Marbled Combing Technique | Polymer Clay Tutorial

Combing Technique - Polymer Clay TutorVideo #247: “You can thank my (sometimes forgetful :-) mom for this week’s Polymer Clay Combing tutorial.” ~Cindy Lietz

While talking to my Mom on the phone the other day, she asked how to marble paper using oil paint and water. She is an Elementary School Teacher and decided this would be a fun art project for her Grade 4 kids.

Years ago I had found some info about the marbling paper technique for my mom, and had loaned her the supplies so she could use them in her class at that time. The students loved it, so she wanted to try again… but had forgotten the process.

A little back story: My Mom never stores craft techniques or ideas in her own memory since she knows she can come to me for it. Hence I have had to re-teach her the same projects over and over, when she (regularly) forgets how a craft is done. You wouldn’t believe how many times I have had to tell her what temperature you bake polymer at, and for how long! But I digress :-)

Any who… talking with her about Marbling Paper, reminded me that I haven’t taught you all how to do the Combing Technique with polymer clay. It basically mimics the look of hand marbled paper, and is very fun and easy to do.

The polymer combing technique has been around for a long time, but I’m guessing some of you have not yet had a chance to learn the process. Besides, I thought it would be nice to keep things more on the simple side this week, following up from the intricate and tedious project that we tackled at the beginning of this month with the Red Clover Flower Beads.

By the way, if you are starting to feel a little overwhelmed with all of the ideas and tutorials that have been accumulating in your personal libraries, here’s a snippet from DJ that might be helpful for you to read…

I too, can’t get to doing all the weekly lessons right away, but I always watch and learn. Something I wasn’t aware of initially that has happened, is the way I think about creating projects. All of the tutorials have really helped develop a vocabulary for ideas. I can write my thoughts down and know that when I get a chance, they can be completed because I now know the “practical” info from watching and reading. Learning what can be done inspires so many new ideas! I really love that I can access the clips anytime 24/7; repeat and pause whenever I need to understand everything that’s explained. Many thoughtful, experienced clayers follow this site and offer SO much as well. ~DJ

So, coming up tomorrow (Friday, Mar 16, 2012) in the Vol-046-3 members video at the Polymer Clay Tutor Library, I will be teaching all of you how to do the Combing Technique, so that you can use it in many varied polymer clay projects in the future.



Please Note: A general prerequisite for all of my weekly 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 or Teardrop 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.

Supplies & Tools: Video-046-3 Combing Technique:

  • Polymer Clay in 2 or more colors. I used:

5001 White Premo Sculpey Polymer Clay.
5022 Wasabi Premo Sculpey Polymer Clay.
5523 Candy Pink Premo Sculpey Polymer Clay.

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 so low… at only $3.32 per month. And, the prices for products that you may purchase through my links, are exactly the same as what you would normally pay. So please do feel free to click away whenever you need to pick up a few things for your studio. Thanks so much for supporting this site :-)

Here’s a sneak peak of this week’s tutorial…

The full version of the “Combing Technique” preview video shown above, is now available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Vol-046 Back Issue Package.

Customer Feedback About Membership Value:

Cindy, I wanted to let you know that I found the Beginners course extremely helpful. Even though some of the tips seem so simple, they were things that would have taken me years to figure out. You gave me confidence to try other lessons that you offer like how to make beads for these Pandora style cable bracelets. After making one for myself, two folks admired it and ordered them from me! Your courses are definitely worth the money. ~Susan-W

Wow, Cindy! You never cease to amaze me! It seems you only have to see a shape, or hear of something someone’s looking for and your brain gets into gear and – hey presto! You are so talented, I count myself extremely fortunate to be in your club! Thank you so much to both you and Doug, what you produce together is truly priceless – and for such a fantastically low price! It’s just after 6am here in London, I just couldn’t wait to see your new design – and it was worth it! Thanks again. ~Marion-R

“WOW!!!! You are sooooo smart Cindy… not sure I have the patience to make 100 of those little petals for a pair of earrings… maybe I can speed it up like on your video! I love your videos, I learn so much and your subscription price just cannot be beat! Wish I had found you before I spent sooo much money on books!” ~Cheryl-D

The following topics are included in this week’s Polymer Clay Tutor Library, Combing Technique video tutorial:

  • See examples of the Combing Technique in several different color ways, used in a variety of polymer clay beads and other techniques.
  • Find out how simple it is to create this complex looking surface pattern, by just following along to the step by step instructional video.
  • Learn the reasons why you may just want to get yourself a set of playing cards for your polymer clay tool box.
  • Plus, with some creativity and ingenuity, there are many ways to come up with other unique designs of your own.

The full version of the “Combing Technique” preview video shown above, is now available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Vol-046 Back Issue Package.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Teresa DeFilippis, 15 March, 2012

    Thanks, Mom!

