Faux Labradorite | Polymer Clay Tutorials Vol-057

Pt 1 Faux Labradorite - Polymer Clay Tutor6 Videos #338 to #343: So real looking, it may just even fool Mother Nature!

When Jocelyn C (a loyal member that has been around here forever) emailed me a picture of Labradorite stone, with only the word “Labradorite?” in the subject line, I pretty much dropped what I was doing and started working on the tutorial right away!

You see Jocelyn, as well as several others, have been sending me their tutorial requests for a long time. Some are things I’ve already been working on and others I haven’t yet tried. But every once in awhile a request comes in that gets the fire burning in my belly and pushes all the other ideas out of the way, for another day.

For those of you who have been around for some time, you may remember this happening when KaronKay Cowger, needed a Red Clover Flower for a special State themed bouquet she was working on. That flash of inspiration resulted in the Red Clover Flower Bead Tutorial.

Any who… back to the Labradorite. The picture she sent (which was from Google images so I don’t have permission to post it here), made my mind whirl until I figured out how to get that glowing layered look of the colored stone, with all its amazing striations that make it so unique.

Well I figured it out, and am happy to say it is ready for you guys to learn how to make too! Posted just below is a Sneak Peak and overview of this months Faux Labradorite Pendant Tutorial. The rest of this 6 part video series will be posted tomorrow (Friday, February 1, 2013) in the Vol-057 members only area at the Polymer Clay Tutor Library.

Oh btw, if this tutorial looks exciting to you, please do click that YouTube Like button. Many of you have been giving the Thumbs Up to the weekly YouTube videos, which is great… Thank You! However, these monthly tutorial intro clips need some Love as well. When they don’t get the Likes, it makes it look like they are not appreciated as much… which surely can’t be true with all the nice comments you all leave :)

Vol-057-1: Video #338: Introduction: In this 6 part video tutorial series, you will learn how to master my original Faux Labradorite Technique to make a stunning one of a kind pendant and several other projects using the faux stone slab you create. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much you will learn in this Faux Labradorite Pendant project series.

Pt 2 Faux Labradorite Pendent Project - Polymer Clay TutorVol-057-2: Video #339:
Building Faux Labradorite Slab:

In this video you will learn how to make your own custom translucent color blend, as well as begin to create the Faux Labradorite slab using Lisa Pavelka Crafting Foils or some other unique options that I also show. The special layering in this step is what will make your faux labradorite stones look like the real thing.

Pt 3 Faux Labradorite Pendent Project - Polymer Clay TutorVol-057-3: Video #340:
Inking and Layering:

This video teaches you how to get the perfect color base for your Faux Labradorite and to seal in that beauty with a protective layer. There are many color options for Labradorite so you can customize your stones in your favorite color way. Do a search for ‘Labradorite’ in Google Images for a wonderful selection of inspirational photos.

Pt 4 Faux Labradorite Pendent Project - Polymer Clay TutorVol-057-4: Video #341:
Creating The Striations:

In this video you will learn my secrets for getting the distinct lines and markings into your Faux Labradorite Slab. It is my own special technique that will have you recreating these striations that you won’t see in any other Polymer Clay Faux Labradorite Tutorial out there. And you are going to be amazed how easy it is to do!

Pt 5 Faux Labradorite Pendent Project - Polymer Clay TutorVol-057-5: Video #342:
Making the Pendant:

Here’s where you finally get to start putting together your pendant. In this video I show you how to make a professional looking backing; my little trick for putting the hole in your bead/pendant; another trick for getting beautifully beveled edges on your piece; and several different options for getting the most out of your polymer clay Faux Labradorite Slab.

Pt 6 Faux Labradorite Pendent Project - Polymer Clay TutorVol-057-6: Video #343:
Baking, Sanding, Buffing, Waxing:

Finally I show you how to give your pendant a professional quality finish which includes the proper way to bake, sand, buff and polish your beads with an amazing high gloss finish. You’ll be right up there competing with Mother Nature with your gorgeous Faux Labradorite stones!

Other Supplies:

  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Paper Towel
  • Glad Cling Wrap
  • Ceramic Tile
  • Cardstock, File Folder or Sheet of Plain Paper
  • Shape Cutters
  • Piercing Wires
  • Polishing Papers in 400, 600, 1200, 4000, 6000, 8000 grits
    Or Wet/Dry Sandpaper in 320, 400, 600, 800, 1200, 2000 grit
    Or Micro-Mesh Pads

By the way, many of the “shopping” links I provide for the various tools and supplies used in my tutorials, are “affiliate” resources. That means companies like Amazon and the other suppliers I refer, pay me a small commission if you click on the links and end up making a purchase at their site. It’s not a lot, but every little bit helps in keeping the cost of my tutorials down. And, the prices for products that you may purchase through my links, are exactly the same as what you would normally pay, even if it is a “sale” price. So please feel free to click whenever you need to pick up a few things for your studio. Thanks so much for your support.

The full video series for the Faux Labradorite tutorial described above, is available in Vol-057 at the Polymer Clay Library.

If you would like to receive 3 free beginner videos right now, plus some free color recipes that get sent out each week in my Friday email newsletter, please click this link: Polymer Clay Tutorials

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Please Note: A general prerequisite for all of my monthly library tutorials is that you have a good understanding of the polymer clay basics, including: conditioning clay, using a pasta machine, clay blade and other simple tools, making Skinner Blends, baking clay, as well as sanding and finishing. If you need help in these areas, my Polymer Clay Beginners Course will get you up to speed quickly. There is also plenty of free information on this blog. Use the search box at the top of the page to find articles on specific topics.

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Customer Feedback About Membership Value:

Hi Cindy, I just purchased a subscription (yay!!) and I have been wanting to do that for awhile. I just finished watching your series of videos on making a faux jasper cabochon. Your videos are phenomenal! You explain things thoroughly and clearly, and you don’t miss or skip any steps. It is an absolute joy to sit and watch you go through the process – I feel like I just attended a class I should have paid $100 for. I am so excited to see what other videos come my way! Thank you for all the hard work you put into making these videos and coming up with color recipes. Your work is truly amazing. ~Karen-R

Cindy I like how you create quick simple processes. You are great a simplifying things. Thanks. ~Claycass

Hi, Cindy! If it were for me, I’d gladly watch videos about the faux semiprecious stones every Friday. I enjoyed all the “faux” videos I’ve seen here until now. Of course, the Faux Raku was just the icing on the cake. And I love all the innovations you come up with and that we can see nowhere else on the net. On the other hand, all the techniques you teach are so instructive, even if we tried them before. ~Squash

The full video series for the Faux Labradorite Pendant tutorial described above, is available in Vol-057 at the Polymer Clay Library.

If you would like to receive 3 free beginner videos right now, plus some free color recipes that get sent out each week in my Friday email newsletter, please click this link: Polymer Clay Tutorials

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor
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Comments

  1. I am so excited to watch this video and start making this gorgeous stone. After looking up images online for it and comparing it to
    yours Cindy, it is amazing how well you duplicated it with polymer clay. Thanks to Jocelyn for sending you that photo.

  2. What UV resin and light do you recommend? There is a Lisa Pavelka light and corresponding resin on Amazon. I have a gift card from Christmas, and I was thinking I would invest in these things. I noticed your post about getting a small fee back if we link through your site. Do you have a place with links for these or other products of this kind you might recommend?

    Thanks.

    Gina

    • Hi Gina, I usually recommend Ultradome resin. I think you have access to the Vol-024 UV Resin Tutorial where I demonstrate how to use this product. And there is also tons of info on the blog here, about the different resins and uv lamps available in the marketplace. It’s been a popular topic over the years. Just type ‘uv resin’ or ‘uv lamps’ into the search box at the top of the page and lots will come up about that.

      As far as wanting to use our Amazon links… thank you. That is sweet of you! Just click one of the Amazon links above in the widget box of suggested supplies and then navigate to the product(s) you are wanting to purchase. We should get credited that waay. Doug and I appreciate your support!

