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Emily NZ
03-13-2004, 07:26 PM
Last weekend I went to a day workshop on polymer clay. It was the first time I had tried this. We were taught how to make millefiori canes.
This is some of what I made. Please excuse the finger prints I left behind. I also used some clear nail polish on some of them to shine them up a bit! :D
I put a slice of the cane I used beside them. I put holes through the small canes to use as filler beads.
Hope you don't mind me posting them here in the glassy area.
Emily

lorrie
03-13-2004, 07:47 PM
Mind you posting? DUH!! We love everything you do. Those are great and I'm impressed. The polished one reminds me of ceramic/glass. Very nice.
lorrie

Flaming Idiot
03-13-2004, 08:01 PM
This is some of what I made. Please excuse the finger prints I left behind. I also used some clear nail polish on some of them to shine them up a bit! :D Emily

Oh Emily! Did someone suggest fingernail polish to you? It's a big no-no. It reacts with the clay and the surface will get gummy... maybe not right away, but it'll happen girlie. So sad, after all that work! You did reeeeeeeeal good too! Any chance you might've taken a workshop with Petra? Polymer is my first love.... but I think lampwork is going to give it a serious run for the money! LOLOL!!!

By the way... you can't use spray finishes either.... the propellants react with the clay over time with the same gummy surface effect. I use Future Floor Polish on items I want a shiny surface on.. but don't want to take the time to sand & buff. :::grin:::

Keep up the good work!

Emily NZ
03-13-2004, 08:12 PM
Yes my workshop was with Petra. It was awsome
The nail polish was my own bright idea! - Not so bright idea.:mad:
Oh well live and learn. I should have emailed Petra for advice first. DUH! : :(
We were able to choose three colours and also some white. I covered a pen as well.
Emily

Booger
03-14-2004, 12:13 AM
Emily!

I shouldn't be surprised at all to see a different example of beauty from you. Love the clay beads and what a great combo they would be with your own glass. Now can sell in mixed media catagories, too!

Beware of storing your clay canes in anything other than plastic bags, too. It reacts with strange things. And I just read where a woman uses waterless hand cleaners painted to the surfaces (thinly) to smooth out the fingerprints. Has anyone tried this one?

Anyways, they are beautiful and I am applauding.
:clap: :clap: :clap: (See?)
Sheryll

Flaming Idiot
03-14-2004, 12:27 AM
Beware of storing your clay canes in anything other than plastic bags, too. It reacts with strange things. And I just read where a woman uses waterless hand cleaners painted to the surfaces (thinly) to smooth out the fingerprints. Has anyone tried this one?

I've used alcohol on a soft brush to smooth in the past. Also... I've heard of people using a bit of vaseline... so the hand cleaners might well work okay. As far as storage... ziplocs work for sure. Also wax paper is great! You can also use some plastic tubs... the frosty looking ones in general are usually okay. The crystal clear ones are NOT... the clay will react with them. But you can line them and use them.

Don't leave your clay sitting on anything paper... it will leach the plasticizers out of the clay and make it too stiff to use.

Also... raw clay will react with finishes on your furniture... so be very careful not to set it out on anything made of finished wood. Baked clay is fine.

Here's one of my kaleidoscopes!

Emily NZ
03-14-2004, 05:02 AM
Thanks for the info!
Sheryll I would need to experiment a lot to get colours and finishes to compliment the boro work I do.
The ones I made would look really pretty with the softer glass colours though. Something I have on my to do list!
Flaming idiot that kaleidescope is just fantastic!
I used up all my spare clay on the canes and cut the canes into slices and made little beads from them. I know I won't have time for a while to use it up so thought I'd create with all I had left over.
It goes a long way!
Emily

KetchikanSculptor
03-14-2004, 03:28 PM
I Just Love Polymer! These pics of the mili's are great! Love the color combo's! Hope to see more of your stuff!

Here is my latest life size Father Christmas and close up of face.... sold to a lady in Wilmington NC. Hope it does not look to dark to tell... I realy need to find an editor program that will lighten it up.

glassfur
03-14-2004, 04:26 PM
Levels is the easiest tool for quick brightness fixes. This took longer to upload and download than edit the picture. This tool is available in most paint packages, paint shop pro, photoshop, gimp, etc. I use gimp.

The tool brings up three eyedroppers, dark middle and light.
Click on dark, click on darkest park of picture.
Click on light, click on lightest park of picture.
Click on medium, click on gray park of picture. Sometimes it's easier to temporarily switch to grayscale to identify the midpoint, then undo to return to color, then click to set midpoint
Slide midpoint up and down to brighten to taste.

Apply a selected area unsharp filter (mask or layer preferably) for photographic style focal effects.
Select the head by clicking on select and dragging a square surrounding the head.
Click on filters , sharpen, unsharp mask, Click apply
Select hands, click apply last filter.

Unsharp settings - Set to low values, radius .1-3, values .1-2, experiment, one value per package/version will work for most photos. Different packages and even different versions of the same package use different algorithms so you'll need to experiment to find the proper values for each package.

