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07-08-2012, 02:19 PM

Get To Know Your Clay First

The Minute It Thinks It Can Get Away With Something, It Will!

http://i1.squidoocdn.com/resize/squidoo_images/250/draft_lens1952978module9316907photo_1249328826pink _breast_cancer_awareness_fairy.jpgAnyone can start off working toward making detailed sculptures right off the bat. It does help to have some experience with this sneaky medium and its quirks if you've never used it before.

The different brands have different issues. I'll focus on Sculpey here because it's the one I've used the most. Plain white Sculpey is very easy to work with but seems to be the most fragile. It also scorches the most easily. I place an aluminum foil tent over all of my pieces to protect them from the heat element in the toaster oven. I love the feeling of their Terra Cotta - not the one that comes in the two-ounce package but the one that comes in the one or two pound box. For some reason, there's a difference between the two. It feels like a more natural potter's clay and the pieces I've made are very resilient. The small block behaves like most of the other varieties and doesn't have that texture.

Sculpey colors are fun and can be a real help to the lazy, like me. I have poor eyesight and arthritis in my hands, so painting delicate areas is a challenge for me. Some of Sculpey's colors are absolutely gorgeous and each seems to have its individual issues. The pearl clays are beautiful but tend to react the most to the heat of your hands and "go gumby," my term for the clay getting so soft and pliable that you can't do a blessed thing with it. If this happens, no matter what type you are using, set it down and let it "rest." The pearl colors often need to rest overnight, and some went gumby again the minute I picked them back up. I've found these best for pieces that don't require a lot of handling. There's also a process called "leeching," where you place the clay between two pieces of white paper for a while. You can leave it for a day or two but be careful not to let it dry out.

Sculpey Premo is supposed to be more durable. I've seen little difference between Sculpey, Sculpey III and Premo except the price. I will buy Premo if it's on sale.

Super Sculpey (http://astore.amazon.com/parthenablack-20/detail/B000SAL2J0/104-2927361-2263920) is supposed to be the most durable and is more expensive. I've heard good feedback from other clayers, but I received a piece as a gift that chipped easily.

Prosculpt (http://astore.amazon.com/parthenablack-20/detail/B00110Q746/104-2927361-2263920), developed by artist Jack Johnston (http://www.artdolls.com/), has a wonderful reputation among artists. I have not had the opportunity to try it yet but I plan to when my supply of Sculpey is depleted. Other artists have told me that it is extremely easy to work with and doesn't gumby out like Sculpey.

Fimo and Cernit are both considered superior in durability. I've used Fimo classic and it was like kneading bricks. I've tried the Fimo soft and it seems to be as durable as Sculpey. I have not used Cernit, which is not readily available in my area. Someone once commented to me that Fimo and Cernit are supposed to be "better because they come from Europe."

Whichever one you use, kneading is very important. I kneaded with my hands for a long time and had problems with air bubbles, which can cause your piece to crack in the oven. I have not had this happen since I started using a pasta machine (http://astore.amazon.com/parthenablack-20/detail/B000BJOYK2/104-2927361-2263920). They're a great investment and very versatile, especially if you plan to use clay for costuming. For clothing, it's best to use the medium thickness. The very thin setting is too thin and the piece will likely chip very quickly. And of course, pasta machines are the answer for very hard clay and if you have problems with your hands or if they tire easily.

For baking, follow the manufacturer's instructions but remember that most ovens are not 100% accurate. You can check it with a thermometer or just learn by experience, as I did. My toaster oven set at 250 for most projects works very well, and I use 200 for my faux glass eyes and only fire them for ten minutes.

You can use your regular cooking oven, but it must be kept very clean. Most artists prefer a toaster or convection oven. Any kind will do, but you might want to look for the largest one you can find so that most of your pieces will fit in it. Again, an aluminum foil tent or other protection can do a lot to save your work. In a toaster oven, the piece can be very close to the heating element. Toaster ovens tend to get hotter and cook faster. I started using the tent and the leeching process after reading Maureen Carlson's newest book, Fairies, Gnomes and Trolls (http://astore.amazon.com/parthenablack-20), two things I wish I had learned a lot sooner!

