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Varnish Polymer Clay Beads Fast

Speed up varnishing your polymer clay beads

Speed up varnishing your polymer clay beads

Who wants to spend time varnishing beads when you could be having fun playing with polymer clay? Not me.
Here’s how I speed up the process. I stick half a toothpick securely in the bead hole, then plant the toothpick on a hunk of scrap clay. That frees my left hand and allows me to get at all parts of the bead. That’s it.

Sculptures Get a Life of Their Own

IMG_1239Meet Jack Benny. That’s what Zan Caperton dubbed her dragon with the hand on his face. You met Zan in an earlier post, Hooked by a Fish.
I don’t sculpt, but I’m fascinated by the sculptor and sculpture’s creative dance. Zan sets out to create a dragon and lets the dragon tell her what it will become.
So who’s responsible for this sweet, “please adopt me” face? IMG_1238That’s Scorchy, so named because of his close encounter with the oven’s heating element. Happily, Zan was able to do cosmetic work with her alcohol inks (described in the previous post).
Introduced to dragon sculpting by Ellen Kelsey, Zan has a special affinity for the creatures. She’s currently at work on a new dragon who, she says, will tell her what he or she wants to be.

Free Polymer Clay Tutorial Posted

Free polymer clay tutorial: stenciled butterfly gift tag

Free polymer clay tutorial: stenciled butterfly gift tag

Pretty butterfly gift tags are fun to make, and they’re a great way to add your personal touch to a gift.
I’ve just posted a free tutorial for the stenciled butterfly gift tag. The tutorial includes a stencil pattern to fit the large butterfly from Makins’ three-cutter set.

Speaking of Stencils

Stenciled aspen pendant 6074 I never would have thought a stenciled image could look subtle until I played with a biscotti colored powder to get a translucent effect. Usually my play is an end in itself, but in this case I just had to make a pendant.
Scrap-stenciled aspen pendant 6076The clay was a hunk of scrap mixed with a little “mud”–scrap blended beyond recognition. Mud is useful for toning down colors–perfect for the Fall look I wanted. The stencil is “Aspen Trees,” by The Crafter’s Workshop. I lightly applied Perfect Pearls Pigment Powder to just a portion of the 6 x 6″ stencil and blotted excess powder off the stencil and clay with a piece of scrap before lifting the stencil. As with anything I embellish with Perfect Pearls powders, I applied a bit of ArmorAll after curing to smooth the otherwise grainy feel.
Stenciled reindeer 6077 There’s another stencil trick I discovered recently. I’d had disappointing results with the “Whimsical Christmas” stencils from Americana Gloss Enamels. The problem with using these stencils on raw polymer clay is that they’re adhesive-backed and tend to mar the clay. I found that dusting the back with a little cornstarch solved the problem.