Translucent Polymer Clay Experiments

3 August 2019

A project I’m working on has a section made of clear stained glass. I can’t find any in the right size and shape so I’m experimenting with some alternative materials to find something suitable. This time; Translucent Polymer clay.

None of the samples were see-through when rolled to the width of a cocktail stick.

From left to right: Fimo Translucent white, Fimo Translucent Blue with some soft Pacific Blue mixed in, Fimo Translucent Blue and a stained glass mosaic tile

Rolled thinner, they show some partial translucency. The best was the blue translucent clay (lower left); when I tried mixing a different colour in to change the tone a bit it lost the translucency (upper left).

Lower left is a stained glass mosaic tile; this by far looks the best but it’s the wrong shape for this project, and it’s too thick. Sigh. (they also got lost in the post for 3 weeks so this was a suprise last-minute addition to a test of what it *should* look like).

The search continues…

FFVIII: Griever Keyring Rebuild

29 June 2019

About 15 years ago I picked up a Final Fantasy VIII Griever Keyring on a trip out in London.

Recently, it broke :(

They don’t make them anymore (and I don’t think this was an ‘official’ piece of merchandise anyway), but I’m the crafty type so I won’t let a silly thing like being out of print stop me from replacing something that’s been on my keys for years.

The rebuild is made from Fimo Soft polymer clay, with silver Mica powder and Fimo gloss varnish. I can’t take credit for the design because, well, it’s a copy.

I used what’s left of the original (far left) to draw a template, filling in the bits that’ve deformed over time. After redrawing it about 7 times I cut it out. I made a metal hook for the top, sandwiched it between two pieces of black clay and rolled the paper template on the top to leave an imprint I could then cut out.

I then grabbed my box of clay tools (a mish-mash of everyday household items, some cake decorating tools I got from Mum in a clearout , cocktail sticks, kebab skewers, old mascara tubes and a craft scalpel) and spent the Easter bank holiday weekend carving the shape out, using the original as a guideline.

My polymer clay’s a bit dried out; this was an unopened block of black Fimo Soft that I bought years ago for a project I’ve never gotten around to doing but thanks to global warming it gets quite hot in my flat in summer which this stuff is not designed to handle. It crumbles a little bit when you get to really fine details but was workable enough to not have to get the Quick-Mix out (though I did order some anyway for next time).

Why black? Because I saw a video by Ludmila Bakulina on Youtube (link) that showed it looks pretty good as a base for Mica Powder if you want a silver effect. I already had a pot of powder in my box so I dusted it on top before putting it in the oven.

I’ve been working away from home and only get to spend two days a week living in my own house so it was a few more months before I found the time to go and finish the rest of it. I work on a white ceramic tile so I can stick it straight in the oven without warping the piece, but that meant I couldn’t apply the power to the back before baking. The video mentions mixing mica powder into the varnish that you apply at the end and I can confirm this works, and it covered the black colour on the back completely.

Unfotunately some idiot decided to use it on the front as well, which buried the black colour that was supposed to be showing through in the carved sections and it took 10 mins of mucking about with a cocktail stick to get the varnish back out of there. Lessons were learned.

I like how it turned out :) . Only problem is, now I don’t want my keys to muck it up. Maybe I need to make two. I considered getting some silicone to make a mould from but never got around to it (and I suspect I could do a bit better if I rebuild it each time, having more practice and experience and all that).

WIP: Alice’s Adventures with the Drying Rack

20 August 2010

Wonderland Charms WIP 2

Varnish still isn’t dry; I know if you use the wrong type with polymer clay it reacts and prevents it from setting but I’m pretty sure it’s the right stuff this time…

WIP: Alice’s Adventures in Polymer Clay

18 August 2010

I wanted to practice making little charms so I’ve been playing with the clay this week, when I came up with this theme I just went with it.

Wonderland Charms WIP 1

Progress shot from just after baking. Since then I’ve painted on some extra details and am just waiting for the varnish to dry. The drying rack wasn’t feeling very photogenic but the Cheshire Cat was more than happy to smile for the camera.

I need to stop working on the floor, you can’t tell in this picture but the white clay picked up a ridiculous amount of dust. The white rabbit was so bad I’ve had to paint over it, I tried sanding it out but it wasn’t having any of it. So it is now a deep red rabbit and I’ll have to make another one.