Clay

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Fimo: Micro-waving Fimo? It is strongly recommended that this is not done. Fimo is essentially a moldable plastic that, when heated, forms bonds and becomes a solid. Microwaves do not heat in the same way as a conventional oven, and the clay simply won't cure in the microwave. Add to that that microwaves are notorious for hot spots, and the clay (actually plastic) may lead to a melt-down disaster (fumes are highly toxic!). An oven will serve you better in the long run. Many people invest in 'fimo-only' toaster oven that they can set up on a porch somewhere, so there is lots of ventilation.

Kim


Once I saw a picture of a lady in a magazine, who was making a mini vase out of clay. She had a large bump of clay on the rotation wheel and on top of it she had this little vase 'growing'. Couldn't you do something just like that: take a large bump of fimo and let your little doll grow out of it? It's worth a try, I think.

Marjon de Haas


I took a workshop in sculpting a fimo doll with Cat Wingler. The most important thing she emphasized was that the oven fire clays would get too soft to sculpt the face. The way we got around this was to pre-fire some of the head. First you buy or make the eyeballs and bake them. Next you roll an egg shape to the proper size for the head and halfway down the egg push the eyeballs in until they are buried halfway. Then you bake it. Now you can add more clay for the forehead, cheeks, chin, neck etc. and sculpt the features on the hard base.

HRKorff


Cutting out Sculpey with Kemper: I always make sure my cookie dough is really stuck to the surface. That way when you press the cutter (not the plunger) the cookies stay where they belong - on your tile. The plunger is good for getting the clay out if it gets stuck but as a cookie cutter I like to use the metal part (like making real cookies)and make it do the work. Then lift the scraps with a razor blade and you are left with perfect cookies. problem 2 of canes becoming oval when you cut it. Bake them first for a few minutes. If they don't cut evenly pop them back in the oven to warm up and continue cutting.

Gail


Cutting out Sculpey with Kemper: If you dip the cutter in a little talcum powder before a cut, it should allow the shape to pop out with a shake. Another way to do it is to just cut out the shapes without hitting the plunger, and pull up the excess clay around them (a little trickier).

Kim from Canada


Sculpy doll push mold: Rather than baking with the pipe cleaner already inserted, you can make holes through the limbs and insert pipe cleaners or wire after they are baked. Then your limbs are moveable.

Kim


Sculpy doll push mold: The push moulds are very easy to use. My husband gave me the full set for Christmas last year. I recommend a light dusting of talcum powder on the mould first to stop the clay from sticking .Then take a ball of clay the size of the head you want to form & take a third away from this .Using this third flatten it out but leave a small cone in the center to push into the nose. Push this all into the form then carefully ease it out. this can then be smoothed back onto the two thirds of clay remaining. Any joins need to be smoothed out ,I use a moistened cotton bud for this .Remember to make a hole in the neck to take a pipe cleaner. Then just bake. The faces can be sculpted & changed slightly i.e. cut the mouth open to change the lips or show teeth. If you use the moulds with a full amount of clay you may find them a little out of scale

Liz Taylor


Push molds: Just an idea: I think it would be easier to partially bake the first half (front half) of the face first so it won't get smashed. Then add the back of the head. Here's what I think would work: before removing the head from the mold, push short pieces of toothpick into the clay, allowing the toothpick pieces to protrude about 1/4" or so. Then remove and partially bake it (just enough to somewhat firm it). Then add clay for the back of the head (the protruding toothpick bits will help to hold the two clay pieces together while you form the back of the head. Then smooth out the clay (back of head). Remember that the wigging will cover the area where front and back head meet if you feel the joint isn't smooth. Then bake them both together until &;cured;. I have found that rubbing a SMALL amount of vegetable oil on my finders before smoothing out the clay makes that job a bit easier.

viola


Push molds: I used the push mold of the legs with feet to make,footstools,and tables. Just add pant legs or skirt him and attach table top. Of course you want to paint the toenails of the "her";.

Fannye in TX


Food Site: My miniature club has how to make some great foods under workshops: http://post.queensu.ca/~readel/MEKA/MEKABase.html

Marlene Chapman-Ontario


Cheeses: Gouda: cover round of yellow Fimo with flattened wrap of red and form into cheese shape - when cut in wedges -looks like wax over the cheese. The same thing can be done with wax colored with melted crayons. Melt yellow wax and let cool a little- when cool enough to work make the cheese round. melt red wax and keep dipping your yellow round into red till a solid edge is formed (let the yellow really cool) (Put your yellow cheese on a long needle when dipping.) Slice that while warm and you have plenty of gouda. Re-dipping will make the center yellow soft enough to cut with a razor. Cheddar: Try orange dipped in black (or wrapped with Fimo) for cheddar. Brie: a pale colored yellow/cream Fimo can be dusted with corn starch or baby powder for Brie. Hanging cheese: A log of uncolored Sculpey that has been baked with a loop of thread through the top can be a hanging cheese for a shop and tied with beige thread like provolone- dipping that in cream colored wax can make it look very real ,the warm wax will make the cheese look real when tied up.

