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Tips & Tidbits!

Clay Ball Tip:
by Katherine Dewey

Everyone knows that evenly cut slices from a rod of clay will yield the same size ball. Here's a method for measuring the slice so you'll know what size ball it will produce:

Roll a rod of clay with the same diameter as the ball you desire. Cut the slices 2/3rds the diameter of the rod.

— Katherine

Non-Stick Surface:
by Subha

I use good quality tracing paper as a wonderful non-stick surface for rolling out clay. I leave it on the pad and rip off sheets once I'm done with my project. This has been useful especially if I use different colors of clay for a project. I use different sheets for different colors so I don't have to clean my rolling surface constantly.

— Subha

Image Transfer Tip:
by Crafty Michele
Transfer images to unbaked clay using tracing paper and a pencil...

Simply trace your image in pencil, flip paper over, trace over the image on the back. Flip the tracing paper back to the right side and place on clay. Rub the image with you finger or the back of a plastic spoon to transfer. Lift paper and your image has been transfered. You now have the option of baking or outling your image with a stylus for easy carving...

This method works wonders for carved pieces. You simply bake and carve out the image. The image can then be painted or carved out a filled. The possibilities are endless.

— Crafty Michele

Signature Stamps:
by Katherine Dewey

Saw your post about signature stamps and thought I'd pass on a few tips for making them out of polymer clay:

To make a stamp that produces raised lettering, use a ballpoint pen to write your name or logo or initials on a sheet of paper. Place the paper ink side down on a raw sheet of polymer clay. Press into place and let rest about fifteen minutes. Lift off the paper and to reveal the transfered design, a mirror image of the original. Use a ball stylus or a tapestry needle to engrave along the ink lines. Gently, very gently, run a roller over the engraved lines to reduce the burrs or rough edges. Clean up the lines again with your engraving tool and bake. You can attach to a polymer handle after baking if you wish. After baking, the ink residue left on the clay does not seem to transfer.

To make a stamp that produces recessed lettering, use two step mold process. Do this by engraving your design or signature directly into the raw clay. Again, use a roller to clean up any burrs and bake. Make a mold of the recessed image and bake. The second mold will have raised edges and be a mirror image. It will produce a recessed signature in the clay. This is the technique I use to sign my sculptures. I keep the original engraved clay master and replace my mold when it begins to show wear.

— Katherine

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