Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Make an impression

As you read this I'm waking up in the Tucson desert, preparing to set up my booth at the Best Bead Show. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology and scheduled posting, I'm able to post today. If you live or work with a software developer, give them a hug and tell them thanks for me!

On to the topic at hand, which is, how to add unique textures to your clay elements. You probably know about texture sheets, those commercially available plastic or metal tools that allow you to transfer some kind of textural design onto your material. You probably realize you can use rubber stamps to do this as well. But did you know you can easily make your own molds?

I've used two part silicone molding compound to capture some priceless textures to use in my metal clay work. I found some very cool fan coral on the beach in Mexico and used it to create the texture used in this piece of jewelry. You could also easily use it to capture texture from a wall, concrete, or any other object you like.

Here's the texture I really wanted to capture for my metal clay.

It's simple to use - the compound consists of two separate (and distinctly colored) puttys that when combined harden into a pliable rubber sheet, similar to that on a rubber stamp. You just take the same amount of each putty, and knead them until the two colors meld into one. Then you press the item you want to capture into it, let it sit for about 15 minutes, and them remove your object to find the lovely texture mold.

Several different pieces of coral yielded similar, yet different variations on the texture.

I've used this with natural objects, buttons, and even some fabulous drawer pulls in my home. What better way to ensure that no one will have the same element as you?

You can get this at Fire Mountain Gems, Rio Grande, Artsparx, Art Clay World, Cool Tools, and many other places.


MaCarroll Beads said...

Hope you are having a great time in Tucson! Thanks for sharing this method. It looks easy enough for me to try! Bill had me doing plaster once and I think I got turned off by the time and work that went into that. I will try this!

mary jane said...

this is wonderful patty! I have been wanting to try it with resin... would love to try pmc... thank you for sharing your beautiful results and work...

D'Arsie Manzella said...

This mold making material looks like it would like to be my best friend. Thank you for showing us how easy it is to work with. Can't wait to hear how Tucson goes!

Kelli said...

WOW!!! You made it look and sound SO easy!! I may just have to try this!! Now that the ceramic bead-bug has hit me, I'll be looking for some great new textures!! THANKS Patty!

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