  2. Ken Hamilton, 15 March, 2012

    This was the first “project” I ever tried from the first PC book I ever brought (Mrs. Carol Blackburn), I failed miserably, it didn’t deter me from PC and in trying to find out what I did wrong I found my new teacher, a certain Mrs. Cindy Lietz. I can’t wait to try this!!!!!!

  3. Marion Rayner, 15 March, 2012

    I want to confirm what Cheryl-D has said. I’ve bought so many books over the last 20 years and only a small handful still sit on my bookcase shelf. Your course covers not only as many lovely ideas but makes them accessible to folk like me! A series of photos doesn’t always do it. I’m getting cute about books now; one of my major bugbears is when they include a picture on the cover, obviously intended to sell the book, which turns out to be one of the ‘guest’ pictures from the gallery, and hence no instructions! I consider this to be fraud. But there’s nothing fraudulent about what you and Doug do. Everything is there for everyone to learn. I think you two are nothing short of incredible sharing everything with anyone who’s willing to pay just 11cents a day! When I joined I asked if you’d be able to continue for any length of time, as it seemed to me there was only a limited number of different techniques. You assured me that you’d be around for a long time to come, and you were right! ‘Thank you’ doesn’t seem enough somehow, but you have my sincere thanks anyway.

  4. Ken Hamilton, 15 March, 2012

    I don’t buy books much anymore, it was that the blackburn book had so many different techniques in it and caught my eye at the time and it was Pre-Cindy,

    Cindy’s to do list is SO LONG as it is that I wouldn’t DARE request anything, I’m content to enjoy the ride and see where the tutorial videos lead, but I HAVE learned enough to be able to go back and figure out the missing information that the books I do have omitted, matter of fact that once I finally succede with the combing technique doing Cindy’s way, there is something I want to try and would love to see how cindy would tackle it (and it’s probably on her list anyway), but again Cindy’s list is too long already and I won’t mention what it is, so as to not spark a firestorm of requests.

    For the small amount I gladly pay for the tutorials, the knowledge I’ve gained allows me to make the instructions in the books easy to figure out.

  5. Angela M, 15 March, 2012

    Hi Ken,

    I know what you mean about the technique not turning out right. I, too, have Carol’s book-it’s the first pc book I ever got and I still think it is one of the best ones out there. But there really is no substitute for having the techniques demonstrated and explained step-by-step, as Cindy does in her tutes.

    A few weeks ago I felt comfortable enough to try the combed technique shown in the book. I selected a beautiful palette of reds, golds and smoky colors and went to it. When I was done I had some really pretty beads but they didn’t have the combed look. They actually look kind of marbled and that isn’t what I aimed for. I’m glad to be getting another chance and know they will be right next time because Cindy will be guiding me along the way.

    Isn’t it funny how she comes out with a tute just when we need it the most? It’s like she has ESP or something :) Don’t you wish you knew how she does that? I know I do.

    Angela M

  6. Ken Hamilton, 15 March, 2012

    Cindy probably has a crystal ball. Well when I previously tried this I ended up with mud, and had scrap clay for bead cores for quite some time.

  7. pattw35, 15 March, 2012

    I have done this technique in oils and acrylics, but never polymer clay. What a treat it will be !. There are so many cross-over techniques . All arts and crafts contribute to this. How lucky we are to have Cindy ( and Doug, of course) to show us how to do so many. This is a carrot -for sure. All of us will be waiting—and waiting –til the morrow……………….;-}}}}

  8. Jeanne C., 15 March, 2012

    I love this combing technique! Can’t wait to see the tutorial tomorrow.

    I also have a stack of Polymer Clay books I’ve purchased over the years. I always found it difficult to do most of the projects because the instructions were so vague. I now only look at the pictures! When I found Cindy’s website it was such a joy, the techniques I tried to learn in the books became so clear. Cindy your tutorials are very easy to understand. I love the fact that I can pause them and work at my own speed, and they are always there if I need a refresher. I appreciate everything you and Doug do for us. HUGS

  9. pollyanna, 15 March, 2012

    this looks like what I have been searching for to cover Easter eggs. Yeahhhh!!!

  10. Karonkay, 16 March, 2012

    Easter eggs with this technique would be gorgeous!

  11. Tantesherry, 16 March, 2012

    Oh Pollyanna you are right this would make a pretty Easter egg!
    I’ve made Jason, (see picture @ left) my nephew a polymer clay Easter egg every year

    and just yesterday spent all my clay time trying to get my canes ready…well the long and short of it is I just was not “feeling it”
    …the main reason was that my new block of Bright Green Pearl would not condition*at all* even w/ liq. clay and mix quick BUT being in a stubbern mood I continued on w/ my teardrop blend– you know after all these years I should have known better :/

    So now – Today – I’m putting all the above away and I’m going to try my hand at Cindy’s Marbled Combing technique
    Thanks Cindy I’ll let you guys know how it turns out :)

  12. Dixie Ann, 15 March, 2012

    aha! I tried this technique on my own out of a book with pictures very little instructions and it was a complete failure. This was primarily what led me to Cindys tutorials. I am so excited to finally see her version of it. Mine ended up in mud. The cut out samples shown and finished with Resin are beautiful. Please tell us what you used to cut your clay out with Cindy to create such intricate designs.
    I can hardly wait for Friday!

