HanaClayWorks - FAQ! (MAJOR update 01.12.2008)

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:star:Last update: 01.12.2008:star:
I've been getting quite a few questions in regards to my clay techniques and/or materials, so I decided to make a FAQ section in my journal.  Still feel free to note me with questions if the it's not answered here - I'll still respond, I promise! :D

Each section has been divided for ease of use. :)

Clay: Types, Tips, Techniques

This section is dedicated to my review of the different types of clays available out in the market today as well as techniques, tutorials, tools, etc.

~*.:star: Types of Clays :star:.*~
:pointr: How many different types of clay are there and what are the differences between them? How do I know which one is the right one for me?
  • There are many types of different clays available out there. I will start off with the most commonly used ones and work my way down:

    Sculpey: Sculpey brand is the one that is most widely used by crafters because it is inexpensive and readily available in many different colors. They come in earth textures (i.e. rock textures) as well as pearlized. There are also different brands of Sculpey ranging from Classic to Sculpey III to extra light weight to even a flexible kind that supposedly remains bendable after baking. I have not tried the light weight or the flexible ones so I can't help you there. I have used the classic Sculpey as well as Sculpey III. My clay of choice is Sculpey, but that's because I bought it in bulk when I first started using clay and I don't want to waste money. =P
    • pros: inexpensive, wide color range, good for beginners, readily available in many craft stores, Michael's sometimes will have it on sale for about $1 per 2oz block.
      cons: not as hard as other brands after baking so the thinner pieces break easily, can sometimes be too soft to work with, colors sometimes turn darker after baking (this goes for the white and translucent Sculpey), not available worldwide
  • Fimo: Fimo is another popular brand with Polymer Clay artists because it is hard and durable after baking. It is great for thinner pieces of work. It is also available in a wide range of colors and types, just like Sculpey.  They even have these awesome ones with glitter already embedded into the clay.  However, Fimo tends to be more expensive than Sculpey and that's probably due to the fact that it is imported into the US (although I'm not quite sure) or that the process used to make Fimo are a little more high-quality than Sculpey. Either way, it costs a bit more per 2oz block - it's normally $2+ for a block of Fimo as opposed to $1.00 to 1.60 for Sculpey. (depending on whether there is a sale). Here are the Pros and cons:
    • pros: much sturdier than Sculpey brand for thinner pieces so it won't break as easily, not as soft to begin with (although that may be a good thing since it will retain it's shape better before baking), colors won't change as much as Sculpey, wide range of colors
      cons: more expensive, not as readily available as Sculpey in the US, harder to work with for beginners since the clay may need more conditioning, Fimo Classic can be extremely hard on the hands
    </li> Kato Polyclay: Kato is the brand that is preferred by jewelry clay artists because the colors are more steadfast than the other brands. It is not available in as many colors as the other two brands, but I find that the quality is a bit better for the price. You pay about as much for Kato as you would for Sculpey, but you get quality that is about where Fimo is. The only thing about Kato is that you can't really find it very readily, even in the US. If you are just a starter, I would suggest just sticking with the other two brands and then moving to Kato when you get more experience (especially if you plan to go into jewelry-making with Polymer Clays) only because you might have trouble finding large quantities of it.
    • pros: inexpensive, great value for your money, colors are steadfast so they won't change so much as the other two after baking, sturdy, easy to work with, good for jewelry-making
      cons: not easy to find, has a strong plastic smell
    </li> Other clay brands: there are also air-dry polymer clays, Cernit, Promat, Crayola and Friendly Clay. I have not tried any of these clay brands so I cannot tell you how good or bad they are. If anyone is extremely interested in these, I can attempt to get them and try them out for you and review them. However, if you can't choose from the three most popular brands in the WORLD, then maybe you shouldn't... you know... be so picky? xP Otherwise, if you live in a country where none of those three brands are available (I think Japan may be one of them... or the brands are just really hard to find) then let me know and I'll see what I can do about finding information in regard to the brands that you do have in your country. :) I love internet ordering! lol

