Thursday, August 28, 2008

Technique Time: Art of Tinting :)

Hello all! I have been experimenting today with Tinting and thought I would share my findings with you. ;)

Question for you to answer: What creations have you made using tinting or after reading this article will you now try tinting?

What is Tinting?

Tinting is generally making an original object darker by adding something else to it (think Car window tinting) or colorizing something that is white (Easter eggs anyone).

For polymer clay tinting usually involves making white or translucent clay in different shades by adding something to it.

Why Should I do Tinting?

Tinting is a great way to make different shades of the same color, for example if you wanted several shades of green, but don't have the money to buy all that polymer clay simply tint.

Also tinting makes color combinations you may not be able to find in polymer clay that you can use to make many Faux materials. Many shades of green (from dark to light) can make a very pretty Faux Jade. ;)

How can I do Tinting?

1) Use either white (on the right) or translucent (on the left) clay as shown below. One can even mix white and translucent clay for a different look. Now roll your clay into balls, how many depends on how many shades of colors you trying to get.

2) You can tint with many things including inks, paints, powders, and dyes. Personally I like using food coloring dyes. The reason I use them is because they have nice droppers on the top of each container. This makes it easy to blend colors to make new ones. The picture on the right shows the food coloring dye I use. :)

For example if I wanted to make brown I can simply do:

two drops of red + two drops of green = brown

Now if I wanted a deeper reddish brown then all I need to do is:

Four drops of red + two drops of green = reddish brown.

The dropper heads make it very easy to control.

The other reason is well....I'm not rich haha. You can get a pack of food coloring dye now days for less then a $1.00 while getting all the colors you will ever need for tinting!

3) You will want to put the food coloring dye into different containers, mix colors to get the desired shades. You can use any container, as long as it's not plastic! I used small glass containers as shown below.

Sorry, but when it comes to tinting you need to say no to Tupperware or else you will forever have a very blue or green tinted container that will also stain your food. :P

4) Once you have all the colors you want in separate containers it's time to get well... colored. ;) Dip a ball of clay into the dye and blend the dye in so the entire ball is now tinted. When I was experimenting I did five balls each of a shade of green. Some darker, others lighter. When I was done they looked like this:

I later used two balls of two different shades of blue then mixed the clay together to get this color:

This kind of reminds me of a turquoise blue.

5) Now that you know how to properly use one technique of tinting I hope all of you will experiment as I did. Find what is right for you. :)

I leave you with one small, yet helpful, advise. Please use gloves, as uh tinting can be rather messy.

Lets just say I really hope by next week I have non-purple hands again :P

Farewell all!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Polymer Clay of the Month!

Well I decided this would be a good time to introduce a new polymer clay to you. Every month I will be posting information about a color of clay. If you want to determine the next month's clay color, as well as tips of how to use that color, answer this small poll in the comments section!

Q: What color of clay would you like to see for October?

A: "Night Glow"
B: "Light, Flesh"
C: "Tropical Green"

For the month of August I give you:

"Glitter Blue Fimo Effect"

I love glitter and blue is my favorite color thus it shouldn't be a surprise that I picked this clay. Glitter Blue Fimo clay gives a little sparkle and it makes a great base for pendants or use it to make faux metallics!

Here is an example of what this clay looks like on a pendant I made that I am now selling on Etsy:

This picture really shows the sparkle!

With other colors Glitter Blue Fimo Effect looks great, I would highly recommend it to anyone who needs just a hint of blue sparkle. :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Messy Workspace Tips

If any of you are as unorganized as I am then you know how hard it is to keep a workspace clean. For polymer clay crafting this can be very difficult indeed. I often find myself surrounded by beads, unfinished projects, and sharp objects all pointing at me. Here are a few things I've learned about keeping my workspace a little cleaner.

My Question for you to answer: In what ways would you like to keep your space neat?

Tip # 1: Keeping Beads Under Control:

When one first starts with polymer clay beads are very easy and addicting to make. In fact one usually ends up with beads rolling all over the place as more are being made. This was a situation I was in not too long ago. Fortunately there is a certain little tool that not only can help keep beads on the table, but also can be used to bake them on!
This tool is the bead rack, as shown in the picture to the right, it can be bought in any craft store and usually comes with needles to collect those pesky rolling beads. :P Then you can also use it to bake the beads without them rolling off and getting burned (trust me burned polymer clay smells really bad!)

Tip #2 Clay Under Wraps:

In the beginning you may start off with just a few 2oz chunks of clay stacked neatly in a pile, well that won't last long. Polymer clay comes in so many different colors that soon you will have twenty chunks of clay in a not so neat stack or two or three or even five goes on and on.

A great storage container for unbaked clay, or even unfinished creations, are plastic tackle boxes with movable slots. The picture on the right shows what one looks like. This is also pretty cheap to buy, at Walmart I have seen a set of three for $5.00.

Tip # 3 Sharp Blades, Needles, and Cutters!

When working with polymer clay everyone will deal with something sharp at one point. For example, you should use a tissue blade to cut clay with, this is a very sharp blade indeed and any unattended blade can do a lot of damage when you are busy working away. A good storage container for all these sharp objects is a small three drawer plastic chest.

Since this chest has three drawers you can put your blades in one, and still have two drawers left over for other tools. I found mine at Biglots for only $5.00 though I believe it was on sale originally being $10.00.

Tip # 4 What to work on:

Polymer clay sticks to many surfaces, so picking the right one is essential of course not spending too much money is also good. I use one of those cheap fold up tables, and then wrap it with wax paper. The clay would stick to the plastic on the table otherwise. Once the wax paper is too dirty I simply change it, for me this works well in my budget. An alternative would be to use tile, but this can get a bit on the pricey side.

Oh and here is one more picture to show a small part of my workspace covered in wax paper. Before anyone asks, yes there is clay in the background, even I can't be 100% neat all the time. :P

Final Say:

Now after all this organizing you may feel as tired as a kitten, in fact why don't you go take a cat nap like my Lance here. :)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

What is CB's Poly-Works?

Hello everyone as I'm sure the first question that comes to mind when one sees my blog is "What is CB's Poly-Works?" For my first post I have decided to answer that question. Lets break it down some.

CB is actually the incials of my name. I am a twenty-five year old woman whom is married to a wonderful Husband has two pet rats (Smudges and Squeakers), and one pet cat, (Lance). I have also lived in Michigan my entire life so I know that state pretty well and I would like to stay here with our future children.

Now then "Poly" is actually the beginnings of the word polymer as in polymer clay. Being the crafty person that I am I do a lot with polymer clay and even sell my creations online.

"Works" is what this blog is all about. I want to show others how polymer clay works, how fun it can be, and giving tutorials.

In a nutshell this blog, CB's Poly-Works, shows off my love of working with polymer clay while giving others tutorials on specific techniques, and answering any questions one may have. If anyone has any questions at all about polymer clay feel free to leave a comment. :)