Polymer Clay Videos | Jupiter Bead, Faux Raku, Watercolor Techniques

Polymer Clay Video Tutorials

“Wow! You make it look so easy AND beautiful. I had planned on doing housework today, but…” ~Dawn

Now that July has come and gone, another back issue has been packaged up and posted in the Polymer Clay Library. It is listed as Volume 14. The photo above, shows the thumbnail images for the 4 videos included in this package:

Video-014-1 Jupiter Beads: This fun, easy and great looking bead utilizes all your dried out and otherwise possibly wasted polymer clay scraps and old canes.

Video-014-2 Faux Raku Smooth Bead – Part 1: Learn to make cool looking beads that have the look of a smooth surfaced ceramic raku. This is also the first step in creating the deep crackled faux raku.

Video-014-3 Faux Raku Crackle Bead – Part 2: After learning the smooth faux raku, take what you learned to a whole new level and crackle it! This creates deep crevices and cracks, similar to those found in crackled raku.

Video-014-4 Torn Clay Watercolor: This beautiful technique, first created by polymer clay artist Maggie Maggio, is done in a simple and easy to do way that will have you mastering the process in no time at all.

Cornflower Polymer Clay Color Palette

Also included in this Volume-014 back issue package is the A-Series recipe cards from the Cornflower Color Palette.

To read feedback from students who have already benefited from the videos and recipes in this Volume-014 back issue package, click here: Jupiter Beads | Faux Raku Smooth Bead Pt1 | Faux Raku Crackle Bead Pt2 | Torn Clay Watercolor

And, Sneak Peak Preview Clips are available for viewing here: Polymer Clay Tutorials [Preview Videos]

If anyone else would like to add a review for any of the videos or color recipes in Volume-014, I would love to hear from you. Or if you have not yet purchased this back issue and have a question, I’m all ears. In either case, use the comments section below.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor


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Comments

  1. Dear Cindy,

    Thank you for all color recipes! I made some roses like yours and I must admit that skinner blend roses are one of the most beautiful things made out of polymer clay. Did you invent them?

    Unfortunately my roses crack and i am still searching the reason somewhere among the oven temperature(never sure what exactly is), bad conditioned clay or clay that has a problem. Do clays have expiry? I do not see any expiry day on the packages. Or may be I have kept it in a hot place – here is 40 degrees outside.

    Best regards from Bulgaria
    .

  2. Thank you so much Nevena! As far as inventing the Skinner Blend or Teardrop Blend Roses, I didn’t invent the rose shape, but I did come up with the cane used for the variegated Rose and how I used it to create the rose. I am so glad you think they are so pretty!

    As far as your rose beads cracking it could be that your clay was partially baked since it is quite hot where you live. Or if you baked them on cornstarch, you may have left them on the cornstarch for too long before baking and some of the plasticizers may have leached out. When I bake on cornstarch, I only put them on the starch just before putting them in the oven.

  3. My roses don’t only break, they crumble, could it be that they’re not baked long enough or could it be the petals are too thin. I didn’t even open the box of corn starch until I was ready to put them in the oven.

  4. Ken, I guess there is a point where polymer clay gets too thin. I used to cover light bulbs with very thin layers of translucent clay to get a “see through” effect, and made bowl like shapes.

    I must say, not too many are left from that period, over time most developed cracks and broke. I feel badly for you. That’s a lot of work.

    Later this winter, I might try again, first baking the original clay, then rebaking with a top coat of some clear polymer gel glue coating, and see if they last longer.

    Unfortunately, that top coat is tough to sand and buff, so it will have to be an experimental process for sure.

    Cindy, do you have a feel for how thin is too thin?

  5. Ken and Jocelyn: I don’t know whats going on, but it is starting to alarm me a bit! There have been a fair number of questions come lately about crumbling clay. It makes me wonder about possible clay formula problems. I just made some very thin Calla Lily beads and baked them on cornstarch. They ended up being strong and beautiful. Most of my clay, I bought a year ago in a bulk amount. But there is some new stuff as well as even older stuff.

    It sure will be good when they put the manufacture date on the clay (which I hear they will be doing soon on Premo), because it will make it so that bad batches can be tracked.

    Ken, you could try baking one of your roses separate, like on a tile with just a slip of paper underneath and see if the cornstarch is the problem? Maybe the new formula leaches it’s plasticizers easier?

    Also what was the brand and consistency of the clay? Was it super soft, super hard, normal? What temp did you bake at and for how long? I hope you weren’t using Sculpey III Translucent or any of the other colors, cause they are super brittle.

    Let me know right away if you can. This problem has cropped up in other threads as well, and I would like to get to the bottom of this, so beginners aren’t getting too frustrated by it.

