Saturday, July 30, 2011

Must-have clay tools

All right, it's time I tell you my favorite tools.
The first one is a tie between my bendy blade and my pin. The blade is just a rectangle of super-sharp metal that slices clay like bread. It's fantastic. The pin is like any sewing pin, but it's a more decorative pin, I believe- it has a ball at the end that is perfect for smoothing or texture (I use it to make indentations on hamburger meat).
My two other favorites are my trusty if cheap pasta machine and my shorter double-ended blade tool. The pasta machine (a.k.a. pasta roller or clay conditioning machine) was $20 at Michaels, not a bad deal, but the handle keeps falling off. As long as you keep the handle in, though, it works great. Plus, it's handy for transportation when you can easily just pull the handle out- it halves the size. The shorter blade tool is a triangular blade at one end and a curved blade at the other. I bought it for carving freestyle shapes out of flat clay- like carving the top of a crown out of a rectangle. Something that would be harder to do with a bendable blade, that might cut you while you try to hold it.

So, those are my tools, and if you have any favorites of your own, please comment and share! And you get Awesomeness Points if I then go out and buy that tool!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Science project gone horribly wrong (the Icing Endeavor)

...or at least that's what I like to call it. I followed Monster Kookies' instructions on how to make frosting for a cupcake, and it went crazy. I mixed polymer clay and TLS and it became this huge sticky mess that stuck to everything. I lost a sponge and a rubber glove over it. Thankfully I was able to wash the rest of the tools used, although I was certain I wouldn't be able to get it off of my hands. But I did. And I learned to mix it more and not touch it with my hands at all. I will put a picture up eventually of the cupcake I used it on. I had extra so I used it to cover a bit of my salmon pink clay, making it a purple fuzzy rock. Lesson learned.

Besides, now that I know I won't be making this mistake again, I have created a Rare and Retired cupcake. I printed a Certificate of Authenticity and I am giving it as a gift to my friend who's going away soon, to make it special.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Cooking clay

Before I get into the real stuff, I have a blibbet to say about cooking clay. I use Sculpey III, exclusively, but no, I don't usually set the temperature below 300 degrees F. That's right. I cook my own way. BTW, I use a toaster oven, whatever that matters. I usually set it between 300 and 325 degrees F, because it cooks much faster, in a matter of minutes. The only issue is you have to watch very closely to make sure it doesn't burn, but goodness, does it speed things up. The minute you open the oven and smoke comes out, it's good as gold.
I actually only started doing that awhile ago when I misremembered the directions on the pack of clay and thought it meant 375 instead of 275 degrees F. I burned quite a few clay pieces then. But soon I got the hang of it, and realized how much faster upping the temp. made it.

Just one thing to say about translucent. Now, I just started using the stuff, and it's my experience that it won't get so translucent if you cook it in a chunk (mine was an unkneaded house-shape, cut directly from the pack), but when sliced thinly, it gets very translucent and looked overcooked while the house-shape was still cooking. So be careful.

My inspiration

Hey again, y'all. And no, I don't y'all because I am a strong Texan with a drawl and all that, but I just feel like it. Sometimes you'll catch me talkin' like a Brit. Cha-ching. I am awesome.

Now, my inspiration to create a 5th blog came from a fellow blogger who also blogs about polymer clay and stuff. (let's see how many times I can say blog in a sentence) Anyway, her blog is called Monster Kookies, and she's got an Etsy shop and the whole 9 yards. Her URL is Check it out, she's got lots of tips and thingamawhatsits to share. As do I, so I should get back to actually blogging.


Hey y'all! It's Alicia from If you don't know me, I sculpt with polymer clay and occasionally sell stuff to people I know. My friend Cali sculpts too, and you can see some of her work on our website. Or at least, you will be able to once I put more pictures up. The website is basically a work showcase and a request database. You can request from there if I know you. If I don't know you but you request anyway, I might make it anyway and put a pic on the site just to annoy you. Yes. I love doing that. But I decided I had to make a blog because since I have been working with clay for over a year, I have discovered some new ways and ideas about sculpting and just had to share them. I might mention fellow bloggers or other websites so you can check them out. So, for now, happy claying everyone! Oh, and if y'all came here, I would very much appreciate it if you visit the site listed above, because I would like publicity. Just as soon as I put pictures up. Ciao!
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