Polymer clay has never really been my friend — I’m afflicted with “hot hands”.
Now, this affliction was never apparent (or much of an affliction) until I tried working with polymer clay. The clay gets too soft almost the minute I start working with it.
But I really love making wee ickle objects and so I keep trying… what have I learned? I have to take lots of breaks — give the clay a chance to cool off. And while my inclination is to use my fingers when I shape my work, I’m learning to use tools instead.
And learning to build things on a stick. You can’t tell by looking, but this santa has a piece of wire running through him. During the build process, I was able to hold the wire and not the clay.
I’m wondering if I have a series of santas in my future.
I’ve made that decision that all crafters make at some point — I must use up at least some of my stash before buying any more stash.
OTOH, if I use my stash, I won’t have it any more and that’s always sad.
How to make this fun… I know, how about taking this cutesy-poo little doll’s doll house kit and building a ramshackle house with lots of stains and boarded up windows?
After all, nothing makes me happier than distressing my projects.
For some time now, I’ve wanted to try out Tori West’s Paperclay Jack-O-Lantern tutorial.
Sadly, at the point I decided that “now’s the moment!” my only available paperclay had turned to rock. But I did have some polymer clay.
Paperclay is air-drying (no baking) and as such there is no problem with Tori’s method of wrapping clay around a core that includes plastic wrap and masking tape. Since polymer clay has to be baked, I couldn’t help but think that this was a bad idea and just another toaster oven fire waiting to happen.
I did it anyway.
Now, my toaster oven is still in the room of the detached garage (with an outside door left open whenever baking), so I can’t be certain of any fumes this combo put off, but there was nothing noticeable lingering in the air when I removed the pumpkins from the oven. YMMV.
I used blue painter’s tape (much like the polymer clay, it’s what I had on hand) and I admit to skipping the step where Tori preps the plastic wrap with tape. Surprisingly, neither the tape nor the plastic wrap melted (much).
While Tori recommends removing the core prior to re-carving the face, with polymer clay, my recommendation is to re-carve first and then remove the core. The core provides some stability and helps prevent breakage.
Like Tori, I found tweezers to be instrumental in removing the core. While the tape doesn’t melt, I’m pretty sure the glue on the tape melted a wee bit.