Photo: 2008 Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Fairy by Parthena Black

Clay Reviews - Studio By Sculpey

The Wait Wasn't Worth It!

http://i2.squidoocdn.com/resize/squidoo_images/250/draft_lens1952978module15256852photo_1249329138fir e_goddess.jpgMore than a year ago, Polyform introduced a new line of polymer clay, Studio by Sculpey (http://www.studiobysculpey.com/). Here's the description from the website:

"Studio by Sculpey® is opening the door to a new world of creating with oven-bake clay. Specially formulated to capture and build upon the best qualities of today's oven-bake clays, Studio by Sculpey oven-bake clay is easy to condition by hand and extremely durable after baking. It is the only oven bake clay that will hold its shape perfectly during modeling and will not break or crack when baking large pieces. It is available in 34 rich, home décor colors and bakes to a luxurious, suede-like finish."

I shy away from ordering clay online due to the higher shipping rates due to its weight and live 60 miles from the nearest city with a decent craft supplies store. I was disappointed that Studio has only appeared at Hobby Lobby sometime during the last two or three months and Michael's still doesn't carry it. When I spied the display at Hobby Lobby, I eagerly snatched up a block and couldn't wait to try it on one of my art dolls. That night I began work on a new fairy and was very pleased with Studio's performance on a small piece, the head.

Well......that's where my positive impression of this clay stopped. The finished head is beautiful, but the problems started immediately when I began to form the body. In this process, I found that the only truth to the claims made on the website is that Studio is extremely easy to condition by hand. In fact, it was easier to condition by hand than it was to put it through the pasta machine, where the edges split and appeared to be dangerously close to crumbling! Studio's working time is no better than regular Sculpey. It didn't take long for it to "Gumby-out" and become far too soft to work with, causing me to set the piece down to rest after only about ten minutes of work. This clay also seemed to attract a lot more dirt than Sculpey and Premo.

Although it was fairly easy to smooth out, the fired piece looks rather lumpy but I had a chance to fix that when I had to repair my poor kneeling fairy's knees - which both cracked wide open in the oven! They literally broke completely and my fairy would have fallen over without the wire armature inside. I've made several kneeling figures and must say that I have never had this happen with Sculpey or Premo, which make no claims that their clay "will not break or crack when baking large pieces."

In the process of repairing her knees, I added an extra layer of clay to her legs in hopes of smoothing them out. There wasn't much improvement, and by the time I finished her arms I'd noticed that her neck had also cracked.

Desert Sand was the closest color to a flesh tone and it reminds me of jaundice yellow when used on a lifelike figure. Given my dissatisfaction with Studio, I didn't really want to purchase another block when I was just a tiny bit short of enough to finish the piece. I went through my stock and found that Sculpey Premo Ecru is an exact match. Ecru for a flesh tone? I had it on hand because I blend it with beige, tan and brown shades to create more realistic flesh tones but until now, had never used it alone.

I'm not noticing anything resembling a "suede-like finish," either. Perhaps this is because I used one of the light colors, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt there.

Despite the problems, I chose to finish my fairy and add the experience to the top of my compost pile of repair skills. She now sits naked patiently waiting for her hair and outfit. I'll post her photo as soon as she's dressed.

Until I can get my hands on some ProSculpt, I'm sticking to Super Sculpey.

Photo: Early work. Fire Goddess by Parthena Black

Molds Vs. "Pure Sculpt"

That is the question......

http://i3.squidoocdn.com/resize/squidoo_images/250/draft_lens1952978module9197657photo_1208739802wiz2 _3-7-2007_4-57-26_PM.JPGThe majority of artists I've spoken with admit that learning to sculpt faces was the most difficult part of the journey. I've heard more than once (and have experienced) that many early attempts look like aliens, trolls or little old men! It has taken me more than a year of practice to create pretty faces. Just prior to the wonderful day that miracle finally occurred, I was seriously considering giving up and using molds!

