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Posted on June 17, 2014 in Hints, Tips, & Tricks by Katie Oskin
Posted on June 3, 2014 in Polymer Clay by Katie Oskin
One of the most basic skills in working with polymer clay is learning how to make a Skinner Blend. Once you know how to make a Skinner Blend, there are infinite possibilities of what you can do and accomplish with that blend. Today’s mini-tutorial will show you how to make a Skinner Blend and change it into a Skinner Blend Bullseye Cane or even a log/plug. This tutorial will walk you through some of the basic steps and show you exactly how that is done.
We all have them, those grimy gross tools that have that “clay muck” residue from years worth of claying on them … or is that just me?! Well seeing as how I’m taking my tools to a weekend clay-athon with Christi Friesen (yes, you read that right, click here to read more about it) as I looked at them today in my studio, I thought, “ugh, these are disgusting.” And yes … they were. So … I guess it’s time to clean them. For those of you who have ever tried soap and water to clean your tools, you know that this just doesn’t work. Today I will share with you the best, quickest, and easiest way to remove that clay residue.
‘How to make your own color palette’ can sound difficult, right? Well, I am part of a lot of different polymer clay groups on FaceBook. Some I am more active on than others, and some I just lurk. Last week, someone asked how to make a color palette. There were lots of ideas thrown out, many of which were great. Most of my items are made from custom color palettes that coordinate. Making your own palette is easy and the more you do it, the easier it gets. There are lots of ways to make your own color palette, but this is the method that I prefer.
One of the most time consuming parts about using scrap clay (for me at least) is blending it together. Why is this? Well, because often my clay just sits and waits on me. Some of the clay in my scrap clay pile is many years old. Other bits & pieces are fresh from recent sculptures or designs. But here’s my biggest tip for you … you know how I’m always telling you “Don’t use Sculpey” for your finished pieces? Well … when I have my students over in my studio, because they are mostly beginners, that’s all we use. When they get “good enough” that they aren’t wasting clay, I transition them to Premo or Fimo depending on their projects. Here’s the thing … every once and awhile you get a block of clay (it could be ANY brand) that is just too hard to condition! You run it through your pasta machine a zillion times and it’s still cracking, breaking, and just can’t get “warmed up” and softened. Read More
One of the questions that I receive more often than not is what kind of polymer clay tools that I use in my studio. The honest truth is, I have so many that I honestly don’t know where to start … so you will get several different “polymer clay tools” posts so that you can learn what you might like, based on what I like. The truth is that what tool I use depends on what I’m working on as to what tool I use. This being said, I will give you a brief synopsis of the tools that I use everyday or almost every day and let you know what I think of them. So … let’s see what polymer clay tools I use, shall we? Read More
I have received so many questions from you, my readers, asking me about polymer clay storage options. Previously I had written about some polymer clay storage options, that focused on floss boxes; many of you have asked for more details, pros/cons, where and what to buy. There is a wide variety of polymer clay storage options available to the crafter, professional, or home studio clay artist. The reality is that absolutely everyone stores their clay differently. Everyone has a system that works for them. Just because a system works well for one clayer does not mean that it will work well for another clayer. Let’s see what options are available to the home studio clayer. Read More
For the past few weeks I have offered you mini-tutorials on Tuesdays. This week I’m going to share some polymer clay tips with you! If fact, today’s polymer clay tip’s one that I use every single day in my studio. Undoubtedly you’ve also struggled with this: it’s how to get those clay “smudges” off your blended sheets.
Today’s mini-tutorial will be on how to create your own custom marbled polymer clay base for your figurines … yep, a quick, & easy marbled base tutorial. This is an easy tutorial that anyone (including beginners) can do.
Posted on January 29, 2013 in Hints, Tips, & Tricks by Katie Oskin
Finding the right brand of polymer clay can be a challenge for anyone, but especially new clayers. As I began the journey of the Friesen Project, I didn’t realize how many new clayers would be joining us. This week I have been bombarded by requests asking what kind of polymer clay I use in my studio and how to find a brand of polymer clay that will work for you. So, without further ado, let’s find a brand of polymer clay that will work for you, your hands, and your climate.
All you have to do is search the internet for help on how to bake polymer clay. You will see a lot of wrong and incorrect instructions on how to do this. But let’s be honest: every artist does this differently and every artist has their own system that works for them. What works for me, may not work for you. And the biggest thing with polymer clay … the baking times are different for almost every brand of clay and oven. Today I’m going to give you a few tips on how to bake polymer clay items at home in your own toaster oven.
Sometimes your polymer clay pieces need an extra something, just a touch of something special to bring out the details that you have embedded into the clay. When you have carved or engraved your clay, you will often want to accent those pieces after they have finished baking. Many artists call this adding a patina to polymer clay. Other artists call it antiquing an item. For today’s mini-tutorial, we’re going to call it an “antique finish.” There are many ways to do this, but this is the way that I find the easiest…
For anyone who’s a self taught polymer clay artist, you’ve already made some critical mistakes in claying. You tried a shortcut (that didn’t work) or tried a way to do something that ended up ruining your piece. It’s okay, don’t worry, we’ve all been there. This month we are going “back to basics” in creating with polymer clay. So for today’s mini tutorial we’re going to go over the proper way to embed a bead into polymer clay.
There is a lot of information on the internet about how to condition polymer clay. There are even people saying that there’s no need to condition clay if it is soft (gasp)! 2013 is going to bring lots of talk of polymer clay and all things sculpting to Kater’s Acres blog, the biggest of which is The Friesen Project. Because of this, all during the month of January, I am going to talk about some of the basics of polymer clay. With so much incorrect information on the web, it’s really hard to know what it correct.
Posted on December 18, 2012 in Hints, Tips, & Tricks by Katie Oskin
It’s no secret that I love a good DIY project. What’s also no secret is that if I can make it myself better, more simply, and more cost effectively … I’ll likely do it. So for my polymer clay tip today, I have decided to share my recipe for my super-easy hand scrub to keep your hands from becoming clay stained and a super quick washing solution between colors. This recipe using things you likely have already in your kitchen, as well as a recycled baby jar (thank heavens for my friends who keep me supplied with them).