:pointr: What type of clay do you use and why?
  • I use Sculpey III mainly, but I also use Fimo Soft and Fimo Effects (not classic because it's too hard) as well as Kato, with a little TLS mixed in. There is no real difference between Sculpey and Fimo besides the fact that Fimo bakes up a little harder and is harder to work with.  I've bruised more than one little finger trying to condition the clay and the extra few degrees of hardness just isn't worth the pain and anguish! Also, Sculpey III is a bit less expensive and good for beginning clay artists. After all this time (it's been... what... 6 months?) I still see myself as a beginner clay artist. Plus, I bought too much at the beginning to want to start using another type of clay. xP
    My clay of choice?  If I could trade in all of my clays for one brand, it would be either Kato or Fimo Soft/Effects since I'm tired of having my pieces break on me after being baked in the oven.  Plus, the Fimo Soft and Effects come in these pretty glitter clays. ^^;

:pointr: What in the world is TLS and where can I buy it?!
  • TLS - or Translucent Liquid Sculpey - is a type of clay that's still in a liquid form. There are (now) different colors of TLS, just like there are different colors of clay. It bakes up translucent, not clear (unless you do it in thin layers over your clay) and it is very useful when you want to make frostings (it helps to soften the regular clay to the consistency of frosting when you mix the two), sauces, and is very good as a "glue" between pieces of clay. You DO have to bake the TLS like any other clay, so it's not GLUE glue. TLS gets baked like any other clay would, but it will get a little bit runny in the oven with all the heat. However, it will bake up nice and hard like clay... although maybe a little more flexible. You can buy TLS in any craft store that carries Sculpey clay. Otherwise, there are many internet sources to buy clay and other supplies. Please see the "Craft and Jewelry Suppliers" section for more information on where to buy TLS.
    Just as a note, Fimo also makes a brand of liquid clay. It's also just called Liquid Fimo and is exactly the same as TLS, only it's a different brand.

~*.:star: Baking Clay - Problems and Quick Fixes :star:.*~
:pointr: How long do I bake my clay for?
  • I don't know. It depends on what brand of clay you use. You should check the package that the clay comes in so that you can be certain of the temperature and time. Most polymer clays will burn at temperatures at or above 300 degrees, so be careful!  Here is a list of the bake times for my clays:
    • Sculpey III- 275F (130C), 15minutes for each 1/4" (6mm) thickness
      Kato Polyclay - 300F (150C), 10 minutes
      Fimo - 230F (110C), 30 minutes

:pointr: How do I know when my clay is done cooking?
  • f you follow the instructions on the packet, you should have no problems with the clay and figuring out when it's done. The temperature and time given for any clay type is usually per 1/4" thickness.  When you remove your clay from the oven, it's usually a little bit soft, but once it cools, it'll be hard as a rock! If you burn it, haha... paint it! :XD:

:pointr: Do you have any tips for baking the clay?
  • I have a few tips. First off, get a tray that's light-colored like a steel or aluminum try. Designate this try for CLAY ONLY because you don't want to use the same pan for baking/cooking as you do for clay. I don't think the clay is toxic, but it won't taste good and it sure isn't healthy for you! Although, if you clean it off really well after each use, you should be fine using it for food. It just gets really annoying, depending on how often you bake clay. If you're a sometime-crafter (like maybe once or twice a year), then go ahead and use any pan you may have. Otherwise, if you're like me and you bake about a million times a month, you should invest in a pan for the clay. It doesn't have to be nice and can even be an aluminum pan so long as it's a flat surface.  
    The pan that I bake my clay on is a pizza pan that I found at the dollar store and it works really well.  Besides, no one in my family eats pizza (unless it's delivered) so I don't have to worry. :D

    Secondly, if you bake the clay directly on the pan (even if it's lined with foil), the bottom or the clay that you're baking will come out shiny. If you don't want that, just place a plain ol' piece of white paper on the bottom before you bake and the texture will be consistent throughout the clay. Don't worry - the paper won't burn. Plus, with paper there, it's a LOT easier to peel off your clay pieces rather than having to yank them off the tray only to find out that it's stuck.  The paper doesn't need to be changed as often as you would think - maybe after being baked two or three times.  Just remember that the side that faces the clay should be WHITE - that means no newspaper and no colored papers.  If you're reusing old essays, just be sure to leave the printed side faced DOWN so that the ink doesn't touch the clay.

