Before we begin here is the video that goes with this article.
Tools You Need
💕1. Scrap polymer clay. Note: Now is a good time to use cheaper clays like Sculpey 3, or clays you do not like as much, That you happen to have lying
💕2. Sculpting tools. As well as Purchased tools. Use whatever you think will work best to make the shapes and textures that you want. If you're new to polymer clay and do not have An addiction to buying Clay tools, Like I do, Add want to save money, you can actually accomplish pretty much the same end result by using use items you would find around the house. For example: toothpicks, Knitting needles, Crochet hooks, dental tools (I was able to acquire some from a hygienist who is going to throw her tools away), Popsicle sticks, Skewers, Icing Tips for cake decorating, Screwdriver tips, Utensils....Just make sure whenever you use Stays dedicated for clay only....
NOTE: Because some plastics React to Polymer clay, Be careful not to leave whatever household item, you may be using In contact with the clay for extended periods of time. Metal And glass As well as wood, Are all safe.
💕3. An acrylic roller. Again if you're new polymer clay, You can use anything that we'll roll out your clay. You can use Metal cannoli forms, I wouldn't dowel, A smooth pen Or pencil. And for those who have the supplies, You can use the roller or the pasta machine. Again a reminder that anything used with Polymer clay, can't be used for food items after.
Polymer clay is not toxic, But, It is not recommended that you interchange tools That you would use for food preparation Or eating.
💕4. A dedicated baking pan For baking your texture sheets/rollers.
💕5. A ceramic tile Or a piece of glass that can be put in the oven To work and bake on.
💕6. Card stock Or file folder.
💕7. Tinfoil Or an aluminum baking pan that fits As a lid On the pan you will be baking your clay in.
💕8. Baby Wipes
💕9. Water spritzer
10. For A roller or rocker style, use a toilet paper tube, or a metal tube shape covered with wax paper.
Most important, Your creativity!
I like to work in a freestyle manner. If you have a specific design or texture or image you would like, then be sure to jot down your ideas in your sketchbook.
In this video you see that I am making a roller style texture tool. I wrapped wax paper onto a metal tube used for nail art. Using tape holds it well. Then I roll out polymer clay and in this case I added and shaped pieces as I wanted. Remember any texture left on the piece will appear on the raw clay you want to texture. So be sure to smooth out all that you want to be smooth.
Ready To Bake
Always bake on a dedicated baking pan, using a ceramic tile on top, with an insulating layer of card stock or a file folder. This helps distribute heat and avoid scorching.
Once your roller or rocker is ready. It is important to not bake your piece on a flat surface or you will have flat spots. I use bunches of tissue including toilet paper. Make a nice bed of soft kleenex or t/p. You can use quilting batting as well. At 275 degrees fahrenheit, these products will not burn. Make sure they do not touch the element. Lay your pieces down.
To help contain fumes and to avoid scorching, always use an oven thermometer to insure your oven is to temperature. As well tent some tinfoil over top or lay an aluminium cake pan on top.
I always bake my pieces at east one hour, even if thin. It makes it stronger.
When baked, let cool. And you are ready!
Using Your Texture Sheets and Tools:
For those of us with weakened hands like I do, we can still work with clay but we need to modify techniques at times. For instance, many tutorials talk about how you need to stand up and look straight down when slicing a cane or pressing on a texture stamp. In my case, I use a wheelchair and standing isn't an option. So, it just means that I need to be extra careful to slice straight down from a seated position. And regarding textures or rubber stamps, I have been learning that because we can't stand up, for leverage and to apply pressure, making a roller style texture stamp works better. I did try a rocker style stamp as you will see in the videos, but I still wasn't strong enough to apply pressure by rocking it back and forth. On that note, I find pressing the clay down onto the stamp or flat plate works best. Using your finger tips, pushing it carefully into the nooks and crannies. Just be careful it doesn't stick by using water or corn starch or even better...Baby Oil....
BABY OIL TIP: Baby oil has more than one use. I use it in small quantities to condition rock hard clay. In fact because my hands are weak, if clay is too stiff, I work in a bit of baby oil to soften it up. Maybe I will make a tutorial about that in the future.
Regarding texture tools made from polymer clay, to avoid clay sticking to my polymer clay texture tools is, rub a light coating of baby oil onto the stamp or roller's surface. No only does it smell great, it kind of keeps the clay made sheets and such in a non-stick state. It reminds me of how you condition or season a cast iron pan or wok.
Next time, I will share another video in this DIY Texture Series!
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