  6. I used 1 package Premo Trans. with two 11mm balls of I believe Moss Green (really pale green) Sculpy 3 as a colorant. I really don’t think that little bit of Sculpy 3 would change the hardness qualities of the Premo. The corn starch would only have been in contact with the clay for maybe 2mins as I made a bed of starch, two were baked face up with starch filled into the flower, the other two were upside down nestled into a mound of starch, again with a covering of starch placed on top. The onl thing I didn’t do was tent the peices as I didn’t have a sheet of cardstock big enough to cover the pyrex baking dish.

  7. BTW – I don’t know if my trans. was new or not but it was recently purchased. That batch date sure would be helpful now.

  8. Sorry I really should read through the whole post carefully before answering. I was baking at aprox 275 as the oven I use is about 50 Degs. off. So when the oven therm. reaches 250 I turn down the oven to 250 which puts it in the 275 range, the roses were in for 40 Mins when I thought(note thought) I smelled plastic, nothing was scorched but they weren’t in for the hour I had wanted.

  9. Hmmmm – waiting to see what ideas you have here Cindy.

    I also noted (with a huge smile) that you are making Calla Lilies! I can hardly wait!!

  10. Ken and everyone: I don’t think the Sculpey III would be the problem since you used so little. My guess is that they weren’t cured for long enough at the right temp. Not that you’re doing anything wrong, I just think maybe your oven isn’t holding the temp well enough.

    If you still have some of your roses left, why not put them in again for an hour and see if that makes any difference. Try and keep the range of temps between 265F and 275F.

    I am excited about being able to see your Jade Roses, Ken. Hopefully we can figure out this baking problem so you can get back to making more of them!

  11. That was the project for this weekend, I have several orders for a multi jade bracelet to string and then on to the roses again. I’ve got the photo of the blocks of clay, took that last week before I made the beads for my orders (of which I’ll take photos to show) plus photos of the geniune peices I modeled some of the colors from. Hopefully I’ll get this project to Cindy this weekend. I’m sorry this has taken so long but you all deserve the best I can do.(I have very large footsteps to follow in)

  12. I really want the roses to work, and I know they will. I can see a rose as a central pendant on a graduated jade bead necklace.

  13. Cindy, I made my “see thru” cups using combo’s of KatoClay. Lots of translucent. The minute they came out of the oven (baked them for the required time and required temp on the package), doused them in ice water to increase the translucent quality.

    Normally they popped right off the light bulbs under running water, but, I put them back on the light bulb for sanding.

    The cracking and deterioration occurred over the next couple of months. Contacted others, including Kato, and most responded with the need for “experimentation” to test results, and that there was a point at which the clay could just become too thin to support itself over time.

    My question then is how thin is too thin?

    Just gave up making them thin because the results broke my heart, plus those who had received them as gifts and thought they had done something wrong, when they cracked.

    This winter will try to do some more, and keep good records of results and I’ll let you know.

    As for beginners, I wouldn’t worry about the clay as long as your pieces are the sizes and thicknesses of clay displayed in most of the images for the product and on the internet images.

    I was definitely trying to push the limits of thin-ness, and I think I found them, lol.
    Now, if only that could happen to me personally. Being back in a size 4-6 would be bliss, LOL!!!

  14. On the original subject, everything in Volume-014 is great: it’s easily my pick of the volumes released to date, and I would definitely have bought it as a standalone back-issue if I hadn’t already received it all as a subscriber!

    On the subject of cracking Kato clay, my first thought is the curing temperature. For a time Kato packaging showed 275F as the curing temperature, but before and after that it was 300F. I did some strength a little while ago testing, and Kato is VASTLY stronger at the higher temperature than at the lower. I knew there would be a difference, but even I was shocked by how large that difference was. I posted some of those testing results in reply to another article, if you want to see what I mean: Kato Clay Strength Test

    So if you followed the Kato packaging instructions at a time when the packaging showed 275F, you wouldn’t have achieved a maximum strength result.

    I actually sent an email to Van Aken about the different temperatures shown on different packaging and also on their web site, and received a lovely and extremely informative reply from Tony Aquino, their Technical Director. In that email he mentioned 325F as another possible curing temperature, which was apparently an early recommendation and a temperature still used by some artists due to the added strength while keeping discolouration at a minimum. The Kato polyclay web site does mention the increase in strength with higher curing temperatures and the fact that Kato has been approved for curing at 350F (but to never exceed 365F). See katopolyclay.com/about.html for info.

    I haven’t found a “too thin” yet. I’ve rolled out Kato to the thinnest setting on my pasta machine, then have placed it on tiles and rolled it out manually even further, and I’ve still found it really strong. I bake it at 300F/150C though. Even for thick pieces the difference in strength is so significant that I don’t like curing at lower temperatures.

