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Liquid Sculpey FAQ
Written by : Jody Bishel

See some of Jody's beautiful work, and read her explanation of the techniques involved! Click right here!



QUESTIONS

What is Liquid Sculpey?
How do I handle and bake Liquid Sculpey?
Can I use Liquid Sculpey as a glue?
How do I make image transfers?
How do I add color?
How does Liquid Sculpey work on telephone wire?
How do I make patinas?
Liquid Sculpey in molds?
Other things to try.
WARNING!
More questions and where can I get it?


What is Liquid Sculpey?
LS is a pourable form of polymer clay that was developed for commercial use about twenty years ago. Recently, polymer clay artists have been experimenting with it in combination with the regular form of clay. In it's raw state, it looks like white glue and has the consistency of honey. When it is baked, it is opaque, flexible and strong.
Question List

How do I Handle and Bake Liquid Sculpey?
LS comes in a white unlabeled plastic jar. The easiest way to dispense it is to pour it into a wide mouthed squeeze bottle and squeeze out what you need. Mixing on a disposable palette helps keep the mess under control. Baby wipes are handy for small clean ups and wiping brushes and tools.

LS was made to cure at 300 degrees but will be fine at normal PC temperatures of 265-275 degrees. As with regular clays, the fumes are not toxic unless the LS burns. LS does produce a strong odor when baked normally and leaves more oily residue than the regular clay. For that reason, good ventilation is even more important than usual. Personally, I don't bake any PC in my kitchen oven. All the other safe handling rules also apply; don't reuse tools for making food and don't put food in contact with polymer clay surfaces.
Question List

Can I use Liquid Sculpey as a Glue?
Yes and no. In it's raw state, LS has very little adhesive strength. It only creates a strong bond when baked. So if gravity will hold the pieces together, or you can support them somehow, it will make a great bond. Don't forget that LS is an opaque white and will show up against other clay colors. It can be tinted to match the backround clay but depending upon how much color is added, it will weaken the bond.
Question List

How Do I Make Image Transfers?
Nothing could be easier. They can be made from black and white copies, color copies and printed images on glossy stock. You can also hand color B&W copies with colored pencils or oil paints before making the transfer, or try a transfer from an oil pastel or crayon drawing.

Place the image face up on a baking tray and pour or paint on a layer of LS. Bake and remove the paper. If the paper sticks, flex the piece to loosen it, or soak in water. Having the oven preheated seems to make it easier to peel off the paper. To make an instant magnet, gently press a piece of PVC coated sheet magnet into the LS before baking. It's a good idea to test the magnet before baking to be sure the "magnetic" side is up! You can also apply the LS to a sheet of clay and lay the image into the LS, taking care not to trap any air between the image and the LS.
Question List

How do I Add Color?
You can use artist's oil paints or dry pigments. Pearlex powders work very well. To retain maximum color and shine, dust them on top of the LS after application. Oil paints mix very nicely and can be thinned and cleaned up with turps or paint thinner. You can paint on raw or baked clay. If left overnight, the LS paint will set up and can be stamped or layered with transparent clay. On a flat surface, you can build up as thick a layer as you please, but on a vertical surface it will slump and run. Don't mix water based colors with LS. The moisture turns to steam in the oven and it will puff up. Of course, someone will propably find a way to exploit this!
Question List

How Does Liquid Sculpey Work on Telephone Wire?
Just great! Use it to color or to help adhere telephone wire to clay. You can paint LS over plain wire to make your own custom telephone wire but it takes many thin coats to avoid drips. It probably would be too fragile a coating on large gauge wire unless many coats were applied.
Question List

How Do I Make Patinas?
Mix powdered pigments or oil paints with LS and stipple them on the piece leaving some of the clay showing. For vertigris bronze, start with a backround clay in a dark warm gray color containing some metalic or pearlescent clay. Mix two light values of LS and permanent green oil paint ( a bluish green). The lighter mix should be almost white. Stipple the piece with the darker color first and then with the light one, baking in between to set if they seem to be blurring together. A light application is best, you can always add more.
Question List

Liquid Sculpey in Molds?
This is what LS was designed to do. Use a metal mold and a release agent such as talcum powder. When used in manufacturing, it was cured in a vacuum oven to get rid of air bubbles, but that has not proven to be a big problem on a small scale.
Question List

Other Things to Try.

  • Fill in carved, stamped or sculpted areas to simulate enameling.
  • Back metalic leaf with a layer of LS and bake for easier handling.
  • Try ceramic like effects by drizzling the piece with a squeeze bottle or making controled drips.
  • Make "lace" by drawing the design with a squeeze bottle onto paper. After baking peel off the paper.
  • Put two colors next to each other ans swirl together with a pin.
Question List

WARNING!
WARNING! You can use paint thinner or turpentine to make thinner washes with liquid sculpey and oil paint, but solvents are flammable materials and you MUST let them dry before baking.
Question List

More questions and Where Can I Get It?
E-mail me at DBuck26803@aol.com.

Happy Claying!
Jody Bishel
  © 1997
(A proud member of the So. CT Polymer Clay Guild)

See some of Jody's beautiful work, and read her explanation of the techniques involved! Click right here!


Copyright 1997 by Jody Bishel
All rights reserved.

This document, or any derivative works thereof, may not be sold or redistributed for profit in any way without express (not email) written permission of the authors. This includes, but is not limited to, translations into foreign languages, mass archival as on a CD_ROM and inclusion in commercially published compilations (books).

You are free to copy this list for personal use, or to make it available for redistribution in its electronic format, provided that:

(1) it remains wholly unedited and unmodified,

(2) no fee or compensation is charged for copies of or access to this list, and

(3) this copyright notice and the following disclaimer remain attached.

Disclaimer:
This FAQ is provided by the author "as is", and any express or implied warranties, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose are disclaimed. In absolutely no event shall the authors be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, exemplary, or consequential damages (including, but not limited to, procurement of substitute goods or services; loss of use, data, or profits; or business interruption) however caused and on any theory of liability, whether in contract, strict liability, or tort (including negligence or otherwise) arising in any way out of the use of the information herein contained, even if advised of the possibility of such damage.

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