lundi 29 septembre 2014

Technique transfer: transfer technique

One of my first loves in polymer clay techniques was laserjet transfer. It transfers a mundane print to a polymer canvas that can be shaped, engraved, painted and otherwise tortured. As drawing is not my forte, this opened a huge range of possibilities to me, and I still love the approach.
Technique transfer: transfer technique

For nails, I found sites exposing two main approaches, very close to those on polymer: transfer directly on dry polish on the nails using rubbing alcohol as a transfer agent, and home made decals by applying polish to a print on normal paper, and then carefully  rubbing of the paper, leaving the print on the polish (very similarly to what is done on polymer, and with the same drawbacks; it is not easy to rub of the paper and not the print).
Some also use special papers of various kinds like printable decal paper, but I am more interested with what can be done with non-specific material easily available at home.

I had been very lucky with transfers on polymer, because I stumbled very early on a foolproof technique: laserjet printing on parchment/baking paper (I first saw the idea on GlassAttic, and it was proposed by Valerie Aharoni, but her website is now down). If your printer is not wrecked by the paper (you do this at your own risk !), and it comes out without being smudged, perfect and complete transfer is assured, because the parchment paper will not attach to the ink or the clay like regular paper does). Parchment paper is already used in nail art to create pure polish decals with drawings / or stamps easier than directly on nails (a search with stamping decal technique brings up very nice examples and tutorials).

So of course, I had to try to combine the two. Polymer clay lovers will recognize all these steps, the single difference is the use of polish instead of liquid clay.

jeudi 25 septembre 2014

Playing with polymer clay techniques - without polymer clay-

Playing with polymer clay techniques - without polymer clay-I had never considered combining polymer approaches with nail art, because of the treacherous incompatibility on the long term between many nail polish and polymer clay. I don't care much for cutesy cane slices on nails. But then I saw the beautiful false nails Claire Wallis made (found them through an "Other things you might like" link in The Polymer Arts blog), and started to think about what polymer clay could be used for in nail art. I am at best a dabbler in nail art, and I can neither reach Claire Wallis's wonderful precision in caning, nor draw correctly, especially on such a small surface.

But maybe I could use some of the many other techniques available ?

dimanche 21 septembre 2014

Hollow beads using water-soluble child's clay

Among all the uses of playdoh encased in polymer clay, making hollow structures is a very interesting one, although somewhat tricky. There have been many uses of various water-soluble products for this purpose (like sugar for instance), and I am pretty sure others have tried this too.
It is probably not the best material but can come in handy, and allows to make very nice custom shapes.
Plankton beads

samedi 20 septembre 2014

Shell beads

Water-soluble clay lends itself very well to make very easily complex-shaped hollow beads. These shell beads are based on the playdoh cane and completely hollow, although I think some playdoh remains in the inner spires, and give them those nice pink shades.
The bead is basically a bull's eye cane with a fine outer layer of polymer clay and a larger playdoh core that has been rolled into a cone and then unto itself.

Shell beads

The playdoh faux wood cane

This cane is a very easy variation of the playdoh cane, and makes a wood surface with a lot of texture. The texture is naturally aligned with the (faux) wood grain, and is great for all antiquing techniques.
This works great with molds:
Someone forgot her outside for ages...

As a surface texture for faux wood (adapted from the twig tutorial of Randee M. Ketzel)
Firefly and liverworts

The playdoh cane

Two years back, I experimented a lot during the fantastic "Becoming a better artist" course of Christine Dumont on Voila!. One of these had a huge potential, and many applications: the playdoh cane.
These jellyfish have pinhole sized-holes all around:

Pastel jellyfish

This is a variation of the Stroppel cane. The internal walls are about half a millimeter thick:
Stroppel cane variation

Starting again ?

After forever, a reboot of this blog...

I had been relatively active in between here.

I can't promise this will be regular, or anything, but I want to group older and new polymer work and tutorials under a more cohesive (and more easily findable) structure than my photo streams. Hope it will be of help...

Je n'ai pas trop le temps de tout faire en bilingue français-anglais, mais s'il y a assez de demandes, je m'y mettrais...