Stretch a Skinner Blend

Say you’ve made a nice Skinner blend, but it’s only 5″ from the blue edge to the lavender & you need 6″. There’s a fix for that.

Sheet the clay in the direction of the blend to stretch it.
Sheet the clay in the direction of the blend to stretch it.

Step down one setting on your pasta machine lower than the setting on which you made the blend. So, on my machine if I were folding & blending the clay on #2, I’d step down to #3. Give the clay a quarter turn & without folding, sheet it in the direction of the blend. If it’s still not long enough, step down one more setting, etc.

If I want to keep the original thickness of the blend as I stretch it, I’d back it with a thin sheet of clay, probably scrap, & sheet it on #2.

Words To Clay By: Don’t flog your muse.

Raffle items McNeil Craft Show  2013 My muse didn’t respond to flogging. I had forced myself into production mode, cranking out jewelry and home decor objects I thought would sell and ignoring the urge to just create for the sheer joy of it.

Enough! My muse arranged an intervention and I quit sales cold turkey. Now I play with polymer clay, give things away, teach, and along with Tim, my favorite photographer, playmate, and enabler, create online tutorials for things I enjoy making & think others will enjoy as well.

Watch this space for free tutorials, tips, & links to tutorials for sale.Raffle-items-McNeil-Craft-Show-2013.jpg

 

 

Yes, You Can Make Bead Holes

Make pilot holes in raw clay without distorting the bead. Enlarge the hole after the bead is cured. This method works for round beads as well. (Practice helps, too. As my friend Nancy says, “I guess you have to make more than one.)

Use a drilling motion to insert a straight pin halfway into the bead.

Use a drilling motion to insert a straight pin halfway into the bead.

Turn the bead over, Insert another pin from the opposite side, aiming for the first pin.

Turn the bead over, Insert another pin from the opposite side, aiming for the first pin.

 

 

 

Handles With Ease

Use scrap polymer clay to adapt any number of polymer clay tools. Cure the polymer clay on the tool. After it cools, pop it off, add a bit of super glue, & pop it back on.

Clockwise from left: needle tool, burnisher, blade, impression tool, drills (2), X-acto blade

Clockwise from left: needle tool, burnisher, blade, impression tool, drills (2), X-acto blade

With the addition of a polymer clay handle, an ordinary needle or yarn needle becomes a needle tool, useful for starting bead holes.

Fold a small scrap of clay over the dull edge of your blade. You’ll be more likely to keep the sharp edge down.

Add a handle, & a square, bead becomes a cool impression tool. The square impression with the hole in the center has a retro feel. Imagine all the other bead shapes that could make great impressions.

Save money on drills when you buy just the drill bits & add your own handles. Make a starter hole in your raw bead with the needle tool, then enlarge the hole with a drill after the bead is cured..

If you do nothing else, take a few minutes to make handles for your X-acto blades. Custom handles make them much easier to work with than store-bought handles.

One of these things is not like the others. The burnisher is actually all polymer clay—the smooth, flat bottom is great for healing seams in raw polymer clay. Place a sheet of deli wrap (don’t let it wrinkle) or 200-grit sandpaper on the seam & rub gently. Just takes patience.

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