Ok, so its not much of a plan.. but it worked!
I have been playing with polymer clay, and in particular, liquid polymer clay. One of the most time consuming parts of making things with polymer clay can be the sanding process, which makes a huge difference to the look of pieces, but does take time. And the best results are achieved by wet sanding, which tends to lead to that lovely pruny fingers look. The difference in the look of bead that has been sanded and buffed can be amazing, especially the shine that can be achieved.
Ultimately, I want most of my pieces to be super shiny, and lately I have fallen in love with the faux glass sort of look. So I went in search of a way to make super shiny beads with minimal sanding. I can hear some people yelling ‘well just varnish then’. Well there is the catch… I dont want to varnish them. I want them to be ONLY polymer clay (unless I’m adding Swarovskis for bling). So how to achieve the super shiny, glassy look without sanding and buffing and without using varnish?
Well I have found my answer! Kato Liquid Clay.
No, I dont work for Kato, I dont get anything from them, I am saying this purely because this is what has worked for me.
I have achieved super shiny, glassy looking beads without having to spend hours sanding and buffing. It isnt a quick fix, it still takes a little time and patience, and a lot of care… burning the clay is a hazard. It’s also slightly dangerous.. in that you are using a heat gun pretty close to your fingers! However, the results are amazing.
These are not the best photos, however.. the first shows a group of beads before curing, the second shows them after covering them in Kato Liquid Clay. ( A few have had other treatments too – like the shaving foam technique)
Pre-baking... mmmm.... pretties
After 'treatment' (note: pale pink have no Kato on them - purely sanding and buffing)
As I said, not the best photo, but I can tell you that the shine that you can see on the dark beadies is on all of the ones with Kato. The flat heart ones are mica shift, and were sanded to death like I usually do. I then put Kato on the darker ones so I could compare buffing to Kato.
Personally, I think there are times when sanding and buffing is the way to go, Mica shift is one time..the sanding makes a huge difference. Also with faux gemstones, like turquoise, because I think a super shine is not going to look ‘authentic’.
There are some other Kato’d beads on my flickr that show the effect better.. you can see them to the left of the blog.
Anyway, I will continue to play and perfect my newest passion. Stay tuned!