  13. Lisa Whitham, 15 March, 2012

    I’m betting since she mentioned a die cutter, that’s where the intracate designs came from. I’m extreemly interested in learning to use my die cutters with polymer clay! * Anyway, that’s my guess Dixie. :)

    Clay On,
    *HINT, HINT CINDY *grin*

  14. Dixie Ann, 16 March, 2012

    I know nothing about die cutters unless your talking about a cuttlebug but have only used it for embossing. Don’t have any dies. Would I be able to use this for cutting out clay pieces?

  15. Michelle A, 15 March, 2012

    Sweetest, cutest blog ever Cindy; I smiled all the way through it. I agree with my fellow clayers – so many tuts so little time but… I LOVE watching them. I get so inspired and learn great tips that help me with whatever I’m creating. Tomorrows lesson looks groovy I can’t wait. Thanks mom, lol. ;o)

  16. Michelle L, 15 March, 2012

    Can’t wait to dig into this new video! Friday is the only day of the week where I roll out of bed in the morning BEFORE the alarm goes off. I always look forward to seeing what Cindy will be teaching! :)

  17. Cindy Lietz, 15 March, 2012

    Thank you everyone for your kind comments on the value of a good video tutorial over the sometimes limited instructions you can get in a book. Now of course lots of people learn from books, but if you are a visual and/or kinesthetic (physical activity) learner like I am, sometimes it can be very difficult to learn a craft through still pictures and text alone. That is why some of you, myself included, run into trouble when attempting to do a written tutorial.

    In fact sometimes I get confused by that type of information and do better just seeing the end result and reverse engineering in my head how it was made. That is why I mostly look at the pictures in a magazine and ignore the written instructions all together. For people like us (which are many, hence the popularity of television), video is the easiest way to learn if you can’t be face to face.

    I remember once reading a magazine tutorial on etching polymer clay, about 20 times and still not having any idea how they did the technique. I thought I must be dense, because I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. Years later when I knew more about polymer clay, I figured out the instructions must have skipped over several steps… no wonder it didn’t make any sense!

    Any way… what I am trying to say is thank you for appreciating what we are offering to you as a way of learning.

    BTW, don’t be afraid to send me tutorial requests (KEN THAT GOES FOR YOU TOO). I may not be able to get to them right away, but as one idea leads to another, then another… there never can be too many ‘ideas in the pipeline’ so to speak. Enjoy the tutorial tomorrow!! :-)

  18. Ken Hamilton, 15 March, 2012

    Ok, You asked for it, hehehe, Faux Paua or abalone (sorry for the spelling it’s 1:15 am Friday morning here in Philadelphia), the instructions I have in a book SEEM to be similar to another faux technique, but like you with the etching, I can’t seem to make heads or tails out of it.

  19. Rebecca Chisenhall, 15 March, 2012

    Oooh, I second the faux abalone idea! Cindy, you are bound to make that seem less complicated to do, too.

    I, too, have had the experience with books and the instructions seeming like they skipped something, which leaves me scratching my head and saying “wha???” LOL. I really don’t see the point of putting out an instructional book if you are not going to explain the processes in full!

    This combing technique looks very interesting and I am looking forward to seeing it.

    Cindy, I have to agree with your mother. There is no need for her to keep all this art info stored in her “computer” when she has you to store it for her! After all, the older you get, the more stuff is stored and takes longer to sift through to find it!

  20. Jan, 16 March, 2012

    Ken, I like your use of the word ‘paua’. Thank you. In New Zealand we love our paua which is unique in the world. It has the deepest, richest colours. It’s taonga (a treasure) here.

  21. Fran Y, 16 March, 2012

    Hi Cindy,

    Great combing tutorial. I too would love to see a Faux Paua tutorial. I love the irridescent effect of the greens and mauves in the shell. The colours are often quite strong which is what I like; not too wishy washy. Actually I love irridescence full stop. LOL

  22. Pauline Duke, 16 March, 2012

    OMG_I am so happy to read others with this learning problem. If I cannot hear it or see it I cannot learn it! I have collected so many Polymer Clay books thinking that maybe it was HOW that one explained it. It was only until I came online HERE did I realize THIS is how I was made to learn correctly!!
    Thanks Cindy and Doug.

  23. Elizabeth Kerr, 16 March, 2012

    Hi Cindy and all,
    Cindy I loved your idea of Combing Technique.
    I have done something similar, but it has never been as easy as this. You put your own stamp on things and bring out the best of a technique, like doing both sides and using the cutters.
    Lovely colours.
    I am madly into making buttons at the moment and they will certainly look great in these combing designs.
    Bye for now
    Elizabeth K. XXX

  24. Teresa DeFilippis, 16 March, 2012

    Enjoyed the tute very much. What were those “die” cuts and how do you go about finding shapea to do them?

