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View Full Version : Would a Polymer Clay section be useful?



ejralph
09-01-2010, 06:01 PM
As I was replying to a post about polymer clay over in the ceramics section, it got me wondering.

Would a polymer clay section in the "your crafts" area be useful here? I have seen more than one post about fimo etc where people were not sure where to post and ask questions about the medium.

I personally would welcome a polyclay section, and just wondered if anyone else thought it would be good too?

beadsbydesign
09-01-2010, 06:37 PM
Personally i think it's a great idea. There are several of us on here now who use it.

Hazer
09-01-2010, 07:38 PM
Yes please, PTB :D

ladyluckjewellery
09-01-2010, 08:31 PM
I'd definitely welcome a polymer clay section on here:)

Pauline@weddingtreasures
09-01-2010, 08:49 PM
There is always something new to learn about polymer clay, so I vote 'yest please'!

:D:D

nattynetty
09-01-2010, 09:36 PM
I agree that it'd be a good idea - we'll have to make sure Mr M sees this thread when he's next online and smile sweetly at him :)

ldw
09-01-2010, 11:15 PM
An excellent idea :Dx

Lilac Moon
10-01-2010, 12:23 AM
:):) Pretty Please Mr M.... ................... ...................................... smiles sweetly, flutters eye lashes, hands clasped in prayer...

microburt
10-01-2010, 12:35 AM
Yes please!

Creative Desires
10-01-2010, 04:38 AM
:mf: yeah baby, yeah. That would be great! :p

Seriously though, I would be another member that would appreciate it :D

samigail
10-01-2010, 11:07 AM
yes, that would be fantastic.
I'm just going to have my 1st go with fimo today - very exciting, but bound to be a disaster.

I sort of feel like I'm cheating as I was going to start with some cutters.
I got shapes though that I thought I could use the end results on my plaques.

I have a feeling though I'm going to be asking lots of questions and need lots of help!

ejralph
10-01-2010, 11:17 AM
Which is exactly why a poly section would be useful! - if you get stuck, drop me a message, I will do my best to help.

Have fun with the Fimo and don't be defeatist - I am sure you will do a lot better than you think. And it is NOT cheating to use cutters, I use them all the time.

Tools are tools, not indulgences. And remember, she who dies with the most tools wins...:D

bradley
10-01-2010, 02:10 PM
Definately I would love a thread devoted to Fimo,mine has now arrived and cant wait to get started,got a card to make for Sisters Birthday on the 14th so any help eagerly accepted.

The Jewellery Project
10-01-2010, 02:36 PM
Another vote for a polymer section here! :)

pepsi
10-01-2010, 02:43 PM
Oh yes please !!! Polymer clay is my medium. I don't feel quite right posting in ceramics. Then I have never been quite right Hehe!:mf:

ejralph
10-01-2010, 04:11 PM
Definately I would love a thread devoted to Fimo,mine has now arrived and cant wait to get started,got a card to make for Sisters Birthday on the 14th so any help eagerly accepted.

Polymer clay is really great for card-making. I think often it's versatility and suitability for making toppers for cards, scrapbooking etc is quite overlooked actually.

You can cut out shapes from sheets of clay, even model flat-ish things to stick on the card. To attach the baked clay to the card, just use double-sided tape, or slightly more secure, scratch the back of the clay with coarse sandpaper and then use white crafting PVA glue to glue the embellishment into place.

You can also make cool cards by using fimo to make fridge magnets or brooches that can be used as the decoration for the card and then removed after as a gift to keep.

I just love decorating cards and also notebooks, pretty journals etc with polymer clay. What is really fun is to use black clay sheets, textured with anything and everything and covered in a selection of perfect pearls powders.

beadsbydesign
10-01-2010, 04:52 PM
I'm sure that with all this backing Mr m will be happy to provide. (he is a bit busy at the moment though)
Great to have our own resident expert (Emma) on board too.
I daren't look at Emma's shop because it makes me spend money!

ejralph
10-01-2010, 05:02 PM
I am so pleased to see other people would welcome it too.

I think when we are showing off our works, then yes - there are some great sections to use and do that. Just when it comes to asking questions about claying things, it would be nice to have its own area, where you don't feel too much like you are boring the eyes of anyone that isn't into clay. If that makes any sense at all? :sm:

As for not daring to look in my online store... ROFL. Come on in now, just a little looky or two won't hurt will it, you won't get addicted...bwah ha ha :p :p :p

Who am I kidding? Everyone gets addicted to polymer clay :mf:

Emma ;)

Minky Magic
10-01-2010, 05:07 PM
I think this would be great, I'd love to have a go at making Polymer clay beads.

beadsbydesign
10-01-2010, 05:32 PM
A couple of years ago I was hugely into polymer, I am actually a mod on a polymer clay forum and Havn't been over there for several months!
One of my resons for doing the one a day challenge is to force me back into things I've forgotten.
I've also recently made soome cake toppers for people and have just received feed back from one of them. So I'm buzzing.
The lure od Emmas shop is pulling hard. I must fight it!!:pc:

ejralph
10-01-2010, 05:59 PM
Lol, well I have to admit, it's a good thing I own my shop or I would spend a flipping fortune in there myself :D :D :D

Cake toppers are great fun to make. I am not hugely experienced in that type of polymer clay work, but over the years I have seen some phenomenal topper artists. Each with their own style - some very realistic, some satirical, some cutesy etc.