  3. I have a question which is sort of related to this project. I recently made some faux stopieces that involved essentially the same technique (layering the clay and then cutting out the shapes). I work and work until they look perfectly smooth, and then, after baking, the surface almost appears to have the faintest suggestion of—well, forgive me for the reference, but the surface almost looks like cellulite—like there are lumps and bumps below the top surface. Sometimes it is very subtle. Sometimes it is very pronounced. I assume this is trapped air that expands during baking. It drives me bananas because I will have a really nice looking piece that I feel is essentially ruined. Before I try this project, I would like to figure out what am I doing wrong?

    • Hi Gina!

      I can think of a couple different areas to look at when you solve that puzzle. If I hurry, and am not slow and precise while making a package, it seems like more bubbles show up.

      The first is the brand of clay….some translucent clays develop plaguing which show up like little moons in the top layer.

      The second is how you condition the clay, in that bubbles can be added and trapped which you have described perfectly as cellulite, lol!

      The third is if you have not waiting for the inks to dry. If you cover them wet, in the heat of the oven, that wet ink is going to cause bubbles.

      The fourth is how you bake the piece. If you are sure that you have pinpricked every pocket and smoothed it add a sheet of paper on top, then take a tile and place it smooth side down on the paper. It acts as a weight which will prevent a lots of bubbles while curing. For bigger works, like the pendents, even two tiles on top. Then tent it and bake.

      If you go up to the upper left search box, and place terms “plaquing,” “proper conditioning” and “trapped air” you get a whole list of blogs and tutes where Cindy addresses these issues. Once you access an item from search, I find that if I use control/find and add that key phrase, it will systematically take you to each point that is mentioned in the blogs and comments which helps me stay focused.

      Also, rewatch the video today and notice how she slowly and patiently stretches and drapes the translucent over the top. The stretching of the clay removes air bubbles, as does the way you lay it down on the surface.

      The last thing I think I am finding is that I get less bubbling when I use the bake with bicarb soda technique. I think the bicarb actually helps absorbing any air escaping quickly causing less surface bubbling and the double tiles on top keep that air out after it goes. “Baking with bicarb” search will give you those instructions.

      I am sure others here will know of even more tips and solutions, so come back and read the thread here in a day or so to pick up those comments.

      Hope this helps. All best!

      • I will try ALL these things. I have been working on some pieces that look like hammered copper and tourguoise that I hope to sell to a local gift shope. I want the quality to be as good as I can make it as I would love some repeat orders.

        It may sound silly, but I think I have another “solution” to add. After I posted this, I looked around my work area. I am a bit of a night owl and although I have fairly good lighting in here, I am thinking I need to purchase a better, desk lamp or light just for my work surface. The light I have in here is an overhead, fluorescent fixture that sits WAY above my work surface. I also think it produces shadows over the clay. I am 51 and have finally had to start wearing “reading glasses,” and I think I may buy a pair just slightly stronger than my perscription to wear while working. Eye doctor said it was fine as long as I did not wear them all the time.

        I work in here, and bake in the kitchen, so I may be seeing things there that I am missing here too.

        Thanks for all the suggestions. I adore working with this, and just recently made some really pretty ivy leaves with assorted green, Swarovski crystals. With the copper wire, I was able to make the curly-q vines and such and it looks so pretty. I don’t have the issues with these free form pieces…just my flat pendants and such, so I think you have hit the nail on the head here.

        • Just glad to be able to help. So excited to hear about your other work. Cindy has a Facebook Photo Gallery Site as an adjunct to this main site, established primarily for pics since it is hard to post pics in these threads.

          Her husband and partner here, Doug, is an outstanding video photographer, and you have to oogle his work there. Daughter Willow is coming up fast too, lots of her nature pics are being used to inspire the color palettes. We just love the the young bro Fisher, he cracks us up.

          We love pictures! Please put up a few pics of where you are going even if they are formulating. And also, check out Cindy’s Pinterest site for visual fun.

  4. Oh Cindy -these Labradorites are just beautiful !!!! So much time and effort goes into these tutorials. Thank You, thank you. Can’t wait to make a whole bunch. With the Pantone colors this year – they fit right in. How great is that?

  5. Hi all

    Wanted to pop in and say WOW
    Loved making this FUN faux labradorite !!
    ( it’s on the counter cooling off )
    Thank You Cindy for creating such a Wonderful tutorial
    AND Thank You Jocelyn for putting Cindy’s imagination on this path :D

    off to sand :)

  6. I have a convection oven. It is my understanding that a convection blows the heat around. Should I still tent the clay or will that defeat the purpose of the fan?

    • I don’t actually know Anna, that is a good question! Is the element exposed? If not, then you probably won’t need to tent your pieces. It would be a good thing to check though. Put a light piece of clay in there and crank up the heat higher than usual and see if there are any spots that are darker than others. DO come back and let us know. If my oven ever quits, I probably will get a convection oven myself and I know several others here have them, so it would be great info to have. Thanks! Hope you’re well!

      • Some thing are “bothered” by the fan blowing air around. Easy fix – just tent everything! LOL. It’s what I have done from square 1. Hope this helps.:}

  7. This is a really beautiful technique, Cindy, with lots of useful tricks that can be applied to other things. Your method for making the striations is particularly clever!

    I love faux stones and surface effects — in my mind this is closer to the latter due to the subtle/striking viewing angle thing that even large slabs of real labradorite have, but that’s me being a pedant ;) — and it’s a real treat to get two of “my” kinds of tutorials in a row. Many thanks! :D

    I can think of a whole bunch of different things to try based on this technique, and hope I can squeeze some time for claying into what will be a busy and probably sleep-free weekend. If not, I’ll definitely have to give it a go next week because I’m really itching to try it… I keep sneaking into the studio to start, but my conscience doesn’t let me stay there for more than a few minutes! LOL

  8. Just had to have a look at the real stone and before I knew it had bid on a large chunk and hey! I was the only one bidding, so got it for a song

    Loved the added bonus of hearing The Troggs (Thanks Jocelyn) brought back some great memories of wicked days and naughty nights!!
    Cannot play with clay for a few of weeks but that gives me time to order in new supplies

    I was amazed on reading the healing properties of Labradorite ( such a difficult stone to pronounce) and I giggled along with you Cindy, nearly as dificult to say as, Swarovski

    Did you know the Canadian Innuit legend? The Northern Lights once got trapped in the rocks along the coast of Labrador. With a mighty blow of his spear he freed most of them. However some of the Lights were still caught within the stone. You have certainly captured those northern lights Cindy with your clever technique, simply stunning…cheers xx…………………

  9. OK, so I couldn’t help myself and just had to try this out!

    I tried a few variations, from sticking closely to the instructions to, well, not. ;D

    This is my most successful version although it still needs a bit of refinement:
    Faux Labradorite

    Thanks for another awesome and inspiring tutorial, Cindy! Oodles of potential and tremendous fun! :)

    • Lordy, the “OHHHHHHH” just popped out of my mouth. Wow. Did you get a nice buff on those babies or what? Thanks for the share!

      • Thanks, Cindy! :)

        And you’re welcome to pin any of my pictures to your Pinterest board if you’d like to. Thank you for asking!

        I have a couple of jewellery pieces planned for this technique and I’ll post pictures when I’ve made them.

        I’ve also got a whole BUNCH of ideas triggered by different parts of the tutorial. Heaps of fun! :D

          • Sue F !!! Your take on the labradorite is just gorgeous? I’m a Beads & Beading tutorial member, but found your image on Pinterest! Did you use all the same steps just changing colors? I just love the earth tones! so warm! beautiful, beautiful! I am sure you’ve made Cindy proud!

          • Thanks Christine! :D

            No, some of the steps and some of the materials are quite different to the tutorial, although I got lovely results by following the tutorial too, and that’s definitely where the inspiration for my variation comes from. I just like to experiment, and I’m not terribly good at following instructions in the first place anyway, so I tried various things until the result approximated the mental picture I’d started out with.