  25. Sandra J, 16 March, 2012

    Neat technique.

  26. Lesley Symons, 16 March, 2012

    hmmmm, I too have been wondering about die-cutting for quite some time. I’ve never been able to find a tute for it …. have been deliberating over the Dan Cormier book and die sets, this looks awesome though not cheap …. anyway back to the subject, thanks Cindy for another great, clearly explained tute (and it’s precisely that clearness that makes your site the best of all.) Friday mornings are always a treat!!!!

  27. pollyanna, 16 March, 2012

    Forgive me if I’m wrong but wouldn’t the paper punch tute work for die cuts? Just wondering….

  28. Lesley Symons, 16 March, 2012

    Thanks Pollyanna, you’re probably absolutely right – and maybe I’m confusing die-cutting with die-forming …. my ignorance is showing! :-)

  29. pollyanna, 17 March, 2012

    I know nothing about die cut machines except for paper so please let someone else respond before you ruin your machine…..:). It just seemed possible. Anyone else with an opinion? I hope.
    BTW I also wrecked a few tries at this and am glad for the tute!

  30. Karonkay, 16 March, 2012

    What I love the most about your tutorials happened today again as I watched…. you make difficult things simple and easy to understand. You always show and explain what to do and you make me feel like I can accomplish any of the wonderful techniques that I see elsewhere and only wish I could. You make our projects look great. That is the mark of a truly great teacher, your students learn and create marvelous creations that we can be proud of and others who don’t know how are amazed that we could do that “with a little lump or two of clay”! So again , Cindy, thanks for all your great efforts and sharing ability. My mind is already a jumble of I could use this technique for…. this… and this … and that too! Time,, can you find more time for me in your Mary Poppins bag of wonderous things ? Karon

  31. pattw35, 16 March, 2012

    How easy-peasy ! Isn’t this going to be fun ? Love both sides. And Elaine – using inks too. My mind is spinning. Good bye – got to make some combed stuff……………

  32. Anna Sabina, 16 March, 2012

    I love how Cindy tries tools and techniques to find the one that works. That tool from Sculpy that gouged the clay looks like a waste. Can’t imagine getting good results. I love my Sculpy Style and Detail tools, you have used them in several tuts. Would love to learn more about Abalone and Paua or other faux techniques.

    I recently bought a PC technique book that had an incorrect recipe. It is a book with great techniques but all of them are rather flat. I used this technique and made the pendent domed and it came out much better.
    Clay On !!!

  33. DJ, 16 March, 2012

    Anna I feel the same way about those Sculpy Detail tools, I use them for almost everything! They were bought after a recommendation by Cindy a while back…one of the best tool investments ever. I find they are so versatile with clay – they smooth, shape, blend, texture, allow for good detailing – a whole bunch of manipulation with just one set!

  34. Natalie H, 18 March, 2012

    I laso love the Sculpy Detail tools, they are so versitale that I never put them away..they will always be sitting on my work desk inside a container that you get the powedered drink mixs in( there the ones that make individual 2 quarts drinks) they are perfect for storing blades and other tools that you want to keep right at hand..
    Natalie aka Safti
    good to be back with everyone

  35. Dorothy Hjermstad, 16 March, 2012

    When you put the marbled piece into the pasta machine, you mentioned that you would like to get it down to a “3” setting, but I don’t think you went that far. As you put it through the machine, it kept getting wider as it got thinner. It looked like you had it as wide as the machine would allow. If you weren’t at a “3” yet (as I don’t think you were), how would you do it? Would you cut it in half so you could keep getting thinner without getting too wide or how would you do it?

  36. Cindy Lietz, 19 March, 2012

    You saw that Dorthy, did you? I realized after the filming was done, that that pasta machine didn’t do the 3 card setting, but rather the closest was a 4 card. (I rolled it down a bit with my acrylic roller, to get it a little thinner, before baking.)

    The sheet would have got a tiny bit wider, but not much. Even down to a 1 card setting, it would still be able to be put into the machine without too much trouble. If your sheet has become too wide and you can’t fit it in, you would be right to cut it in two and roll the pieces separately. I usually work in small amounts of clay so this usually is not a problem. For that reason though, it is a good idea to take the width of the original sheet into consideration before thinning it out. Keep it as skinny as possible to start, and the width should always be OK. Hope that helps!

  37. Elaine Faulks, 16 March, 2012

    Books, books, books, how I agree with Pauline D, Rebecca C, and other members that have purchased books only to be frustrated and not quite “getting it”.

    Also as Marion R says that the photo on the front cover is not by the author but by a guest artist with absolutely no written instructions. Bah shouldn’t be allowed!

    But on the positive side I think what Ken said about going back to a book after seeing Cindy’s slant on a technique is interesting. It makes you realize how much we all learn from Cindy.

