in Michael's) for about a dolar or so.  A journal like this is held together by a spiral, which can be easily removed to take the journal apart.  


Open the journal and rotate the spirals so that one cover could be removed, and then another.

You may have to gently pry open each loop as you free them up one by one.



 Spray-paint the covers.

This is better to be done outside. Cover the ground with old newspapers, place both covers side by side on the newspaper and spray them evenly.
Note: I recommend doing this step before you start working on your polymer clay veneer to give the paint enough time to dry.


For this project, you will also need a lever paper punch, such as the one shown in the picture.  These punches are available in every major craft store for about $4 each.

Besides snowflakes, you may find punches with a butterfly, leaf, heart, and other designs.

Prepare a card stock paper template for the polymer clay veneer and then use the lever punch to make decorative holes in this template.  Save the cutouts.

Please note that due to the design of these punches, you will be able to make decorative holes no father than about 1” from the side of the template.  Plan your designs accordingly to this limitation.

When you will press the obtained template into a sheet of polymer clay, the holes in the template will make embossed (raised) designs.  The cutouts glued to the template will make impressions in the clay.

Use just enough clay to attach the cutouts and do not allow the clay to show around the sides of the cutouts.  Wipe off any access of glue right away.

Set the template aside.


Condition polymer clay and roll it out into a sheet bigger than your template and about 2 mm thick.

Please refer to the page on my web site How to Condition Polymer Clay if you need additional instructions:

Transfer the obtained sheet of clay onto a smooth ceramic or glass tile on which you are planning to bake it.

This step has to be done slowly and carefully to avoid trapping any air under your polymer clay sheet.   Air bubbles expending during baking may cause unwanted bumps on a polymer clay sheet. 

To prevent this process, lay the clay sheet on the baking surface starting from one of its shorter ends and simultaneously use your roller to squeeze out any air from underneath it.

Place the template on top of the polymer clay sheet so that the side with the glued-on cutouts faces the clay. Roll it over with an acrylic roller.

Press the paper template hard into the clay using a roller or a brayer to make sure that you get a nice and clean design.



Carefully lift off the paper template to reveal the obtained design.


If any of the cutouts get stuck in the clay, you may carefully peel it off using a needle.

Note:  If you ever decide to use this technique in a smaller item (such as a pendant, for example), removing a cutout in a similar situation will be much easier.  All you will need to do is to lift the polymer clay pendant and slightly bend it right under the cutout.  The paper is stiffer than clay and tends to remain flat, so you will be able to separate it from the clay.  For the current project, however, you cannot use this approach, because picking up the whole sheet of clay will most likely distort it; plus you will risk trapping some air under this sheet of clay when you place it back.


Trim off the clay sheet following the lines impressed into the clay with your template. Use a metal ruler and an X-Acto knife for this task as shown in the picture above.

Bake the obtained polymer clay veneer according to the instructions for the brand of clay used in your project.  For additional information about baking polymer clay, please refer to the following page on my web site:
http://www.polymertutorials.com/catalog/polymer-clay-baking-tutorial.php

After baking, place the second ceramic or glass tile on top of the polymer clay veneer while it is cooling down.  This additional weight on top of the polymer clay veneer will prevent it from warping during the cooling process.






To remove the obtained polymer clay veneer from the baking surface, slide your metal slicer for polymer clay between the polymer clay veneer and the baking surface.

To continue, please proceed to the following posts:



Sunday, October 13, 2013

Announcement

I will be away from my studio for a while.  My Dad is not doing well and needs my help.

Both my Etsy shop and PolymerTutorials.com will remain open.  All tutorials are set up for automatic download, so there should be no issues with purchasing them even while I am away. 

I am planning to check my e-mails regularly and will be able to answer any tutorial-related questions.  However, my responses will most likely be delayed. 

I had to temporarily remove all supplies from my shops, since I do not have anybody to ship them for me.  I am sorry for any inconvenience.

I am still working on the embossing tutorial and hope to have it available next week.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Polymer Clay Chameleon: Cheerful

These lovely birds caught my eye the moment I saw Rica's shop on Etsy, Ceramystica.etsy.com.

Her designs combine simple form with rich textures and amazing colors.  The results are simply delightful. 

Rica is working with regular clay (not polymer clay).  She fires her creations in a kiln and covers them with special glazes.  As a ceramic artist in the past, I have special respect for Rica's skills.

Although this is sister material to polymer clay (so to speak), I am sure that colors and textures found in Rica's work will provide a source of inspiration for polymer clay artists.


Please refer to my old blog, Polymer Clay Chameleon, to see many more exciting works in polymer clay.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Ask Eugena - Polymer Clay Help

The most frequent questions I receive are about baking polymer clay.  Here is one recent email, for example:

"Hi 
I purchased polymer clay for the first time probably two years ago, made very cute pieces for being the first time, and unfortunately burned them and quit. 

I recently started using polymer again.

...after watching videos and using precautions, even bought parchment paper, used the toaster oven, kept an eye, and in a fraction of a second noticed a piece burning. 

I found out that it was the tray, it was the toaster tray, regular metal, like a cookie sheet. I'm completely disappointed! I wanted to buy an oven specially for this, but I guess is what I baked them ON. I've read that glass is a good option too, BUT I'm wondering if silicon pan could be more useful. 

Thanks for your time :)
 Mari"

Below is a copy of my answer:

"Mari, 
I am sorry to hear about your struggles with baking your polymer clay pieces.  However, I think you are on the right pass, and once you figure this process out, working with polymer will be much more fun. Yes, your metal cookie sheet could be the culprit, and silicon pan could be a better option. I personally prefer ceramic tiles, because I use them both for working with polymer clay and for baking it. It also allows me to avoid any possible distortions that may happen when a raw polymer clay piece is being transferred from the working surface onto the baking sheet. 