    Thirdly, cover the entire tray with foil. This will help with a few things: a) it will help keep the fumes (non-toxic) from spreading all over your house. Clay will give off fumes, but is only toxic when you burn it, so this helps; b) I hear that it helps keep your white from burning too quickly, which has always been my problem when working with clay.  The best way to go about this is to invest in a thick cake tin of some sort (casserole tins that you can purchase from the dollar stores or one of mom's old ones will work - just as long as it's a light-weight metal).  My foil cover is a square tin cake pan that I bought from Vietnam a few years ago for about $0.10 while on vacation with family.  I had originally wanted to use it to bake cakes, but there are tiny holes where the seams are and that just makes it leak like mad.  If you don't have a pan like this, then just use aluminum foil and form a "tent" over the entire pan.

    Lastly, if you cover your clay, let it cool covered with the foil. If you remove the foil right after baking, all the fumes will have escaped and that's just silly. =P

:pointr: My clay is still soft after I bake it! What gives?!
  • All clay is soft right after you bake it! xP You have to let it cool completely before it turns rock-hard! If it does not harden after it's completely cooled then you either didn't bake it long enough or there's too much plasticizer in the clay (the stuff that keeps it from drying out in the air like Play-Doh). If it's the first case, put the piece back into the oven for a little longer. If it's the second case, the next time you bake the clay, let it sit overnight on a piece of white paper before you bake so that the paper can suck some of that plasticizer out of the clay. :)

:pointr: Are the fumes toxic?
  • No, the fumes are not toxic. They're only toxic if you breathe a whole lot of it after you've burned your clay. Keep the windows open and cover with tin foil and you should be fine. :D

:pointr: Will my food taste like clay if I bake my food in the same oven?
  • I haven't had a problem with it - all my food comes out tasting just as yummers as before. The only way I can think of that will make your food taste like clay is if you use the same pan for clay as you do for food WITHOUT washing it, and I think we've already established that that's a no-no.  If you're extremely paranoid about it, you can purchase a craft oven - it's like a toaster oven but for crafts only and it won't burn your clay to a crisp like a toaster oven would!  That way, you can keep your clay baking separate from your food baking.  However, these ovens will cost you a pretty penny and I just don't think they're worth it.

:pointr: Does the clay change colors (get darker/lighter) after I bake it?
  • Not really. I find that most of the time, the color stays the same after baking, but if you use colored TLS, it will be slightly darker than before. I always say that the only way the color of the clay will change when you bake it is if you burn it. But then again, that's what paint is for! ;P
    Sometimes, though, the red can get a bit lighter in the oven, but I haven't had that problem with either Fimo or Kato.

:pointr: Will the paper burn in the oven if I put it underneath my clay?  How often do I have to change the paper?
  • No, the paper will not burn. It might get a little "toasted" around the edges but unless you put it right next to an open flame (which you shouldn't do because it's not good for your clay anyway), it won't burn. :) You don't need to change the paper after each baking (because that's insane).  As a rule of thumb, once the edges start to turn a dark-medium brown, it's time to swap out that piece for another one (usually after 2-4 times in the oven).  See the question with tips on baking clay for additional information.

~*.:star: Keeping the clay clean :star:.*~
:pointr: How do you keep all that lint out of the lighter colored clays? I keep getting lint in mine! :(
  • Here are a few steps to help reduce the amount of lint. There is no way to completely get rid of all the lint unless you were in a completely clean room... and naked. xD
    • Wear lightly-colored clothing. This will help reduce the amount of dark-colored lint in your clay so even if you do get some lint in there, it won't be so noticeable. Good colors to wear: white, light grey; Bad colors to wear: everything else.

      Tie your hair back so as to prevent that from getting in there as well.

