Sorry, No Polymer Clay Tute or Color Recipes This Week

Copper Wire Headpins“Oh, a dreadful thought just popped into my mind… Is it another 5th Friday month????” ~Melinda-H

2010-04-30 UPDATE: The special 5th Friday link is now posted here.

If you did not realize it, April is one of those months in the year with 5 weeks instead of four. And since the library publishing schedule is based on a 4 week rotation, that means that a tutorial video will NOT be posted for members this Friday, April 30, 2010. Nor will there be any color recipes cards to download.

BUT… that does not mean I won’t be taking care of you and providing a little something to tide you over until Vol-025 starts up in the first week of May.

SO… please watch for a special email message from me later this week. It will be sent out in the wee hours of Friday morning, which is when I normally send my regularly scheduled
Polymer Clay Newsletter.

When I read Melinda’s comment about the 5th Friday, my mouth dropped right into my lap. I am amazed how forward I look towards my Fridays. I might not have a chance to try each lesson until the next week, but watching them just starts the wheels a spinning in my head. So when I went on to read your comment Cindy, I felt much better and you can count on me watching my email for that special something to tide us over. Cindy you are made up of solid kindness. I wish I could give you a big hug right now so I will just have to send a hug to you as my grandkids do me uuhhggggggggggggs to you Cindy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for being you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ~Peggy-B


HINT… want a hint about what I might have my sleeve this time? Well, how about if I give you two…

1) Figure out what those little wire thingy’s are in the photo posted above, and you will also have figured out what the 5th Friday topic will be about.

2) The following question was posted by Lisa-W the other day in her Spotlight feature. Since no one responded, and since it fits perfectly with the theme of the upcoming 5th Friday topic, I’ll provide some helpful feedback right here:

Oh, I forgot to mention that I made my own copper headpins too and I used one on the Purse Charm on the Poppy Bead. Is there an easy way to get the black off the headpins? I sanded lightly with some 1000 grit sandpaper, but I was wondering if there is a better way? ~Lisa-W

I just use a piece of steel wool to remove the black but I know that metal jewelry artists often use something called pickling solution. I have heard that vinegar and salt will work as a pickling solution for metal. Haven’t tried it yet myself, though. If anyone else has, let us know. ~Cindy-L

OK… Am I making this guessing game WAY too easy for you or what??? Until Friday…

2010-04-30 UPDATE: Since Friday has already arrived… here is the link to the 5th Friday Post I discussed in the article above:

>>> Making Your Own Jewelry Headpins [6 Guest Videos]

** Did You Know… Members with current subscriptions to the weekly tutorial videos are always entitled to a 10% discount when purchasing 6 or more back issue packages in a single transaction. If you are interested, just let me know which back issues you would like and I will send further instructions on how to complete your order.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Carolyn K, 27 April, 2010

    Cindy, I hope this week is the headpin tut or e-mail. My version of the headpin is strange. I improvised and used copper ball chain and super glued a copper wire that would fit into the 2.4 mm ball opening. It did work but not sure how long it will hold the bead. Made a bracelet using my copper headpin. I’d send you a picture if I could figure out how.

  2. Maureen, 27 April, 2010

    OMG my heart just drops when I hear there is a 5th Friday… I also forgot and here I am waiting for your weekly video!! Like Peggy, I also wait all week for Fridays! Since I have not finished looking at all the topics in your Beginners Series, which I purchased (there is sooo much to look at and learn!) I will have to be content catching up on those! That’s fine, because I learn something new in each one. Also I can look forward to your surprise coming this Friday. Actually, the 1st thing I look at each morning is your daily blog. You have taken over my life Cindy!!! lol

  3. Ritzs, 27 April, 2010

    Will I Wont I Will I Wont I– Well I will have to- wait until May for the next video I am sure I will survive, But knowing you Cindy you will have something in the coming email to keep us all going thank you for being you, as Maureen said you have taken over my life as well What ever did I do before pmc.

  4. Hobokenmary, 27 April, 2010

    Whatever will I do come Friday?????? I always look forward to your tuts…I guess I’ll just have to look over some of your back issues to keep my creative juices flowing until next Friday!

