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Ceramic jewelry has an earthy appeal, but because ceramics require a kiln, many of us find it an impractical pursuit. Using the technique detailed below, however, you can transform ordinary polymer clay into attractive faux ceramics. This tutorial illustrates how to make faux ceramic pendants, but you can also apply it to brooches, flattened beads, smaller charms, or anything else you like. It is well suited for any project that can be cured flat-- particularly those with decoration on only one side-- but may be adapted to work with more dimensional objects, as well.
• White polymer clay • Translucent liquid clay Any brand will do. TLS has a more matte finish and is less translucent than Kato or Fimo brand liquid clays, but translucence isn’t as important for this project. Kato cures to a slight shine. • Alcohol Ink If you can’t get these, you can tint the liquid clay with oil paints, powdered pigments, or powdered artist’s pastels. For sparkling color, use mica powders. These products will yield a more opaque mixture than if you use alcohol inks. • Release agent Usually water, baby powder, or cornstarch • Wet/dry sandpaper 320 or 400 grit • Cleaning supplies Alcohol, baby wipes, and paper towels are all but indispensible.
This tutorial is provided by Polymer Clay Web. Please visit www.polymerclayweb.com for more tutorials and other polymer clay related material.
2007 © M. & D. Johansson • Polymerclayweb.com
petit fours cutters.polymerclayweb. This tutorial is provided by Polymer Clay Web. or polymer-friendly paint pots. thermometer. texture sheets (bought or homemade).com for more tutorials and other polymer clay related material. you can use a ceramic tile. so use it sparingly. Put a drop or two of the ink on top of the liquid clay and allow the alcohol to evaporate before mixing the color into the clay with a toothpick or needle tool. use a crafe knife to cut shapes freehand. This “evaporation-wait” may not be neccessary. Johansson • Polymerclayweb. You can also mix custom colors by combining one or more colors of ink. the less distortion you’ll have. drinking straws. You can adjust the color by adding more ink (to darken) or clay (to lighten).com . etc. and/or found textures • Shape cutters Cookie cutters. glass sheet. Use a needle or craft knife to pop any bubbles you see. and use the brayer to smooth and adhere the layered sheets. but it is generally recommended as an extra precaution to prevent unwanted bubbling in the liquid clay.Tools • Work Surface • Aluminum palette This is useful for mixing colors of liquid clay. • Craft knife and tissue blade • Oven (plus aluminum foil tent. Roll it through the pasta machine on the thickest setting. double the sheet. depending on what you’re making If you’re using alcohol ink to tint the liquid clay. Apply the ink now and mix it in later on. 1 2 Condition the white clay. you may want to do that first. If you don’t have any. A little ink goes a long way. if you don’t wish to reduce fingerprints or avoid handling the clay * Paintbrush for applying liquid clay * Eyepins (or other findings) and superglue. & D. The less you move this project. You can also use templates from thin plastic or cardstock as guides. Work directly on a ceramic tile that fits into your oven. If you prefer an even pendant (as we did). • Needle tool or tapestry needle (toothpicks will work) • Ceramic tile (one that fits in your oven) • Pasta machine (if possible) and brayer or acrylic rod • Texturing tools Stamps. mitt and timer) • Optional: * Gloves. Please visit www. 2007 © M. If you don’t have one.
you can cure it in place and cut or snap them apart afterwards. apply texture to the edges of the cut shapes.) If desired. Johansson • Polymerclayweb.) Pull away the excess clay. If you have room to cut more than one pendant from the sheet of clay. later. be sure to gently pat away the moisture with a paper towel after the clay is textured. 4 Use a shape cutter or craft knife to cut into the textured clay. (If there’s just a small bit of clay that you can’t remove. A drinking straw cut into short lengths makes a great tool for cutting out large stringing holes.com . as we did. tent with aluminum foil (to prevent scorching).polymerclayweb. Now is also the time to place eyepins or cut stringing holes in pendants. Please visit www. Don’t worry about traces of leftover clay around your cut-out. 2007 © M. 5 Put the tile into a pre-heated oven. & D. though. leaving the cut shape(s) untouched on the tile. and cure at the manufacturer’s recommended temperature for 30 minutes. Those you can’t easily remove now can be quickly eliminated. as it can be difficult to pull up the clay between them without causing distortions. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tile. 6 This tutorial is provided by Polymer Clay Web. Repeat steps 2 through 5 as desired until the tile is full.3 Texture the sheet of clay. It’s best not to try to fit too many too closely together. Be sure to apply a release agent to the stamp or texture sheet. do so.com for more tutorials and other polymer clay related material. If you use water.
