Saturday, November 8, 2008

Technique Time: Inclusions

Inclusions are very fun to work with when it comes to polymer clay. I will only be showing just a small sample of what materials one can use, be creative and experiment. ;)

What Are Inclusions:

For polymer clay inclusions are materials that you can put into the clay, and then bake. These materials may change the texture, color, or simply the look of the polymer clay. Some inclusions include glitter, mica powders, sand, shells, glass, foils, and much more.

Why Should I use Inclusions:

Inclusions can be used for varies looks including for making faux materials. It can give your polymer clay a more diverse look, not to mention it's a whole lot of fun!

How Do I Use Inclusions:

I am actually going to discuss a few of my favorite inclusions that I use in my polymer clay items. I often mix and match these materials to get great results. :)

1) Glitter:

A. Glitter can be used in two ways one is to have heat resistant glitter and simply mix it into the clay, then bake. The glitter should also be ultra fine, as the picture below shows.

B. The second way of using glitter is to use transparent liquid clay. First you put on the transparent liquid clay, I use fimo liquid, covering all areas you will be putting glitter on. Then you simply mix the glitter into the liquid clay. Since the liquid clay is transparent, you can really see the glitter sparkle! You may wish to mix it in with a Popsicle stick as well, it can get sticky.

Here we have a plain sheet of transparent clay:

Now to compare is the sheet of transparent clay with glitter and transparent liquid clay. Love that sparkle:

2) Mica Powders:

Mica powders are very fine particles that can be baked directly into the clay. I love using Pearl-X mica powders.

Tip: One will want to wear a mask so you do not breath in the fine particles, as it can get into your lungs. Also, you may want to work with it away from children and animals.
This material can be used in the same way glitter is, either into clay or used with transparent liquid clay. In the pendant below I used both techniques with different colored mica powders.

The blue and green clay is actually mica powders mixed into transparent clay, while the silver-ish colored dots is mica powder mixed with transparent liquid clay. Mica powders mixed with liquid clay can give it a glass like look.

3) Foils:

Foils can be put into clay, as well as be used as on top of clay. When it is in clay it is considered an inclusion. The foils I use are "John Tones." In the pendant below I used colored foil with transparent clay.

This pendant actually includes all of the inclusions I have mentioned in this post to give the look of faux dichroic glass. :) The purple lines, and white teardrop shapes is the foil.

Question to answer: Can you find the rest of the inclusions in my faux dichroic glass pendant?

If you need more pictures of this pendant it is listed here:

My Final Words:

There are many more inclusions to experiment with, I'm sure I haven't even found them all. Some of them do get a little messy, and soon your work space will be colorful and sparkly with glitters and the like. ;)


Jean9 said...

Great post! I have looked at polymer clay and books about it on many occasions, but always figure its a bit too complicated and involved so I have never gone ahead with it, but it does seem like a lot of fun. Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting. I have not done too many crafts shows and I do get a little nervous, but more excited. Mostly its fun! Except on days like today, I was supposed to go to a showing but the roads and weather were pretty bad so I stayed home!

CB said...

It can take some time to learn specific techniques with polymer clay as it does with everything. Oh and yes it's a lot of fun, a bit addicting in fact! :)

I've heard both good and bad things about craft shows so I'm hoping it'll work out. I'm not really expecting to sell a lot really just to get myself out in the real word hehe. ;)

MySweetThree said...

Beautiful pendant! I had to tell you that I recently bought a pack of white polymer clay. I have no idea what I want to do with, for now, it will sit unopened, lol! But now, I am thinking it would be fun to add some glitter to it....I will follow your advice if I do! =)

CB said...

Welcome to the world of poly mysweetthree! ;) White and black polymer clay are the most used colors I believe. You could always make snowmen, snowflakes, is the season and all.

rkdsign88 said...

Thank you very sharing this useful information, sounds fun too :)

MySweetThree said...

Just wanted to give you an update. My first try with polymar clay...Um. No, Not so good. hee hee. I tried to make some simple beads..I added some glitter, and shaped them..I liked them. And them I tried to drill the hole afterward and it cracked. Did I bake it too long? Should I have poked the hole prior to baking? yikes.

CB said...

Thanks rkdsigns88 :)

mysweetthree, I always put a hole in the bead before baking with a small needle. Knitting needles work great for it too. :)

Also for how long you bake depends on the clay. With Fimo Soft I bake everything at 230 degrees Fahrenheit for 30mins. Really not baking properly does change the durability of the items a lot.

I might just have to make a new tutorial on the entire basic process of making a simple bead, then baking.