  5. aims, 27 April, 2010

    I’m loaded up with copper Cindy and I’m really interested in what you have going.

    Saw a jar of pickling at the lapidary and passed it by with this thought in the back of my head that I probably should pick it up – now I wish I had. If you’ve got your own trick – I’m a waiting for it!

  6. Lawrence, 27 April, 2010

    I am not so sad at it being a fifth Friday as I am still gaga over the length and depth of last Friday’s Johnny Jump-Up video.You certainly outdid yourself on that one and can just imagine all the time and work that went into that particular one. Now I will consider it a “two for one”. I haven’t attempted it yet but certainly will do so soon.
    I purchased series 008 as my pasta machine was mixing colours by itself (hadn’t been taken apart in almost three years) and I couldn’t wait for our Guild demo in May. Now my pasta machine is spotless and fenderless. Thanks again Cindy.

  7. Maria, 27 April, 2010

    Well at least I can try to catch up on my color chips! Looking forward to the surprise…

  8. Lisa Whitham, 27 April, 2010

    Thanks for answering my question Cindy! I may try the salt and vinegar trick.

    ~Lisa :)

  9. Ritzs, 27 April, 2010

    Can I ask if anyone has used wax to polish beads? I have been reading about Renaissance Wax and wondered if it is any good.

  10. Cheryl, 27 April, 2010

    I didn’t realise there was a 5th Friday – As Maureen and Ritz said you have taken over my life too. I just wait for Friday and to be able to get to the computer as soon as I can. You deserve the 5th week off though you are still going to give us something and knowing you it will be really tops!

    Look forward to learning how to do those headpins -they look like you can use it for flower stamens too.

  11. Cara H, 27 April, 2010

    Cindy you are so good to us, thank you for not starving us of our fix ;)

  12. Carrie, 27 April, 2010

    Ok, although I love your videos Cindy, I am a little relieved there will me no video this week. I have been sooo busy getting ready for festival season I am behind 3 months on watching the tutes!! I just started this week catching up on them!

    I do want to thank you for 2 tips that have helped me more than you can imagine! They were not even the focus of the tutes nor given more attention than a passing comment but man have they changed my work!!

    #1 [Video-020-2], square the cane and bead to cover in cane slices and then roll it round, (tried this with extruder flower canes and made an unbelievably cute bracelet)

    And #2 [Video-022-1], hold your fingers at the edges of the clay when rolling a skinner blend so the clay does not become too wide.

    Since I began catching up, I have gotten around to trying the extruder flower canes [Vol-019-1] and the faux bone [Vol-019-3]. With great results both times! My only issue is with the flower cane. It comes out smooth until its about halfway done and then it suddenly splits and I get spaghetti instead of the rest of my cane! I did not stop extruding and I made sure the clay was very well conditioned. What is wrong!!

  13. Peggy Barnes, 28 April, 2010

    Cindy you just never take advantage of time off. That is another part that makes you who you are today. Very talented and well LOVED. Does anyone know if pickling solution goes bad. I bought a box of craft items at an auction over 3 years ago. One of the items was the pickling solution. I do not work with metal or sodering so I had forgotten all about it till just now when I saw it mention in the blog above. Isn’t this suppose to have a fowl odor and is it clear like water? If anyone knows what I should look for or if I should just play it safe and dump it, please let me know.

    Also ditto to the comment above. Don’t remember what 5 week of the month I made the comment on but as usual Cindy is being just as generous on this 5 Friday month as the one before. THANK YOU CINDY AND DOUG once again for giveing way more than you are paid for. The two of you should be the definition of Team Work.

    Now for Phaedrakat you don’t miss very many days without commenting. I know you are really wanting a tute on headpins. I hope you are not having a really bad day or anything is wrong. Please comment soon so we know all is fine in Phaedrakat’s world of kindness.
    Uuuuuuuggggs for everyone, Peggy

  14. Phaedrakat, 28 April, 2010

    @Peggy Barnes: Thanks for thinking about me, Peggy. You were right, I was feeling really sick. TMI to describe, but I had a really bad day yesterday, and was still nauseous until this afternoon. But I’m finally feeling a bit better. Yes, I’m excited to learn something about headpins (of course, I’ve only brought them up a gazillion times!) Although a 5th Friday means no video, it looks like Cindy’s still going to take care of us! (And in a way that I think I’ll LOVE!) I hope you’re having a great day, Peggy! Your ‘world of kindness’ needs to be pain-free, and full of Uuuuugggggss, of course!