      Use a clean surface! I suggest you invest in a small 6x6 (or whatever you prefer) tile from your local hardware store. Nothing too fancy - just plain and white and smooth. You can probably get one for under $1 (I got 4 of them for just over the $1 mark) and it's great because you can just clean it after working with your clay to provide yourself with a clean surface for next time. Plus, with white, you can see when it gets dirty so that you can avoid working on a soiled surface.

      Wash your hands often, especially when you switch from using a colored clay to white. It's difficult to tell sometimes whether you have clay still on your fingers so cleaning with soap and water between colors is always a good practice. I sometimes put a bowl of water right near where I'm working so that I can rinse my hand every once in a while. I do this especially when I'm working with white only so that the lint build-up isn't so bad.

      If all else fails, wear gloves! Latex gloves can be found at any hardware or dollar store for cheap. It helps to keep lint and fingerprints off of the clay. However, it is more difficult to work with gloves on since the sensations in your fingers will be lessened.

:pointr: How do I clean the clay pieces after I've glazed it?
  • Mild soap and water will help you clean the stains off of the finished pieces. Don't scrub too hard or else you'll scratch the surface. Dry it directly after because most glazes are water-based so they will become ruined if they touch water for too long!!  NEVER EVER EVER SOAK THE PIECE AFTER THEY'VE BEEN SEALED WITH A WATER-BASED GLAZE OR ELSE YOU'LL RUIN THE GLAZE!!

:pointr: Do you have any tips to getting rid of fingerprints?
  • There are a few things you can do. You can either wear gloves, brush the piece with some rubbing alcohol after working with it, or sand the piece after baking. There are pros and cons to each one.
    With the gloves, you will prevent ALL fingerprints from getting on your clay, but it's hard as sin to work in. Also, it's possible to get lines on your clay from when the excess parts of the gloves roll up.
    With rubbing alcohol, you have the fumes, which smell and it's difficult to brush off all of the fingerprints because this process takes a while to finish. When using this technique, don't use too much alcohol and don't press too hard or else you will end up with brush stroke lines all over your clay piece.
    Lastly, sanding is a pain in the behind because it takes forever and you have to really use a lot of different types of sandpaper. If you use this technique, start off with a coarse grained paper and work your way down to the very fine grain papers. The problems with this include dust from sanding, time it takes to sand the piece, streaks left from coarse sandpaper, and it's difficult to reach or sand the smaller crevices.  Also, you run the risk of sanding off too much, thereby ruining your piece.

~*.:star: Tools, Techniques and Tutorials :star:.*~
:pointr: Can you make a tutorial for _____?
  • It depends on what the object is and whether I have time for it. I am an advocate of spreading the love of polymer clay to everyone and getting everyone to try it out for themselves. However, that doesn't mean that I will make a tutorial for everything that's in my gallery. You guys can call me hypocritical, but there are some things that either take too long or are too difficult for me to make a comprehensible tutorial. However, don't let this stop you from asking me to make the tutorial! I am always glad to hear that you like my things enough to want to try them out for yourselves, but please don't be disappointed if I don't make one. I also have some video tutorials up for your viewing pleasure! Here is a link to the journal entry in which I have listed all my tutorials to this date:
    Tutorials List
    **PLEASE DO NOT USE THESE TUTORIALS FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES! They're made for your own personal use! If you plan to sell any of these, please note me and let me know beforehand... otherwise, I consider it stealing and that's just mean :(**

:pointr: What kind of tools do you use and where can I get them?
  • My list of tools include, but are not limited to:
    • a toothbrush
      plastic disposable spoons
      some jewelry pliers that I got for about $3-4 each online
      wire cutters (also about $3)
      razor blades
      corn starch
      sharp probe from my medical school dissection kit
      sand paper
      shape-cutter sets that i got online for about $2 (for 3 cutters of different sizes)
      fingers and fingernail
      pasta machine that I *finally* purchased
  • I guess the answer to this really is - you don't actually have to buy any tools to work with clay, but it certainly does help! If I can suggest anything it's for you to be creative and see what you can find around the house to do the job. It really helps if you're like me and are easily distracted because it'll save you money in the long run when/if you decide to stop making clay things. xP HOWEVER, if you do plan to buy tools, you can get them at any arts and crafts store where you bought your clay (e.g. Michael's, Jo-Anns, etc.) If it's difficult for you to find stores, please see the "Craft/Jewelry Suppliers" section for more information!