            I’ve refined my variation a bit since then and would be happy to share the technique, but I’m not sure how best to do so without giving away the parts that are Cindy’s, like her wonderful method for producing the striations.

          • Sue, I have her tutorial, so maybe describe what you did differently…then I too can apply my own spin to that! 80) I’m trying to see if I can figure it out by looking closely at your work, but you did such a great job it’s hard to tell!

        • Hi Sue! I love your Labradorite pieces! I have bought Cindy’s tutorial but I would love to hear about your variations! I am unable to find the white translucent Premo right now as all the stores that carry it in my area are out! I saw that you offered your variations to Cindy and gave her permission to share with her tutorial customers but thought it might be easier to go directly through you to get this information. If you aren’t willing to do this I will reach out to Cindy per your offer. I just thought it might be more expedient to go through you rather than bother Cindy. Either way I appreciate your artistry and your willingness to share your techniques! Keep up the beautiful work and again thanks for sharing your beauties!!
          Lorri

          • Hi Lorri,

            Many thanks for your comments! :)

            While I’m happy to share details of what I do in my variation, I can’t do so *here* because this blog is public and can be read by anybody, not just people who’ve bought Cindy’s faux labradorite tutorial.

            Doug has started a discussion below about possible ways of safely sharing information that gets into the intricacies of paid content. Please let us know your thoughts on that.

            Sue

      • Just wanted to jump in and expand on what Sue-F mentioned aboveand below … about the challenge of discussing the paid tutorials in too much depth, at threads like this.

        For those who do not know, all of the conversations that happen here at the blog, are public. In other words, anyone and everyone can see them.

        So in order to keep the value of the paid tutorials exclusive to those who have in fact paid for them, some restraint must be exercised with shop-talk types of conversations.

        The solution to this problem would be to set up a special commenting section that is only available to owners of the specific paid tutorial being discussed.

        I’ve proposed this idea in the past
        , but the response was… how shall I put it… received enthusiastically but just a very small proportion of the membership.

        Setting up password protected commenting areas for each of the individual tutorials is a fairly significant undertaking… and we would need to know in advance if there was enough interest from the community at large.

        The last thing we would want is to go to all the work of setting up something like this, and then have it ending up as a place where we can all listen to the crickets chirping (i.e. no one really using the facility).

        So… I am putting it out there again to see if there is more interest at this stage.

        Both Cindy and I agree that it would be awesome for paid tutorial owners to have the opportunity to bounce ideas off each other without having to worry about giving away the secret sauce so to speak. It would add so much more to the learning experience here at the PcT Community.

        >> Let us know how you feel by posting a comment. < <

        .

  10. Thanks Cindy for your reply with my viewing problems. Not sure what it was, but I believe it was all my end! I got to watch the series late last night…. I thoroughly enjoyed this set of videos. Really keen on this one!

    In Finland there is a lot of Labradorite, so I think your version is pretty close to the real mccoy, although the Finnish type can be quite dark. Much like the Finnish version of Amethyst is very milky compared to Brazilian which is really deep purple.

    We also have the Northern Lights *Aurora Borealis* or Revontulet as we call them here.. and I think it might be possible to to really recreate that with this technique, just with a dark blueish black and a vivid green.

    The story telling in this country varies from that above. It’s name Revontulet tells in old fashioned Finnish its origin. Revon means in old style Finnish Fox’s and Tulet means fires. Therefore it is Fox’s Fire. The story goes that the arctic fox’s tail was brushing the winter sky and causes sparks to fly! :D Today the word for Fox is Kettu….go figure!

    Btw. I recognised RENAISSANCE WAX immediately as I have a friend in Norway that sells it. I have given him this page’s details, with regards to supply if you need it for the group. His website is for antiques and such.. but as yet, the wax is not actually on the site.

  11. Cindy, I have to point out that you spelled pendant wrong in the name and descriptions of the tutorial.It’s pendAnt, not pendEnt.

      • Hi Doug,

        According to the OXFORD COMPLETE WORD FINDER published by Readers Digest
        Pendant/Pendent is a hanging jewel suspended by chain or rope etc. worn around the neck. So you see you ARE correct as it is one of a number of words that can be spelt either way …………………cheers xx……………………

          • Of course, to complicate things further it depends on whether it is ‘pendent’ adjective or ‘pendant’ noun!

            In this instance it should have been pendant, *as you would have normally put* …….as the video was regarding a noun *object*….. Although haha, it is a noun WITH an adjectival use…….that is, describing a condition of hanging, either figuratively or literally! Pendant would actually be a mis-spelling for the adjectival use….

            Confused? You will be! :D LOL!!

  12. Hi All:
    Renaissance Wax Polish, can you tell me any sources to buy this item? I love the result while watching on the video! I prefer wax polishes myself, but the idea of a micro crystalline has me intrigued. Anyone with ideas?

    • I have a friend in Norway who sells it. I have given him Cindys details to make contact. If you look above I put his website in my last comment. The item is not currently shown there on his site….but you can drop him a message. I have told him that there may be some interested people if he gets it on his site or one of his other locations soon. x

  13. Pauline, if Cindy has a link for it click on it and it will take you to Amazon.com where you can purchase it and she will get a little percentage when you order it. She always lists her supplies for each video series, so you should find the link there.

  14. Cindy, I have a related question……

    Do you know how long the alcohol inks last inside finished polymer clay items?
    Are they subject to sunlight issues?
    Do the colours fade over time?
    What are your experiences?

    • Hi Mrs. Rainbow, that is a question that has had much debate within the polymer clay community.

      Some pigments, whether they are in paints, inks, dyes or what-have-you can be what artists call ‘fugitive’, meaning that that can fade over time. This was a real problem in some of the ancient paintings. You will often find a light-fast rating on oil and acrylic paints and inks, especially if they are made for the artist market.

      The fading is mainly due to sunlight, so if your piece will be exposed to a lot of sunlight, a finish with a UV protector in it such as PYMII or Renaissance Wax, can help keep the colors in your alcohol inks brighter for longer.

      Unless your piece is gallery bound or for some reason absolutely needs to be the identical color its entire life, I don’t worry about fading alcohol inks too much. Plus I have always loved the natural aging of any piece that happens over time.

      That being said, I personally have not seen any of my pieces that contain alcohol inks, fade at all. And from my comment above, if fading eventually occurred, it wouldn’t bother me if it did.

      Hope that answers your questions!

      • Thanks Cindy. Yes partially it does. I was thinking that the outer coating would play a part in it keeping it vibrant. I am also interested on whether there is a chemical change (ie any breakdown in the binding spots) between the inks and the polymer over time too…… but I guess time will tell on that issue. :D

        Over time, the latest person looking at or wearing an item would not know the original status anyway….. So I was more meaning changes possibly occuring within five years or so really.

        You know how some customers can be, if you do not advertise every minute detail of the product prior to sale….. so I am just checking bases to get all the facts…..or as many as poss anyway! :D

  15. Cindy – do you think the white area (left side ) on the large faux labradorite piece I made could have been caused by me not making 100% sure the inks were dry? (photo at Cindy’s FB page)
    I want to get this right and that’s the only reason I can think of
    thanks guys :)

  16. Aha– went back and watched the 3rd video and yup that sounds like what happened ;/ thanks – Sherry
    ….where is my hair dryer….

  17. Hi Cindy,

    Love the look of this “stone”, however, I have attempted to make this three times and am not having any luck. I think it might have something to do with my translucent clay {I use premo} I can’t find any white premo translucent, so I tried using white fimo translucent…no good. Then I made one with the premo….still no good. My third attempt was with the premo, but I made sure the top two layers were as thin as I could get them. The piece came out very cloudy, you can only see a hint of color underneath. What am I doing wrong?????? Is it my translucent clay?

    Thanks for your wonderful tutes!!