    Also, I pray that Elizabeth K. is doing well. Her surgery was scheduled for Wednesday, which was over 24 hrs ago in Aust. So she should be done by now; let’s hope her recuperation goes fast & well, so that she can type and “tell” us how she’s doing!

  15. Peggy Barnes, 28 April, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: Well I am very sorry to hear you were not feeling well but glad you are getting better. Hope you are working with you clay soon. Yes I have been betterthank you very much but my last week has been spent taking care of my furry friend Jody. We resucued her from a center. half poodle, half maltese all heart. She suffered from pancreatitus ? on spelling. Then the last couple days has had several seizures. Is now recovering but still watching closely. I thank God my health has been well enough this last week so I can take care of her. Hopefully she will be in her little bed next to me soon sleeping away while I play with my clay. I pray you also will be playing with your clay soon too Phaedrakat.

  16. Phaedrakat, 28 April, 2010

    @Peggy Barnes: Thanks, Peggy. I will be praying for your furry little friend. It’s very sad about Jody, hopefully your love & care will get her through!

  17. Mary, 28 April, 2010

    aaarrggghh! The withdrawal symptoms will be awful! Bless you, Cindy, for sending us a little something on Friday, just to tide us over. Headpins, eh? Hmmm. I’m still working on the Johnny Jump Ups cane. How brilliant are you, Mrs. Lietz, and what a gifted teacher. At first I thought I’d never be able to tackle such a project (the JJUs), but your you-can-do-it-too encouragement and the patient, thorough methods you use give hope even to one as klutzy as I. Practice makes, er, well, slightly better each time. And it’s such tremendous fun! Thanks, Cindy.

  18. Cindy Lietz, 28 April, 2010

    Thanks everyone for your comments! Glad to see you are all so addicted that you’ll be going through some withdrawal! I think you are going to like what’s in store for you this Friday… not quite a video from me but still good!

    @Lawrence: Glad you liked that pasta machine cleaning tute. One thing I have recently found out is that the newer Amaco machines with the 9 settings instead of 7, have a completely different scraper setup and can’t be taken apart. The information in my tutorial video only applies if you have one of the older Amaco pasta machines. Now that the fins are out of the way on your machine, you can even use a little piece of cardstock or an index card and scrape the clay out from behind the scrapers. I am hoping with the newer model the clay doesn’t get backed up behind the scrapers, since you won’t be able to open it up to clean it. Only time will tell on that one.

    @Lisa Whitham: I tried the salt and vinegar thing and it works! Takes away the black easily. Changes the rosy pink on the ball to a cherry red, which is very cool looking too. Rinse the wire in water after though, because I suspect the homemade pickle solution would eat into the wire and make it weak if it was left to sit in it too long. I was thrilled to see it work. So cheap and environmentally friendly!

    @Cheryl: You’re right the headpins make awesome flower stamens!

    @Carrie: Nice to see you back Carrie, we missed you! Thanks for bringing up those two tips. It is the little tweaks to your methods that can make the biggest difference. Glad they were helpful for you. In regards to the extruder flower cane breaking, I wrote about some answers for that in another thread. I’ve linked to it by my name. BTW, was the festival a success? Or is it still coming up? I wasn’t quite sure.

    @Peggy Barnes: That I don’t know, maybe someone else does. Also you should look and see if it OK to just pour down the drain. It could be a dangerous chemical. If it has ‘gone bad’ you can use the salt and vinegar pickling solution I talked about above. Don’t know if it works for other metals, but it definitely works for copper.