Many artists and collectors feel that if a mold was used to create or cast from a piece, it is disqualified from being truly OOAK (one of a kind). Molds in flexible, easy-release materials can be purchased as well as easily made with scrap clay from an existing piece. "Pure Sculpt" means that the artist created the piece without the aid of any mold whatsoever.

For artists who want to create dolls and can not invest months of practice into their faces, using molds can be a great help. Molds are an especially good method for practicing faces because they can save time and can help teach you the proper placement of facial features. As Katherine Dewey says in her book,Creating Lifelike Figures In Polymer Clay, "the ears are part of the cranium and not the face!" The molded face can easily be manipulated and changed into something that is more your own. "Pure Sculpt" artists will likely agree that manipulating the piece doesn't make it a pure sculpt and I agree with that opinion to an extent. I feel that if one starts with a mold as a base and completely changes it, it's still an original, but that would depend upon the degree of change.

Once you have created a good face, you can make a mold to save time in improving upon it. I found this to be a great help when I finally sculpted a face that I was happy with. Some artists create an original face and then cast a mold for future work. I've seen some that claim that molds are not used, yet all of the faces in their galleries are identical. In my opinion, if they created the original face and that mold is not sold to anyone else, I would still consider it an original but some don't agree. Artist Patricia Rose states on her site (you'll find her site in the links section) that if you change a mold by at least 30 percent you can legally call it yours and sell it on E-bay.

If you prefer to use a mold to create a beautiful artist doll, I'd say to go for it as long as you present your piece honestly. You're still going to add your own touches in the pose, costume and embellishment, which still makes your doll unique.

Photo: The Wizard of Eggs by Parthena Black

đất sét nung gốm oven bake clay


Polyform Sculpey III Polymer Clay 8 Oz: Translucent

by Polyform (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=bl_sr_home-garden?_encoding=UTF8&field-brandtextbin=Polyform&node=1055398)
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Super Sculpey Ceramic-Like Sculpturing Compound - 1 lb.

by Sculpey (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=bl_sr_home-garden?_encoding=UTF8&field-brandtextbin=Sculpey&node=1055398)
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http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Qq5yQQ6zL._SL210_.jpg (http://astore.amazon.com/parthenablack-20/images/B00110Q746)
Prosculpt Clay / Color " Baby " by Johnston Original Art Dolls
From Prosculpt

<form method="post" action="/parthenablack-20/cart/add/B00110Q746" name="buybox" id="addToCartForm">Currently unavailable.


Product Description

Each 1 pound bar of ProSculpt® clay contains enough clay to make two 18" dolls. ProSculpt requires very little kneading, it seams together without showing the joining lines.Two of its most outstanding features are its malleability when it is uncured and it's strength after it has been cured.Cured at 275° F (130° C), this clay can be used in a household oven.For every 1/4 inch of thickness, it should be cured for 10 minutes. When properly cured, it becomes extremely hard and durable. It cures to a natural, translucent, flesh-like color.

Product Details

Amazon Sales Rank: #392905 in Single Detail Page Misc
Brand: Prosculpt
Model: BABY