16 keystrokes
Double click picture to load paint program
1. shortcut key to levels
2. dark
3. light
4. mid
5. slide mid
6. select tool
7. select head
8. shortcut key to unsharp mask
9. unsharp radius
10. unsharp value
11. apply
12. select hand
13. shortcut key apply last filter
14. select hand
15. shortcut key apply last filter
16. close program and save

Some programs will have annoying "are you sure" or "apply change" dialogs that would slow you down, better programs can turn off these "helpers" and really speed up the process.

You can do a much better job than this if you are willing to spend time on the process. It's always better, if possible, to apply better lighting during the photo shoot.

GlassFur

KetchikanSculptor
03-14-2004, 04:56 PM
Levels is the easiest tool for quick brightness fixes. This took longer to upload and download than edit the picture. This tool is available in most paint packages, paint shop pro, photoshop, gimp, etc. I use gimp.

You can do a much better job than this if you are willing to spend time on the process. It's always better, if possible, to apply better lighting during the photo shoot.

GlassFur

WOW.... THANK YOU!!! Much brighter! Good thing the lady that bought him saw him in person. I had a few other photos on my studio computer that were better... but I was to lazy to put them on a disk and load them on to this one for internet use. Guess I better get out of that lazy habit pronto! :p

I will look into a program I can use on this laptop... I use printshop on the one in the studio.

THANKS AGAIN! That was very awesome of you!

thewildbunny
03-14-2004, 07:53 PM
Yes my workshop was with Petra. It was awsome
The nail polish was my own bright idea! - Not so bright idea.:mad:
Oh well live and learn. I should have emailed Petra for advice first. DUH! : :(
We were able to choose three colours and also some white. I covered a pen as well.
Emily

Yeah, Nail polish seems like a great idea at the time, but unfortunately....

I'm glad your first clay-play was with Petra, she is an awesome woman and teacher! I had the privilege to host her at my house for a week a few years ago, when she was doing a tour through the states.

Emily, you are doing really well with caning! those colors are so bright and cheerful, and everything is clear. I didn't see fingerprints! LOL.

The vaseline is a good idea, but it makes colors like black and red run on the surface. Do it before you bake, and then sand off well after it cools from the oven. Pattie Kimle does this with some of her beads, and they are so silky smooth to the touch.

If you are looking for some free lesson's, my website has quite a few of them from the old PCH days. www.thewildbunny.com.

Joanie, those kalidescopes are magnificent! I always wanted to try one of those.

Edited to add: Ruth, that father Christmas is...WOW. Is it really life size? How the heck did you ship it???

Emily NZ
03-15-2004, 02:03 AM
Hi Bunny Petra is great, I saw pics of you and her and some of your work on her website.
It was easy to understand the priciples of cane work after making so many in glass. Such a pleasure to use my fingers for a change!
RUTH! I had no idea you could make stuff that big! do you bake it all at once or bake and assemble later?
WOW!
Emily

KetchikanSculptor
03-15-2004, 02:10 AM
Hi Bunny Petra is great, I saw pics of you and her and some of your work on her website.
It was easy to understand the priciples of cane work after making so many in glass. Such a pleasure to use my fingers for a change!
RUTH! I had no idea you could make stuff that big! do you bake it all at once or bake and assemble later?
WOW!
Emily

Hi Emily!

I make the pieces individualy and assemble it later. Been doing this since 1988 and learned a lot along the way. Taught many classes to students in the 1990's when the market was getting saturated with Santa's and Father Christmas'. Glad to have these skills for when the market can support it again... I really enjoyed making and creating new designs the most.

Beaux Arts
03-18-2004, 09:29 PM
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Your canes are beautiful.
Has anyone suggested Scultpy Glaze? It comes in Satin and Glossy. If the piece is small enough, I just dip it in the bottle, let it drip off, carefully remove the excess drip and hang it to dry. I wasn't sure how durable it would be for jewelry, so put some glazed beads through the dishwasher, after they had dried for several days. No damage or peeling at all.

I used it on Cernit clay, so seems compatible. Give it a try on something "disposable."

Poly-clay beads are much lighter than glass, which makes them more wearable, in my opinion. I just wish I could get the transparency of clear glass.

Mary

thewildbunny
03-18-2004, 11:23 PM
Poly-clay beads are much lighter than glass, which makes them more wearable, in my opinion. I just wish I could get the transparency of clear glass.

Mary

Mary, if you haven't tried Kato Liquid Poly-Clay, you should. It's the closest thing to clear you will get, and it's pretty durn shiny too, without sanding.

www.prairiecraft.com is I think their email, or just got to www.katopolyclay.com.

!ngridh
03-18-2004, 11:55 PM
Well...when I did IT ...I would apply neutral shoe polish ( the wax in a can) :p and finish that off on a grinder...with a linen polishing wheel for a scratch free shine that won't wane...actually unfinished ...if it is in a piece that is handled like a pen...I believe the natural oils give it a nice shine.

Emily NZ
03-20-2004, 01:05 AM
Thanks Ingridh and Mary,
I'll remember that for next time!
Emily