    @Mary: LOL You are so cute! Can’t wait to see your cane. I KNOW you can do it! :-)

  19. Phaedrakat, 28 April, 2010

    @Cindy L: I bought one of those new Sculpey/Amaco PM’s with the 9 settings, but haven’t even taken it out of the box yet. (No claying for me for too long now!) I’m bummed to find out I can’t take it apart to clean, though. I’ll be taking it out of the box now, so I can see what this new scraper setup is all about. I sure hope it’s an improvement. I bought it so I’d have a 2nd one for light colors only, and it was so cheap. But if I can’t clean it, it won’t have been so cheap after all! I guess time will tell, like you said!

  20. Katie, 30 April, 2010

    @Cindy Lietz from Extruder Flower Cane Tips:
    I have a 9-setting amaco now (my original pasta machine did not last long – all of a month – but my amaco is doing a great job, or would be if I didn’t leave it at home, for a very good reason: clay distracts me and I have a big project.) Okay, trying to get back on track about the 9-setting. It will come apart, but it takes a lot of effort and determination (for me at least) to get the scrapers back on. I’m just using it now without the covers and procrastinating until I take the scrapers off again (also requires access to one of dad’s wrenches).

    PS: Yay! Headpins!

  21. Sherry, 25 July, 2010

    @Cindy Lietz from Extruder Flower Cane Tips: I bought a butane torch, and I’ve been having lots of fun making headpins. I also tried the salt and vinegar pickling solution and, while it turned the headpins an absolutely gorgeous pinkish color, that color did not last for even a day. All of the headpins ended up turning a rather brassy color. So, I am wondering how long you keep your headpins in the solution. Also, do you swish the pins in the solution at all or do you just let them lie in the solution?

    Thanks, as always, for broadening my store of jewelry-making knowledge.

  22. Phaedrakat, 27 July, 2010

    @Sherry: Hi Sherry! Some metals should not go into the pickle—what kind of wire did you use? If it was copper wire you’re okay, but avoid getting any iron/ferrous material in the pickle solution—see Koolbraider’s comment above with warnings about this. You also might have left your headpins in too long, or maybe you didn’t rinse them afterwards and the solution ate into the metal? You only need to leave them in the solution long enough to remove the black. Linda’s comment above mentions only 5 minutes to get results.
    Good luck! ~Kat

  23. Sherry, 30 July, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: Hi, Kat. The metal was copper, and I did rinse afterwards. I have tried leaving the wire in the solution for various times — swirling it in the solution for 30 seconds or so, leaving it in for five minutes, leaving it overnight (oops). It always turns out the same — beautiful soft pink when I first remove the wire and then rather ugly, brassy-looking later on. Maybe the problem is that I fell in love with a fleeting chemical reaction, and I’m just going to have to learn to embrace the real, final color. Anyway, thanks so much for getting back to me.


  24. Jocelyn, 31 July, 2010

    @Sherry: Or maybe if you used a fixative spray at the point the wire turns rose (yummy) do you think you could save that hue? Think I read somewhere it works well to hold the copper green patina at the stage you want it, maybe it would work in this instance?

    Cool color, used as the old fashioned leather laced tags and wallets style, could be a perfect frame or allow you a pendant that flips sheets (like the steno pad.)

  25. Phaedrakat, 01 August, 2010

    @Sherry & Jocelyn: Oh, yeah, I forgot about that. You could also use something like Preserve Your Memories II (PYMII, also known as CI SuperSeal in scrapbooking stores in the US.)

    It’s an awesome product that can be used on metal AND polymer clay (the only spray finish I know of that can safely be used on PC.) You can find it in some scrapbooking stores, go to their website. Also, one of our members, Carolyn, sells this product from her site.

    There’s also Renaissance Wax–which was discussed above on this page. I haven’t used it, but you can type the names of these products in the search box at the top of the page to find more info and discussions about them. Be sure to check the comments under the articles, as well. There’s often more info in the comments (Q & A) than in the original posts!
    Best of luck,
    Kat  Riverside, CA, USA   —
    Where are you from?

  26. Sherry, 03 August, 2010


    Hi, Kat and Jocelyn (Sorry, Jocelyn, but I don’t know how to reply to both of you at the same time) — Thank you both very much for your thoughts on how to solve my problem. I actually already have a can of PYMII. I had forgotten about it because I don’t like the shiny finish it gives to my clay. But I will try it on the pinkish copper to see if I can preserve it at the stage I like. I’ll let you know what happens.

