Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Technique Time: Poly +Others

Today I have been boiling sticks, soaking sticks, peeling bark, putting a wood finish on the sticks.....oh and yes this does have to do with polymer clay! Polymer clay can be used with many other materials to get interesting and unique looks. :)

Why Should I use Other Materials and Polymer Clay?

Well first of all it's a lot of fun. ;) Also using different materials with polymer clay will diversify the craft, polymer clay is so flexible when it comes to how to use it.

What Kind of Materials can I use with Polymer Clay?

Here is just a short list of materials you can use with polymer clay to give you item(s) a look all it's own.

a) Glass (Dichroic glass is a good example)

b) Wood

c) Fabrics

d) Paper

e) Metals

f) Silverware

g) Foils

h) Glass beads

i) Marbles

and the list goes on and on and on....! ;)

How Do I use Other Materials with Polymer Clay?

1) With many materials you would simply be gluing polymer clay to it after the clay item(s) are cured. This holds true for materials that can not stand the heat of an oven such as paper, wood, and fabrics. I suggest using Soba glue for these porous materials as shown below.

2) Other materials that you can bake into the clay are called inclusions. They include all items that can stand the heat of the oven, some testing may be needed! Most glass, and metals should do fine though. I will discuss inclusions in a future post.

3) Today I am going to show you how to prepare wooden sticks to use with polymer clay. First thing I did was check the lawn for sticks. Then I boiled the sticks up in a pot for 30 minutes. Then soaking them in this very hot water with a little bleach for another 30 minutes.

As you can see from the picture above I gathered several sticks of various sizes, and thicknesses. If your sticks have any growth on them (fungus, moss, mushrooms, etc.) please throw these away.

4) Then I peeled the bark off with this cheap (dollar store brand) carrot peeler.

Now you will want to cut off any sharp ends, I used a garden cutter.

Sanding the wood is also important, careful of splinters!

5) After the stick was peeled finally I applied a few coats of wood finish,one of the finishes I use for my polymer clay actually. ;)

6) Now the finished sticks can be used in multiple projects. Just a few ideas off of the top of my head are:

a) Hanging polymer clay pieces off of it to create a door hanger.

b) Gluing polymer clay pieces to it, adding some ribbon, to make a wand.

c) Making a wooden stick frame decorated with polymer clay, but of course.

7) Not all materials take a lot of preparation when it comes to mixing it with polymer clay. For example, I am using fleece on the back of polymer clay, that shall be dangling, so the item does not make a loud bang noise if it hits a wall, door, etc. It also protects against scratches.

8) One can also decorate glass mirrors, and candle holders by simply gluing the polymer clay pieces onto the glass or baking them while on the glass.

9) As you can see from my final door hanger I have used several different materials with polymer clay these include, wood, fleece, ribbon, and wire. Just in one item! ;)

My Final Words:

Using a variety of materials along with polymer clay can really inspire your creativity. It's interesting to see what you can make, and I recommend everyone to at least experiment. :)


PolymerClayTutor said...

I like your ideas! Are you boiling the sticks to kill any bugs in them? Or just to make them easier to peel? I am curious! I agree with you, polymer clay is much more interesting when it is combined with other materials. ~Cindy Lietz

CB said...

Thanks polymerclaytutor. :) I am boiling to make it easier to peel and to kill any parasites on them. I soak them in bleach and hot water to kill any left over parasites, just to be on the safe side.

MySweetThree said...

What a great door are so creative!!

Christina said...

This is a great site!

CB said...

Thanks mysweetthree and christina (hey thats my name!) ;)