    Jan

    • Hi Jan, there could be a few reasons you aren’t seeing clarity on your translucent top layers. -Adding too much Silver clay. – Over conditioning translucent clay trapping air or moisture in it causing plaquing. -Temp too low. Use oven thermometer. – Layer too thick. Measure the spaces between the rollers on your pasta machine using playing cards to make sure you have the same settings as I used in the tutorial. – Air pockets between layering. – Not baking long enough. Bake for full hour. Also try re-baking your cloudy pieces. – Not sanding enough.

      Re-watch the videos to make sure you haven’t missed anything and keep the above tips in mind. Don’t worry, you will have success with this technique. You may even be able to salvage the ones that you have already made.

      Good luck!

      • Thanks Cindy! I actually baked the pieces for an hour at ~ 275 degrees. The last one I did had a lot of plaquing so I may have conditioned too much. I’ll try using less silver next time and keep my fingers crossed! I do love the look.

  18. Cindy–one of my friends told me he blows pieces out of his small cutters. If there’s a good “seal” along the edge, the piece should pop right out, or at least an edge will pop out and you can ease the piece out!

  19. I have a question regarding the Renaissance Wax. Is it better (for getting that high gloss shine) to buff with felt and a rotary tool, or use only the Ren wax like you did in the video? Or put the Ren wax on and then use the rotary tool? Or use the rotary tool and then the Ren wax?

    :-)

  20. Hi,

    I have used the Lisa P foils for some time but I was out of the silver so I bought some of the Jones Tones. Not one of the colors will stick to any of my clays? What am I doing wrong? Used my silver leaf instead and was pleased with the results. Mine came out very green as I only had a dark blue ink.

    • Hi Carolyn,

      I too used silver Jones Tones foils when I did the foil version of this tutorial.

      I found that the Jones Tones foil needed quite a bit of rubbing to get it to adhere to the clay properly, but once I used my fingers directly to do this, instead of the normal piece of paper, it worked much better. Using my fingers directly generated much more heat, and that distinct warmth seemed necessary to get it to stick. It transferred very nicely once I’d done this, however!

      The other thing to watch out for with Jones Tones foils, presumably because they don’t adhere quite as naturally/strongly to polymer clay, is that if you use too much alcohol ink too many times (as I did on one test piece trying to get the patterning I wanted!), the foil will start to fracture and break into pieces which detracts from the look.

      I hope that helps,

      Sue

      • Thank you for this hint. I will try it as soon as I get home from work. Hubby will be Ok to wait for his dinner till later!

  21. My dear dear Cindy,

    Thank you sooo much for helping me get all of my library account issues figured out. So grateful… thank you for your patience.

    I don’t know how you do all what you do and still manage to keep your sunny personality. You are my hero, lol.

    Yours truly from cold, but sunny Sudbury, Ontario. Come visit sometime!

    Melodie

  22. Hi Cindy I have a query too. When i was sanding the piece i made i actually ended up sanding the whole top layer of translucent off and got that beautiful shine like yours. Somehow though i don”t think that is how you do it. For the top layer i used premo frost translucent, and at a thinner setting so as to get the lovely shine after sanding and buffing. The reason i ended up taking the top layer off is cause it wouldn’t shine up. Is the frost too “coloured” and not translucent enuf?
    andyone’s thoughts would be appreciated.
    Thanks’
    Sandra

    • Hi Sandra,

      Premo Frost is one of the clearest translucent clays. It has a slight salmon tint to it, but it’s not normally so opaque that you can’t see through it, particularly if the layer is thin. (I’m a total Katomaniac, but even I think Premo Frost is the best all-round translucent; there are others that are clearer but I don’t think they’re as nice to handle. I use Premo Frost with this technique, for what it’s worth.)

      Sometimes translucent clay appears opaque due to plaqueing (plaquing? computer people can’t spell! ;D), which happens when moisture gets into the clay. If it looks like there are circular to semi-circular areas of greater opacity, it’s probably plaqueing. Jocelyn C had a bunch of really useful suggestion on minimising plaqueing earlier in this thread. One other possible cause of plaqueing is moisture from your hands when you’re handling the clay… I know some people wear latex or similar gloves to prevent this (although I’m too lazy to!).

      Cindy also had a few other suggestions on a range of possible causes for a lack of clarity in the translucent top layers, so perhaps that might help too.

      I don’t think it would matter too much if you sanded all of the top layer off, although you’d want to make sure the coloured layer is covered or sealed so that it doesn’t fade.

      Premo Frost normally buffs to a nice shine… if it doesn’t buff to a high shine after proper sanding, perhaps the clay isn’t cured to maximum strength. Sometimes rebaking, for a longer time or at a higher temperature helps with that kind of thing. (In my case, because everything is Kato clay except for the Premo Frost, I bake my items at Kato temperature, i.e. 150C/300F. It doesn’t seem to cause a problem with Premo Frost particularly if the layers are thin, and it sands and buffs well.)

      One last side-note on clay shininess… Even though Kato Translucent is probably the LEAST clear of the translucent clays, it does buff to an amazing shine. Sometimes mixing in a bit of that with your other clay can help it achieve a higher shine. For translucent layers you wouldn’t want to add too much because of how opaque Kato is, and you’d need to make sure the mix was used in very thin layers, but it can give a handy although minor boost to coloured and mica clay.

      I hope that helps,

      Sue

  23. Thanks, for that. I did get a wonderful shine on the pieces and they do look great! I will try all suggestions. Also thanks Sue F for the tip on using TLS from the inquiry i made about putting wire in the top of pieces. It worked a treat.

  24. I live in Co Kilkenny Ireland. I design and handcraft beaded jewellery and bookmarks. I recently discovered polymer clay whilst on a jewellery course and am now totally addicted. I find Cindy’s tutorials invaluable as there are no courses etc available here in Ireland also they allow me learn at my own pace usually late at night when my sons are asleep and I can grab a few minutes of bliss a great escape from my day job as a nurse caring for people with Dementia and Alzheimers.

  25. I’ve made a few more pieces refining my version of Cindy’s Faux Labradorite technique. These are better than the the pieces in the photo I posted previously.

    The first three photos show a variety of shapes which will become pendants, earring drops and earring studs. There are three photos of the same set of items because my camera skills suck!

    Photo 1 (overview, left side a bit out of focus)

    Photo 2 (best for front and left pieces)

    Photo 3 (a bit closer in, best for right pieces)

    I propped them up at a bit of an angle to try to capture the reflectivity and the way the colour changes slightly depending on the viewing angle — the placement is a bit haphazard because they kept sliding around LOL — but they’re difficult to photograph accurately with my cheapie point-and-shoot camera. One of these days I’ll get around to making a proper lightbox and getting a good camera.

    The shield shape and rounded tapered rectangle in the top right have probably the best (most realistic) colour and viewing angle behaviour I’ve managed so far.

    I also made a pair of close-fitting cuff bracelets. They need a bit more finishing, but here they are anyway:

    Photo 1 (side by side)

    Photo 2 (one on its edge)

    Photo 3 (wearing one)

    I’m going to make a (round) bracelet next with the faux labradorite on the inside as well as the outside, i.e. trying to make it look like it’s all labradorite. Just waiting on some supplies for that because I’ve been playing too much and have nearly run out of a few things!

    I also have a collar-style necklace partially done that I’m severely procrastinating about finishing. I changed my mind part way through constructing it so it’ll take a LOT of sanding to finish off.

    When either those are done I’ll post some more pics. Love this idea! :)

    • Incredible Sue! Awesome job. I love your use of color and the smooth more streaky way you added the ink. Also really like the striation color. Did you add a little Pitch Black with the Butterscotch instead of Slate or is it just the lighting in the photograph? I just picked some up some Pitch Black ink and have been wanting to test it out, to see how it looks.

      • Thanks, Cindy! :)

        I’m actually not using ink for the coloured layer. I’ll send you an email tonight Australian time with a description. (I’m happy to share what I did but don’t want to give away the parts of the overall technique that are yours here on the public blog.)