    Kat — I grew up in Santa Barbara, CA, but I have lived in New York for many years. I now live in Port Washington, which is a lovely little town on the North Shore of Long Island.

    Hope you ladies have a lovely day!


  27. Koolbraider, 28 April, 2010

    Cindy: as for throwing the pickling solution down the drain: add baking soda to it. That will neutralize the acidity. Also: if the tutorial is for copper head pins (I hope, hope, hope) you can also use “Penny Brite”. Personally, I love the brown aged look of old copper. This will give me a good excuse to finally get some butane for my torch.

    Renaissance Wax smells horrible! And it only lasts for a short while.

    Warning for anyone using pickle of vinegar and salt: DO NOT add any iron/ferrous material to it because that will cause a chemical reaction between the copper and iron. Wish I could remember exactly what happens but when I was learning enameling every book warns against adding even a thread of steel wool. Always use either copper or wood tongs (or your fingers) when removing your copper pieces from the pickle.

  28. Phaedrakat, 28 April, 2010

    @Koolbraider: Thanks for the info on solutions and especially the vinegar/salt vs. iron cautions! Sounds a bit scary! I remember reading something about keeping the steel wool away, too. I also wanted to ask about Renaissance Wax. I googled it when Ritzs mentioned it, and found an article saying it can be used as a finish. But there’s not that much info. You’re saying it doesn’t last very long, huh? Thanks!

  29. Peggy Barnes, 28 April, 2010

    @Koolbraider: Butane torch just what I have been trying to figure out if I want to buy one or not. Can you tell me what kind you have and where you got it.

    Anyone else who has information on a butane torch I would love to hear about it. I am interested in one mostly for making headpins and hopefully if I enjoy using resin I can use it to get rid of those pesky bubbles. Does anyone know anything about the pencil torch the disposable or ones you can refill????????
    I need all the help I can get, this is a new subject for me and of course what my husband has in his garage I would set my craft room on fire with. So no borrowing from my hubby this time around.
    Thanks for any help in advance.
    Uuuuuuuuugs to all

  30. Ritzs, 29 April, 2010

    koolbraider, Thank you for the info on the renaissance wax i wont bother with it, and bubbles in the resin i use one of the throw away gas lighters like you get in the dollar store for lighting the bbq it works good and very cheap. I also will pray for Jody i no what its like my darling little dog (Joy by name) Had five seizures so i can sympathise Peggy

  31. Carrie W, 29 April, 2010

    Cindy- I have a craft show on Saturday, festival on May 15th and 16th. And, I have about 12 or 13 fetivals starting in june and going through September! So you all may not see a lot of me in the coming weeks! I did get around to trying the glow in the dark cane yesterday. TOO CUTE!! Apparently that kind of retro looking stuff is in now, I make some peace sign pendants and my sisters in law and all their friends go nuts over them!! Thanks a bunch for the great ideas!!1

  32. Koolbraider, 29 April, 2010

    Peggy, I bought my little butane torch from I needed something with a bit more power. But you can also use the little creme brulee torches that are sold in cooking departments. I’m wondering if copper head pins will need more heat. Soldering silver takes less heat than copper. I wonder if you could use Jewelry Shield to cover pins instead of the wax? From what I understand it’s made to last for a while.

  33. Phaedrakat, 29 April, 2010

    @Koolbraider: I read about using the Renaissance Wax on beads, have you tried that?

