Sep 30, 2010

Broken Polymer Clay Extruder Solution

I have two Makin's extruders for my polymer clay. I find Premo polymer clay the easiest to use with it because it tends to be much softer and less stressful on the extruder than some of the other brands. Makin's used to make the aluminum barrel one with an aluminum plunger and these broke very easily, so Makin's now makes them with a brass plunger that has an o-ring washer around it.
Here you can see the newer plunger above and the broken one.

Photo 1
The aluminum disc, where the plunger screw rod broke off, is still inside the barrel...and there was no way I was going to risk trying to get it out as the barrel / tube edges are very sharp.
Photo 2

The kits now also contain an extra washer that some are using for an unusual technique which is again putting unusual stresses on the Makin's and one would be better off using the stainless steel extruder for that. Also it could make your warranty void by using in a way than otherwise intended. But I digress. This topic is on fixing or making your broken extruder usable. While I do have a new extruder I had orginally kept the broken one just in case I needed the barrel, or whatever other part. I now use my broken extruder for dark clays and the newer on for lighter colours.
So how does one use a broken extruder? Remove the threaded end from the end where the broken disc is closest to the edge, like in Photo 2.
Next attach the wider screw cap over the threaded bolt unless it's already on there (photo 3). Insert threaded bolt onto broken aluminum disc.
Photo 3
Photo 4
Wind the thick screw cap down and fasten to the barrel.
Photo 5
Photo 6
Fill the other end with clay and attach extruder disc and narrow screw barrel end.
Photo 7
Extrude your clay!
Photo 8
Photo 9
When completely extruded your threaded bolt will be like above photo. Unscrew barrel ends and repeat process from photo 3 thru 9.
You could also use your broken extruder for unusual techniques instead of risking your good one...
Happy extruding!

Sep 24, 2010

Polymer Clay Tutorial - Imitative Aged Bone Carvings by Tina Holden

I finally published the Imitative Aged Bone Carvings Tutorial for Polymer Clay enthusiasts.
This lesson is broken down into 6 parts. Learn by detailed step by step to make molds from objects and then create cabochons or pendants simulating antique ivory/bone carvings with realistic cracks and a worn appearance.

Some very basic materials and tools are required, i.e. no hard to obtain materials.
Even though the detailed photographic instructions should make this even accessable to a beginning clayer, I do recommend some knowledge in how to condition clay. If you need help with this, check my tutorials in the above tab.
Steps are broken down into these parts:

~Choosing an object and making a mold
~Creating a mold
~Mixing the ivory or bone clay color
~Making a copy from your mold
~Antiquing and cracks
~Worn and aged look

Tutorial is very detailed with 48 photos, 42 steps and 16 pages. Get it on my ArtFire or Etsy.

Sep 23, 2010

Polymer Clay and repurposing for some old items

 Fall is here I have some Polymer Clay earrings to divide up to various shops and here is one pair. At first I wasn't too keen on the colours, but they kind of grew on me. I wish I had pierced ears. Can you imagine an earring lover not having pierced ears?

I still don't fancy clip ons as they hurt. And why don't I find the reassurance of others that piercing is painless. Does anyone remember when they had their ears pierced? I had mine done at age 2 when I didn't have a say and perhaps this caused my sensitivity to even 10 karat Gold. My right earlobe closed up as if it refused to have anything stuck through it. My left likes coated copper, but unless it becomes fashionable to wear one earring again.... I have a simple Hack coming up to solve this dilemma.

Hack seems to be a new word for the dictionary these days. The word usually conjures up having something wicked, having to do with the nasty reconfiguration of a computer program, but in this case as per Urban dictionary:
"a clever solution to a tricky problem or to hack is to mod or change something in an extraordinary way." Simply
What did I hack... my jacket! Sounds strange, doesn't it.
It started when I looked at laptop sleeves on the net, most averaging at least $30. The one I fancied was $45 for my 15 inch Acer, never mind the shipping cost, another $10 bucks. It had a nice handle, but I wanted a clip on strap. Frugal as I am this had me thinking. Hindsight is, I should have taken photos of the process.
So, the original purpose was a jacket I had bought for $3, but it ended up sitting in my closet for more than a year...unused and now it's a jacket for my laptop which gets used all the time. The jacket was always a bit stiff and not as comfortable as it looked. Plus I didn't like the cuffs. The outer fleece is bonded to another layer of fleece, essentially reversible. Red on the outside, navy on the inside. I took one of the jacket pockets, angled it to be horizontal and stitched it on the outside. I can fit my USB stick in it, my ear buds, a CD and my battery charger/adapter. The flap is soft and tucks neatly inside the case. The strap is from another item I wear on my belt. I can detach it and slip the laptop into my backpack. I'm quite happy with my hack.

