What I’ve learnt so far…
I have been having lots of fun exploring the possibilities of polymer clay as a mixed media material. Along the way I have learnt lots of different thing so here are the things I have learnt so far. My approach is sculptural so the tips and tricks are for use with white polymer clay as a sculptural medium. I hope these tips are helpful as you explore your own mixed media journey.
- Cornflour or baby powder makes a great mould release
- Acrylic paint thinned with medium makes a great stain to apply and wipe back.
- Baby wipes are great to use to remove access acrylic paint before it dries if you want a stained effect.
- polymer clay can be baked multiple times to add greater detail to a piece and solve the trixy problem of damaging a piece when you need to turn it over to work on it.
- A foam block of the required size for your work that has a section removed from the middle allows high detail areas such as faces to remain undamaged if the piece needs to be turned to work on the back section.
- when baking clay more than once, be careful to wrap small already fired sections in aluminium foil so they do not brown during further baking.
- polymer clay adheres well to dry Mont Marta air dry clay when this is used as a base.
- aluminium foil makes a good central core around a wire armature when building a polymer clay art work and reduces the expense of using larger quantities of polymer clay.
- copper details can be added to polymer clay piece by embedding copper sheet or copper spirals into clay sections.
- a very thin slab of polymer clay can be used to attach pieces to your sculptural base surace as you build your detail work.
- crystals can be added to polymer clay but unless clay overlaps and holds the crystal, the crystal will need to be glued into place after firing.
- When using crystals in a polymer clay piece when the crystal has been pressed into the clay and not overlapped,, fire the piece with the crystal in place and then gently remove and use glue to ffirmly reattach the crystal into the impression left in the polymer clay.
- use a 24 hour epoxy glue and not the 5 minute variety if you require a really strong bond.
- when gluing metal or other mixed media pieces, where possible always clean the area with alcohol to remove any grease and then sand both surfaces so the pieces have a grip able surface and will be a stronger adhesion.
- the best way to learn about polymer clay mixed media possibilities is to explore as many possibilities as you can and to simply play with your creative imaginings.