    Well CINDY, now for your challenge.. FACES.. I want to make a beautiful delicate face cane. Mine always look like cartoon characters or monsters. I loved the pirate cane and was so glad that after begging you for ages you showed us how. THANK YOU! it is one of my favourites (well one of many)
    As there are quite a few steps it would probably use up a whole month to complete but that’s ok by me as loved your other 4 part series.Anyone else out there agree with me??
    If so I cast the first vote for a beautiful FACE cane………………………………cheers xx

  38. Lesley Symons, 16 March, 2012

    I’ll second your vote for a face cane! Only ever made one, and it was sooooo ugly it made me laugh …

  39. Dixie Ann, 16 March, 2012

    Okay you have my vote for a face cane too! Have never tried one of those.

  40. Natalie H, 18 March, 2012

    I also agree that it would be worth a months videos to learn who to do face canes..I have tried it from books and they too come out like cartoons characters or monsters
    Natalie aka Safti

  41. Angela M, 22 March, 2012

    Here’s my vote for a face cane too. Even if it takes up a full month’s tutes it would be worth it :)

    Angela M

  42. Dixie Ann, 16 March, 2012

    Cindy please give your Mom a great big hug for me. I just finished watching the video on the combing technique and cannot believe how incredibly easy you have made this. I am so excited to create my own now. I was so disappointed in myself as this was the very first technique I had tried in clay and it turned out horrible. I vowed I would never do it again. Well I can’t wait to make this now. This was a real eye opener and after watching so many of your videos, the possiblities for using this technique seems endless. Please tell us what you used to cut out your pretty little templates.

  43. Cherie, 16 March, 2012

    Awesome tutorial and seems so easy after seeing you do it! I love the bright colors you used for that sheet; so pretty. I too had bought two Polymer clay books and they are sitting on my shelf – haven’t done anything but I’ve done a few of Cindy’s tutorials and they have turned out really good. There is still so much I have to try; just don’t have the time though I enjoy watching the tutorials.
    I’d love a tute on faux paua – love the colors in them as well as a beautiful face cane tutorial. Could you please also show us how to sculpt a ‘beautiful’ face Cindy – a 3D sculpted head.

  44. Michelle A, 16 March, 2012

    Hey Cindy, please ignore my frantic email about my pass word. I reset it and it’s all good now. I totally freaked out when I locked myself out of the member site, lol. Now, time to watch my Friday tut. ;o)

  45. Bette L, 16 March, 2012

    I had to watch the video first before I could do anything else today. So easy, but looks so hard! Thanks Cindy

  46. Monique U, 16 March, 2012

    Cindy, I too would love any faux like abalone or mother of pearl. I have never seen a face cane that I desired to imitate (not my cuppa, I suppose), but I have a sneaking suspicion that could change if YOU were to show me YOUR version *heh, heh*. I really liked the combing technique, and I’m sure it could be applied to so many projects as a colourful veneer. A special thank you to Doug for helping me deal with an “email issue”… You guys really make us feel special as members and are so professional. I am so very pleased I became a member!

  47. DJ, 16 March, 2012

    I just love the look of marbled paper, this technique with your usual twist will be fun. Like many have already mentioned I tried this earlier too, but felt it was kind of “hit and miss” as far as results – nice in places but lost it in other patches. I think Cindy, yours will allow for a bit more control…the standardized measuring is awesome.

    The faux Paua/abalone sounds fabulous and the sculpted 3D face would be great too. A bird cane would be really unique as well. I’m curious about the face cane…I’ve seen them but to me they never seem to come out quite right. Sounds like the ultimate challenge for our fearless teacher!!

  48. Tantesherry, 17 March, 2012

    Hi everyone

    OK I need some advice please see the picture on Cindy’s facebook page of my Easter egg

    You will notice that the darker pink (cranberry bog) is sanded away in areas

    I used the micro mesh pads to sand with, not the harsher w/d sandpaper

    what did I do – or not do ? Not a clue at my end :/

    But I do love the color combo its from vol.27

    thanks guys -sherry

  49. Cindy Lietz, 17 March, 2012

    Hi Sherry, Like I said on Facebook, it is unfortunately the ‘nature of the beast’. This kind of pattern is what is called a surface design. The nature of dragging the color across the surface of the clay, also means that the color does not go deep and can be sanded away if you’re not careful. For a project like this, you will want to wrap the egg in as thick a sheet as possible to start with, and make sure it is as smooth as possible before baking, so that the sanding won’t be as much as an issue. Also start with higher grit sandpaper/mesh, so you are removing as little clay as you can. Hope that helps!

  50. pattw35, 19 March, 2012

    If some of you are not on Facebook, I wrote…………….use corn starch and gently rub you egg. Corn starch removes finger prints and really gives a smooth finish. I seldom have to sand afterwards.

    Facebook is addicting and not in a good way. I spend wayyyyyy too much time there LOL…….

  51. Cindy Lietz, 17 March, 2012

    Wow, it is wonderful to see such a great response to this tutorial. Thanks! You should know that I have been reading all of your questions, comments and requests, and will try and get to them as soon as I can. There is a bunch of stuff going on in our lives right now that we are dealing with, so it may take a bit to get to each one.