All About Polymer Clay – Tutorial (http://www.thewhimsicalbead.com.au/blog/?p=101) <small>Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010</small> Many people have asked me for a basic guide to working with polymer clay and more importantly, how to get started with polymer clay. I wrote this tutorial in 2009 and give it to all my beginner students. It is also available on my website but I thought I would post it here for everyone to read also. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me (http://www.thewhimsicalbead.com.au/contact_us.php?osCsid=0e05584ad299093806d2694773c7 a3c3).
What is Polymer Clay??
Polymer clay (PC) is a versatile, exciting medium. It is basically a manmade, plastic material and consists of PVC particles and pigments suspended in a plasticizer. This gives the clay is maleable consistency. Baking the clay evaporates the plasticizer and causes the particles to fuse together into a stable material (clay hardens). Polymer clay is fantastic as it doesn’t air dry like other clays (it must be baked) so it allow for much more flexibility. You can achieve things so many things with polymer clay that are not possible with other mediums. Be warned polymer clay is very addictive!!
What Clay to Choose??
There are many different brands of PC on the market and each has slightly different properties. Experiment to find one that suits your needs. Remember, no matter what brand you use, always wash your hands after using clay and don’t eat or drink whilst using the clay.
Studio by Sculpey – Studio by Sculpey is a relatively new oven bake clay. It is is easy to condition by hand and very durable after baking. Softer than Premo and Kato but still good for cane work. There is a fantastic range of colours available in this range;
Premo Sculpey – Premo, although firmer than Fimo Soft, is still quite easy to condition. It is very durable and is a great ‘all-round’ clay. It is great for caning, sculpting and lots more. Fingerprints will not show quite as much;
Kato – Developed in conjunction (and named after) clay artist Donna Kato. Kato is harder to condition than the other clays but is extremely durable and colours stay the same after baking (any change is minimal). Kato does not get sticky when being handled;
Fimo Soft – Fimo Soft is easy to condition than a lot of clays. It is very durable when baked. Because it is soft, it is not recommended for complex caning as lines are not as crisp. Fingerprints will also show up more. Fantastic range of colours available;
Fimo Classic – Firm clay that is good for caning. Harder to condition than Fimo Soft and Premo. The formula of this clay has recently been changed and clayers have apparently not liked the change to the clay, so therefore, there are not a lot of retailers currently stocking Fimo Classic.
Sculpey III – Sculpey III is the softest of all the clays and tends to be quite brittle once baked. It is not a durable clay. Many people regard this clay as a ‘children’s clay’.
There are other brands of clay on the market at the moment such as Pardo Clay, Pluffy and Living Doll by Sculpey, but the ones above are the most popular ones used. This is by no means an extensive list and the descriptions are based on my experiences or that of friends/other artists. Use it as a guideline only.
What Tools to Get?
There are many different tools you can buy to use with your PC, but the basic equipment needed for starting out is relatively simple and inexpensive. You will need to start with;
** a smooth work surface – is essential. I use glass boards as they are smooth, heavy weighted and easy to clean;
** cutting tools – some sort of blade to cut your clay;
** a pasta machine is a great tool to have but you can use a roller if you don’t want to spend the money to start with. Keep in mind though it will take a lot longer to achieve certain effects without one.
** Needle tool for piercing your beads.
** Oven for baking beads.
Other tools you may need (or want!) later on include different blades, sculpting tools, texture sheets, cutters, etc. The list goes on and on!! You may be able to find things around the house to use for tools – PVC piping for a roller, knitting needles, toothpicks, anything that can make textures on clay, egg rings etc. Your kitchen can be a great place for finding polymer clay tools but remember – whatever you use with clay cannot be used for food again.
Conditioning Polymer Clay
‘Conditioning’ polymer clay is a vital part of working with clay. ‘Conditioning’ essentially means making the clay softer, pliable and easy to work with, by working the clay until the plasticisers are even distributed. We need to condition clay in order to make it workable and to also increase the strength and durability of the finished clay piece. The amount of conditioning required may vary between different brands of clay ie. Fimo Soft is generally quite pliable straight out of the package, whereas Kato Polymer Clay will be harder. This variation in pliability can even vary between different packages of the same brand of clay. Even if your clay is quite soft, in my opinion you should still condition it and then let it rest a little before using it.
How to condition your polymer clay:
There is no set way you ‘must’ condition your clay – you can use your hands and a roller or a pasta machine.
Hand conditioning:
The warmth from your hands will start to soften the clay up and make it pliable. Roll the clay between your palms to form a log/snake and then roll back into a ball. The friction of this technique combined with the warmth of your hands will speed up the conditioning process. Conditioning large amounts of clay can be hard on the hands. You can break/cut your clay into smaller sections as these will be easier to work with rather than large blocks. You can also use an acrylic roller to continue the conditioning process.
Pasta Machine Conditioning:
