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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Ornaments and a Product Review

by Staci Louise Smith

Every year I make ornaments from polymer clay.  This year I was sorely behind.  I just couldn't figure out what I wanted to do.  Last year I made my usual styles into ornaments, and did a run of Blue Moons to commemorate the blue moon that occurred in December.

This year, nothing was coming to me.  I thought, how can I commemorate this year?  Its been quite a year, with the election and all the great singer songwriter poets we have lost.
And then it hit me.

I wanted to make some ornaments to embrace peace, love, and acceptance.  

First I decided to honor Leonard Cohen, and make something inspired by his song Anthem.  I love the line, "there is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in".  The other part of that inspiration was Karen's post that included a picture of this sculpture by Paige Bradley, which I LOVE.

So I decided to make a heart, with gold shimmer in the cracks, and wire wings.
I added the lyrics and dated them as well

Then I made some star ornaments, to honor David Bowie, aka Ziggy Stardust, aka Starman

On the back I wrote "turn and face the strange" because I think it really fits for every single day of our lives. They are also dated.

 I also wanted to make something to do with Peace.  This election has caused so much chaos.  So I made a new design, a peace sign, with wooden textured parts.  It was really fun to make.  On the back, trying to stick with lyrics, I wrote, "Imagine all the people living life in peace".

So, my ornaments are finally done and listed in my destash group. (How my destash group workds: just click that link, ask to join if you are not a member, and then claim items in comments.  I invoice you for them and ship)  
Better late then never, right?  (on top of the normal holiday rush and business, I have had sick kids.  I am so behind).

Anyhow...................since I made a new ornament, I had to make a mold for it!  Thus, the review portion of this blog....

I have been wanting to try that molding plastic, the one that you put in warm water and mold it.  I thought it may capture detail better, or yet, last longer then my typical two part silicone molds.

I purchased this brand, InstaMorph, from Amazon.
I followed the instructions carefully. 

I used water that was 150 degrees as directed and poured in some of the little white plastic balls.  They are supposed to congeal into one piece.

But they never lost their ball shape textures.  So I started again, because the cool thing is, you can re use this product over and over again

 I heated the water again, this time making it between 160-170 degrees

These looked a bit more transparent this time and congealed.

 So I smooshed them together and tried to make it as smooth as possible, but it was hard to get the ball texture out of them

I went ahead and covered my peace sign anyway, hoping that it would smooth out by applying pressure

 While that was setting, I tried again and went a tad hotter.  It did get much more moldable- however, the work time is quick, by the time it cools enough to handle it, and you begin to work it smooth, it begins to harden.

When the plastic was cool, I tried to remove my mold.  it stuck to the polymer a bit, and it did NOT make a smooth mold at all.  As you can see- it never lost that ball like texture- and the sample I did in polymer on the lower right side is terrible

 So, even though I think this is a cool product, and it is amazingly strong, not a fan of it for molds.  I will find a use for it, but it was way more trouble then it was worth.  I ended using my good old trust two part silicone molds.

I actually have an article in the current issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry on making molds with two part silicone.  
(I am also honored to be the Designer Collection in the current issue).  So grab it if you want to have a copy of my mold article- or take a peek at the issue because I was so happy with the pieces they picked to be showcased in the
Designer Collection (12 pages of my jewelry!  squeeee!).

You can pick up the current issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry here, or at some local art and craft stores as well as Barnes and Noble.

I know I haven't been blogging much lately, so I hope you don't mind that I crammed like 3 blogs into one!!!!

Christmas is in 3 days, and I know everyone is just mad busy!  I truly hope you enjoy your holiday, no matter what you celebrate, may it be filled with love, and family and friends, peace and wellness.  


  1. Wow Staci! All of your ornaments are lovely. Merry Christmas.

  2. I just love the way you think, Miss Staci! That quote (and that sculpture) were an inspiration for me this past year when I mounted my gallery art exhibit "Beauty in the Broken Places". We need to embrace the cracks and the flaws because they make us who we are. Love the starman reference and those peace signs are cool. Thanks for the great tutorial. I have wondered about that stuff myself. I bought some foam type bricks are are supposed to work in a similar way with heat. Haven't tried them yet, not sure what sort of detail they would work on. Wishing you the best and brightest of the holiday season and a new year filled with creative possibilities! Enjoy the day! Erin

  3. congrats on such a wonderful feature article. your stuff is gorgeous.
    thanks for the info and testing of that moulding product. it reminds me of one I have used in the past.

    It's called OYUMARU .

    I bought it from my LBS (now closed) to try out instead of the two part silicone products, for metal clay use. I holds its shape well and the detail it allows is amazing, and yes it too can be reheated and reformed , but that means you have to let go of the previous mould design . I don't recall where they obtained it though. maybe it's no longer available.

    It was relatively inexpensive as it was marketed /intended for children's crafts. Although it states that using hot water 176 degrees F means you have to be careful around kids as that is really hot. so I guess it's really just a cheap version of reusable moulding compound. btw it came in a storage container with 4 strips of plastic in 4 cheerful colours. again marketed for kids.

  4. I loved your article in BAJ. It was so nice to see you showcased. The ornaments are lovely. Have a Merry Christmas.