    I will try and see what I can do about bringing a die cutting tutorial to you all soon. There are definitely some tips and tricks to using this kind of equipment with polymer that is important to know before trying it out yourself. Trust me… I know what doesn’t work!

    Love all of the requests for Paua shells, face canes, sculpts and other stuff coming in. Love to see those ideas flowing… Keep em coming||!

    Have a wonderful weekend! Hope you all can carve out some claying time.

    Chat soon,

    ~ CIndy

  52. Teresa DeFilippis, 17 March, 2012

    I hope we do the die-cutting tutorial soon. I believe it is the solution to a semi-problem my mother is working on…I can hardly wait.

  53. Natalie H, 18 March, 2012

    Hi Cindy and everyone else….well we finally got to go up state and pick up all my clay material.;..boy do I have a lot of catching up to do..I have been watching the videos weekly but now I have to do some to do it in between my cleaning for Passover and physical Theraphy….I like you last video with the combing technique.. i had been doing that using the Sculpey Ripple give the same I know that I could have saved some money and use other tools that I had..say la ve….but using the ripple blade I can take a block of different layered colors and make a mutilple of think sheets of the same comb effect. Its great to have all much stuff..just hope he clay did not get hard being in the cold weather for so long…guess I could use a drop of clay softener if need be.
    Natalie aka Safti

  54. Elizabeth S., 18 March, 2012

    Sorry to be one of the last to chime in with thanks and gratitude for this latest awesome tutorial. I fear that this second round of shingles I’m dealing with has sapped my energy and sadly, dampened my spirit a bit. As always though, when I needed a pick-me-up I came here to enjoy not only the tute but the wonderful interesting posts offered by so many. I love this place!!!

    I chuckled when reading how so many, like myself had tried the combing technique as one of their initial pc projects with unsuccessful results. I’ll bet if we combined the mud we all accrued from the effort, it would be a sizable pile indeed.

    Then I wanted to shout, “ME TOO”, when learning that so many of you have moved away from depending on pc books since joining Cindy and Doug’ site. Several said that often the book instructions seem to be missing important pieces of information and I think that is absolutely spot on!! I’ve said before that being able to watch even just how Cindy holds her hands in doing a technique can mean the difference for success or failure in my own effort.

    I’m excited about each and every tute suggestion offered. I don’t even know what paua shells are—in fact I have never heard the word before, but I’m anxious to find out. Die cuts too are unfamiliar territory for me–I assume it doesn’t mean trying to cut shapes from clay using paper die cutters—or at least I hope not as I still have a mess in one of mine when I thought it would be the perfect way to create a dragonfly some time back (lol).

    Anyway, thanks again, Cindy, Doug and all my friends here. You are gifts I treasure.

  55. Elaine Faulks, 18 March, 2012

    Hi guys,
    What a great weekend I’ve had. it’s Mothers Day here in UK so my DH has been a gem, letting me “play with clay.” He’s cooking dinner at the moment after doing a big shop, buying me strawberrys and cream, hoovering and changing bed linen. (Don’t you just love ’em.)

    He got me some quail eggs, past their sell by date. Out of the dozen I ended up with 6 good ones.

    I covered them with my alcohol ink combed veneer, in muted shades as had added some pearl to the trans white. I baked them then added metal end caps filled with clay. After lightly sanding them I put gilders paste in damsom to tone down the bright silver. After accidents I eventually ended up with four. My DH was really impressed and has taken the best one to give to the quail owner, who said he has plenty more for me. So it looks like I will be busy making quail egg beads up till Easter. By the way I blew them and soaked them in vinegar then bleach before I covered them. Really pleased with results……………bye……………..cheers xx

  56. Bette L, 18 March, 2012

    Those eggs sound yummy! Please post a picture on the face book page for us all to see.
    One of the members of out guild does eggs too, but she does larger ones.
    Your eggs sound like a delightful necklace waiting to happen.

  57. Dixie Ann, 18 March, 2012

    We are all getting sick here in Iowa with the flu so between the bed and my computer I was intrigued
    with Elaine’s egg technique. How did you clean out the inside of the egg? How do you actually roll the clay piece onto the egg so all your seams are smooth? I hope you put a photo on our facebook page as I would love to see it also.

  58. Tantesherry, 20 March, 2012

    Hi Elaine

    I would Love to see some pictures of your quail eggs!!

    I’ve been making eggs for years and probley have 5 dozen here at home and no telling how many I’ve sold or just given away

    they just fasinate me :)

  59. Tantesherry, 20 March, 2012

    Oh dern – just read your next post to Dixie – where you said you guys don’t have a camera

    But after enjoying your posts here I’ve come to appreciate your ‘word pictures’ as you ‘draw’ them so nicely

  60. Elaine Faulks, 18 March, 2012

    Hi Dixie Ann hope you are not too sick with the flu, but keep warm, rest and drink lemon with lots of honey. Sorry no camera, and not on facebook yet!! so no pictures except my
    “word pictures”

    I used my tiny hobby drill on both ends of the eggs then just took a deep breath and blew. Ugg they were not very fresh so will have to think of using a tiny straw next time. Washed them under running water. Soaked them in vinegar for half an hour then in diluted bleach, just to make sure all nasty germs were killed!! Left them to dry (and had a cuppa, it was thirsty work!!)