:pointr: What types of wires do you use to make the little hooks in your clay?
  • Lots of types!  I work with both sterling silver as well as silver-plated and galvanized steel.  I work with gauges between 18 and 34, depending on the project that I need to do. With wire, the higher the gauge number, the thinner the wire - so a 34 gauge piece of wire will be a LOT thinner than 18gauge.
    On some of my charms, I use galvanized steel. You can tell the difference between galvanized steel and silver wire in that galvanized steel is a lot darker and a lot less shiny and "silver" than silver wire (duh). If I'm making jewelry pieces then I most definitely will use silver-plated or silver wire. I've been trying to get myself off of galvanized steel - I don't like how it doesn't look completely pristine and perfect. xD So, chances are, if you're ordering a commission from me, the piece will have silver-plated wire. ^_^

:pointr: How do you put the hooks in and keep them there?! Mine keeps falling out. :(
  • I just make a simple loop (here's a link from the company that I buy my jewelry supplies from: clickity) out of wire and shove it into the clay before baking it. After it's done baking, I use a pair of pliers and yank out the little hook, dip it into jewelry glue (I use E6000) and then stick it back into the hole to let it set. That way, you won't have to worry about it falling out! :D
    Another way is to sort of bend the part of the hook to a 45 degree angle before you stick it into the clay. Using this technique, you won't have to worry about whether or not the glue will fail to hold the pieces in place.

~*.:star: Clay Storage :star:.*~
:pointr: How do you store your clay? Will it dry out?
  • I store my clay in little baggies for two reasons: 1) I don't want lint and dirt getting all over my clay and 2) I don't want the colors sticking to each other or bleeding onto each other (the red tends to bleed onto the white because sometimes the plasticizer in the clay - the stuff that keeps it from hardening - can "leak" from one piece to another, thereby carrying colors around). Notice how I didn't say "to keep it from drying out." Polymer clay has this wonderful property where it won't dry out overnight like Play-Doh or air-dry clays. Over the years, however, it will get hard! Don't worry... you can still use the clay - you just need to get yourself some Sculpey Diluent (I think Fimo makes it too) and mix it in with the old, hard, crumbly clay to make it nice and soft again! A little bit goes a long way, so a small bottle will last you a good while.

Paints and Painting

This section are for questions regarding paints and painting and includes glazes and glossing
:pointr: What kind of paint do you use?
  • I use just cheap CHEAP acrylics. They're "Americana" paints from Deco Art and I got them on clearance for $0.99/bottle. I usually just unscrew the tops and use whatever paint is stuck there to color - doing miniatures, a little bit goes a long way! I only pour paint onto some surface if I need to mix colors. Also, painting is only done AFTER baking because acrylics will bubble and mess up your piece if you try to bake it after you've colored it.

:pointr: Do you prefer to paint your pieces or do you prefer to just have the clay that color?
  • I do prefer to not have to paint my pieces since I hate waiting for paint to dry - it just adds to the amount of time it takes for the piece to be finished and glazed. However, some days, I start working on clay and it seems like regardless of what I do, there's lint EVERYWHERE. Or some days, I realize I have waaaay too much scrap clay that have no purpose than to sit and take up space. Those are the days that I bust out the paint after making the pieces in one base color. If it ever takes me more than a few days to make any piece, it's usually because I have to paint it.

:pointr: What glaze do you use to make them so shiny? *_*
  • I use both Krylon Crystal Clear glaze as well as Sculpey glaze. i find that the Sculpey will give the piece a shinier and more durable finish than the Krylon glaze, but Sculpey is a lot more expensive. I have heard from other polymer clay-ers that Future Floor Wax (from SC Johnson, I think) works really really well... and it's cheap! I haven't had a chance to try it out for myself, but if everyone else swears by it, I don't see why it wouldn't work. :) Also, no, Krylon does not mean spray paint. =P
    The opinion I had about Krylon from before has been retracted. xD The glaze isn't bad, but it doesn't get your pieces as shiny as Sculpey glaze will.  The reason why it was getting sticky was because I lived in a tropical climate and that didn't help, especially since the glaze is water-based.
    I've also tried out the future floor wax, and I am really impressed!  It takes a few more coats of the floor wax (which is actually an acrylic sealer more than "wax") to make it as shiny as the Sculpey glaze, but for the price, it's totally worth the patience!

