Not-So-Transparent

Feb 5, 2012

One of the fun things about working on Jewelry Stringing is seeing the variety of materials jewelry designers are using these days. Inspired to create a polymer-clay piece for our mixed-media themed summer issue, I decided to try out Ranger Ink's crackle paint. I've seen this used before and thought it sounded simple, and like a fun alternative to my usual diluted acrylic-paint finishes!

I typically like to use a slightly off-white color of polymer clay in my jewelry, relying more on my finishing technique to give it some color. At the store, I spotted Premo's "translucent" color of clay, which quite honestly looked just like all of the other off-white varieties on the shelf.

 I spent the afternoon happily stamping, embossing, cookie-cutting, and slicing my new "translucent" clay. Into the oven it went. A short time later, I was surprised to see what came out! The clay had turned much more translucent than I had expected, given the fact that I did not roll out my clay to be very thin at all. And upon closer inspection, I discovered that some of the details in my designs had disappeared--almost like they had "melted."

I decided to make a second batch using regular off-white clay. After baking, I compared the two batches side by side and discovered what I had suspected--the transparent clay did not hold the details of the stamping and embossing as well as the regular clay did!

 

Next I decided to experiment with Ranger's Crackle Paint on one of my finished pieces. I had read that a heat gun (used for scrapbooking) can be used to speed up the "crackling" process. The clay started turning soft and even bubbled in spots. It seems the heat-gun method is best saved for the scrapbookers!   

On a separate piece, I let the crackle paint dry on its own, but once dry, it just flaked off! My next approach was to apply a layer of acrylic paint, let dry, and then apply the crackle paint. Success! Once the crackle layer dried, I went back in and rubbed on a bit of diluted paint to bring out the cracks. 

Overall, I'm happy with how my experiments turned out! Next, I'd like to try my hand at some truly "translucent" pieces, inspired by the new book, Enlightened Polymer Clay, by Rie Nagumo. This stunning necklace of hers is made using Premo Translucent polymer clay, ultimately rolled through the thinnest setting on the pasta machine. Look closely and notice how you can actually see through some of the leaves! All of the pieces in her book are inspired by nature, and this piece exactly replicates the lunaria plant, or what we used to call a "money plant" as kids.

Have you ever created with translucent polymer clay? Or used crackle paint on anything jewelry-related? If so, I'd love to hear your tips and techniques!

Creatively yours,

 


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Comments

alicia.m wrote
on Feb 10, 2012 2:26 PM

I used translucent polymer clay - but usually in combination with other colours - and then for applying on glass (like decorating my glass bowls). It keeps the original colour as bright as you need it, but it gives it a translucent patina and is perfect for applications on votive glass (the light from the candle will come through in a magical way). Never used paint on polymer clay... yet :)

I saw the translucent choker somewhere before - and I love it! I should get the book to figure out how to make it :)

on Jun 12, 2012 12:10 PM

When designing a necklace around a particular focal bead or pendant, how do you decide what color of

on Jun 12, 2012 12:12 PM

A part of my job that I really love is that I get to be creative almost every day. I am lucky enough