Creative Picture Frames Embellished with Polymer Clay Faux Raku

Polymer Clay Picture Frame by Elizabeth SchydlowerSpotlight: “I find joy spending time messin with the techniques.” ~Elizabeth-S

Well Elizabeth is at it again! You may remember her from a previous Spotlight with her beautiful Anjou Pear Fruit Beads. Well today’s Spotlight feature is on Elizabeth’s creative way of using the Faux Raku Crackle Technique to cover a picture frame and mirror. Very clever indeed!

Related links include: (1) Faux Raku; (2) Faux Raku Deep Crackle; (3) Polymer Clay Alcohol Ink techniques.

Here is What Elizabeth Wrote…

Hi Cindy,

Typically, after you teach us something new I find joy spending time “messin” with the technique until I sort of know how to do it.  Following the faux raku series, because it is a favorite and a challenge I “messed” with it longer than usual.  A few sheets of faux crackle turned out so much to my liking that I decided to cut tiles from them to frame an inexpensive picture frame I had purchased. The resulting tiles incorporate both alcohol inks and partially cured sheets using scrap clay. I’m sending a pic ’cause I love it and because I think it’s an example of how your students take what you give us and run with it. One only has to look at the “Spotlights” to know it’s true. As always, thank you.

~Elizabeth Schydlower (El Paso, Texas)

P.S. The second photo is of a mirror frame using the same idea but with different colors (the mirror portion is covered to prevent reflection and

Polymer Clay Mirror Frame by Elizabeth SchydlowerIsn’t that neat! I love your ink color choices on the raku technique Elizabeth! So colorful and playful. And what a pretty way to do the frame. I bet people look at it and wonder how you did that.

This is an excellent way to put your own spin on the technique. Since I focus mainly on beads, I likely would not have discussed the idea of covering a picture or mirror frame. This shows everyone that a technique I use for beads, can be adapted to any project that you are working on. It really does expand your options for creativity.

Thank you for sharing your idea with us! If anyone has any questions for Elizabeth on how she did this polymer clay project, I’m sure she would be happy to answer them.

** If you have been inspired by my teachings and would like to be featured in an upcoming Spotlight Article, then please do write up something creative and email it to me along with a selection of your project pics. Make sure to send me high resolution photos that I’ll be able to zoom in on to show the details of your work. If you don’t already have my email address, simply leave a comment below and I will get it to you right away.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor


  1. Carrie, 09 October, 2009

    I may just have to try that! The frame looks great! Nice Job!

  2. ElizabethK, 09 October, 2009

    Hi Elizabeth S
    just love what you have done with the Raku tut
    Have yet to try that one, and have just purchased the inks to get going on it.
    Keep up your lovely work.
    we have a great teacher in Cindy and for what we pay we get heaps of value, I’m sure everyone agrees.
    Bye
    love
    Elizabeth K.

  3. Silverleaf, 09 October, 2009

    Fantastic, I love how creative everyone is! And Cindy must be so proud of her students taking her ideas a step further as well. :)

  4. Melinda, 09 October, 2009

    How fabulous! Seriously very cool!

  5. JoyceM, 09 October, 2009

    Messin = straightening out a circular item = Elizabeth’s beautiful frame work in gorgeour colors. Way to go, Elizabeth. Would love to have a little more detail in the process that brought you such success. In particular how thick do you make your tiles and how do you cure them? Continued success…

  6. Cheryl, 09 October, 2009

    That’s fabulous Elizabeth. Looks really cool! Did you bake the tiles and then glue them onto the pic frame?

  7. Elizabeth Schydlower, 09 October, 2009

    Thank you everyone for the kind words. Joyce and cheryl, thanks for you interest and to answer your questions:

    Joyce, the tiles are cut (square cutters but any shape could be used I think) from the faux raku sheets. I wanted them to be rather substantial so I started my sheet on the thickest setting but after the “rakuing” process, ended up with about a #5 thickness. I think slightly thinner tiles would have worked just fine, though. I cured them in batches by placing several tiles face down on a piece of parchment paper and then baked them between a tile “sandwich” so they would stay flat. I left them in the “sandwich” until they were completely cool.

    Cheryl, I baked and finished the tiles before applying them to the frame with my hot glue gun. So far so good-none have come off, yet.

    Cindy, thank you so much for the opportunity to share my variation on the them of faux raku.

  8. JoyceM, 09 October, 2009

    Thanks Elizabeth, that’s most helpful.

  9. Laurel, 09 October, 2009

    Elizabeth:

    These are very beautiful. It is fun to see the technique used for additional things along with the beads. What a great idea!!

  10. Catalina, 09 October, 2009

    I love this! I think the tiles are a very neat way to cover a frame. Plus, I wonder if you used a glue like E6000 to glue your tiles rather than hot glue? This way you won’t have to worry about them coming off. It would be more permanent. I did cover a wooden frame with polymer clay and used Liquid Sculpey as the “glue” and it worked great. I’m not sure how it would work on a less porous materials though. I have a mirror I would like to make a frame with clay tiles and I think you just gave me a great idea!

    Catalina,
    Allen Park, MI

  11. Lisa Whitham, 10 October, 2009

    Just beautiful Elizabeth! Way to take a technique and run with it..!