Emma

Lilac Moon
10-01-2010, 09:15 PM
Well I've just had a disaster. I made 6 more bangles, cooked them all at the same time and one of them has snapped. :mad:

Don't know what went wrong but I as far as I can tell it was on the join. Must be doing something right if I can't find the join :mf:

and yes I will defo be visiting Emma's shop for more supplies soon.

ejralph
10-01-2010, 09:27 PM
What brand of clay was it, what baking temperature were you baking at - and more importantly was that verified with an oven thermometer?

if I know that, I might be able to help you narrow down the issue and think of ways forward to be sure it doesn't happen again.

Emma

Lilac Moon
10-01-2010, 09:41 PM
erm erm erm Fimo clay, temp 110 not verified by thermom. fan oven and in for 45 mins. It was another plait using 2 soft clay and one effect. thinner than the others, so think possible combination of too long in oven and too high temp. but the thick ones seem to need the longer time.

ejralph
10-01-2010, 10:09 PM
erm erm erm Fimo clay, temp 110 not verified by thermom. fan oven and in for 45 mins. It was another plait using 2 soft clay and one effect. thinner than the others, so think possible combination of too long in oven and too high temp. but the thick ones seem to need the longer time.

I think you baked fine - but Fimo Soft is naturally not as strong after baking as Fimo Classic and Cernit. So it could just be that becausethat bangle was thinner, Fimo soft just wasn't strong enough in that particular scenario. If anything, you could have baked the clay a bit hotter actually.

Fimo Soft / Fimo Effect are designed to be softer and easier to use from the packet, better for kids, general craft projects and so on.

The pay-off is that the clay is not quite as strong when baked. This isn't a problem of course for 99 percent of projects. If you have a round solid bead or a model etc, its own shape, form and size will give it strength naturally.

But for projects like bangles, I would probably try a stronger clay such as Fimo Classic (and if you bake it just a little hotter at 125-130, it will be even stronger than if baked at 110) or better still Cernit - which is really strong.

You also need to be sure the clay is thick enough. For your braided bangles, I would reckon that each of the strands wants to be at least 4-5 mm thick for the bangle to be nice and durable.

If I were you, I would do a few experiments, just to work out the optimum baking temperatures for the different clays you use, baked in your oven.

Roll out a small stick of clay to the thickness you make the strands in your bangles - they only need to be a couple of inches long. Roll a couple of balls too, to the size you would probably make beads and even a couple of small sheets of clay 2-3 mm thick, about the size of half a credit card.

Bake one set of tests at 110 degrees. Do another at 130. And, when they have cooled down - break the stick and the sheet. Do they break easy? Is one temp any stronger than the other? Look at the ball - is there any difference from one temp to the other?

This sounds Sooooo boring. And it is. But if you are a polymer clay jewellery maker, you can learn more about a clay by doing this one afternoon than weeks of general claying will teach you. Any time I try a new clay out, or I try new embellishments with a clay, or I try mixing different clays together -I always do these sorts of tests and keep notes about the results. They have proven invaluable over the years.

Emma

Editted to add - I should also mention that it is REALLY worth getting an oven thermometer, to at least check the temp of the oven. Some ovens, especially the small table-top ones, can be really innaccurate. Only by checking with a thermometer will you know that the temp you are baking at is what it says on the dial.

craftybeader
10-01-2010, 10:28 PM
Wow that would be great. Just tentatively dipping my toe into the sea of polymer clay.My first effort is a tad rustic but I will wear it lol. Just bought one of your books off Amazon, Emma. You make it look so easy!
Any tips would be handy!

Kookizu
11-01-2010, 12:53 AM
Ooh a polymer clay section would be great!
I'm just starting out using it to make little jewellery charms - so although technically it's jewellery most of my questions would be about techniques and tips using the clay at the moment.

ejralph
12-01-2010, 11:49 AM
Wow that would be great. Just tentatively dipping my toe into the sea of polymer clay.My first effort is a tad rustic but I will wear it lol. Just bought one of your books off Amazon, Emma. You make it look so easy!
Any tips would be handy!

Oh so glad you are getting into polymer clay - hope you find the book useful!

And to be honest, polymer clay IS easy. There are just so many different things you can do with polymer clay that there is always some project, some technique that will appeal to you.