Cut your 56g pack of clay into four slices (with each slice being around twice the thickness of the thickest setting on the pasta machine. Feed each piece through the rollers, then place two thicknesses together and roll through till you have one sheet. Fold this sheet in half and fold first roll through. Repeat this about 10 times.
The important thing to remember is never force clay through the pasta machine. It needs to be flat enough to go through easily – you do not want to put too much pressure on the rollers or your machine will break.
Continue conditioning using whichever method you choose, until clay can be readily worked without crumbling.
It is hard to say how long this process will take as it will vary between different brands of clay. As you gain more experience you will be able to judge how much conditioning is ‘enough’. Usually your clay will need at least 2-3 minutes of conditioning.
If you suffer from arthritis (or similar) you may need to purchase a softer brand of clay that will condition more easily. You can also put your block of clay on a hot water bottle or heat pack or sit on it (yes, sit on it!) to start the conditioning process. DO NOT put your clay in the microwave!
What if my clay won’t soften up?
Sometimes you may come across a pack of polymer clay that will not soften up no matter what you do with it. It stays crumbly and is not workable at all. Unfortunately if this happens there is nothing you can do with it. It has been exposed to excessive heat or ultraviolet light and will not soften up like fresh clay should. This is why you should always store your clay according to manufacturer’s directions. Don’t throw it away though. You may be able to use it for other purposes ie. inclusions.
Baking Polymer Clay
To bake your polymer clay pieces you will need an oven and an oven thermometer. If you are not doing a lot of baking, you may choose to use your home oven. However, if you do a lot of polymer clay baking, I strongly recommend using a small oven, such as a toaster oven, that will be dedicated to clay work. This because a build up of plasticiser can occur in the oven and whilst polymer clay is said to be non-toxic, it is best to avoid this if possible. An oven thermometer is also essential because the baking temperature needs to be accurate and ovens quite often, are not accurate. The temperature you bake your beads at will vary according to the clay you are using. Always follow the manufacturers directions. If you bake the clay at a higher temperature the clay will burn and discolour and you will be left with a horrid smell!! Generally, the amount of time you bake your pieces for will be 30 minutes per ¼” thickness. You need to make sure that you bake your pieces for the correct amount of time to maximum the clay’s strength and durability. Items can be re-baked without any harm being caused to the piece. Some pieces may need to be baked in stages if they are more complex. When baking your pieces, you can place them on an oven tray or in a roasting dish. You may also wish to suspend your beads on skewers whilst baking to avoid any flat/shiny spots – you can also bake your beads on a layer of polyester quilt batting to avoid this. If you are baking clay pieces in your home oven, it can be a good idea to make a ‘tent’ from aluminium foil to cover the tray/roasting dish to reduce the residue that can build up on the walls.
Finishing Your Work
Once your polymer clay pieces have been baked it is now up to you to decide how you will finish them off. Depending on the look you are trying to achieve will depend on what technique you will use.
Matte: If you want a matte look, leave your work as it is – straight out of the oven or you can just give it a quick polish on a rough cloth.
Subtle Polish: For a subtle polished look, you can buff your piece with ‘Armorall’ or a ‘Renaissance Wax’ and a soft cloth.
Varnish: There are a number of varnishes on the market that are made specifically for polymer clays, providing either a gloss or satin finish. Experiment until you find one you like. You may also like to give your work a quick sand before applying varnish to make it nice and smooth.
Sanding & Buffing: These two techniques have an amazing effect on PC when done correctly. Sanding and polishing PC produces a smooth, glass-like shine. Sanding by hand will always produce the best results but if desired you can use a rotary tumbler for some pieces. It is best to wet-sand PC as this prevents the sandpaper becoming clogged with dust and also prevents you breathing in the clay dust. I use 3M brand wet/dry sandpaper which I find works perfectly. Start at 400 grit and move through to 600, 800 and finally 1200 grit sandpaper. You can re-use your sandpaper a few times – just wash it and allow it to dry.
PC can be buffed to a high natural gloss after sanding. The faster the buffing material is used, the higher the shine will be on the clay. You can use an old towel or a piece of old denim and rub the clay back and forth to achieve a nice shine but using a rotary tool, such as a dremel with a felt/denim rotary wheel will bring the sanded clay to a high gloss. However, if you want a shiny finish but you do not own a dremel you can sand your beads additional grits (1500 & 2000) before buffing on an old towel or piece of denim. You will not get the same look that you would with the dremel but the finish will certainly be shinier/glassier.
Tip: Keep in mind that the smoother your piece is when it goes into the oven for baking the easier if will be to sand and buff. It is worth taking the extra time to smooth your piece before it is baked.
Remember, the possibilities when working with clay are endless and you are only limited by your imagination. The information you have just read is really only just the very basic you need to get started. The more you ‘play’ with your clay the more you will learn.
© The Whimsical Bead 2009 This tutorial is intended for personal use by the reader only. No part may be reproduced, distributed or re-sold without written permission from the author.