        The striations are mostly Slate, although I used Denim where the background colour was bluer, and Mushroom and Oregano where it was lighter and/or yellower. I went overboard a little while ago and bought all the Adirondack and Pinata alcohol ink colours, so I just picked those that best matched the look I had in mind. Now that you mention it, though, there’s also a construction difference in what I did that would tend to make the striations look darker. (I have something else planned for the next bracelet, but I haven’t tested it yet so I hope it works out!)

    • Gobsmacked ( an old old southern expression) to me it means picking my jaw up off the floor after seeing your pics !!
      Just beautiful :)

    • Sue those a re amazing. I have been toying with the idea of a cuff bracelet as well, but i thought that the foils might crack with the bending. Did you just make a large peice to make it sure it fit without stretching? your thoughts are most appreciated.

      • Thanks, Sandra! :)

        I actually don’t use foil in my version so cracking isn’t an issue for me. There are some things that I do exactly as Cindy taught, like her wonderful method for producing the striations, but there are other things that I do completely differently; the coloured reflective layer is one of those. This blog is public rather than being restricted to subscribers and I don’t want to give away the parts of the overall technique that are Cindy’s, or I’d describe what I do in more detail. But I did send Cindy the details, and I’m happy with her sharing as much of it as she wants to either here or in the relevant subscriber area.

        However, if you *are* using foil, my suggestion based on other foil-based projects would be to make a piece of faux labradorite large enough that you can compress it horizontally to close up any cracks that might occur. That is, instead of allowing the foil layer of the faux labradorite to stretch as you wrap it into a bracelet, press the faux labradorite horizontally back into itself as you wrap it, preventing the foil layer from stretching and compressing the lower layers instead as it bends. I hope that makes sense… it’s one of those “I know what I mean” things!

  26. Hi Sue, wonderful work.
    Love the colors.
    really professional.
    Haven’t been doing much PC lately, am missing out.
    I am in Aus, the tropics, where are you?
    XXX

    • Thanks, Elizabeth!

      I’m in Sydney at the moment. The closest to the tropics I’ve lived was in Brisbane — I remember trying a sauna shortly after returning from there and being distinctly underwhelmed (“This is just like Brisbane. What’s the big deal?”) — so I expect claying in the tropics might be slightly uncomfortable in summertime unless the airconditioning is going, but I hope you get a chance to get back to your clay again soon. :)

  27. Hi ! Total newbie here. I just purchased a labradorite which I suspect is false, googled it and ended up here.
    My question is: why do you make those “faux” gemstones? Is it really less expensive than buying the real thing?
    Thanks!

    • Hi Lisa,

      First, I want to say that as far as I know Labradorite is not a stone that is synthesized or simulated, i.e. someone tries to use natural elements or compounds to recreate a mineral in a lab environment (as is done for spinel, alexandrite, diamond, sapphire, opal, etc.). It is a member of the feldspar family and similar minerals are mistakenly called Labradorite, or may be misidentified as such. For example, there is a stone people call “Black Labradorite”, which is wrong and is usually another feldspar really named Larvikite. So if it is some kind of natural mineral your piece may mislabeled (innocently or deliberately) rather than “faux”.

      But if it appears to really be some man-made/man-altered material like glass or clay, then shame on the person who did not tell you it is faux. I certainly can’t speak for every crafter/artist but I would say most of us do this because we admire and respect natural beauty. It can be something of a challenge to try to recreate the colors and patterns found in nature.

      Yes, in some cases the real thing can be quite expensive. But it could also be hard to find really nice examples of some stones, because a small amount of the material is gem quality or the source is mined out or too dangerous to work further. (And rarity does not necessarily make something expensive, demand is usually a better indicator of price.) Or maybe it would be unethical to use the natural material so we try to create it out of another material, e.g. ivory or certain corals.

      But even with an inexpensive commonly available material, sometimes I just want to put my own twist on something natural, i.e. I want to make large oval shaped beads but this material can only be cut as slabs. Or I want the look of banded agate with colors that have not (yet) been found naturally.

      Labradorite is one of my favorite stones and I have way more natural pieces of it than I am likely to ever use, but I am still planning to use Cindy’s technique to make my own homage to this fascinating material.

    • Hi Lisa,

      Good question! :)

      I think there are many reasons why people make faux gemstones. Here are a few:

      WEIGHT. Some people find heavy jewellery to be uncomfortable to wear, and designs that involve large pieces of real stone can be quite heavy. Replacing those large real stone pieces with faux stone gets around that problem.

      AVAILABILITY. It’s not always easy — and sometimes it’s impossible — to find real gemstones of the type, shape, size, colour, etc. that you want, particularly if it’s something large or unusual. In places like Australia, even in Sydney, the most populous city, bead and gemstone suppliers have a comparatively limited range of stock and you either have to order online or by mail and hope for the best (you might not get what you expect from looking at photos, or you might get a different kind of fake gemstone, e.g. a dyed or treated version of a cheaper stone), or wait for the once-a-year bead and gemstone show that’s about the only chance to shop around properly for unusual gemstone pieces, and even then you might not find what you want.

      ACCESSIBILITY. If you’re like me, the urge to create jewellery can strike randomly… late at night, for instance! And sometimes I’ll have an event to go to where I decide relatively late that I need a new piece of custom jewellery. I probably won’t have time to source and order real gemstones (see previous point), but I can make something with polymer clay that looks like what I want in a matter of hours.

      DESIGN FACTORS. Sometimes you simply can’t get real gemstones to suit a particular design idea. It could be because there’s no demand for such, so unless you cut and finish your own gemstones from the raw material you’re out of luck. Or it could be that the real gemstone’s physical properties don’t let it be shaped a particular way, e.g. it’s brittle, or fractures on certain planes, or just doesn’t form in the size required, and so on. For example, I’ve made a wide collar-style necklace which looks like it’s made out of a single large piece of labradorite; there’s no way I could have made one of those with real labradorite.

      AS A CREATIVE OUTLET. It’s actually quite fun exploring all the different things you can do with polymer clay, which is an incredibly versatile medium. Envisage something… and then see if you can realise it! Make it realistic, put your own spin on it, etc. (Why paint when you can take photos? Why sculpt when there’s digital 3D modelling? That kind of thing…)

      COST. Since you mention cost, it often takes only a few dollars worth of supplies to make quite a large number of faux gemstone pieces — or a few large faux gemstone pieces, which is where the cost difference becomes really significant. For me, cost is much less important than the other factors I’ve listed so far, but it is much cheaper to make polymer clay faux gemstones than to buy real ones.

      I’m sure other people have plenty of other reasons too!

      I hope that helps,

      Sue

      • Oh Lisa, isn’t everybody here so cool! They gave you such wonderful answers to your question, “Why would someone make a faux gemstone?”

        Here, I was going to say… “Because we can!”

        But I like Bertha and Sue’s answers much better! :)

        • They are indeed, Cindy!
          Thank you so much for taking the time and putting so much thought into your answers, Bertha and Sue! That was really interesting!
          Wishing you all a great day and many more jewels! :)

  28. Hi Cindy!
    I was so excited to try the faux labradorite but I am on vacation and can not find the white translucent by Premo. Every store I’ve called is out of it. They all have the regular translucent but I’m afraid it won’t be clear enough. Have you used it and if so did you have good results? Thanks for your input!

    • Hi Lorri
      I’m thinking that White Trans and Frost are the same formula
      – does that sound right to the rest of you guys?
      the number is 5317 Frost
      hope that helps -Sherry

      • Well now I found the white translucent. Thanks for the answer on the white frost! i will remember that if I can’t find the white translucent.

  29. Hi Doug, I am all in favor of having a password encrypted blog to share with other paid Members to pass our ideas back and forth. I must not have been around when you first proposed this but I think it is an excellent idea especially with the clan growing so large. It would enhance our knowledge and learning a great deal and lessen Cindys load. I would volunteer to be a Moderator.

  30. Considering the growth of PCT – I do think a “private” password, or something similar, is an excellent idea. We know that this means a LOT of extra work for you Doug. But, if you are willing, I would appreciate it! Contacting you or Cindy cuts into your time that SHOULD be spent with family. We all know how important that is!

