Exploring Clay

Over the years I have worked with ceramic cabochons and pendants that my husband graciously help me glaze and fire. About 5 years ago I started working some with polymer clay. Somehow it never felt quite right to me. It just always looked and felt plasticky. Even the more organic looking pieces I made still looked like plastic up close. Recently, through the wonderful educator, Youtube, I saw some videos on using translucent clay and liquid clay to create layers in the clay. This creates stone-like dimension. They create faux opals, fluorite and all kinds of semi transparent stones with inclusions.

When I can, I prefer to use real stones, but sometimes with my budget or my desire to use an obscure color, that isn’t possible. So…I started playing around with liquid polymer clay. I already had a pretty good background in other faux stone techniques thanks to Cindy Lietz’s Polymer Clay Tutor’s weekly posts (beadvideo.com – it’s a subscription service but so worth it, at least for basics).

And I love the result! I am working on a necklace that has ocean colors in it – aqua, blue, light green. Unfortunately, most of the stones in those hues are a bit pricey for large cabochons (Larimar, Aquamarine, etc). So I started out with a layer of liquid Sculpey in a teardrop mold. I cured it with a heat gun (just cured enough so I could put another layer). In the second layer I mixed in some seafoam green Pearl Ex powder, and Denim and Aqua alcohol inks. Cured that layer and then did two more. Then I baked it per directions to cure it completely. After baking, I wet sanded, buffed and glazed it. The result is this: a stone resembling fluorite and really cool inclusions that look like foam from the ocean. This photo doesn’t do it justice. Anyway, very excited about the possibility of being able to further customize my pieces. 🙂

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