Friday, April 11, 2014

Polymer Clay Free Tutorial: Making a mold using Weeds, Flowers, & Pods

  

                                               How to Make a Polymer Clay Mold

Spring has sprung here on the sunny West-Coast of Florida. Flowers are blooming, trees are lush and green, and the weeds are abundant!  It inspired me to go for a walk in the woods, and as polymer clay is always on my mind, I decided to search for something new to use in my mold-making. I found so many interesting shapes and textures that I thought would lend themselves perfectly to polymer clay. A few of the plant specimens are shown below. I found it best to use them right away, as they seem to dry out quickly, and become brittle.


Use a conditioned piece of Premo clay that has been rolled out on the #1 setting of the pasta machine. Cut 2 small squares and lay them one on top of the other, so you have a double thickness of clay. Place the clay block on a baking tile. Dust the top of the clay with some cornstarch to act as a release. Trim the plant specimen and arrange it in a pleasing pattern on the clay block. 

Next, cover your work with a piece of parchment paper. Using an acrylic square, press down to embed plants and stems.


Grasp the stems by the ends, and carefully pull them out, so as not to distort the raw clay mold. For the stubborn ones left behind, use a beading pin to gently pry up the pieces. If you are going to use the mold to make earrings you can stop at this step.




I like to add a raised frame around the edge when I make a mold for a pendant, it really sets off the design. If you decide to put resin on your pendant, the frame has the added advantage of holding the resin on top of your pendant.


Now, place the mold in your clay oven, and bake for approximately 30 minutes at 275 degrees. 
I hope you enjoy this tutorial, Happy crafting!
Tip:  When using your new mold to make a pendant, dust it thoroughly with cornstarch, so the clay doesn't stick to the mold.
Pendant made using the mold with the raised edge frame
*Note how nicely the thin edge holds the resin

Please stop by and visit my Etsy Shop for Polymer Clay Jewelry, and Tutorials: Beadazzle Me

10 comments:

  1. thank you very much for posting this! I've been trying to figure out a way to use polymer clay to mimic electroforming / electroplating and have been stumped as to how to do it.

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  2. Love your tutorial! Thank You for sharing !! Love your blog too!

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    1. Glad you like the tute! Thanks for following!

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  3. Lovely idea - I do texture from small pieces of driftwood. I'm curious about your last picture. It shows your imprinted clay with a rectangle shaped marking from a cutter. You call this a "raised frame", however there doesn't appear to be anything "raised". Could you please elaborate? Thanks :)

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  4. Hi Elsie! Maybe I should rephrase that, it will become a raised frame after you use the mold to create a pendant. I am posting a pendant that has the raised-edge frame on it. Also, the photo at the top right, of the lavender silver edged pendant, that one has a raised edge. It is just difficult to see it in that photo:) Hope that makes sense, please let me know.

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  5. Do you press the polymer into the mold with nothing between? I tried but it sticks to it...
    Help!

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  6. Hi, I added a tip above to explain that for you:)

    Tip: When using your new mold to make a pendant, dust it thoroughly with cornstarch, so the clay doesn't stick to the mold. You may also spray the mold with water to act as a release agent, but I prefer cornstarch:)

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  7. Where did you get that cutter to make the raised edge? You press that down and then remove the cut away clay and it sort of domes it? If you use a piece of plastic and cover it and then just use a shape cutter, will it achieve the same effect? Thanks.

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  8. These are the plastic cutters that I use: http://www.joann.com/beveled-clay-cutters-tool/8203911.html#q=clay+cutters&start=10 They can be found at Joann's craft Store.

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  9. Love the look of the seeds and stems. Thanks for sharing.

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