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Need More Metallics

The transition from budding entrepreneur to crafter-with-a-day-job has been a little rocky. I’ve been a little sad at the growing loss of my free time and adjusting to my new work environment.  With home computer problems, I couldn’t even pretend to be crafty through the wonderful world of blogging. Still, I’ve been giving it my best effort.


After running polymer through my pasta machine, I cut off the fraying edges, coated them with different colors of PearlEx powders, and then layered them. Pretty cool, eh? This effect was created using #651 Pearl White and #662 Antique Silver on black clay. I wanted to reproduce the raw and aged metal effect on a larger scale.

After a really uninspired craft night this week I decided to take the weekend and FORCE myself to make something. My summer Scrabble tile project left me with a desire to return to my clay work, so I’m experimenting with making frames for them.  I mean, Scrabble tile pendants are cute and all, but I can’t wear something so… light.  Adding a polymer clay frame would give my pendant the necessary weight for it to hang comfortably around my neck.


For some reason I was trying to be artsy with the camera angle here. What it doesn't show is how running the piece through the pasta roller took the shine out of the metallic powder.

I love the look of black clay gilded with PearlEx powders – there’s something very elegant and spooky about them – I did a stamped texture, a raised texture, and then this layered design that looked really cool the first time I tried it. The second time I tried the layers I think I may have overworked it a bit.

Overworking the really cool layers flattened and dulled them. rather than waste the clay and the effort I attempted to salvage things with more PearlEx. While the results I got were exactly what I expected and looked nice, I still lost the part I thought was awesome in the first place.


Liquid Polymer can be tinted with alcohol ink or oil paint (among other things). For my purposes, I wanted to be able to brighten the metallic areas of my tiles. A combination of liquid polymer, clay softener, and pearl powder should do the trick.

Rather than write everything down twice I have elaborated on my steps in the image captions for this entry.  I figure it’s like getting two posts in one — one fully of blabbity text, and another filled with semi-informative claygeek data.  Helpful?  Probably not.  I’m doing my best here, people.  Throw me a bone.

These are now baked and ready for me to do something with them.  I think I’m going to add a clay bail to the back instead of gluing a metal one.  As much as I love metal findings, using them feels like cheating sometimes.  Will they be necklaces?  Earrings?  Brooches?  Come to think of it, they were supposed to be frames for my Scrabble tile pendants, right?  <scrolls back to the top of the page> Yeah, they were!  After all that rolling, mixing, and stamping, I only made two frames.  Go figure.


About a tablespoon and a half of liquid polymer and a quarter teaspoon of powder should be more than enough. A little powder goes a long way -- start smaller and work your way up. Combine the polymer and powder thoroughly before thinning down the mixture with clay softener. Use as much as you need to get it the consistency of thin maple syrup.

Experiments with the powders in hopes of creating something really cool (or better yet, something awesome) will continue. They have to. My theory is that if you keep making things, no matter how boring or dull some of them turn out, you will strengthen your creative muscle. The stronger that muscle becomes the more you will get out of your craft,  whether it is art, music, or writing. Even the shittiest projects are worth the lesson of what doesn’t work.

And still no matter how hard I try I cannot come up with enough text to reach all the way to the bottom of my photos for the entry.  Maybe a different layout would help?


You can't see it in this image very well, but the liquid polymer mixture did exactly what I wanted to. I repeated the process with the Antique Gold and Pearl White colors.


I got a number of different ideas out of my system in this batch. Stamping, cutout exchanges, and a couple of other minor techniques were played with.


About waywardclay

I am a musician and designer living in the Pacific Northwest. I have a day job, but you won't hear about that here. I make things out of thoughts, situations, polymer clay, and other media. Sometimes they're actually pretty good. Visit my Etsy store or download my available songs from iTunes.

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