Well, I finally got around to trying out the last hopeful contestant that I had around the house, in the search for a clear spray finish for my papier maché bowls.
I tried out Krylon’s “Crystal Clear” finish, using the same kind of coverage as I had in the previous experiment.
The results were disappointing, to say the least. I had thought the polyurethane and Rustoleum sprays were yellow. This was slightly more yellow than the Rustoleum, and not much less so than the polyurethane.
I’ve been waiting for the weather to be warm and dry to seal my papier maché clay bowls and put them in the ChirpHop Studio Etsy shop. It’s been either warm or dry, but not both.
In the meantime, the notion of changing the color of the clay got into my head. If it was built into the bowl material, rather than applied to the surface, I could save some steps. Applying paint also sometimes has a “fake” look, almost like the bowl is made of molded plastic.
Sad to say, the photo above is the best one to come out of the session where I tried to create translucent hollow beads with Translucent Liquid Sculpey (TLS).
I had read (where exactly escapes me now) about a polymer clay artist getting better translucent effects by painting liquid Sculpey. There wasn’t any further information than that, so out come all of the supplies.
I found a recipe for the traditional cornstarch and baking soda “play clay” of childhood. I remembered it as being heavy and cracking a lot when trying to make Christmas ornaments years ago. With any luck, neither of those factors should be an issue for this purpose.
What I’m looking for in my dream bead core is the ability to dissolve quickly and easily, so the bead won’t take forever to transform from filled to hollow.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m fascinated with some of the jewelry I’ve seen online that uses translucent polymer clay, especially when it looks like sea glass or glass glass.
After a lot of poking around for answers to how people like Kathrin Neumaier, Barbara Fernald and other clay artists, like those featured on The Blue Bottle Tree blog create their pieces, I had some idea of what to do, but was still a bit fuzzy about how to create the effects I was after. There were hints here and there, but nothing that really gave me the complete picture.
There were plenty of tutorials available for a price, but I had no way of knowing whether they would tell me what I wanted to know.
It was time to set up the la-bOr-a-tory (mwah, ha, ha!) and try some experiments.
Sometimes it pays to clean out your closet, even if you’re avoiding something you should be doing instead (preparing tax info).
So, I’m pretty sure what possessed me to do my more-or-less annual computer/office supply closet purge and reorganization. If it hadn’t happened just after I made the alcohol inks from Sharpies, this idea would probably never have occurred to me.
The reason I made all of those alcohol inks from Sharpies was to color translucent polymer clay. Now it’s time to put them to work.
I had no idea how much ink to use in proportion to the clay, other than hints online that it didn’t take very much at all. The translucent clay was also new to me and I wasn’t sure how translucent it would get. So…it was time to call on my inner mad scientist.