    I covered them in PVA glue and baked them for 15 mins, this dried out the inside. The veneer I had made was very thin and I put it on while eggs were still warm so smoothing them was easy, using a metal rod.
    I left the holes open and baked for another 15 mins. Then I cut 2 round discs a little thicker, to cover both ends using some liquid polyclay to attach them, lastly filled the filligree metal end- caps with left over veneer and with a dab more LPC attached these to the discs of polyclay pushing them well in and twisting to make sure they were well and truly stuck.

    Then back in the oven for an hour. (the eggs not me) This made them strong enough to survive the next stage, light sanding and buffing.

    However careful I am the buffing wheel always manages to snatch stuff out of my hands (dont think it likes me). But even after being hurled against the wall by said BW and falling on the floor a couple of times (no not me) they seemed none the worse for their treatment. Just hope I will not be reported to the NSPCQE . Lastly I used the gilders paste to antique the bright silver end caps. Phew, they took some time but will make great Easter pressies………cheers xx

  61. Natalie H, 19 March, 2012

    Thanks for the detail directions on making the Easter Eggs. I see it take. Time. It the results looki great. What is P.V glue I mentioned the eggs to my neighbor who. Punctuation the snowmen Christmas ornaments from me sight in seen and she is.very interested in the Easter Eggs. It great to have someone like this encouraging me with my pokymer. Lay projects expecily since I have not touch the stuff in two months since I broke my ankle… It will feel great getting. Ack to it
    Thanks for everyone’s well wishes during my recovery
    Natalie aka Safti

  62. Tantesherry, 20 March, 2012

    hi Natalie just wanted to pop in and say if you decide to make a covered egg Elaine’s process is spot on, just take a long pin or a straightened paper clip and break the yoke up to make the blowing part easier :)

  63. Natalie H, 25 March, 2012

    Thanks for the suggestion…. I was trying to find
    Elaine’s directions but can’t find it now … Do know. How I can find it again… My neghbor is interested in taking a few when I make them

  64. Lesley Symons, 19 March, 2012

    Elaine, those egg beads sound stunning … I can just imagine a lovely Easter-themed necklace ….. ooooh I want to try that!

  65. pattw35, 19 March, 2012

    I just love the way you write !! It always brings a smile………. you have a lovely sense of humor………..

  66. Dixie Ann, 19 March, 2012

    Sorry I don’t have enough sense to stay in bed and Well I crawled back to the computer for your reply and yes I have really got the nasty flu and everything that goes with it. Your egg technique is fascinating and I want to try it when I feel better. All we have here are regular size eggs. Do all the rules apply no matter what size the egg? coughing too much, bye for now.

  67. Elaine Faulks, 19 March, 2012

    Hi Natalie H.(Safti)
    Shame you couldn’t have mended your broken ankle with PVA glue. (just kidding) hope it’s on the mend. I think ELMERS washable craft glue is sold in your neck of the woods, or any good white washable craft glue that the kids use in schools. It dries quite hard and clear and spills are no problem (I am a messy person so get lots of these)

    One of my first projects many moons ago, was to cover an extra large hens egg. What a disaster, but by experimenting and lots of broken eggs later I think I have got it right. (Just don’t go raiding wild birds nests).

    If a friend has a lonley female pet bird that starts to lay eggs (well they do in springtime) even with no male in sight , offer to make her a polymer clay covered egg in exchange for her pet birds lonley abandoned eggs . She will be your friend for life and the decorated egg makes a stunning focal bead, light and quite strong as long as you bake them like CINDY advises for at least an hour…………….hope this helps and looking forward to seeing heaps of pictures, using Cindy’s different colour palettes and veneers. Oh BTW you can back them with scrap clay but not too thick as it makes it more difficult to smooth out the bumps…………………cheers xx

  68. Natalie H, 26 March, 2012

    I am finally up an running with my polyer clay again…it only took 10 weeks to get the stuff.. hubby just wanted to make sure there was no more ice for me to slip on..Ihad found the one foot of ice when we were in the mountains on martin luther king wieekend. It feels so good to have the clay run through my fingers…but i have so many tuts to catch up one..It will take me to fit it between my physical therapy 3 times aweek and getting ready for PAssover..but ieven if I get a little done..its better that none.Thats for everyone’s well wished during my recovery period. Hope to have some decient stuff to show everyone in the near future. I have so many ideas floating aroung in my head that I dont know were to start..but ai thing I will finsih up the barrettes I was making for my neghbor and then get started on the Easter eggs for her..i guess I should make some thing for th Passover seder too.
    Also a friend of our opened a Sushi restartuarnt and my hubby did a lot of the woodwork..he made the sushi bar and table.s..thme a froemd sent me a ppicture of a Mezuzhah( a relgious itme that is attached to the right doorpost that contains a specila Herbrew prayer. this one is on a sushi restruarnt in Tokyo and it realy lookst like sushi…. so I told my friend that i will try to make it for him. They only thing is that I think it was made out of really sushi and glazed…I’m gping to try and replica it using polymer clay. I’ll keep you all informed on how it comes out
    Once again. thank you for all our well meant a lot to me to knw that people do care about me