(Source: http://www.thewhimsicalbead.com.au/blog/?category_name=tutorials)

07-08-2012, 02:23 PM

Sculpey III Polymer Clay Really Makes Me Mad

My Little Guy Broken Hearted From His Broken Sculpey Miniature Project:
I love polymer clay! In fact I even love Premo! polymer clay made by Sculpey. But what the heck was Sculpey thinking when they made Sculpey III!?
I’ve made a decent cane or two out of the stuff. And I have Sculpey 3 beads that I really love a lot. So why am I so mad? Because Sculpey iii projects almost always break!!!! Even when I’ve tried to firm up this clay by taking out the plasticisers before molding and baking it.
Both my kids and my cousin’s kids have cried because of Sculpey III! After working hard on little miniature sculptures and beads that baked up beautifully, the kids play with them… Duh!! Then they break. Then they cry!!!
Cheap, soft and in more colors than any other polymer clay, Sculpey III is marketed to kids and to beginners. These two groups in my opinion, are the last ones that should be using it.
Polyform which makes the Sculpey brand has a variety of polymer clay products, some of which are excellent. My favorite one is Premo! It’s strong and durable yet soft enough to work with out of the package.
So why the heck does Polyform bother to make a crappy product (IMO) like Sculpey III? And then market it to kids and beginners who will ultimately quit working with it out of disappointment when their stuff breaks?
I would suggest that Sculpey only offer their super great products that’ll hook customers into their brand for life.
My son is crazy about polymer clay. When he makes something out of Premo it lasts. And then he makes more stuff. He gets better at it and I buy him more clay.
Wake up Polyform! You may think that more Sculpey iii is getting sold because beginners and kids want one of every color. But trust me, they won’t buy more if it makes them cry.
I know you have just brought out the new Studio by Sculpey line that I haven’t even tried yet. Maybe that’s a good one for beginners… we’ll see.
I also know there are other polymer clay artists who are having great success with Sculpey III. But my guess is they’re not following the directions on the package and have their own way to make it more durable.
My suggestion to Polyform is to make more colors and sparkly stuff in the Premo! line for the kids and beginners. And then get rid of Sculpey III altogether so that no one has to cry anymore. Polymer clay should be a happy experience for everyone.

07-08-2012, 02:27 PM
Obaa đang tìm loại đất sét nung làm gốm mà không biết tìm ở đâu, đi khắp sài gòn chợ lớn mấy ngày trời vẫn không tìm ra được hu hu. Có ai biết chỉ giùm nhé.
Có bạn chỉ trong Văn Thánh hoặc Sở thú có chỗ cho tập làm đồ gốm, để CN này tìm đến thử.

07-08-2012, 02:49 PM
Đất sét nung làm gốm, cái này Bình Dương chắc có, chị ghé thử Minh Long xem. Hơi xa tí :)

08-08-2012, 01:46 PM
đất sét nung làm gốm (trên 1000 độ) ở Overland Club 70k/kg . Vẫn chưa đúng loại mình cần tìm, oven bake clay (nung ở t 200 độ thôi)


Moment Me
09-12-2013, 03:31 PM
Có phải bạn đang tìm loại này không???



10-12-2013, 08:43 AM
Wow, thật tuyệt, đúng loại Obaa tìm. Cảm ơn bạn.