Polymer Clay Possibilities

A guest post by Ilysa Ginsburg

Polymer clay is an extremely versatile medium and lends itself well to many mixed-media techniques. I’ve been working with polymer clay for over 24 years and I am still discovering new ways to use it. You can transfer on it, carve it, stencil on it, silkscreen on it, paint and draw on it and do million other techniques as well with it.


I love to think outside of the box and try unexpected mediums and products with the clay. I am a mixed-media artist whose medium of choice is polymer clay but I have a whole array of products that are meant just for mixed media, so I have been on a mission to find the things that work best and see how far I can stretch my brain to come up with new ideas.


While creating one day I had an epiphany that I could use punchinella and crackle paint on polymer clay so the testing began. I discovered I got the best crackle with the Tim Holtz Distress Crackle Paint in clear rock candy. There is some reaction with the raw clay that happens that makes the best crackle I have ever seen! The thicker you apply it the bigger the crackle. The clear rock candy is obviously clear so I decided to try to color it and low and behold I was able to make any color crackle I wanted. You can use powdered pigments, acrylic paint and ink to color it, this opens up infinite possibilities! I also figured I could use punchinella as a stencil on the clay as well and it worked like a charm. I was then able to achieve mixed media results with my polymer clay which has allowed me to add three dimensional objects to my mixed media canvases and art journals.


In the Key to My Heart ATC card I have used both stenciling with punchinella and the crackle technique. I started by rolling out a thin sheet of copper color polymer clay with my acrylic rod or you can use a pasta machine on the thickest setting to 2.5 x 3.5 inches or 64 x 89 mm which is the correct size for an ATC. I used a blank paper ATC I had as a template to make things easier and cut the sheet to size with my blade.


I then placed a sheet of punchinella on top of my sheet of raw polymer clay and with a sponge brush painted in the holes of the punchinella with a patina acrylic paint and let it dry.



When the paint was dry I painted on a thick layer of Tim Holtz Distress Crackle Paint in clear rock candy and let it dry completely. You will see the cracks starting to form as it dries.


I then rolled out an even thinner sheet of copper color clay (the 4th largest setting on a pasta machine) and used a small heart cookie cutter and cut out 3 hearts. I painted those with a thick coat of the crackle paint and let dry.


I had a chipboard key that fit perfectly on my ATC so I painted that with a chocolate color pigment ink and then sponged on some of the patina acrylic paint to age it some more and did a little highlighting with gold pigment ink on both the key and ATC. Once the paint and ink dried I painted a thick layer of the Distress crackle paint on the key and let that dry. Once everything was dry I used a paint brush to paint sky blue powdered pigments into the cracks on the ATC, hearts and key. I then added the hearts to the ATC and baked it in my oven at 265 degrees for a half hour. After it cooled I used a heavy duty glue and glued the key to the ATC. No one would ever know that it was super easy to make this card by looking at it, with just some simple steps you can create a unique look  that can enhance your canvases, art journals, mixed media and jewelry projects. You can check out my new book, Polymer Clay Art Jewelry to see how I used these techniques on jewelry. You are only limited by your imagination!


Ilysa Ginsburg is the co-author of Polymer Clay Art Jewelry: How to Make Jewelry Projects Using New Techniques. You can find her at emeraldearth.com, ilysaart.etsy.com, craftylink.com, thingscrafty.com and polymerclayproductions.com.


You might also like this tutorial showing how to make polymer clay tiles.

Plymer_Clay_FinalCover.inddCheck out Polymer Clay Mixed Media Jewelry by Shirley Rufener.








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