Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Polyclay experiment #1

I should have taken pictures, but it was late* and just I dove in and didn't think about the camera until it was too late. I am using Sculpey III clay. I learned that it gets very soft and sticky. I kept having to stick it in the refrigerator to get it a bit less squooshy for the cutting parts of the design I tried.

*I hadn't felt well earlier in the day, so I took a nap and that meant I wasn't able to get to sleep at a reasonable hour, so I just started experimenting with the clay

I wanted to make polyclay patterned disks to glue onto the gunmetal bracelet form. I decided to use black and pearl and shades of gray from mixing black and pearl. I got out a book I'd purchased and flipped through until I saw a picture of a design I liked. Kaleidoscope canes. Looked ambitious, but I jumped right in anyway, 'cuz that's what I do - and I have lots of experience in making things that didn't work out right at first, but learning a lot in the process.

Besides, how hard can this be - making snakes and triangles and stuff? (famous last words, huh?)

Made dark gray triangles, put snakes on them going from darkest (black) to lightest (light pearlized gray), put a sheet of medium gray over the snakes and triangle. Reduce the cane. ummm...

Read up on how to do that and thought I'd reduced it pretty successfully, cut it in half, re-assembled the halves into a new triangle per instructions, added more snakes, this time going from light to dark, needs another sheet over all that - hmm, made a pink-ish gray by mixing in a little red, just to add contrast. Cut again and re-assembled.

It was huge now. Read up again how to reduce. Tried it. Didn't do such a good job this time. I think the problem was that I used too many snakes in the canes, so I ended up with barely a pattern in the reduced cane that didn't show much detail, so it just looked like grayish streaks. Oh well. Will try again tomorrow, I decided. Put clay cane in baggie and went to bed.

Today I played around with the cane, making different slices at angles, lengthwise through the center, flattened the slices, made cuts and re-arranged the pieces - I could see how there could be potential designs out of the concept in some future effort, but this one got chalked up as a learning experience.

I now have a good sized lump of an odd purplish-gray color - I hope I can eventually use it - probably will have to mix it with another color to get something prettier.

I'll try again some time soon. I found a detailed 'how to reduce' tutorial at Polymer Clay Central and hope that, plus fewer, larger snakes is the key.

Tonight I may just read and relax and try to get to bed early, only got 5 hours of sleep last night and am already fading a bit.

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Blogger JustATish said...

isn't it so much fun?!? i love working with clay

April 2, 2009 at 12:39 PM  
Blogger rockcreekcreations said...

I can send you MY lumps of purplish colored clay, and they can make purplish colored babies!

careful when you add other colors, I also have lumps of brown colored clay.

but I still love working with it!

April 9, 2009 at 9:21 PM  
Blogger Dawno said...

lol rockcreekcreations - all I can say is it's a good thing I love purple :-)

I could use some brown - would go with my new lava beads...

Thanks for stopping by!

April 9, 2009 at 11:26 PM  

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