So guess who finally lost her polymer virginity? About time.
Being me, I started way complicated, layering translucent, white and beige polymer with gold leaf.
Here are the results with dirt wax rubber over it after baking.
Then I tried some plain, unlayered ones just for cutting facets out of a la Shipwreakdandy tute:
Upper left is a plain white one with lots of grunging just b/c my fingers were covered in paint and crap. Then below that is a transparent one that's been faceted but no dry brush applied yet. The ones on the right were made from beige clay. The upper right has some and the lower right even more dry brushing to bring out the facets.
I'm quite amazed at how all those textures pop out. I should warn you that I was using Sculpey III which while butter soft, seems to be sorta infamous for how brittle it is after baking. But I kinda liked this because it produces even smaller cut-out chunks within each facet. So instead of carving out the facets I sorta tore them out letting it break on its own, making those mocro textures.
While experimenting I was writing a lot to Shipwreck, who was super encouraging. She sent me a bunch of loveliness to practice my faceting on. Here's where I saw how different her polymer was from mine, how rubbery it feels as I cut out the facets.
So after faceting her beads and applying black acrylic dry brush, I ended up with a ton of lovely grunginess.
BUT, it felt like something that came straight out of her studio. I wanted to make them more ME somehow.
What to add? Why, my iridescent paints of course!
Which someone convoed asking me about ages ago and I told them they were Golden iridescent paints when actually they're called "interference"paints. Cuz you see the color when the light hits them. So sorry about that, convo person.
And sure enough they worked well against the black.
So I just went to town. Couldn't stop myself. Even brushed the tiny bits left on the brush on some of her finished beads I'd purchased, like this AMAZING twirly thing she calls her turban beads:
And these below which I totally ruined because now all you see is that iridescence and not the crackle. Although fuckit that's part of the experimentation process so oh well. Anywho, Shipwreck has been encouraging me to try all kinds altering techniques you can do after baking the beads, which I think is where it's at.Like she's writing a tute on how to apply her redonk painterly technique to make these flower capped babies. I am freaking over the way the outline blends inwards, as well as the detail in the shape. Cuz dem things is tiny.
Meanwhile, I'd cooked up a bunch of wheels with leaf all over the outsides. And then my secret crackle elixir arrived. (which Shipwreck shared with me so I don't know if she wants the secret out which is why I'm not telling.) So I had to add a dark contrast color to bring out the crackles. But not wanting the results to look like a copy of Shipwreck, I used my Golden phthalo blue which absolutely GLOWS. Some places I tried brown first and so the color looks bluer. Some places are mixed with my iridescent (this time NOT interference) gold color.
But the cracks seem most visible on the parts of these wheels that will maybe not even be seen. Harumph.
You can see the cracks better in these photos than in real life. Maybe heat gunning the magic elixir will enlarge the resulting cracks?
I should also mention these wheels I'm obsessed with are a rip-off of greybirdstudio's shapes. Here this one has some of my interference colors too. Looks kinda pink.
Here are some cornflakes I'm working on. I realized that polymer is not as sticky as leaf size, duh! so big chunks of the leaf just came right off. So thinking to make those bare areas more interesting, I put my iridescent gold over the blue. But then I liked that and went over everything with a dry brush of that, trying and often failing to keep it out of the cracks so the cracks would remain dark. On the wheels too, the reason they're so shimmery is that gold coat.
So as you can see, I'm completely obsessed. I got so many new beads now! Another thing that rocks about polymer beads is you don't need a whole studio's worth of resources to make them so you can plant yourself in in front of the TV instead. Go to PolymerClayDaily for more inspiration than you can even deal with.
I also recently discovered that my awesome buddy Clair of stillpointworks is prominently featured in this cool book I got:
and she's been helping and encouraging me along too. She's gonna have a workshop in October in Southern Detroit! The non-scary part of Detroit, that is. I'm so there.
Finally, some helpful images to illustrate the bead making process: