Thursday, January 27, 2011

Shiny Things -- in progress

I long ago determined that patience was not one of my strong points.  The hardest part of using the resin is WAITING for it to cure.  The minimum time, according to the tutorial I was using, is 48 hours but 72 is better.  I figured in humid Mississippi that I better go for the longer curing time.  So I patiently put my resin covered pieces in a plastic storage container with a lid -- to keep out the dust -- and played with other things.  I didn't even open the container until last night!  How's that for resisting temptation?

But I've got to say, the wait was worth it!  The pictures I have here don't begin to show the beautiful shine these pieces have. 

The square piece was made using a prefabricated bezel.  The mokume gane polymer clay stack -- made with a custom-mixed teal and blue plus silver and white -- makes a beautiful pattern that perfectly matches one of my blouses. 

Once I was happy with the design of the clay sheet, I measured and cut a piece to fit into the square of the bezel.  After brushing the inside of the bezel lightly with Genesis, I carefully placed the clay and smoothed it all the way to the edges. 

After the clay was cured and cooled, I added a fairly thick layer of resin and smoothed it out to the edges as well as I could.  I do see where I'm going to need to add another thin layer and smooth the edges better.  I see a few places where I did not get quite to the metal bezel. 

These pieces are ready to be added to earwires for earrings. You can see some of the shine here but you can't really see how well it domes and how nice and clear it is. No yellowing that I can see. I love these little jewelry findings. They are perfect for adding a small pop of color.

Overall I was pleased with my first try at applying resin to my polymer clay projects.  It is amazing the difference it gives a piece

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

OK I’ll admit it! I like shiny things!

There… I’ve admitted it, now how to achieve it? Over the past several years since I started working with polymer clay, I’ve tried several different things that were reputed to make it shiny. Some worked. Some didn’t. Some were way more trouble than it was worth! But none gave me the clear glass-like finish that I was craving. So what does a girl do…

Well, this girl finally purchased a package of Envirotex Lite. This is a two-part resin that some polymer clay artists use to achieve that glass-like finish that I’ve been trying to get. Will it work for me? Check back and I’ll share my experience and what I made.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Great start for the new year!

I usually have a lull between Christmas and Valentines Day where I can rest, relax, regroup and clean my studio -- which it desperately needs after the Christmas rush to get orders done and out the door! So.... there I was last Tuesday night resting and relaxing when an email came in from a sweet lady in New Hampshire who wanted to know if I could make 55 Mississippi ornaments and get them in the mail to arrive no later than today, January 21. 

Well, any of you who work with polymer clay know that some work can be done pretty quickly while other things tend to require a fair amount of time and labor.  I did accept the challenge and did about half of the ornaments with a smooth surfact that had to be sanded and buffed.  The othe half I did using a fair amount of texture which cuts down considerably on the sanding and buffing!  It was a good thing we had a holiday on Monday or I would have been burning some midnight oil for sure!