  34. Ritzs, 29 April, 2010

    Peggy that is what I read to, that was why I was curious

  35. Penny, 30 April, 2010

    Inevitably I have to write in defense of Renaissance Wax. For a start the smell is subjective – I love the smell!
    Secondly, it lasts. To quote one article about the wax “When thinly applied and rubbed out to full lustre, the wax film is (and remains) glass-clear, with no discoloration either of the wax or the underlying surface”
    To quote the manufactuers:
    “Renaissance wax polish was originally formulated in the British Museum research laboratories in the early 1950’s… The blend which emerged from (that) research was ‘designed’ for long term protection of all classes of museum exhibits. At last museum technicians and others caring for important collections could use wax polish that neither caused future conservation problems nor detracted from the intrinsic values of their treasures…The product was quickly accepted in the international museum world and has become a universally respected standard conservation material – probably the most widely specified – because of its almost unlimited uses.”
    And to quote another commentator:
    “It has a crystalline structure much finer than totally natural waxes, a property that confers a highly efficient moisture resistance. Countless statues and monuments in city streets are now protected by Renaissance wax from weathering corrosion.”
    (What you always wanted to know!)
    So, properties for us clayers? It provides a luster, easily (and the more coats you put on the more luster you get) ; it preserves if you want to use it for projects which will be outside (or indeed on windowsills and subject to light), it does not stain or darken (even white paper), and one uses such a small amount a small tin goes on forever.
    I love it!

  36. Ritzs, 30 April, 2010

    Thank you Penny, so I think the answer is for me to try it myself and see LOL

  37. Ifama, 30 April, 2010

    I had asked a question about a week and a half ago about measuring clay and was hoping someone could help me here. Perhaps it’s a stupid question to seasoned clayers, but I am totally lost when it comes to measuring clay. Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks to anyone in advance.

  38. Phaedrakat, 30 April, 2010

    @Ifama: Measuring clay in what way, Ifama? I must have missed your question last week. And there’s no such thing as a stupid question! They’re all good ones, and they deserve answers. Please let us know what you’re trying to measure for.

  39. Ifama, 30 April, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: I went back into the archives and found the answer. When Cindy says

  40. Ifama, 30 April, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: The color cards says for instance, 1 part this or 2 parts that. But I went back and saw that it could be whatever shape I choose to cut the clay with. Sometimes I don’t remember things I have read. Thanks for you attention.

  41. Cindy Lietz, 30 April, 2010

    @Penny: Great input about the Renaissance Wax Polish. Thanks for posting that info for everyone’s benefit.

    @Katie: Thank for your input about the new Amaco pasta machine.

    @Ifama: Glad to hear you were able to search “…back into the archives” to find some answers. The link by my name will take you to where I answered your orginal question.

    @Everyone: When you are posting questions here at the blog, be sure to use the email automated notification feature so that you receive a message when someone responds to your question. There is a check box option at the bottom of every comment section that must be manually checked for each thread that you decide to follow or monitor.

  42. Diana, 01 May, 2010

    I feel so blessed that I signed up for your videos. I am not sorry for the fee. You give us your all. Cindy, your video tutorials stayed on my computer so I could always go back and review. All of a sudden they were missing. Is that natural?

  43. Cindy Lietz, 01 May, 2010

    Hi Diana – I’m glad to hear you are enjoying the weekly video tutorials. As long as your membership is kept in good standing (I checked and your account is fine), you will have 24/7 access to the videos you have paid for. I will email you directly about this to help you resolve the issue. ~Cindy

  44. Jill V., 09 May, 2010

    I received Cindy’s head pins! They came wrapped so nicely with a little handmade thank you card and a gift tag with my name on it. The pins themselves are outstanding. They look good in the picture on this page, but they look even better in person! Thanks Cindy!

  45. Phaedrakat, 09 May, 2010

    @Jill V.: Oh, you ordered some, huh? Cool! I’m afraid I’m gonna have to try my own first. But if it’s too difficult, or if my torch isn’t hot enough for the copper — I know where to get some! I like how they’re plenty long — enough to stack lots of beads, do a messy wrap, or make a cool little tendril like on the Ivy Leaf tutorial…

  46. Cindy Lietz, 10 May, 2010

    @Jill V.: I am so glad you liked them! I think it is very important to put a little bit of special effort into the packaging when I send things out. Everyone loves to receive a gift in the mail, don’t they? The same thing should go for things you have ordered. It just goes to show how much I appreciate your business. I wrote a post about packaging awhile back. If you click the link by my name it will take you there.

    @Phaedrakat: Thanks for mentioning those points. That is exactly why I like to make my headpins long like that!

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