Here is another idea for you to consider. Very often the ovens are not quite accurate. You may set it up to 270F, while in reality it heats up to 305F, for example. I strongly recommend checking the actual temperature of your oven with a separate thermometer. You can read more about it in my tutorial here: 

http://www.polymertutorials.com/catalog/polymer-clay-baking-tutorial.php 

Good luck and happy claying! 
Eugena"

Friday, September 13, 2013

Free Polymer Clay Tutorial Faceted Beads




I have a few tutorials on my site, PolymerTutorial.com, priced just $0.50 each.

Obviously, I am not making any money with these tutorials.  The idea is to let my potential customers test my instant download system before they commit to purchasing a more expensive tutorial. 

Anyway, for a number of reasons I decided to provide a free version of these "trial" tutorials in picture format as well.

Here is the first one of them, Polymer Clay Faceted Beads.  There will be more as I assemble the pictures.

This project is very easy and intended for beginners.

Enjoy!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Coming Soon: New Tutorial


I am working on a tutorial for a fun and easy embossing technique for polymer clay.  I want to make it with the Holidays vibe and show two or three projects that can be turned into fabulous hand-made gifts.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Polymer Clay and Resin Cufflinks

Custom order:
Round cufflinks, 18 mm diameter, platinum finish, decorated with polymer clay in royal blue and watch parts, and covered with clear resin.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Polymer Clay Chameleon: Cute

These tiny polymer clay animals are made by Emily Bibler. Aren't they cute?!  I love the variety of species in Emily's polymer "zoo".  She sells her tiny creations in her shop on Etsy.com.




Please refer to my old blog, Polymer Clay Chameleon, to see many more exciting works in polymer clay.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Polymer Clay Beads: Possibilities of Openwork Technique

I like many things about polymer clay.  One of them is how easy it is to get matching jewelry for any outfit.  I do not remember when was the last time I bought a piece of jewelry - I just make mine from polymer clay.

Here is a necklace and earrings set made to go with my new knitted cardigan.  This set is made using one of the techniques described in my tutorial Openwork Bracelets.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Free Tutorials for Beginners


Finished updating my tutorials for beginners.

It took me longer than I expected, mostly because I wanted to verify and double-check everything  I wrote there.

I did not touch some of these pages for a few years.  Found a few surprises.  Apparently, Studio clay by Sculpey was discontinued back in 2010.  Too bad, I've heard that many people actually liked that clay.  I usually do not work with the Sculpey line, so I honestly had no idea that this clay does not exist any more.  I still have one package of it from the first Synergy conference... 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Polymer Clay Chameleon: Miniature

Miniature polymer clay food by an Israeli artist Shay Aaron.  My son found these pictures and sent me the link.  Amazing works, aren't they?  It is difficult to believe that this food is not real and that it is made on 1:12 scale...

Please refer to my old blog, Polymer Clay Chameleon, to see many more exciting works in polymer clay.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Monday, August 19, 2013

Friday, August 16, 2013

Polymer Clay Chameleon: Ethnic

Every so often I return the idea of featuring the works of other polymer clay artists in my blog, just like I used to do in my blog PolymerClayChameleon.blogspot.com.

When I came across the polymer clay art jewelry pieces by a young Ukrainian artist aleksanta (too bad, I do not know her real name), I just had to share them.  She works in different styles, and there are many original and interesting works in her blog, but my favorite are these three:




Please refer to my old blog, Polymer Clay Chameleon, to see many more exciting works in polymer clay.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Craft Supplies

I moved all my craft supplies for sale to my Etsy shop to keep a better track of them.  All supplies offered in my shop can be used to make projects described in at least one of my polymer clay tutorials.

In the nearest future, I am planning to start listing lots of extra craft supplies accumulated over the years.  Need to make more space in my studio.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Quote of the Week

"There is a light at the end of every tunnel.  Some tunnels just happen to be longer than others."
Ada Adams

Friday, August 9, 2013

New Tutorial Openwork Bracelets


This new polymer clay tutorial is on sale for one day only! 

The bracelets are the result of my experiments with hollow techniques and openwork designs. They are lightweight and airy, but very durable and sturdy at the same time. I've been wearing them for more than a couple of months to make sure that they hold to wear and tear – and they do. I've also received lots of compliments on them.

The beauty of this technique is that you are not limited by the six designs explained in my tutorial, nor do you have to stick to only bracelets. The same approach can be used to make unique and original beads for necklaces, earrings, and brooches.
 

This tutorial has more than 30 pages of instructions with over 90 pictures. Out of curiosity, I counted all of the pictures I took in preparation for this tutorial. It turned out, there were nearly 500 of them!

For one day only, I am offering this tutorial for 20% below its regular price. 
 
The tutorial is available both on my site and in my shop on Etsy
 
The sale price expires at 10 pm (EDT) on Saturday, August 10, 2013.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Friday, August 2, 2013

I am back!

I am back from our month-long camping trip to Canada.

It was great - the weather was cooperative all the time, the places we've seen were beautiful, the people we've met were friendly. We drove through New York state to Quebec, then to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and came back to the US through Maine.

Here are a few pictures from hundreds I took during this trip.

Kaaterskill Falls in Catskill Mountains, NY
Ausable Chasm in NY
 
Parade in Quebec City, July 1, 2013
 
I am getting ready to swim under one of the falls in Fundy National Park, New Brunswick

Famous Hopewell Rocks in the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick

 
In Halifax Citadel, Nova Scotia

Sunset in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia

 
Beautiful view from the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton N.P., Nova Scotia
 
In Fortress of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia
In Shubenacadie Provintial Wildlife Park, Nova Scotia
 
Kayaking in Acadia, Maine
 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...