:pointr: What kind of discoloration occurs when you put on the glaze? What colors are affected and how can I prevent it?
  • The red... it's always the frickin' red! My problem with the red is that it tends to bleed into the white areas of my piece, even after I have glazed it... but that's because I was impatient and didn't let the paints dry all the way lol.  Also, I used to have a problem with the red turning a weird orange color (and pink does that too), but I found that putting some Mod Podge to seal the piece before glossing it will prevent it.  Mod Podge this glue-like thing that helps to seal in the colors. If you can't find Mod Podge, I hear that white glue works as well... just remember to let it dry completely and only use a very thin layer!

:pointr: How do I clean the clay pieces after I've glazed it?
  • Mild soap and water will help you clean the stains off of the finished pieces. Don't scrub too hard or else you'll scratch the surface. Dry it directly after because most glazes are water-based so they will become ruined if they touch water for too long!!  NEVER EVER EVER SOAK THE PIECE AFTER THEY'VE BEEN SEALED WITH A WATER-BASED GLAZE OR ELSE YOU'LL RUIN THE GLAZE!!

Pigments and Powders

This section is devoted to all types of pigments and powders, which include pastels, mica powders and corn starch.

:pointr: What are pastels?
  • Pastels are a type of chalk-like pigment that's been compressed into a little stick. It's almost like having a cross between colored pencils and chalk. Pastels come in my different brands and textures ranging from soft to hard and chalk to oil. Contrary to what the name suggests, pastels are not all pastel-colored (i.e. light colored). They do come in dark pigments as well as light pigments. For the purposes of coloring clay, you really should get just the regular sets and try to stay away from the lighter "pastel" sets. This is because you can always mix less pastels into white clay to get a lighter color, but you cannot mix more light-colored pastels into the clay to make it darker! Also, I have not tried coloring the clay with either hard or oil pastels, but from what I've read, it is best to use chalk pastels. Oil pastels and the hard pastels tend to come off as chunks and shavings rather than powder pigments.

:pointr: What brand/type of pastels do you use?
  • I use a Loew and Cornell set that I got in my college's bookstore about four years ago. They last a pretty long time and are good for more than just coloring clay. The set was relatively cheap - I got it for only $4.95, but it retails for about $12. It is the set with the 24 basic colors and not pastels or bright. They are also soft chalk pastels because it's easiest to shave pigments into the clay.

:pointr: Will the colors fade over time/after baking if I use pastels to add color to my clay?
  • If you use my Pastel Tutorial and you mix the clay evenly into the clay, then it will never rub off and it will not fade (unless it's from the heat) after you have baked it. You do not need to glaze it if it is thoroughly mixed! If you use the pastels to cover the outside of the clay only (in other words, you don't mix it into the clay but just use it like a paint to just cover the outside with the pigments) then it will rub off over time, if not immediately after you pick it up. In this case, you will need to glaze it to keep the pigments intact. I do not recommend that you do this.

:pointr: Since pastels are so similar to chalk, can I just use chalk instead?
  • I am sure you can, but just remember - the color cannot get any darker than the color of the chalk itself! Don't expect to get a red from that pink stick of sidewalk chalk!

:pointr: How much pastels do I have to use to color the clay?
  • That all depends on how dark you want the colors to be. If you want a dark color, you will have to use more pigments; if you want a lighter color, you will use less. My best advice would be for you to just add a little bit at a time until you get a the color you want. Remember - you can always add more white clay to lighten up the piece or more pigments to darken the color.

:pointr: Can you blend pastel colors? What about mica powders?
  • Yes! :D That's another reason that makes them so great! You can blend pastels with other pastels, mica powders, or mica powders with other mica powders!  Heck, you can even use eyeshadow if you're so inclined!

