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  • On the Edge

    So, having finally moved from a small blade to tissue blades, I now have to find a way to work with them - help! I've bought Donna Dewberry's set of blades, and firstly, the safety handles are more dangerous than safe (there was much swearing as I wrestled to get the interchangeable handles off...they nearly hit me in the face!)

    I naively thought they would make cane cutting easier, but despite reading up on how to use them, I'm struggling. So does anyone have any tips please?
    ContinuumDesigns- artisan polymer clay beads for one-of-a-kind designs.

    The FHFTeam - featuring glass, jewellery and art handmade in the UK.

  • #2
    I have to say I am not familiar with the Dewbury range of stuff, so I don't know if the blades are exactly the same as the cutting blades we clayers have always used or not. I can't imagine why they wouldn't be - but the handles do sure sound different.

    The Donna Dewbury range seems to be aimed at using the polyform Studio clay and reaching crafters, people interested in making home decor items etc. So because the audience is a tad different to traditional polymer clay enthusiasts, so too are some of the tools they offer I have noticed.

    I just don't know if the same applies to the blades or not. Certainly with any blades I have seen / used that are marketed for polymer clay use, the safety guides if there at all are very easily removable.

    Maybe if you could explain what the problems you are having with the blades are, we could help a little more.

    Also - tell me, how thin and sharp are the blades? Traditional polymer clay cutting blades are thin - even the thicker rigid blades are no thicker than a regular razor blade really and all are ultra sharp.

    A good sharp blade should make your cane cutting easier certainly - the precision it offers by being so sharp and thin should allow you to cut much neater slices with less distortion. The wide blade and the way you can look down from above make it much easier to see what you are doing than with a regular craft knife or razor blade.
    Emma
    www.ejrbeads.co.uk - unique art beads & more
    www.ejrbeads.co.uk/shop - beads, polymer clay, glitters and inks oh my
    www.facebook.com/EJRBeads - Like me at Facebook!

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    • #3
      Emma, the handles are plain weird. You have to unclip a little 'saddle' that keeps the handle bits together, separate each handle into its two parts, then reassemble them around the blade ends, slotting little protusions into holes in the blades. The 'saddles' are put on afterwards again to keep the two halves together.

      I know you probably can't tell much from a picture (and you may have already seen it anyway) but this is the set I bought:

      http://www.polymerclaypit.co.uk/Prod...on=&FromPage=2

      Frankly, I think I'll just not bother with them...but the blades do seem to be standard polymer clay blades (one rigid, one flexible, and two wavy ones), all of them sharp and thin. The problem comes when I try to slice down the cane - I can't get the blade close enough to the end, so it ends up being a very thick slice, and uneven to boot.

      Maybe it's just a case of Practice Practice Practice?

      Thanks for your help by the way
      ContinuumDesigns- artisan polymer clay beads for one-of-a-kind designs.

      The FHFTeam - featuring glass, jewellery and art handmade in the UK.

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      • #4
        Oh I think it is probably just a case of practise makes perfect then, sorry to say! That and the moon being in the right place

        I agree with you though - I wouldn't find any use in those handles whatsoever!

        I have been cutting canes for donkeys years and very much have good days and bad days. It doesn't help that my eyesight isnt what it was either. On a good day, I will cut hundreds of teeny slices and won't even be looking at the cane half the time if the telly is on. It becomes very automatic.

        On a bad day though, I might as well slap a dead dog against the cane - it would probably result in a neater slice by sheer accident.

        I just do something different on the bad days - usually experiments and playing around with ideas I have in my head for new designs, or sketching out ideas in my notebooks etc.

        But definitely the more you do, the easier it becomes. Which is true with all aspects of claying I think. Only by repeatedly sitting down and working the clay do you get better at the physical skill of making beads, cutting canes, shaping and finishing etc. The same with the creative side - it takes time playing and trying different things out to find your own style. But it all starts to come together over time, so don't lose heart!


        Emma
        Emma
        www.ejrbeads.co.uk - unique art beads & more
        www.ejrbeads.co.uk/shop - beads, polymer clay, glitters and inks oh my
        www.facebook.com/EJRBeads - Like me at Facebook!

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        • #5
          I've very recently started to get interested in jewellery & in particular polymer clay. I bought the same set of blades as it seemed reasonably good value.

          I have to say I didn't get as far as trying to figure out the handles, I was too impatient to try using them! Which then proved that they weren't really necessary to be able to use the blades, so I haven't bothered since

          As with most things, it is just a matter of keep practising. Sometimes I get it spot on, other times I have a little more scrap clay to put away for another day
          Bev
          Tamar Leather Hand tooled leather gifts that last a lifetime

          Also find me on Facebook & Folksy

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          • #6
            Well, I've been practicing as you both suggested - and it's working. Imagine that! I think I'm a little too impatient sometimes

            The slices aren't perfect, but they are a lot better now - part of the problem was, I was using the rigid blade, which doesn't seem as effective as the flexible one for cane cutting.

            As for the handles...I'm still puzzled. The only use I can think of for them is if I ever want to slice cheese with my blades!
            ContinuumDesigns- artisan polymer clay beads for one-of-a-kind designs.

            The FHFTeam - featuring glass, jewellery and art handmade in the UK.

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