Let it evaporate a while. (This is a messy process-. or you can cover the sides and bottoms. If they tend to stick.) Allow the “glaze” to settle into the low spots of the pattern or texture. you can add another drop or two of ink. (Here’s an example of what the liquid clay might look like once you’ve thoroughly mixed in the ink. & D.especially if you’re covering the sides and bottoms of the pendants-. You can also remove some in spots to reveal more of the clay base. Let the pendants dry (or pat dry). If a color isn’t dark enough for your liking. Johansson • Polymerclayweb. Temporarily remove eyepins and set them aside. If you have too much liquid clay on a pendant. Continue until all the pendants are glazed. Please visit www. How much glaze you put on will affect the final appearance of your pendant. You can apply the liquid clay to just the tops of the pendants. while the other two have not. apply a thin layer of the tinted liquid clay to the cured clay pendants. Don’t worry if the liquid clay drips or puddles slightly around the pendants. wipe some away. 2007 © M.com . If you haven’t already finished tinting your liquid clay.so be sure to have your cleaning supplies nearby. if you have the time to spare. too. Sand the edges of the pendants under water as needed to remove jagged bits. before remixing. do so now.polymerclayweb.there’s no rush). so experiment to find what you like best. Don’t forget the edges of large stringing holes.7 When the tile has cooled a bit (or a lot-. pull a tissue blade under them until they pop away. Use a fingertip or a paintbrush or other tool to apply the liquid clay.com for more tutorials and other polymer clay related material. remove the pendants from the tile.) 8 Working on a ceramic tile that fits in your oven. 9 This tutorial is provided by Polymer Clay Web. The orange color has been mixed.
(You can sand and/or buff or apply a polymer-friendly finish. (Superglue deteriorates at curing temperatures. This tutorial is provided by Polymer Clay Web. and cure at the manufacturer’s recommended temperature for another 15 minutes or so. using a tissue blade to persuade pieces that stick. & D. tent with aluminum foil.com for more tutorials and other polymer clay related material.polymerclayweb. Johansson • Polymerclayweb.) 11 A variety of faux ceramic pendants. Leave as is or finish as desired.com . then remove as before. depending on the look you want to achieve. superglue eyepins back into place.10 Put the tile into a pre-heated oven. Allow the shapes to cool on the tile. so save this step for the end. Use a craft knife to carefully pare away any extraneous liquid clay (such as if you had puddling around the base of your pendant).) When you’ve finished all the curing you plan to do. Please visit www. 2007 © M.
Apply different colors of liquid clay glaze to the same piece. or mica powders. Draw or stipple a design into the clay with a needle or a ball-end stylus.Variations • • • • • • • • • Try different colors of clay “bases” for a new look. or old tissue blade to scrape off clay baked onto ceramic tiles. sometimes. or a more distressed look. If you’re using certain types of texture sheets (such as the Shade-Tex brand). give your pendants a coat or two of polymer-friendly finish. Tips • • • Use a paint scraper.polymerclayweb. powdered pigments. Alcohol on a paper towel or baby wipe works well to clean up alcohol ink. you can get a somewhat similar effect by antiquing with acrylic paint or Varathane or Future tinted with acrylic paint. For more dimensional textures. & D. craft knife. This tutorial is provided by Polymer Clay Web. Leave a little (or a lot of) empty space. change the look by lightly brayer over the textured clay (before applying glaze) to gently flatten the pattern. If you don’t have liquid clay. either in the same step or before separate firings. 2007 © M. lightly sand the pendants after curing the liquid clay glaze. Please visit www. you can get two textures by using both sides of the sheet. Wipe away any residual dust with alcohol or a baby wipe.com . Johansson • Polymerclayweb.com for more tutorials and other polymer clay related material. and sticky polymer clay residue. give them a quick wipe with alcohol to prepare them for the glaze. Vary the degree of coverage when you texture the clay. For a higher shine. If your pendants are at all dusty or oily. liquid clay.
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