Polymer Clay & Alcohol Inks Experiment

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Last year I discovered Adirondack Alcohol Inks and since then I have been incorporating them into lots of my designs.  All you have to do is apply a couple of drops to white or translucent polymer clay, allow the ink to dry fully, then mix it in together with the clay to create a new shade. An alternative use is combining it with Fimo liquid gel, applying it to baked pieces with a thin brush, then baking again for around 15-20 mins (or you can use a heat gun, but you have to be careful not to cause a ripple or run off). You can make some very colourful pieces this way, especially if you like enamel looking items, which I do.

The only thing you need to be aware of, especially if mixing with white or translucent clay is that the colours can change once baked and don’t try mixing the inks together to create other colours, because all you will get is muddy brown!  I conducted my own little experiment last year when I first tried them to see how much they changed and if the thickness of the clay mattered, this was done using translucent clay as I also wanted to see how opaque they were.

I totally forgot to share it on my blog then, but better late than never, if you are interested here are the results of my little experiment.

The coloured inks I used are: Wild Plum, Purple Twilight, Aqua, Denim, Red Pepper, Mountain Rose, Citrus and Pitch Black (see picture above).  I have since added to this selection of colours.

I added 1 drop of each ink to small pieces of Fimo translucent clay, I allowed the clay to dry, then mixed the ink into the clay.  I then rolled the pieces of clay out on the thickest setting of my pasta machine and used a 15mm circle cutter to cut out a circle from each.  I then put the clay back through the pasta machine but on the thinnest setting and cut out more circles.  I also did the same with some un-coloured translucent clay.  I then baked them all for 30 minutes as per the clay manufacturers instructions.

Clay before baking.

Here are the results showing the baked clay fat and thin pieces next to unbaked clay so you can see how much it has changed:

Lastly I thought I would show you the translucency of each piece.

I will let you draw your own conclusions from the results, but it is very clear to see the difference in the unbaked and baked colours and the thinner the clay the better the translucency. I must add you can darken or lighten these colours by adding more or less ink, but be careful you don’t add too much as it might not dry (a paper towel may come in handy here!).

I will leave you with a few pieces that I have made using the alcohol inks, I also like using them over Rangers Perfect Pearls powders as this adds a nice shimmery effect.

 

Thanks for reading, any feedback or questions are always welcome.

Take care.

Georgia P

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All Loved Up – Polymer Clay Valentine creations

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Valentine rose keyring

As this is my first blog post in quite a while, (many apologies),  I have decided to keep it simple and do a Valentine themed post, which is quite fitting seeing as it’s February and I have been making quite a few Heart/Valentine items recently.  I do work better when I am inspired.

All the creations have been created with Polymer clay and include; a very simple heart cane to use on beads which I hope you can follow, some heart themed pendants using textures and mixed colours, some Valentine key rings/bag charms, cat brooches, buttons and finally some hanging heart decorations.  I hope you like?

HEART CANE (mini tutorial)

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To start with I thought I’d share with you the very simple heart cane I made using only red and white polymer clay (I used Fimo Soft but any brand you are comfortable with is OK) and I used a small heart cutter (approx 25mm x 20mm).

  1. Roll out enough red clay to enable you to cut out approx 8-10 small hearts, (Use thickest setting on a pasta machine to save time or approx 4-6mm in depth).  Then stack them together. (pic 2).
  2. Next roll out the white clay on thickest setting of the pasta machine, cut to size of hearts (pic 3) then wrap around the clay hearts (pic 4).

3.  If you don’t want to put red spots around the heart then miss out adding the red clay and just roll plain white tubes.  Roll a piece of red clay and then wrap it in the white clay (I’m assuming you know how to do this?).  Cut into sizes to fit around the heart (Pic 6) and then fill in the gaps with pieces of plain white clay tubes (Pic 7) to give it a round appearance.  Then wrap the whole thing in more white clay.  Then reduce it’s size by rolling and stretching, ensuring you retain the tubular shape.  Cut and slice as required.

I haven’t got around to making much with this cane yet, apart from some buttons and trying out a couple of beads.

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PENDANTS

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After making the cane I decided to try playing with textures on clay and joining them together.  I also attempted to make some of my own texture molds from polymer clay (maybe another post soon about this). This lead me to making a number of polymer clay pendants but here are a few heart themed ones.  (For these I used Fimo effect marble and granite clays and fimo soft black and Indian red)

I thought the joining of the different colours would be quite difficult, but as long as you are very methodical about what you are doing it worked out pretty well.  TIP: I might have been doing something wrong but an idea I had was to use cling film between the layers of clay when cutting 2 different colours which you want to join together, this is so they don’t stick together and the colours don’t leach, it worked for me!  Also, did you know that if you put cling film over clay when cutting out a shape with a cutter it will give it a nice beveled edge rather than straight sides.