I actually think 90 percent of polymer clay work is about taking time on the details and to not rush things. Concentrate on doing a good job, shaping things nicely, avoiding lumps and bumps and fingernail dinks and you really do end up with a better looking end product.

Even beads made with the most simple of techniques, like marbling two colours together for example or basic canework, can look either fabulous or cringe-worthy just depending on the actual execution.

So that would be my top tip for anyone starting out - get the clay open, get cracking and have fun. Don't worry about how complicated a project or technique is - just do it with complete passion and to the absolute best of your ability and you won't go far wrong!

Emma

ejralph
12-01-2010, 11:51 AM
Ooh a polymer clay section would be great!
I'm just starting out using it to make little jewellery charms - so although technically it's jewellery most of my questions would be about techniques and tips using the clay at the moment.

Well I think people use polymer clay for a huge variety of projects.

So my feeling is, if there were a polymer clay section here, it would encompass any and all uses of polymer clay.

Many of us use it for jewellery making, so that would be a bit part and there is bound to be cross-over. But at least with a dedicated polymer clay section, there would be a place for people to pose their questions about polymer clay techniques etc.

Also, it probably would be easier to then go back and find previous posts about the subject if, over time, they all had their own little area to sit in!

Emma

Helen Olliver
12-01-2010, 02:50 PM
I too think it would be fantastic to have a Polymer Clay section on the forum. I'm totally addicted to it and love to experiment with all sorts of techniques... it would be so much easier finding advice and tips in one place!

beadsbydesign
12-01-2010, 03:15 PM
The section will be coming. Mr m is just very busy at the moment!

0103media
12-01-2010, 05:19 PM
Now live :)

http://www.craftsforum.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=76

Enjoy

Lilac Moon
12-01-2010, 11:34 PM
I think you baked fine - but Fimo Soft is naturally not as strong after baking as Fimo Classic and Cernit. So it could just be that becausethat bangle was thinner, Fimo soft just wasn't strong enough in that particular scenario. If anything, you could have baked the clay a bit hotter actually.

Fimo Soft / Fimo Effect are designed to be softer and easier to use from the packet, better for kids, general craft projects and so on.

The pay-off is that the clay is not quite as strong when baked. This isn't a problem of course for 99 percent of projects. If you have a round solid bead or a model etc, its own shape, form and size will give it strength naturally.

But for projects like bangles, I would probably try a stronger clay such as Fimo Classic (and if you bake it just a little hotter at 125-130, it will be even stronger than if baked at 110) or better still Cernit - which is really strong.

You also need to be sure the clay is thick enough. For your braided bangles, I would reckon that each of the strands wants to be at least 4-5 mm thick for the bangle to be nice and durable.

If I were you, I would do a few experiments, just to work out the optimum baking temperatures for the different clays you use, baked in your oven.

Roll out a small stick of clay to the thickness you make the strands in your bangles - they only need to be a couple of inches long. Roll a couple of balls too, to the size you would probably make beads and even a couple of small sheets of clay 2-3 mm thick, about the size of half a credit card.

Bake one set of tests at 110 degrees. Do another at 130. And, when they have cooled down - break the stick and the sheet. Do they break easy? Is one temp any stronger than the other? Look at the ball - is there any difference from one temp to the other?

This sounds Sooooo boring. And it is. But if you are a polymer clay jewellery maker, you can learn more about a clay by doing this one afternoon than weeks of general claying will teach you. Any time I try a new clay out, or I try new embellishments with a clay, or I try mixing different clays together -I always do these sorts of tests and keep notes about the results. They have proven invaluable over the years.

Emma

Editted to add - I should also mention that it is REALLY worth getting an oven thermometer, to at least check the temp of the oven. Some ovens, especially the small table-top ones, can be really innaccurate. Only by checking with a thermometer will you know that the temp you are baking at is what it says on the dial.

Wow Thanks Emma I'll defo do that. The bit about a small oven could have been it as I used my small oven instead of the big one and yes I do have a thermometer but cant see it in the small oven without opening the door. which upsets the temp. :( cant win can I ?

ejralph
12-01-2010, 11:59 PM
Yup - that is a bit of a pickle!

maybe just try a dummy-run baking with the thermometer in there, opening it up quickly every 10 mins or so to eyeball the temperature.

Depending on the thermometer, some (such as the Fimo brand one) have little marks indicating the correct baking temp. If the thermometer doesn't have that, you can mark it first with a black marker pen line.

My gut in this case though tells me the Fimo Soft is the likely culprit. So I would still consider using a stronger clay for the bangles such as the Fimo Classic or Cernit. But really, doing the tests I described with the small clay sticks baked at different temps will answer both questions at once - you will be able to see if that particular oven is baking that particular clay strong enough or not. And if not, you know to either investigate the oven temp, the clay or both.


Emma

Lilac Moon
13-01-2010, 12:18 AM
It wont let me rep you again.

but thanks hon. great advice..:p:p:p