    There are so many ins and outs that we would like to touch on. A private pass word would enable us to get questions answered and help other with their problems.

    Thanks for taking the time to, again, ask this question. LOL Hope this times it passes!!

    Patt

    • I do so like this idea of a private area to discuss specific “Cindy’s tricks of the tute” amongst members, but, would sure like to see it as a function that links to the general blog discussions visibly so that non members would be encouraged to purchase the tute to learn more. Once we hit the “open private discussion to each blog entry” link, password required.

      Do not wish to see the paid membership take off to their own area and leave the general blogs completely because all this discussion information is critical and Google searchable for those paying to learn.

      Dixie, you’d make a great moderator, and I so appreciate you volunteering.

      Of course, I would expect to pay more for this feature, if you do add it.

        • I didn’t originally see the need for a moderator, but if there was one — and if the software supported it, of course! — the moderator could either move or duplicate comments to ensure that the public blog wasn’t neglected, and that sensitive content went into the relevant private area.

  31. Different people have access to different tutorials, so access to unrestricted discussion on each month’s material would logically need to be limited to those members who had purchased that particular month.

    And since access to a particular month’s paid content is already limited to members who have purchased that month, wouldn’t that level of access control be sufficient to allow or deny participation in an unrestricted discussion area about that month’s content? I really don’t see any need for an additional password, or any benefit in having one, which is what recent comments seem to imply. (You can’t have a single all-members password to a general members discussion area because we don’t all have access to the same tutorials. And it would not be practical to have a different topic-related password for each topic-specific member discussion area… I have *way* too many passwords to remember as it is! All members already have their own password which accesses the content they’ve paid for, so the sensible thing to do is to tie it in with that.)

    The way I envisage it, once you’ve logged into the membership area and are viewing a particular paid video set or colour palette (or individual video or colour recipe for older content), there’d be a discussion area at the bottom of the page on which that confirmed-as-paid content is displayed. I don’t know what the specific technical capabilities and restrictions of the paid content management platform are, but it could be as simple as being able to post comments that all go into a single semi-threaded stream (much like how we can comment on the public blog postings now), or as complex as a structured, multi-level discussion forum (where discussion could be grouped into separate titled threads, e.g. why is my top layer hard to see through? how do I deal with foil cracking? and what is that variation that Sue-F is being so mysterious about?).

    By attaching the discussion area to individual paid content pages, the approach described above should tie in technically with existing subscription management mechanisms. It should also help keep discussion “on topic” and together. Comments on blogs are notoriously bad at the latter compared to more traditional discussion forums, but I suspect that the blog approach would be easier to implement on the current platform. (To clarify: blogs are more for enabling the blog owner to post articles and gather comments on them from multiple other people; discussion forums are more for enabling anybody to raise and respond to topics for discussion in a structured manner.)

    I do like the idea of being able to discuss each month’s techniques in detail without worrying about giving away too much information. It could possibly even be an additional enticement to purchase individual tutorials… when questions that go too much into the heart of a technique come up in the public blog, whether directly or about variations as has happened with this technique, people could be directed to the relevant paid area instead of us just doing the electronic equivalent of mumbling and looking at our toes.

    In that line, it would also encourage participation if more people posted photos of their work. I’m sure there’d be lots of questions about what we’re all doing, if only we could see! Note also that not everybody uses Facebook — some people like me wouldn’t use Facebook even if we were paid megabucks to do so — and I think it would be nicer if tutorial-related photos were more closely tied to the content, whether that be the overviews in the public blog or the details in a potential future subscriber area, than being entirely separate on that Facebook thing that isn’t even directly linked to from the standard blog pages. Photos could be posted in the public blog as teasers, but also in the month’s unrestricted discussion area, for example if they illustrated specific questions members wanted answered. (Maybe I’d even do and post photos of all the tutorials if that would help the discussions along, instead of dodging all the floral ones like I currently do! ;D)

  32. Sue,

    I completely agree that the login mechanism should piggyback on the existing password system. That is the direction I would be heading with this.

    I also agree that it would be ideal to set this up more in line with how a traditional forum works. The problem with that is finding an off-the-shelf solution that would tie into the existing membership script. Of course with coding, anything is possible… but as I’m sure you are well aware (being a software developer yourself), custom solutions can be costly to develop. So the stacked commenting approach is likely the way it would go.

    And finally in regards to having a way for members to upload project photos within the membership as opposed to over at Facebook, I’m all for that as well. Still on the looking out for a WordPress Plugin that would automates the process nicely. I’m sure it exists… just haven’t found it yet.

  33. Quick answer, yes, I would participate in a members only forum. And I think you guys are doing a pretty good job at keeping the content separate enough (especially with putting tests and techniques here) that I would spend time in both areas.

  34. definetly interested as I keep forgetting about the fact that this is public and tend to ask video related questions.

  35. Hi

    How about a facebook group page. And only people that invited (paying customers) can join the closed group. Another group I belong to that does this is working out fantasticlly and people are sharing everyday and posting pics of what they have done. any ways because it is closed no one sees the posts. Just a thought. but yes I do feel you should keep shop talk to those you pay for it. A bennie for joining the group. Cindy the other one.

    • Hi Cindy – the link by my name will take you to another discussion where this idea was discussed. Apart from the issue of those who won’t use Facebook, there are other challenges as well, with using a Facebook Group. Follow the link for more info.

  36. I’d love a private area. I’ve closed my FB accounts a few months ago. I don’t like the fact that everything is out there. A private group would be fantastic. Plus, I don’t have a local PCM guild. It is hard not to improve without others comments, ideas, and encouragement.

  37. I would use it, it would be a boon to those who had specific questions on a given lesson that couldn’t be asked through comments.

  38. I would love to have this ability. I would be able to ask questions without restraint, and would be awed by the ability to ask “Where did I go wrong” without everyone in the world knowing that I was not adept at a given process. It would help each of us to gather knowledge and help each other with all aspects of a tutorial.

  39. Yes I think I would, there are times when you want to get more detailed and I know as the format is “open” we cannot always do that.

    I vote yes

    Take care
    Tina

  40. Doug and Cindy

    One more idea for the private area. It seems to me it would be vital to let members show pics or videos of their work (from the cell phone, lol), in the blog thread, so that other members could help them solve a certain problem. Not many folks want to download a problem or half finished piece at youtube.com to be viewed by the general public. Is this a possibility?

  41. Yes, I would appreciate to have this option. I am a new member and I need good advice from the pro. Have a nice day
    Joane

  42. It would be great for the benefit of more in depth learning.
    I am such an amateur the free blog is so packed full of information don’t know it could get any better? And with the very small cost to join have no clue why anyone would not join.
    So part of the benefit of a membership would be a plus.
    You both have worked so hard for this site and your members.
    Thanks :)

    • This is such a good point. If people are really interested in polymer clay arts, they might be encouraged to join & will quickly see how valuable membership is.

      I wonder how many non-members post anyway? Are there a lot?

      • Christine – yes there are a lot of non-members that post here at the public blog site, in addition to those who are paid members… the hope being that some of them will decide that $3 per month is not too much to pay to take it to the next level. It really is such a tiny investment for the return that can be had.

        Here is a recent example of a non-member who just received tremendous value for a “toaster oven” question she needed help with.

        By the way, I just looked up the total comment count here at the blog and it is now sitting at 33,529 … that is a LOT of talking and learning and sharing that has already happened to date. Keep it up every one!

  43. I am trying to write thiws from my IPad .. I had written one message saying why it would be a grreat to have a members only BB but , I lost it. so I am just goiing to vote a loud YES. Thanks for asking Barb

  44. I am a new member, and after just a short time I can see the need for a private “members only” comment section, or maybe a “members only” chat board? Cindy already generously provides so much support to the public in general, so I think it’s fair to want to protect the paid member content.

  45. Hi Cindy and Doug – Sorry I haven’t been in touch lately, just getting over a long illness, but I have been watching with interest and finally feel able to get involved again.