:pointr: Do baking times change with pastels added to the clay?
  • No. Baking time does not change just because pastels are added. You are still baking it for just as long as the manufacturer suggests. The only times baking temperature changes is when you make the clay pieces thicker/bigger or if you mix different brands of clay. Remember, the temperature and time placed on the package is for pieces that are usually 1/4" thick! You must increase or decrease the time accordingly!

:pointr: What are mica pigments?
  • Mica pigments are very, very fine powders that they have manufactured for cosmetic or craft purposes. They are water-soluble and can be mixed into paints and/or clays to add to the finished effect. The most popular brand is Jacquard PearlEx pigments, which can be found in most craft stores. They are a bit expensive, so be careful if you plan to invest in them! You can get a kit with 12 or so colors for about $30. Here's the breakdown on some of the color types:
    • Basic colors: these are just regular, everyday colors. They do have a slight metallic or pearl finish to them because of the mica pigments.
      Metallic: they don't actually contain any real metals in them, but they do give your piece a finish similar to the metal that you're trying to imitate (gold, silver, copper, etc). However, remember that there is no way to really get it to look exactly like metal so don't be too disappointed!
      Pearls: these give your clay a pearly-finish (more like freshwater pearls)
      Interference: these are the colors that give the iridescent shine where it looks purple/blue/red/etc. when you shift the piece one way and clear/white when you shift the piece another way.

:pointr: Can I mix the pastels/mica powders into my liquid clay?
  • Yes. :D

:pointr: What in the world do you use cornstarch for?
  • I use cornstarch when I roll out my clay so that it doesn't stick to the work surface (or my rolling pin!) I also use corn starch when I press the clay into molds and the like because it helps to prevent it from sticking. I really hate it when I press something into a mold only to find that it doesn't want to come back out. >:T

:pointr: I don't have cornstarch - can I use flour?
  • Yes. There are many polymer clay people out there who even use baby powder, etc. An alternative to this technique is using Mold Release, but it's expensive and hard to find.

:pointr: Will the cornstarch/flour/whatever stick to my clay?
  • No, it will not stick to the clay! Cornstarch and the like can be brushed off afterwards or you can wash it off with some soap and water. Remember to just let it dry completely before you start to paint... just to make it easier on yourself! ^^;

Craft & Jewelry Suppliers

This section is dedicated to providing you with links to online suppliers for craft and jewelry purposes. These are my personal preferences and are by no means the "best" places to buy things. If you have any suggestions as to other links and sites that I can put here, let me know and I'll check them out!
  • Fire Mountain Gems - a great place to get beads and jewelry findings and components. The prices are great, especially if you buy in bulk, and shipping is cheap! They offer FedEx ground for a $5 flat-rate to the U.S. Also, their findings and metal wires are top-notch for the price you pay!  Also, they offer a great price for Kato Polyclay!

    Sunshine Crafts - this place has good customer service (I've called into their order line before) and offers great prices on things that you don't really need to buy in bulk. I bought a lot of my clays from them as well as my cell phone lanyards (you know, those little cords that you see with the charms dangling off of them). Shipping is a little more expensive, but prices are better if you only want one or two items; don't buy findings from them, though... it's poor quality and sometimes comes tarnished!

    Rings-N-Things - of the three, this probably has one of the larger selection of beads (although if you're looking for crystals and gemstones, Fire Mountain is better) and is the best when you want to buy magnets in bulk! I bought all my magnets from them and it's cheaper than most places. Shipping will cost you a pretty penny, though and there is a minimum purchase of $25. Plus, they charge a $4 handling fee for orders between $25-$50. If you know of any of their little bead fairs happening near you, it's the best bet you'll have for cheap prices on beads.

    Art Beads - This is a jewelry supplier that has a wide selection of materials for all your jewelry-making needs!  The good thing about this place is that you get free shipping (at least in the U.S.) with no minimum order.  I'm not sure what their policy is for international shipping, but I'm sure it can't be so bad! :)

    On a similar note, Fusion Beads is another supplier that provides free shipping with no minimum purchase as well.  It was recommended by :iconlarissa-rasputin:, but I have not tried it out for myself yet. :)

Etsy & Paypal

This part is dedicated to all questions regarding Etsy or Paypal.