  15. Be still my heart. You, Sue, are a life saver on this thin issue. Thank you for sharing your excellent observations and results!

    This bothered me, because I watched artists create conelike necklace structures and the like, and couldn’t imagine why I was having such difficulty.

    Tracking back dates, when that KatoClay changed temp and time specs, I had just been done for awhile ill, came back and did the series of pouches and cups, then became ill again.

    It is possible I never caught on to the fact that the change in specs occurred and probably uncooked the entire lot. LOL!

    Whew.

    Maybe I’ll go check my collection of light bulbs again now………

    Think using Cindy’s roping technique to form the base structure of the cup on the bulb, snail style, then using a blade to cut back the surfaces to reveal the “planet” features…..now that could be a stunning bowl.

  16. Excellent info guys!

    I read once where people were having issues with clay breaking years down the road. The thought was that the clay had only appeared to have cured, but there were still uncured particles within the clay that over time would break down the cured particles, causing it to become brittle. This may have been the case with your pieces Jocelyn.

    I don’t know if there really is a point where a piece is too thin. (That would need to be tested and played with to know for sure.) I’m thinking it is more the case of, “Was the piece given enough time at the correct temperature to truly cure?” I think it would be easy to assume a thin piece was cured after only a short period of time, because it would appear so. But I wonder if it is really cured at the molecular level?

    This would have be a good question for the Polyform Chemist that Anna met at the retreat. (If you want to find out some things she learned from him, click the “Polymer Clay Beads (IPCA)” link by my name above.)

  17. **NEW BAKING INFO**

    Just as I finished typing my comments above, some related info was posted in another thread that is worth having a look at. Lana Klassen shared some baking temperature related info that Polyform sent to her directly. The “Claymation” link by my name above will take you to Lana’s comments.

  18. Welp, testing is going to have to wait here. Just got the electric bill for the air conditioner….yikes!

    It’s so hot, I cannot even tolerate turning on the oven to cook.

    Thanks to all for all your help on this “how thin is too thin” issue. Sure have a lot of stuff to try when it cools down enough to bear a little more heat, lol!

  19. I read the info over at the other post, very interesting, but I have one question, who makes what brand of PC. I know the brand names but not the companies that make them.(ex. Polyform, Van Aken)
    .

  20. Ken

    Polyform makes Premo, Sculpey III, Studio by Sculpey, Sculpey Ultralight, Bakeshop, Eraser Clay, Moldmaker, Bend and Bake, and a few others.

    Van Aken makes Kato Polyclay and some other plasticine type clays.

    Eberhard Faber makes Fimo, Fimo Soft and a few accessories.

    Makins makes an airdry polymer clay.

    I think that Jacquard Products makes Cernit but I’m not positive on that.

    And the new beeswax based polymer clay called Pardo is made by German company Viva Decor.

    I hope that helps when you’re looking to communicate with the manufacturers.

  21. Hi Cindy!

    Thank you for the information.I am still studying the properties of my clay – i am using Cernit – there is not great variety of clays here.

    What i can say is that it is very grainy as structure – most of the colors are quite hard and the consistency (of the backed stuff) is something like a coconut inside. It does not have this smooth plastic look. So i thought that may be this is the reason for my cracking roses. I added some baby oil – but i guess it was too much as i could hardly shape something that barely look like a rose – but after backing it came out very strong.

    The next day i tried with less oil – so that i can do some shapes (i used a little cornstarch for smoothing the petals also) and the rose break again (it breaks after some pushing).

    So i am wondering what to do. The clay behaves rather strange – in one moment becomes very soft but still grainy.

    Could it be because i kept it in a wrong plastic bag? Or it is an old one? In both cases-could i fix it in a way?

    I will continue my experiences. The thing is that as i have never done this nor i have somebody to show me some pieces (this art is not popular here at all), i just did not know how it has to look like. I saw pictures in i-net – and i noticed that my clay has always cracking edges-no matter how much kneading and rolling i do.

    Perhaps this might help Ken.

    Compliments for your Jupiter beads! As soon as i resolve my basic problem i will pay more attention to them.

    Thank you in advance

  22. Nevena @

    Thank you for the information, I’m keeping an eye on the information about the cracking clays.
    I haven’t had much time to experiment, I took a sample of a multi color jade bracelet to work with me, and I’ve been making bracelets and necklaces for orders to the tune of $218, just from the folks on the train to work.
    Cindy, I am sorry, REALLY sorry it’s taking so long to get the information to you. I got one reasonablly good photo of the clays, before my camera started dying, all the photos of the actually jewelry were grainy, blurry and shifted to the blue, like when your printing and you run out of one or more colors of ink. I hope to either borrow or purchase a new digital camers this weekend.

