Tuesday, November 4, 2008

making my own Polymer clay fabric

I use polymer fabric to cover molds I've made for boxes and wearable vessels. A lot of people use canes in their designs but I use a pretty soft polymer clay that stretches most flowers and designs way out of recognition. Today I made a free form fabric that I quite like...it'll make several different objects as it's about a foot long and 6 inches wide and it's always fun to play with design because I'm never quite sure how it'll come out.

So first I rolled some ivory clay through the pasta machine at the thickest setting...folded it and ran it through once more. Usually I would use a black base for these colors, but I was running out. Then I grabbed my extruder and mixed in layers of black, red and gold and pushed it out in a thin rope.  Then I made a few free form shapes and started to create the pattern below over the ivory base.

Then I rolled it through the pasta machine at the thickest setting and then reduced it down two more settings until there were no crack lines (sometimes I like the texture they give and keep them).

You can see how much the pattern spread out, that randomness makes it like opening a present when it comes out of the machine. :)

Then I trimmed the edges off (you'll see what I did with those further down) and textured the 'fabric' using a straining screen.
It reminds me of some very colorful upholstery fabric. The underside of this is white, but I covered it well enough that only a little squished out of the sides. 

I then took the leftover scraps (really, this is the most fun part for me...I like just winging it with these) and made one bead and 3 pendant pieces. 
Although I love my sculpting sometimes it's just therapeutic working with design and form like this...there's so much that's out of my control that it's not really about talent, it's more about experimenting and going with the flow of whatever you end up getting. 


  1. It's amazing the things you can do with polymer clay. That was clever. And it's funny because it just reminded me of being a kid and playing with plasticine, it would fall on a rug and the rug shapes would get inprinted on it. Curious memory...

  2. I remember being in love with something as a kid (can't remember the name of the stuff) that would pick up imprints and also picked up the ink off comic pages, so can totally relate. thanks for commenting :)


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