:pointr: What is Etsy?
  • Etsy is an online shop where artisan crafters can sell their products. You can find things like hand-sewn clothes, soaps, crochet, knits, etc. It's an awesome place! :D It's kind of like Ebay in that they let each person open up a shop of their own, but unlike Ebay, there is no "bidding" system. The prices are set by those who sell their works. There is a small fee associated with selling on Etsy, but it's not a rip-off like Ebay. xP

:pointr: What do I need to sign up for Etsy?
  • You will need an email account and a credit card (if you plan to buy things from other Etsy sellers and if you're planning to sell things).

:pointr: What are the fees associated with Etsy?
  • There is a flat fee of $0.20 for each item you list and 3.5% for each item sold. It's not really that much and you don't have to make payment until the end of each month. :)

:pointr: I see you don't really know much about Etsy... where can I get more information?
  • ;_; I try as hard as I can to answer all your question regarding Etsy, but there are simply too many things. So, here is a link to the Etsy Help Page. Take a browse through there and if there are still questions, feel free to ask me! :D

:pointr: What is Paypal?
  • Paypal is similar to an online bank. It allows people to buy and sell on the internet and acts as a money-transfer agency. There is more information on it on the Paypal Help Page

:pointr: Do I need to sign up with a Paypal account to pay with Paypal?
  • There is a new system with Paypal now where if you wanted to pay with just a credit card, you don't have to sign up for their services. You do, however, have to sign up IF you plan to pay with a cash transfer or Paypal money order.

Comissions and Payment

This section is where you will find information on my sales and commissions!

:pointr: Where/When/How can I purchase your items? Do you do special commissions? What about pre-orders?
  • You can purchase things from me directly on deviantArt by sending me a note with the item that you want, or you can go to my Etsy account (Click).  I try to put things into my Etsy account every so often, but it's usually empty because I'm too lazy. xD
    I do accept commissions so if you want something made, note me and I'll give you a quote. Afterwards, I will list it on Etsy if you prefer to buy it there; or I can send you a Paypal invoice directly. Let me know what your preference is via note.
    Pre-orders are welcome! Just let me know what items in my gallery you wish to buy and I will reserve it for you!

:pointr: What forms of payment do you accept?
  • I accept Paypal (credit cards, direct money transfer) or money orders. If you send money orders, just be aware that it will take longer for me to send you package out.  How long it takes depends on how long the post office takes to deliver the money order to me.  I do not recommend you send cash through the postal service.

:pointr: What's the cost for shipping?
  • Shipping costs $2.50 (US, domestic), $3.50 for Canada, and $5.00 for most of the rest of the world (note me if you're ordering internationally). Why so much? Because the post office says so. The price of shipping pays for packaging materials and shipping fees and nothing more. Since I plan to put my items into cardboard boxes (to help keep my little origami box and your commission in one piece), it will cost a little more to ship. However, if you don't care whether it comes in that little blue box, you can save on shipping since I can just put it into a bubble mailer.  Any leftover shipping charges over $1 is returned to sender if requested.

:pointr: How much do you charge for a custom commission work?
  • It depends on what the piece is and how difficult it is. If the piece is HUGE, it'll be more expensive than when it's small... and if the piece is intricately detailed, it'll cost more than if you ask for... a clay piece of paper. lol It also depends on what you want me to make the piece into. Just plain charms are usually the cheapest (that is, charms without earring hooks or cell phone straps, etc.)  I am very accommodating if you have a budget to work with.  Just let me know in advance and we'll work something out.  However, this doesn't mean that I will give things out for free. ;P

:pointr: Why do you charge more on your Etsy account than on DA?
  • Fees. Etsy charges me a fee (as you've read earlier) and Paypal does the same thing every time I receive payment. That is why the items listed in Etsy will be $0.50-$1.00 USD more than through DA.

That's it for now... comment if there are more questions! Or note me and I'll post your question here~!


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Baka-sann's avatar
Would glaze ever smear the paints?