Here are few extra hand molded pendants I made with the leftover clay.

And lastly a heart pendant I made with a mix of rainbow colours (scraps and leftover clay) which I put through an extruder then created this heart pendant (I also made buttons with this design).

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Polymer clay rainbow heart pendant

 

HANGING HEARTS

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I love making these and they can be so simple to make if you have the right equipment (a good size heart cutter and some alphabet stamps).  I do however like playing around with the texturing, inks and stamp decoration to create a different one every time.  I hardly ever make the same design twice.  I also made some nice boxes to put them in so they would make good gifts. (If you want to see my box making tutorial click HERE.)

 

KEY RING/BAG CHARMS

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Making these key ring/bag charms is a bit of a favourite of mine, I’m always trying to think up new designs or I use ideas I’ve seen on Pinterest and then try to make them my own.

BUTTONS

I have a few friends who do lots of knitting, so I like making unique buttons just for them.  They are so easy to make too if you keep it simple and there is no problem with them being washed etc, as they are very durable.

Here are a few ideas for  ‘Valentine’ themed buttons I’ve made.

 

BROOCHES

Polymer clay cat brooches

I have a friend who is mad about cats, in the past I’ve made her cat earrings, a necklace and incorporated cat charms in bracelets etc.  So these cat brooches are inspired by her.  The names on each of them just popped into my head as I was making them, I think they all suit their names, don’t you?  I used Ranger Perfect pearls on some of them, then coated them in Fimo liquid get to set it after baking and set that with a heat gun.

That’s all for now, if you want more details or any tutorials on how to make anything above, just let me know.

Thanks for looking, I would love to hear what you think and if any of them inspired you?

Georgia P

Polymer Clay ~ Christmas Holly Wreath

Polymer Clay Holly Wreath Christmas Decoration Georgia P Designs

Hello, I’ve started to get into the Christmas spirit a little early for me this year, normally I’m a bit of a last minute person on the whole festive decorations stuff, but I was inspired by a recent theme of ‘Winter Wonderland’ on a Facebook group page I run.  I loved making this Christmas Holly Wreath, made entirely out of Polymer Clay although it did take me a while (it is approx 11.5cm in diameter).  Below is a collage of the process and when finished I backed it with felt to protect it and any surfaces.

Polymer Clay Holly Wreath collage

I enjoyed making it so much I decided to make a couple more smaller decorations, but these actually proved harder to position the leaves and berries, but obviously they took a lot less time.  I decided to leave these white after a few comments I received on the larger one saying a white one would look nice too, what do you think?.

Polymer Clay Mini Holly Wreaths  Georgia P Designs

I’ve also been making some simpler decorations and I will be giving one of these and maybe one of the smaller holly wreaths away in a Giveaway on my Facebook page some time next week, so visit my Facebook page if you are interested, just click HERE.

If you fancy seeing a tutorial on how I made any of these or if you have any questions, then please comment below.

Thanks for reading and have a great week.

Linda x

POLYMER CLAY ~ AUTUMN LEAF BROOCH

Polymer Clay Autumn leaf brooches Georgia P Designs

Autumn leaf brooches, using Copper and Brass wire

I’m exited to share with you another new technique I have discovered via Pinterest.  It combines my love of polymer clay, wirework and my new found addiction with liquid clay, alcohol inks and Perfect Pearls.

Here is the link to the excellent tutorial I discovered on Pinterest, HERE It is in Russian I think, but just click the Google translate button and it translates very well.

The only thing that I have done differently to the tutorial is not use Epoxy Resin, something for my to do list, so instead I just used layers of liquid clay, which worked very well and still gives a pleasing shine.

Also I didn’t limit myself to just the leaves and alcohol inks, I also tried experimenting with acrylic paint, which also gives a lovely effect.

Below are two leaf brooches I made using different metals and acrylic paints to create the effect.  (Note: the leaf on the right was my first attempt and I hadn’t bought the mica powders when I made this one (I have been using Ranger Perfect Pearls since), so I tried embossing powder, it did work, however on the second baking it did develop some bubbles, some disappeared but some remained, OK if you like the effect!)

Other shapes I tried just working with the mica powder and clear liquid gel.

And lastly a couple for Christmas!

Thanks for reading, see you soon.

Linda x

POLYMER CLAY MOKUME-GANE TUTORIAL No. 1

I’ve been exploring lots of new techniques with polymer clay over the last few months and I promise I will write a few more simple tutorials to show you how to create some of my favourites.  

This one creates the faux technique Mokume-Gane which is known for its distinctive layered look. There are 2 techniques I favour, here is the first a simple technique if you want to create the effect but don’t have many colours of clay. I found this technique thanks to Pink Lily, here is the link HERE if you would like to take a look.  Also, using the inks allows you to experiment with colour, you will see below how they change!  They also change again once you have baked your clay.

