This week’s offering is a bit rubbish, but the Polymer clay challenge is to make something – it doesn’t have to be good! I managed to excavate enough space among the moving boxes to make a green pendant. It wasn’t easy.
Green shard pendant by Cate van Alphen
Panel bracelet by Cate van Alphen
The filigree shard is from a disaster in week 18. I wanted to revisit a technique from a few years ago where I made a filigree pattern from finely extruded polymer clay and then, after baking, I squished in a backing of layered clay to make a subtle mokume gane background. Unfortunately when I squished the backing onto the baked filigree pattern, the curves snapped. Then when I came to sand the surface to reveal the colours in the extruded threads the whole sheet crumbled. I’m not sure if it was because the backing clay was thinner than I had planned (I didn’t have as much clay mixed as I should have) or because the clay wasn’t properly cured (I turned the temperature down in an attempt to stop my beads cracking).
I hoped that I could put a shard from the crumbled sheet onto some backing clay to make it strong enough for me to sand. I couldn’t find my blades, so the background shape is a bit rustic (it’s uncut from the pasta machine). I couldn’t find my sandpaper to texture the clay either so I used a scrunched up ball of tin foil. I quite like the effect.
Back of green pendant by Cate van Alphen
When I took it out the oven both layers cracked which made me suspect the temperature wasn’t high enough. So I stuck it together with some bake and bond and cured again. This time it held together, but the cracked filigree irritated me, so I added some crackle effect varnish to make it more of a feature. I haven’t used it very often and the cracks were smaller than I wanted. I tried adding some green alcohol ink to highlight the crackles, but it just coloured everything (see the smudge on the right) so that was a fail.
But I made something.