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Posted on June 17, 2014 in Hints, Tips, & Tricks by Katie Oskin
I love that you, my readers, are so interested in polymer clay and how to improve your talent & skill. It thrills me to no end that I get a dozen questions a week from you, either here on the blog, or direct to my email. The past two weeks there has been one question that I have received multiple times: How to take out all the imperfections in your work.
First thing is first … you have to understand that perfection takes time.
It is NOT something that comes over night and it is NOT easy. Many of you have written to me asking how to make your work more perfect. Many of you want to know tips or tricks. There are a few, but the biggest example of how your work will get better is this: it takes time. The longer you clay, the harder you work at it, the more experience you have will allow all those imperfections to disappear over time.
This is a great question and often there is an easy answer, but sometimes not. First make sure that when you are not claying that your piece or your clay itself is covered. Even if it is in a separate room with a door, dust settles. Cover your clay with saran wrap, or if nothing else, just a paper towel … but cover it. Additionally, much of your “dust debris” on your clay is actually coming from your hands.
Emergency procedure: In case of an emergency, for dust that it on the surface of the clay (or mica powder where you didn’t want it, loose chalk dust, etc) you can take a Q-tip soaked in alcohol and rub it over the surface of the clay. This will removed the entire top layer of clay and clean your piece. Please understand, if you have embedded the dust, dirt, & fibers into your clay, there is nothing you can do. Only use this option if completely necessary. This option should be saved as a last resort. Period.
This is another good question, and again while there are some “tricks” that you can use, nothing … I repeat, nothing … is better than learning how to manipulate your clay with a gentle and soft touch. When you first start claying, this will be one of the hardest things you will combat because you aren’t used to the softness of your clay (even though it can be quite firm) and its ease of workability. All of my first time students into my studio struggle with this problem. The reason is because they have not yet mastered the art of a light touch. This is something that will come with time, but something that you should strive for. This being said, if you have a very organic style like Christi Friesen, fingerprints are your friend and can work for your style. I create character with broad, whimsical expressions … fingerprints are not my friends, though they do happen. Here’s a few tips that might help you, however, please know that nothing is better than mastering the art of a light touch.
I hope that these tips are helpful to you and to your claying journey. As always, feel free to contact me with any of your questions by commenting on the bottom of a post or send me an email and I will get back to you just as soon as I can!
Thanks for joining me today,