I have supplies stashed around my house for projects I really want to try. Someday. That darned loom is taunting me from the corner of the closet and the torch fired enamel supplies have clearly demonstrated their superiority over me. The kumihimo disk, on the other hand, is just hanging out waiting patiently. I like that in a craft supply - patience.
At one point I decided I'd have to give polymer clay a whirl. I mean, some of those talented folks make it look so darned easy, surely even I could make something passable. Right? So I rushed out and bought some clay paraphernalia (okay, mostly I rushed to my laptop and ordered it, but I will admit to taking some liberties in the name of good storytelling). While searching for all the things I had to have, I came across epoxy clay and thought I had to have some of that, too.
Months passed and more months and more months and.. well, you get the picture. I actually did get a package of polymer clay out at Christmas time intending to make an ornament to preserve my grandson's adorable little hand print for posterity, only to discover that it was hard. Well, I guess it took the pressure off me to use it, huh?
Anyway, I got a wild hair the other day and decided to mess with the epoxy clay. Apparently since it's packaged in two parts that have to be combined before it will harden and set properly, it has a longer shelf life than polymer? I don't know that for a fact, but my epoxy stuff was fine. I worked the two parts together, then rolled little pea-sized balls and pressed it into bezels. To get a smoother surface and get rid of any fingerprints, I dipped my finger in a little water and rubbed it over the surface of the clay. It seemed to work pretty well.
You might have noticed the rather impressive array of mineral powders in that first photo at the top of this post? That was another little collection/obsession of mine - mineral makeup. I don't know why I thought I needed to have every color under the sun, nor why I hung onto it for all these years. Apparently it was just for this project. I smeared it on the surface of the clay and did some rather impressive blending, too.
I used some stamps I had laying around here to stamp a design into each of the little charms. I didn't have too much trouble with the stamps sticking in the clay, and that might have been because of the mineral powder. I even dug out my letter stamping set and stamped words into the clay on some of the pieces.
I really like the sheen and the subtle colors, but I was hell-bent on experimenting and using more of my craft supplies, so I busted out the Vintaj patinas.
These I have used before. I even used them to paint lucite flowers and wrote a little step by step you can find here. I don't profess to be any kind of artist when it comes to painting, so I didn't attempt anything too complicated. Mostly I just covered the charms in patina then wiped it off. After that I hit the high points with a little sanding to reveal some of the clay color underneath. I did get some nice results with that.
All in all, I think the experimentation was pretty successful. I probably should have taken pictures of some of the not-so-successful pieces, but hey, it's my blog.