    Yes, I’d be interested in a private discussion area too. One site I saw yesterday whilst ‘surfing’ (Parole de Pate – French language) makes it a condition of membership that people ‘brain-storm’ when they meet, thus they come up with new techniques and ways of using clay, tools etc. This is one way of stretching our knowledge and sharing with other members.

    Whilst writing, is there any way of giving a ‘thumbs up’ for someone’s work without having to join Facebook or Twitter? When I learned (Daily Mail article) that these websites regard anything posted as their property and intend selling photographs or personal information to advertisers I decided to keep well away from social networks. But I would very much like to add my support for beautiful and inspirational work.

    Thanks for everything you both do, it is very much appreciated!
    Marion

    • Good to see you back Marion, and feeling better.

      I really like what you said about the Parole de Pate condition of membership… that brain-storming is a requirement. If everyone applied that sort of philosophy in a PcT members discussion area… I think many of you would experience huge gains in creativity, quality and professionalism.

      In regards to your privacy concerns with Facebook, Twitter and other social networks… you are not alone. Others have brought that up as well. So yes, I would like to figure out how photo sharing and other personal activities could be done in a protected environment.

      • Doug,

        I am investigating some options to allow others in my photo clubs to update the websites I created for them, which could include photos as well as text. (I have less and less time to maintain everything on it.) I would be happy to share anything I come up with if you are interested. BTW, are you a Mac or PC person?

    • Marion, so glad to see you back posting!!!

      You mentioned a wonderful French site, Parole de Pate. It is so inspirational to read through the international commentary there, but, unfortunately my high school French can’t get me through the technical discussions, lol.

      Success! A friend told me to download Google Chrome as a browser. It automatically asks if you wish to translate the page and gives you choices as to which language to translate blog into. It is not perfect, but, it sure gets the job done for me.

      For those of you who struggle with Cindy’s site from all over the world, try this browser and see if it helps you. Just like Google search feature, this Chrome browser capability is like a magic wand, opening a world of information up for me. I just love, love, love it.

  46. I too would appreciate the paid members board; helping one another out when we encounter a problem or have a suggested variation to a tutorial that we’d like to share. Lots of great ideas and suggestions have been made on this topic. I’ve been following it with great interest.

    They’re all good points. I just hope people wouldn’t think they had Cindy “on call” though just because we had a paid membership discussion board.

    • Excellent point Christine… about this not turning into yet another Cindy Hotline. If there were enough hours in the day, I’m sure she would not mind serving in that capacity… but time is a very limited resource.

      As I think you are suggesting, it would be in everyone’s best interest to make this private discussion area primarily for members to bounce ideas around, with each other…. and not have to worry about what should or should not be said, since this would all happen behind closed doors so to speak.

      It would help Cindy to gauge where more support / inspiration might be needed, and therefore allow us to focus more energy on creating follow up videos that will provide the best value for those who choose to participate in the conversations.

      Make sense?

      • With your last comments in mind, and this is just an idea to think about. (maybe it’s what’s you meant too!)… there could be one of her non-tutorial videos where she addresses an issue/technique that’s been brought up on the private boards. There’s a lot of potential for this to really enhance membership and could actually bring in more paid members as we share with others in the clay commnity about how beneficial this site has become.
        I’ve only recently become active on the board, after getting beyond not feeling qualified to share an opinioin! 80)

        • Yup… you hit the nail on the head with what we are thinking in terms of coming up with topics for the “non-tutorial” videos that get posted on YouTube.

          Now in regards to feeling non-qualified to share an opinion… please don’t base that on level of knowledge. Everyone at every step of the learning curve has something to contribute.

          The best discussions are based on dialogs that follow this sort of pattern…

          “I did this… This is what happened (or didn’t happen)… I’m excited because I learned that… But I’m still having a challenge with…”

          Hopefully you get what I am saying…

          Our objective here is to have you getting polymer clay under your fingernails. Learning comes much quicker when you actually start to try new things that you’ve never done before. Then when you talk about it with other like minded supportive friends, the sky’s the limit in terms of what you can accomplish.

          • Christine, I wholeheartedly agree with Doug as I am a prime example of feeling not qualified to share an opinion. After I got over my shyness and began contributing, you build up confidence and feel so good about sharing your experiences with others. (((hugs)))

  47. I have been following this discussion about a private vs. public blog, but am only now commenting. I am not one to comment much, but I will say that I avoid posting certain questions and such because I do not want to step over a line with regard to paid and non-paid members. The most seemingly innocent question could reveal something that Cindy has worked very hard on and many have paid for the privilege of learning. I will also offer that on those rare occasions when I have emailed Cindy directly, she is very prompt about replying. I also find her email voice friendly and familiar–like a friend writing to a friend. That is a tremendous help, but I would also understand if she did not respond–I assume she gets A LOT of email. I would imagine that if we had a private blog it would allow members to help members. I am a teacher (not of polymer clay but English). I am also qualified to teach art. The one thing you learn about teaching (whatever the subject is) is to provide differentiated instruction (multiple perspectives on the same learning task). Such a blog would provide just that without violating the manner in which Cindy has chosen to earn a living. For what it is worth, I vote yes.

    Thanks for the chance to respond.

    Gina

  48. I have a query I am hoping someone can answer. I have searched the site but couldn’t find a related answer. After making a pendant such as the Labordorite with the translucent on top, foil in the middle and set on a black base, the sides of the piece show this triple layer.
    No amount of sanding hides it, it just makes it nice and smooth. I don’t want to wrap it in copper foil and I don’t want to set it in a bezel.
    I already have it sanded and ready to drill a hole for the bail so I don’t want to wrap another strip of clay around the sides as I have a nice rounded edge. Does anyone have a suggestion or technique for finishing the sides?

    • Hi Dixie Ann,

      You could use a Krylon leafing pen to apply an opaque metallic finish to the sides. Depending on how you hold the pen it can just cover the sides, or you can hold it to give a fine line around the top too which can also be a nice effect.

      I haven’t done this for faux labradorite — I construct mine a bit differently to avoid the visible layers you mention — but I’ve done it with other techniques and have been really happy with the results.

      (If you don’t want a metallic finish, maybe a coat or two of an opaque acrylic paint would work?)

      I hope that helps :)

      Sue

      • Sue, I love that idea for Dixie. I am going to use it myself. If you use a black layer underneath, I suppose you could hide layers just using a Sharpie permanent black marker, after sanding the piece. Pretty sure the marker ink would hold up through the buffing process.

        The other idea I have used is to extrude a thin rectangle of your clay through the Makins/Walnut Hill extruder, then use this strip to run around your edges.

        Having done this, I can share a few tips. I make sure the clay is extra conditioned and warm the extruder on my every present heating pad (lol), then push ever so slowly and steadily to get the clay to come out. I find if I use too much pressure, the strip gets raggedy edges and twists, which makes it harder to use and just requires more finishing.

        A third method is to borrow an idea from Iris Mishley and create lovely stripes or checkerboard poly fabric from where she cuts thin strips to wrap around the layers. It adds a color pop and it a fun look, but, not sure it would work for faux stone.

        Just to be extra safe, before I apply the strip around the edge, after sanding the edges, I apply a thin layer of poly bonding glue. I don’t want to monkey with the strip to much so I think the glue helps the bonding process.

        Last, I think that if you used the same fabric as faux lab, and did the same, the thin hiding strip would be gorgeous. Or you could use the base color and just a crackled metal top for the finish strip.

        One more thing to consider. Due to the ink, the layers and the tendencies of transparent, you might want to first bake the pendant, then apply the strip with glue and rebake. Afraid that if you sealed the layers on the first bake with a strip, it might prevent the escape of air and cause more bubbling.

        Hope all is well with you and yours. How’s the moving going?

