Category Archives: tips, tricks

Just released Syndee Holts new positive and negative stamp designs!

multi-stamp syndee holt

Drum roll please….. Check it out Syndee Holt polymer clay artist, photographer and all around creative has created her own stamp designs.

I am luck enough to belong to the very same guild as Syndee, so I get lots of tips and tricks first hand. This year at Sandy Camp the guild retreat run by the San Diego Polymer Clay Guild Syndee introduced her new stamp designs. I knew they were coming as I already had them on order with the manufacture but had not gotten my shipment yet so it was fun to see what was on the way.

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Syndee Holt is the ultimate giver and sharer of knowledge, and excitement.  This year at Sandy Camp it was no different. Syndee did several demos. She did one on photographing your work which was awesome, one demo using her favorite stamp the 2207J to make faux raku,

Syndee's faux raku

Syndee’s faux raku using 2207J

and last but not least one using her wonderful new stamps with both positive and negative images. She has even done a tutorial for the circle in circle pendant below. Its always fun seeing what Syndee is up too while soaking up some of her exciting energy!

A great big thanks Syndee!

Check out a few pieces that she has made using her very own stamp designs and as always with Syndee she has added these designs with her own dramatic surface techniques for stunning results.

In this one she used a transfer on the top section and the positive stamps imprint for the subtle bottom black layer.

Again this shows the wonderful results you can get by using the positive and negative of the very same design, and I say ya gotta love it. Way to go Syndee!

Syndee Holt stamp designs

Syndee Holt stamp designs

GOTTA HAVE THESE ?

You can find Syndee’s designs and even her favorite 2207J stamp at Lindas Art Spot

 

Introduction to Polymer Clay, How to know which brand of Polymer Clay is the best.

Well let me start by saying all the polymer clay brands out there have different properties and a purpose. It is helpful to become familiar with them. The clays have been undergoing many changes in recent years and the properties are changing so be attentive.

First thing you need to do is ask yourself, what do you want to do or make out of the polymer clay.

Do you want the kids to play with it but don’t care if it breaks later?

Are you making items that are smooth to the touch with no protrusions? like smooth bead or pens

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Refillable click pens with smooth finish and no protrusions

Do you want to make dolls or Fairies

my money fairy sprinkles money into my life

my money fairy sprinkles money into my life

Or will your items that have detail or pieces that protrude off the surface of the item you are making. Like the flower petals on this vase,

This Graphic inspired vase has flowers that protrude off the surface

This Graphic inspired vase has flowers that protrude off the surface

Here is a break down of some of the information I have gathered through different resources such as online searches, classes, experience and other resources. I hope this helps.

Sculpey and Sculpey III ; These are the least expensive clays and also the weakest clays. After baking they become brittle and you project may break or crack. If it is thin or protruding. Generally these are used by kids crafting projects especially you don’t mind if they break, and you want an inexpensive crafting experience.

Super Sculpey– flesh tone, low cost, soft and ready to use out of the box.  Excellent  material  for dolls- many professional doll makers use this material exclusively.  Disadvantages: after baking it can have a fractured appearance, not as hard or strong as Fimo or Cernit.  You can have lots of broken fingers.

Fimo- Classic and Fimo Soft  Offers many colors . More expensive than Super Sculpey.  Good basic all around clay. Some Reds and Oranges tend to darken when baked you can work with this by blending in white while conditioning. At a ratio of ½”ball to a 2 oz block.

Fimo Classic is stiff and crumbly until kneaded An easy Fix is : Fimo mix quick medium is available to help mix thoroughly- especially when it’s hard and crumbly.

Film Soft is rubbery when working it  tends to bounce back instead of forming  to your fingers. Smooth even texture after baking.  Works very well with very small pieces.  To rubbery Fix: You can also leach the clay if it is too rubbery.

 Fimo Quick mix Is a kneading aid for mixing into clays making it easier and faster to softening firm clay.  It is a clay softener that will improve the texture of dry, crumbly clay creating the perfect consistence, without the stick yucky mess that other liquid clay softeners cause.

Cernit- used for many years by European doll artists.   A more expensive polymer   and is rubbery and stiff until kneaded and then turns very soft as it is worked.  Waxy and translucent appearance after baking. This clay is very strong. You can always blend it with Fimo Classic to stiffen it up a bit. But when blending clays you have to watch you temperatures use the lower of the two package temps and bake longer.

Kato Poly Clay- developed by Donna Kato. This is a very strong clay.  It can be mixed with Super Sculpey or other clays.  It can be “rearranged” when it’s warm. It does not shift colors after baking.

Premo- a strong clay developed by Polyform.  Offers many colors choices and is  usually available at local hobby stores.  More expensive than Super Sculpey.  Some Reds and Oranges tend to darken when baked you can work with this by blending in white while conditioning.   At a ratio of ½”ball to a 2 oz block will keep it close to the color original color after baking. This is my over all go to clay. I do a lot of caning and although I need to allow plenty of rest time prior to reducing my canes, I enjoy the ease of conditioning and some of the colors available.

ProSculpt- a sculpting clay developed by Jack Johnston.  It has many advocates who love this clay.  It has come out with a light flesh that works very well for dolls.  It has a higher cost and is only available through Jack or distributors on the internet.  It also can be mixed with S.S. or other clays.

Pardo- Is a new clay on the market It has no phthalates and is made with beeswax and other natural ingredients. It appears to be more costly but the package size is larger. Pardo also needs little to no conditioning. Because of it’s newest on the market we are still learning about it but it’s strength seems quite good. It also appears to hold up well for caning purposes as well.