November 12, 2013

The basics about polymer clay

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This article here is based on my own experience, hope you find it helpful! If you have questions, feel free to contact me.
Happy reading ;) 
 
Basic considerations
**Before you start working with clay, wash your hands and after drying them put a bit of hand cream or grab a cleansing wipe so as to avoid cotton fibers to be transferred to the clay. **


**Keep your working area clean, same as above: avoiding dust or other small things mixed with the clay.**

The tools

This list here is what I use to make my clay miniature work; it works for me but you may find out your own tools the more you practice. As long as you achieve the result you’re looking for, then that’s a good tool.


      1 or 2 needles or pins (a small one and a bigger one, big in small terms that is ;))
Razor blade
Spatula (if you work with oil painting you may have one in your stash you can use here. Spatulas are great when your clay creation gets stuck on your working surface)
Cornstarch/baby powder/chalk: any of these works the same way (I prefer the 1st and 3rd)
Old tweezers
RULER!! (you’re going to use this one all the time, and after a while you’re going to train your eye so as to measure everything when you go to the supermarket ;))
Soft pastels: you don’t need a big box, at the beginning you’re going to need just these tones:
Old brushes: to apply the soft pastels
Aluminium paper, the one you use to cook. I put all the clay creations on it to separate it from the surface of the baking sheet.
Pasta machine/plastic rolling pin or whatever you can use for the same purpose.

What you need for texturing:

Sandpaper
A ball of old aluminium paper
Old or new toothbrush/oil painting brush but a small one
Pieces of cork, rocks etc; whatever

What you need for making molds:

Epoxy putty/ silicon mold (of 2 parts)
Plastic caps, shapes of all kinds, beads … anything can be useful here
A “master” miniature piece; when you need to make a series of a certain piece what you do is; make 1 with all the possible detail and later the mold. All the copies will be exactly as your master. It saves time too.

Others:

Resin/scenic water: this is to make transparent effects like water, drinks, sauces, etc.
Plastic containers, stirring spoons or pine string leftovers, plastic spoons, anything that can be used to stir resin.

What you need for coloring:

Just a few soft pastels is what you need to give the right look to your miniature food;  and these are:




As you can see all of these are shades of brown, the 3 lighter shades are used to give the feel of “baked”, golden brown and the darker ones for those spots here and there were the dough got a bit burned.
You can buy a small box where some of this colors come, and later as you become more exquisite (‘cause it happens!) you can buy loose colors to complete your palette.

Acrylic colors can be useful too, just a touch of paint in certain areas. But we’re going to see more in detail where and when according to the project we’re into. I believe it’s going to be easier than writing about it.


The polymer clay palette

Only a few colors you’re going to need when making miniature food:
Shades of yellow
White
LOTS of translucent (and see that LOTS is in capital letters!)

Why am I insisting so much about translucent? Food doesn’t have heavy dark colors, a cake is not deep yellow, if you make a cake you’re going to use butter which when baked gives that moist soft shade. If you go for plain yellow, the result is a heavy cake and it’s not realistic.

**Images, recipe books, all of these are great sources for inspiration! Always keep a pic of what’d like to reproduce in smaller scale in front of you, look at it for a while and picture the colors and how to obtain them, take your time to think about it. **


Now let’s get ready for some projects!

Angelina

Don't copy this tutorial to other sites or link it! 

Reccomendations are welcome :)

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