Now you're on a roll make the same log in Salami colored Fimo with the loop tied at the top before baking. Use the spatter paint technique (with a toothbrush) for adding 'fat'to the salami. Make sausages on a string the same way. And you've got your Swiss so you are all set.

Gail


1/4 doll sculpting: I took a workshop in sculpting a fimo doll with Cat Wingler. The most important thing she emphasized was that the oven fire clays would get too soft to sculpt the face. The way we got around this was to pre-fire some of the head.

First you buy or make the eyeballs and bake them. Next you roll an egg shape to the proper size for the head and halfway down the egg push the eyeballs in until they are buried halfway. Then you bake it. Now you can add more clay for the forehead, cheeks, chin, neck etc. and sculpt the features on the hard base.

HRKorff


Polymer clay: You might want to cook your clay a little bit longer so the plasticizers get time to react with each other and this will make the clay stronger. Unless you need to cut something you didn't do before let every thing cool and it will be fully hard. Some people like to cut their clay pieces when warm from the oven and still pliable but I do my cutting before hand. Good luck and I hope this helps a bit.

Kathy Huffman


Hard Fimo - I haven't tried this myself but did watch a friend do it. She broke the hard Fimo into pieces as small as she could with just her hands and put it into an electric coffee bean grinder. Then added -just a drop at a time - mineral oil and turned on the grinder. After just a few minutes of this the Fimo was soft enough to use. As I said, I haven't tried this and have no idea if the mineral oil would damage the clay in any way, but it sure did work for my friend's project.

Ronni


Crumbling clay: [after baking at 275 for 15 minutes, the pieces were stillsoft. Those tiny fudge squares crumbled when I squeezed one with my tweezers]

Yes, they'll still be somewhat soft and quite flexible when they're hot from the oven. Sculpey III will crumble if it's hot and is fairly brittle even after it's cooled. The weak end-product isn't much of a bother with things that are this tiny and that won't be played with and subject to abuse by children. For particularly thin parts, it's best to use Premo, a much stronger clay that's also very flexible when it's cooled.

The other cause of brittleness or crumbling of cooked and cooled pieces is under baking, which you can get when you don't cook it long enough or at a high enough temperature. If your oven's thermostat is off, for instance, you could be cooking at only 250 and that's not hot enough to complete the fusing process between the molecules.

Elizabeth


Polymer clay: When you take your baked clay items out of the oven you might just panic and think they aren't cooked, yes they do harden as they cool and it is normal, don't worry. One way to help the process along is to plunge the baked clay into a bowl of cold water. This speeds up the cooling process and some polyclay artists believe it makes the clay stronger. Please remember that the clay is really hot when it first comes out of the oven (don't laugh, it happens) and it's very hard to work with singed fingertips.
P.S. The baking tray will be hot too.

Jacquie Hall


Liquid Sculpey: Liquid Sculpey has a number of uses. You can make flowers out of tissue paper and then give them a thin coating of Liquid Sculpey and bake at recommended temp and time. It can be tinted with artists oil paints and used to coat different things that can withstand the heat needed to cure the Sculpey. Use it to strengthen thin areas of sculpted polymer clay items, such as flowers. The Diluent is used to thin the liquid Sculpey, it is very thick. You can paint it on fabric to give a plastic look, like a raincoat. You can form items out of paper such as a trash can and paint it with Liquid Sculpey, after it is baked you can paint and decorate such items. Hope this gives you a few things to try. It's back to the studio for me, lots of dolls to make!

Ellen


liquid Sculpey and Diluent: Liquid Sculpey can be used for whatever you want to do with it! Let's say you have two pieces that are already baked, but you want them stuck together. You can use LS as an adhesive...it has to be baked like regular Sculpey though, so just put the two stuck together items back in the oven and re-bake.

Now here's the REALLY neat thing...it is also a transfer and color medium. Huh? You can paint it onto magazine pictures and b/w photocopies, bake the whole works, remove the paper image, and the image will have transferred to the Sculpey. I'm still getting to know the product...their site is http://www.sculpey.com

Diluent (yes, that's the correct spelling) can be used to soften dried out blocks of Sculpey, to condition new Sculpey quickly, or...??

Kathy in Wisconsin


Liquid Sculpey and diluent: Liquid sculpey is a clay in it's own right, it has many uses, one of the best is for 'stained glass' effects. It can be coloured with acrylic paints and glass paints, and is very useful for fried eggs! Visit http://www.sculpey.com to find out more. The diluent is an oil that is used to soften stiff or old clay, I find that it makes the clay too sticky for my liking but it's a useful product. Use the Dilutent sparingly, it doesn't need much to soften the clay.

Jacquie Hall


Liquid Sculpey: If you add eye shadow to the TLS (Translucent Liquid Sculpey) and mix well, it will tint it and you have lots of different colours. Just a couple of uses could be Icing on a cake, Chocolate Sauce for ice cream, drizzle for cinnamon buns, pie filling. It bakes hard but it gives a total different look to you project. There are other uses for it, but I just started using it for my foods .

Kathy Huffman


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