    • @Ken H. I finally discovered the real reason-i mean,not only suppositions.My roses cracked because of the temperature. It took me a lot of time because i searched the reason everywhere else but not here.I baked on the recommended t-max130 C.I didn’t dare to go over as i was afraid of burning the beads and poisoning the living creatures around:) But finally i did increased it to 150 C which is about 300 F and the roses forgot about cracking:)

      • @Nevena: Hi Nevena, what kind of clay was this? Cernit? It seems like the various clays are starting to have even greater differences in “best” baking temperatures… Also, did you check the temperature with an oven thermometer, or just go by your oven’s dial? Just curious about this high temperature thing. I know it’s great for Kato, I’m wondering if this is the case for Cernit as well… (the package directions are much lower, same thing for Fimo.)

  23. @Nevena: I just found this comment that I missed. SO sorry to take so long to respond to it. I don’t know too much about Cernit at all. I have not tried it yet, so it is difficult to give you any advice. Hopefully someone else here knows more. Plastic bags can be a problem sometimes. If there is a plasticizer in the bag, the clay will stick to it and the two will kind of bond. It also can remove some plasticizers and make it weak. I hope that your experiments with the clay end up giving you the result you need. In the mean time I will keep an eye out for more information on Cernit.

    @Ken: That is very exciting about the orders! Too bad about the camera though. Don’t worry I’ll wait for you to get your photos ready! :-)

  24. Thank you Cindy,

    Do you know what i did? I ordered some Fimo:) I don’t think of throwing the Cernit,but i must have some non cracking roses:) My mother was on a trip to Germany-so this time-we have something right from the source:)

    And another question-do you have some photos or an idea where i can see some photos of ready jewellery especially with roses(like yours) and with trumpet beads.Or books ? I am also interested in millefiori .
    I ordered 2 books from Germany but i was a bit disappointed – as i could not see well the picture of them on the screen-when i got them-there was nothing about my favourites (the above mentioned) I saw one book with roses in the on -line shop but it was not still released.

    Thank you

  25. That is great Neveena! A great plce to look at polymer clay beads made into jewelry is on etsy.com or on flickr.com just type in ‘polymer clay jewelry’ or what eve your looking for, into the search box, and lots of examples will come up.

  26. Thank you Cindy!

    Phaedrakat-yes it was Cernit and yes i used and oven thermometer-i even planned to go further -buying another thermometer that will check the measurments of the first one as this rose problem gave me a hard time,but at one moment the roses stopped cracking and i remained with just one thermometer:)

  27. @Nevena: hi, it’s great to hear about another Cernit user. It is the only clay that is easily available near me so it is what I almost always use. I have had a couple of pendents crack but have always put it down to the fact that the clay was too thin. Perhaps with the higher temperature, however, they might have become stronger so I will try this too. I have noticed that the opaque white which I recently bought seems to be a lot softer than it used to be. Have you found this to be the case too?

    • @Susan B Hi Susan! I am also very pleasantly surprised to “see” another Cernit user.My situation is absolutely the same-this is the only clay sold in my town,in only one shop.I live in Bulgaria-the clay that i have is very stiff(most of the colours that i use),although i have purchased some Kato from abroad and right now i don’t know which one is stiffer:)
      I wrote to Marie Segal-she uses Cernit also and she told me to check the package-to see where the clay is made.Mine says “The Clay Factory,Germany”,She said that right now they made it in Belgium and it is not that hard.Perhaps your clay is made in Belgium too?
      I used to think that my white is stiff-until i tried Kato white-(it might be just my case) -i couldn’t condition this at all.

    • @Susan B About the cracking pendants-i am still studing the properties of polymers but my feeling is that it can not break beacuse it is thin(at first i thought it can) beacuse of the process that occur during curing-if done right it creates a strong bond no matter how thin it is-it can bend but not break.This is how i feel the thing from where i am up to.

  28. @Nevena: I made a bangle over the weekend which was quite thin (about 1mm) and I cured it for one hour at 110°C. It has turned out to be very flexible and has no cracks. My problem is that I don’t want to actually “try” breaking it because I was pleased with how it turned out! Perhaps I will try making one out of scrap clay just as an experiment and see if I can actually break it. I will check where my Cernit is made and let you know.

    • @Susan B : You have no idea how much i understand you! It was so hard for me to press the roses that i had made so carefully,i even wanted somebody else to do the test as it was pretty much for me.As far as i remeber Marie’s advice for baking teperature was 275F(Cernit),but if you have nice results with different temperature,keep up with it.

  29. @Nevena: hi, I checked my Cernit and sure enough the harder clay is made in Germany whereas the softer opaque white I recently bought is made in Belgium. The labels on the packets are slightly different too. I much prefer the harder clay which holds it shape much better when making canes. I have to keep putting the canes I made using the Belgium clay in the freezer to harden up!

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