I apologise now for some of the photographs, the natural lighting in our British Autumn/Winter  is rubbish! 

Technique No. 1 ~ Mokume-Gane created with Alcohol Inks

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Materials

Translucent Polymer Clay (whichever brand you prefer, however, I use Fimo Soft)

White Polymer clay

3- 4 colours of Alcohol Inks of your choice (I use Tim Holtz Adirondack inks)

Gold/Silver foil/leaf metal

Cling film or something similar

Pasta Machine and Roller for rolling out the clay

Cutting blade

Method

1. Take about 20g (or approx a third of a 50g block depending how much you want to make) of the translucent clay and soften and roll into a flattened sausage and then put through the pasta machine on a medium setting (No. 3), don’t worry about neatening the ends.

2. Using the alcohol inks draw horizontal lines across the clay, try not to let the lines touch or the colours will bleed into each other as they don’t always mix well together and tend to turn a muddy brown, however, you might like this affect. (I used alcohol inks; Meadow, Purple Twilight, Sunset Orange and Red Pepper)

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3.  Allow to dry or if you are impatient like me, blot with a paper towel.

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4.  Once dry, fold the clay over lengthwise, so the colours are on the inside and then put through the pasta machine, keep on a medium setting (No. 3).  Fold and repeat this 3-4 times.

5.  Now cover one side with the leaf metal.

6.  Then you need to roll this up as tight as possible with the leaf metal on the inside.

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7.  Ensuring that the clay is still warm or it will break and crack, fold this round into a donut shape, make sure the ends meld together well.

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8. Now squash it down but not too heavily, ie. don’t flatten it, onto your surface, making sure the melded ends are on the bottom.

9.  Taking your sharp blade cut thin slices (approx 3mm thick) from the top.

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10.  Pass each of these separately through your pasta machine (no. 4), this will crack the leaf metal. Leave to one side.

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11.  Take the white clay and roll/put through a pasta machine (No. 1) so it is quite thick.  You now need to place the slices of clay on top of this ensuring there are no gaps.

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12.  Once you have done this, cover with good quality cling film or something similar, press down with the end of the roller and then roll to smooth out, then pass this through your pasta machine (No. 1) to ensure it is all the same thickness.  Remove the cling film.

13. Now you can make your beads. pendants or whatever you want. 🙂 I’ve used a 3.5cm round cutter here to create some circle beads.

14.  Once you have created all your beads or shapes (make sure you put holes in them), bake as per your clay instructions and then allow to cool.  You will see that the colours have changed and become more vibrant.  You can now leave them as they are or finish them with gloss varnish or liquid gel.

TIP: I baked my circles on an old light bulb to create a slightly domed bead, place the circles on the light bulb and press down gently to ensure no gaps then gently press down around the edges. 

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And, here’s a simple necklace I made with them.

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I hope you found this tutorial useful, if you have any questions or something is not clear enough, then please comment below.  My next post will be Technique No. 2.

Linda x

Simple Box Making tutorial

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Have you ever had that moment when you think, why didn’t I know about this method before.  Well that happened to me last week with regards to making a simple box.  We had a craft week at our WI meeting this month and one of the ladies who makes cards showed us how to fold and make a box with a lid.  It was so simple, but very effective, so I thought I would share it with you here.

Materials Required

One square (I am using 6″ x 6″ here) piece of patterned paper or not too thick card (if it’s too thick you will find it difficult to fold, but it can be done)

One square (1/4″ smaller) plain/matching patterned paper or card (150gsm)

Ruler

Scissors

Paper glue (not essential)

Mini round punch

Method

  1. Start with the the patterned paper first which will be your lid, mark the centre of the paper by measuring from corner to corner with a ruler.P1140159
  2. With the pattern side facing down, fold in each corner to the centre mark, do the opposite corners first, you now have a square again.P1140160
  3. Next you need to fold the sides to meet in the centre. Open those out and do it again from the other 2 sides.
  4. Unfold and open out the whole thing so you can see the creases. P1140164
  5. Using the scissors cut according to the dotted lines in the photo above.
  6. Now using the uncut sides, fold these into the middle, the paper should fold easily and almost go straight into the correct position.P1140165
  7. Take the other side pieces and fold them in over the side flaps and this is your finished lid. Before doing the fold you can add a dot or 2 of glue to these side pieces to make the box more secure.
  8. Take a small circle cutter and cut a half circle in the two opposite sides of the lid (do it in the less thick sides) these will help you get the lid on and off easier.
  9. To make the base for the box repeat all the steps above with the slightly smaller piece of paper/card.  It is smaller so that the lid will fit easily over it.P1140174
  10. Fit them together and there you have a nice, simple and sturdy box, perfect for a small piece of jewellery or other trinket.P1140169

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I hope you found this useful?  Let me know what you think?

Linda x