Sep 16, 2010

More Sunkissed Polymer Clay Designs

I'm thinking about the sun or lack thereof. My Polymer Clay Sunkissed Series requires UV and the two little lamps I have just don't cut it, but put the items out in the sun or as soon as you're ready to, the sun goes into hiding behind a temporary cloud. When using UV resin, even a 3 to 4 minute delay behind a cloud can make your resin stay sticky beyond repair depending on whether you can apply another layer. Anyway, I'm trying to do some resin batches every chance I get and keep watching the weather report. Wondering if I should take a whole bag full of ready pendants to Hawaii, lol.

Anyway, I heard that to prevent blog theft that I experienced for myself recently (a few posts back), I'm supposed to announce that I'm Tina and this is my blog, Polymer Clay Bytes! aka Beadcomber. Well, my followers know who I am, but a thief doesn't care and will just duplicate that post and put it elsewhere.
Anyway, about jewelry and polymer clay. I am enjoying making the Honeycomb Sunkissed pendants with Channels and cut outs...the channels are inspired by something Julie Picarello does with her famous mokume gane work. This is putting my own spin on things. If you want to learn my Honeycomb technique, go to my ArtFire's done in purple in the tutorial, but you can choose other colours. The Jupiter Pendants in the second photo are a spin ('xcuse the pun) on the spinning beads within pendants that I created around 2002 or 3...don't remember right now and would have to dig around in my other computer for the file. For the last photo, the earrings, I'm finally using some beautiful Turkish Turquoise chips that I purchased while in Germany in 1989 when my flirtation with Fimo began. 21 years time flies.

Sep 7, 2010

Polymer clay in Imitative Ivory

Ancient carved tiles and cabochons anyone? Well, I made these from Polymer clay in an Imitative Ivory technique. I'm currently making molds for these as well as have put up a few of them on my Etsy shop.
Oh and am working on a couple of tutorials for something like this. Am hoping to get a free video up too and don't know when or how soon as my larygytis goes's been a long lasting bugger.

Sep 2, 2010

Sunsets and Polymer Clay Parody

It's still Thursday and am having a good ol' time trying to think up names for my newest polymer clay creations.

I haven't been too successful, either the names sound fruity or nutty. Mango and Grapes for Oranges and Purples...there is the fruit again. How about "Out of my mind", since I designed those things,  but in the end everything seems to sound like a book title to me. Have to have some fun, right? lol
My husband says "So what! why does everything have to have a name?! Can't you just sell it?" I suppose he's right, but if someone asked me..."Remember that orangey bracelet with those tiles and the swirl on top? or the purple shiney tile bracelet with those gold veins and tigereye imbedded?" Long names, yikes. I need reminders. I suppose I could assign them numbers! That's all one does for consignment sales. So how about 2025...sounds like a vintage year for a wine, lol. That's the Parody for today. So here is what I've been up to.

Saffron Sunset Pendants, some with true American Turquoise

Cherokee Purple Bracelet with Tigereye
and maybe this one...Golden Veridian (Green Blue) with Turquoise
Well, it's not the name that counts, only what it looks like, right? I'm pretty happy the way these turned out...All that is left to do is figure out how to string the pendants and earrings.
In other news, surprise surprise, I'm working on another tutorial...or two...but in the meantime I've also been creating some more molds which I'll be listing in ArtFire. I've also created faux ivory tiles/pendants that I've begun to list in my Etsy shop...Have a look on the right side are a few that will be going up...

Thursday already? and September? Need a Body break...

I can't believe how time flies! I guess it's been a busy summer. 
Here is what I sometimes wake up to...I shot this about a week ago...a full moon at dawn.

If you're an Artist and spend a lot of time in the chair, I should make you aware that desk work can be hazardous to your health. I've paid too much attention to my art and work and not enough to my body. I know all too well since 3 bone spurs in my neck have let themselves be made felt. Numbness, pain and tingling, ear ringing, headaches, dizzyness and even hoarseness. Bone spurs...only prevention will keep those away. Once you have them, they can greatly interfere with your daily life. Stretch every 20 minutes if you are spending a lot of time stooped over your fascinating pieces or over the keyboard of your computer.

I've just purchased a couple of yoga dvd's...the better one is called "yoga for inflexible people", lol. Yep, that's me, inflexible. Well, my fingers are very flexible. After all they've been getting the most exercise. Conditioning clay, rolling clay, pinching clay...well, you get the point. After 20 + years of claying, I'm still using my arm to crank that pasta machine and the physiotherapist says I have shoulders built like an elephant! Gee, thanks!! lol. But my shoulder joint is feeling it. I'm thinking that if I get a motor, I'll be even lazier when it comes to exercise, but alas, the rest of the body needs it too and overworking the joints is totally possible with cranking the hard clay through those tight rollers. Relaxation is a must, not just stretching...
Here is one relaxing pose...
 I have this DVD plugged in my laptop. I can carry it out to the porch where my mat is set up...I just need to find another blanket...

Take care,

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