    ~Lisa
    Midland, Michigan

  12. Elizabeth S., 10 October, 2009

    Thanks again, everyone. catalina, great gluing suggestions-I’ll try both the next time I do this kind of project. You’re right-I need to think of something more durable than hot glue.

  13. Cindy Lietz, 27 October, 2009

    Holy cow, sorry guys for not responding a little quicker! It’s sure been getting busy ’round here!

    I love it that you guys are taking my ideas and making them your own! That really is my whole point when I’m teaching you. I’m trying to create a bunch of artists, not clones!

    As far as a glue besides hot glue, Weldbond is an excellent choice here. It is strong, doesn’t smell and it;’s not too expensive. Walmart even carries it now, though I would buy it in the Glue and Adhesives aisle instead of the craft section because a bigger bottle is cheaper over there. Click the link by my name for more info.

  14. Marsha, 25 February, 2010

    I’m planning to partially cover a mirror to make a boarder out of polymer clay. Can you tell me the best glue to use for this project. I’m planning to bake small pieces and glue them onto the mirror afterwards. I need to know what kind of glue to use that will adhere over time to glass.
    Thank you so much for your input.
    Marsha

  15. Phaedrakat, 25 February, 2010

    @Marsha: Hi, as you can see in the comment above, Cindy is a big fan of Weldbond glue. It’s a good one for many projects; l’ve seen comments about it from other “happy Weldbond users.” Another glue that would work is E-6000, or you could go with a cyanoacrylate (Superglue) glue. Here is an article about the 4 Most Commonly Used Glues with polymer clay.

    It tells about the glues, their uses, & the pluses & minuses of using them. Of the 4 in the post, #’s 2, 3, & 4 would work for your project. It’s just a matter of what you want to deal with (a longer cure time, a strong smell, etc.) But all 3 will give you a strong, lasting bond. Don’t forget to read the comments below the article, as there is additional information there (along with some other glues to try.) Here is another article about Polymer Clay Glues.

    The comments section has lots of glue info here, as well. In case you haven’t tried it yet, you can find information by using the search box at the top left corner of the page. Type in a keyword like “glue” or “glass” and you’ll get lots of articles with info. Good luck with your project!

  16. Elizabeth R, 23 March, 2010

    hi there,

    i’s like to use acrylic sheets with clay for my picture frame. is it possible?
    can i bake all of them together? clay bottom, picture middle and acrylic sheet on top, then bake.

    tnx

  17. Phaedrakat, 24 March, 2010

    @Elizabeth R: Hi Elizabeth. I wasn’t sure what kind of acrylic sheet you were talking about exactly. Usually, anything that can be safely put in the oven at low temperatures, can be used with polymer clay. People use wood, glass, foil, etc. BUT: I haven’t heard of anyone using acrylic. So I googled acrylic sheet, and a couple different sites said NOT to put it in the oven. It said that acrylic gives off fumes that can accumulate and IGNITE in the oven! It sounded very scary. Maybe you are using something else, and I have the wrong name for it. But please search on the exact product you want to put in the oven and make sure that it is safe before you try to do this!

    Have you considered glass? It sounds like you want to make a decorative clay backing, then put something “see through” in front of it. Am I understanding what you are doing correctly? You want the acrylic in front of the clay? If you want to use the acrylic, and it’s the dangerous stuff I mentioned, you will have to bake your clay in the oven first, then add the picture & acrylic afterwards. Please explain further, perhaps I am not understanding exactly what you are trying to make.

    Good luck, and have fun!

    sounded like a safety issue, like sparks ‘m not sure why, and I’m not exactly sure what kind of acrylic you’re trying to use. Some plastics react with raw clay, too. Are you just trying to find something to

    The rule is, that basically anything that is oven safe

  18. Phaedrakat, 24 March, 2010

    Whoops! Some of my “stray thoughts” were left at the bottom of that post. Please pretend that my comment ended when I said “Good luck & Have fun!” And leave a comment if you have more questions. Normally, I would search the site to find information, or help someone learn to use the search feature (the box at the top left) but in this case, there aren’t posts other than this one. That’s because the focus is mainly on beads & jewelry. Still, Cindy has lots of experience, so she can help on other subjects, as well. Okay, I’ll really say “bye” for now. Let us know… :-)

  19. Sue F, 25 March, 2010

    I haven’t tried it either, but thinking back to doing Plastics in Industrial Arts at high school, I’m pretty sure acrylic would deform at polymer clay baking temperatures. Its melting point is something like 160C, and the various polymer clay brands bake at around 110C (Fimo), 130C (Premo) or 150C (Kato). I’d stay away from it unless you deliberately wanted something droopy-looking!

  20. Cindy Lietz, 17 May, 2010

    NEW PHOTOS ADDED… that relate to the theme of this page… Creative Polymer Clay Picture Frames. Click on the link by my name for the full “Spotlight Story” featuring Marsha-G.

    Polymer Clay Mirror Project by Marsha Gustafson

    BTW: Thanks to everyone above, who took the time to comment in this thread. Your feedback, support and engaging conversations are always such a wonderful part of my day. Although I don’t get a chance to address everyone individually, please know that I do read everything. ~Cindy

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