Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Polymer Clay techniques- using baked clay for embellishment

Most of my polymer clay techniques are self-taught and self-discovered. One that I picked up when wanting to make coloured sugar for Christmas cookies, two years ago, was to use already-baked translucent clay to make that sugar. From there, the ideas came quickly.

Here is the amount of baked clay 'ingredients' (plus a couple others) I've accumulated from just a year and a half or so of using it as an ingredient. It adds up!

'Peep sugar' and chocolate/toffee chips are made in very different ways. I have a grater that I only use for polymer clay that I use to grate down the baked clay to almost a dust for things like peeps, and for chips I simply slice and then chop down to the desired chip size. 

I've also gone the baked route for other ornamentation- with the M&M cookies, I actually worked the baked sweets into the clay to get a more realistic look when they were finished. The brown 'sticks' are to be Flakes, which I've had made for a time now but have yet to tackle the Flake texture... but I'll get there. Hearts and coins decorated cakes and cupcakes and were my first cane-sliced decorations!

My most recent baked clay technique has been to pre-make sprinkles. My donuts have in the past had every single sprinkle made individually- while I think it looks great, it does take time. So here I have some pastel and normal multi-coloured strings of clay which I chop down to sprinkles as I need them, ready for donut testing. So far I've used these to make some cakes for a customer and they looked great.

I've also used a few other things for embellishment- the fake sugar and ice is a glass product and works much better than using translucent clay for the same purpose. It makes great 'salt' on my pretzels! And of course, watch parts are used quite frequently in polymer clay work nowadays, and mine is no exception.

There are many other baked-clay methods I've used that I've not had space to mention. Not all are applied in the same way, but the best way to find something that works for you is to experiment. There are great little tricks hiding out there, waiting to be discovered! 

I can vouch for how these methods work for me, but they may not be accepted as the best or 'correct' ways to use polymer clay across the community! But, as always, do what you find works best for you and creates a great design.

 <3 S

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