  69. Dixie Ann, 26 March, 2012

    Natalie, we are so happy to hear you are back to your claying. It sure has been a long time coming girl. Glad you found Elaines instructions on the eggs. Isn’t it exciting to try something new! Please, please, please don’t break any more bones! Good luck on your eggs and have a blessed Easter.

  70. Jocelyn, 28 March, 2012

    Nat, such great news to hear you are back on your feet!

  71. pattw35, 19 March, 2012

    Wow -what a looooong thread. Everyones feed back is so heart warming – and funny too ! We have all the same learning challenge.teehee.

    What a fabulous group of clayers -Cindys Fan club………..ta dah !!!!!

  72. Elaine Faulks, 22 March, 2012

    Just popped in here to say thanks to a few peeps for their nice comment on my ramblings.

    Tantesherry……….Glad you like my word pictures (makes you use your imagination) and yep I would make a useless tutor as forgot the (poking around inside with a pointy piece of wire bit)
    Thanks so much for adding this vital information. I expect you are quite an expert by now……

    Lesley Symonds…… you would come up with stunning eggciting necklaces and the way the end- caps balance out the design the Queeds (My name for quail egg beads) can either be strung horizontally or vertically, use just one as focal or five as feature necklace Go for it……………

    Pattw35……….Glad I can make somebody smile or even LOL at times. I do have a wacky sense of humour and my daughter is even worse, hers’s is wicked!!!…….

    Dixie Ann,….. go back to bed! Cannot truthfully answer till more experimentation. Will buy huge fresh goose egg at farm shop. Make an omlette ,then think I will turn it into a fairy house.

    (The goose egg you silly goose) Covered in Cindy’s wood veneer, cut a little hinged fairy door might put Cindy flowers around and make a quirky chimmney to top it off , add a mini bird house (learnt from you know who)……………..mmm Cindy tulips…… Cindy mini roses………
    So……………………..Thanks to you CINDY……..The possibilities are endless…….Cheers xx

  73. Natalie H, 25 March, 2012

    Hi Elaine
    Found your commend on making eggs covered with polymerclay start to copy the direction but the. Lost it …I got up to the end were you bake it again for one hour but did. It get the temperature?

    Also, not sure I understand what you did with filwvre metal ends…. Could go explain it for me … Thatnks for all your help… My neighbor wants a few but I need to practice… Just hope I have enough time to make them before Passover .Easter is thstSudnay so I ha e to do my cleaning and work on the eggs at the same time what size eggs do you recommend…I usually have w tea large eggs in the house. … Is that too big to start with
    It does feel great working with clay after 10 weeks with out my supplies.
    Natalie aka safti

  74. Elaine Faulks, 26 March, 2012

    Hi Natalie,

    I used quail eggs because they make great sized beads and were free!! They are easier for me to handle.( I drop so many things as have no grip and use many “aids” to help me in my craft work.)

    Filligree metal end caps neaten the ends of beads and give a good contrast. You can also make your own from polymerclay. Cut two little discs of PC and attach to baked egg, one either end, using a little liquid PC. Then just roll a bead, cut it in half and stick to either end over the discs using a little more liquid clay, then continue to bake as usual. Make sure you use a bead pin or piece of strong wire to poke right through the egg and bake it suspended on this. I had run out of cornstarch so used baby talc to smooth the surface of the raw clay and they came out just fine……Hope this helps.. Yet to buy my goose egg to make for Easter, only a few days to find one at farm shop ……………………………..cheers xx

  75. Jocelyn, 27 March, 2012

    I love stripes and patterns made with stripes. Here’s something to try for colorway stripes that Cindy showed me way back when she first squirted that clay extruder. You could use the regular process, taking colors as they come like the pointillism cane, or you can make those lovely instant extruded mini flowers using the adapter technique.

    One you lay out a good size round or square product, you can use your blade to shave layers from the strip. The best stripe patterns in the world emerge while you do this!!

    You can thicken the stripe by rolling it fatter, you can use the stripes strings themselves as the pattern, or you can use a smaller hole to get skinnier stripes. Once you have the arrangement the way you want it, then pick up with Cindy’s combing technique. The stripes vary in a lovely way as they extrude, and if use metallics there is a ghosting effect that occurs when you press the grooves (I use my knitting needle). Adding an occasional translucent circle in the metallic mix with some black ones in an odd pattern makes for greater depth when you bake the work.

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