        • Hi Jocelyn, I wanted to avoid putting a strip around the pendant since I already had a nice rounded edge and really like the finish piece. I do however appreciate your instructions for applying a strip. It was very detailed and I am going to try it the next time I make a pendant for another project. I like the extruder idea!
          The moving is slow going, getting it all together for the big moving sale in June. ;)

          • Sorry for the misunderstanding, Dixie. Did you round the edges doing the plastic technique or did you use the acrylic plate shaping technique to round the edge.

            Cannot wait to see pics of your new work!!!!!!

      • Great idea Sue! I do hope we get a private blog soon so you can share your techniques. I would love to know how you construct yours. Thanks Doll.

    • Hi Dixie, I see everyone has jumped in here to help you out! I actually like the look of the layers on the side, so I don’t see the need for myself to disguise them. But if you prefer not to see the layers, the easiest thing to do is to use the tinted translucent as your back layer as well. Replacing the black. Therefore you won’t see the transition between layers. Without revealing too much of the secrets, if it is the foil layer you don’t like seeing at the sides, then Jocelyn’s idea for using thicker plastic for rounding the edges will help stretch the top layer over the foil layer.

      Hopefully between the three of us you will have the help you need to make your Faux Lab’s look how you want them to look. Remember you can also add the technique to a bezel, eliminating the need to worry about the sides at all. Good luck!

  49. Jocelyn, I always use the glad wrap to cover the clay before I use my cutters the way Cindy showed us and I like that technique. It’s simple and gets the job done. What is the acrylic plate shaping technique?

    • Dixiem so glad you will be in your new home and settled by the Fall. Sure wish I could be at the tag sale prior, lol!!!!

      Using acrylic plates (like the one you use to make gorgeous lentil beads) is a fee based tute that I have not been able to yet afford. If you scroll through Tonya’s tute FB site, or google it, I am sure you can find specifics. I have asked Cindy to put it in her tute request file, because I am sure she will bring her own natural talents to bear on it and add her own spin.

      From what I can tell, you use acrylic plates to shape the edges of your product by placing it on the center of the object, then toggling back and forth in all directions until you have the curvature you wish. I have tried my purely speculative version of it, and honestly, I like it better than the Glad wrap technique because it pulls the surface of the object to the sides and rounds it off nicely, hiding all the layers you might have.

      I also like the look you get if you use a plain baggie, place it over the clay, then use your finger to burnish the edge. A double layer baggie also makes a great shaped edge when you use a blade too, though after, kiss the baggie goodbye, lol. I find the single Glad wrap sheet and blade effect gets stuck in the clay, and when I try to peel it off and out of the grooves, it marks the clay.

      Also variously sized and shaped acrylic rods are used to make super accurate cane shapes. Again, this is my take. You purchase various acrylic shapes, each about a foot long, triangle, rectangle, square, etc., and use them to press up against the clay cane with brayers etc. to mirror the exact shape of the rod. Tried it with the square shape and was extremely pleased with the result, the cane reduced beautifully and the perfect square shape allowed me to use the cane slices to make wonderful fabric..

      Hope this helps. All best!

      • very interesting Jocelyn. Never thought to use a baggie. Might try that next time. Who is Tonya? How do I find her on Facebook? The acrylic rods you mentioned to shape canes, where do I find out about them?

        • Hey, Dixie, for the rods you might want to check the Quilted in Clay home page; I remember Jennifer had a little video about making their designs, and I’m pretty sure she sold the square rods on her site (but this is going back a few years). The other lady Jocelyn mentioned may be Tonja (sp?) Lenderman who also sells supplies. Her FB is Tonja’s Treasures, I believe.

          Hope everyone has a great and restful long weekend!

      • Some great ideas there, Jocelyn! :)

        I was playing with faux jade a few days ago and for once wanted rounded forms and rounded edges, so your timing is perfect!

        I hadn’t previously heard of the acrylic plate technique you describe but will have to try to find it and/or figure it out.

        And a “baggie” is a low density polyethylene zip lock bag, right? (I’m not familiar with the term… a bit like “rubbing alcohol”, which I’d never heard of, although I’d have known “isopropyl alcohol” instantly! Nobody would ever guess I was a geek, would they? ;D LOL)

        I hadn’t tried the Glad wrap technique until recently either although I’ve known about it for ages, but I found it didn’t really work with extremely stiff clay (although it probably would using much thicker plastic), so your various suggestions will all be really useful.

        Thanks! :D

        • Yep, I use the heavier zip lock variety. Glad brands, since the plastic formula is compatible with clay, but, for just a slice, you can use just about any type of double sided bag. Had some good results using some heavier plastic bags used to ship stuff online too.

          I will provide links to the tute info for the acrylic toggling technique and the cane shaping technique soon, it’s on my list of things to look up today.

          Michelle, thanks! You are correct in naming the sources for both, and those two folks should get total credit for their methods.

          Folks, keep in mind I did not purchase these tutes nor get the materials from those listed, just kind of “gimmicked” around with it until I was pleased with the results for my own non-Art projects.

          • Monique U.!

            I so apologize for not getting the name correctly! Love your work! Thank you for providing the specifics on the acrylic manipulation techniques, so appreciated. I will provide links to each, I promise, soon….just have a lot on my plate, lol.

  50. Thank you ladies for your help and suggestions on finishing off the sides of my pendant. I am going to try the pen (Sue)
    the baggie (Jocelyn) and the translucent back (Cindy L) so I can test them all. Eventually I want to learn how to make my own metal bezels to put them in. Gotta get this moving sale out of the way first. God’s blessing to all on this Easter!

  51. A treat to share! Right as I am typing, in the corner of the screen on the plastic edge, I am able to glance up and see the most lovely sight.

    Been struggling with a hospitalization, COPD, and until yesterday oxygen and tanks (stupid bombs, really). After a successful rehab, my blood oxygen tested out at 99% post the 6 minute walk. YAY!!!! Now, the cessation of nicotine is next.

    To reward me for passing unit inspection (try vacuuming entangled in a 30ft green line supplying breath support) and following my medical plan, I contacted Cindy to see if there were any of her spectacular faux lab pendants still available, and was able to purchase a beauty! It arrived two days ago and matched the decor in the bedroom, so I used teachers putty and stuck it onto the corner of the flat screen. The light dances off it, and striations and gold highlights keep the surface appearance constantly shifting. I just love it.

    Cindy so appreciate the share, and I will treasure it forever.

    • Jocelyn, I am so pleased that you like the pendant! I think it is cute that your computer gets to ‘wear’ it… I think that’s a first for any of my jewelry. :)

      I am picturing you vacuuming your place all wrapped up in hoses… what a sight! Glad to hear your numbers are better and that you are going to quit smoking. Just think of how much better you will feel and how much clay you can buy with the money you save on smokes!! Good luck sweetie. As always it is a pleasure having you in our little clay family!!

  52. I love being able to view your videos on my iPad cause I can have it with me and do whatever it is Cindy is teaching and I can stop and start as I need.

  53. Do you leave the wire in when you bake? I did this project today and I left the wire in and now I can’t get it out!

    • Hi Denise, yes I leave the pin in while baking. If it gets stuck, just use a pair of pliers and give the wire a twist before pulling on it. Metal won’t bond to polymer clay, so once you wiggle it a bit, it will definitely come out. Hope you had fun making your faux Labradorite!

      • I still couldn’t get it out so I handed it off to my husband and he of course, yanked it right out! Thank for your reply! Now off to start sanding my piece! :)

  54. Hi Cindy!

    I’ve a quick thought about your tutorials…
    I’m a curious sort, that likes to see things right to the end, and all these neat pieces you work on during the tutorial, you usually put aside before you bake… like the faux labradorite for example.
    I would LOOOOVE to see the finished piece. Is there somewhere I can see these?
    This one specifically off the top of my head.

    Thanks!
    :D Carrie

    • Hi Carrie, Doug is trying to take more pictures of the pieces I have made and eventually we will have them posted in a gallery and to a store. The pendant I made in this particular video is actually sold already to own of our members… Jocelyn. I don’t think we have any pictures of that pieces but I’ll ask Doug.

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