Being a currently ex glass person, it goes without saying that I’m a sucker for things transparent. For a long time, translucent was as close as you could come in polymer. With the (newish) Pardo clay, you can go just a bit further down that road. The results look a lot like sandblasted glass, which to me is a great plus, as I spent a good deal of my 18 years in glass with my hands in huge gloves peering into a sandblasting cabinet trying to take that pesky shine off my glass. Who knew it could be so easy?
I’ve been messing around with this for a little while between other projects, but I did take the time to actually try and put a necklace together from some different elements that I’d made. Oh, my sad and sorry wire work – I apologise in advance to all those who do wonderful wire work! Just part of the ‘big picture’ learning curve that I seem to be stuck at the bottom of…I know this is not new material since I’ve already posted these on Flickr, but I wanted to talk a little more about the technical aspects of these. Besides, not everyone looks at Flickr!
There are a few things to figure out - whether the almost transparency stays if you add new parts to your polymer piece. This is important to me as I like to add things sometimes, or at least, have the ability to ‘tweak’ something after curing the polymer. I think, on the whole, that my experiments show that the best clarity comes after the first high temperature curing and it’s downhill from there. Plan accordingly. I’m also experimenting with adding various colorants to the polymer before curing, or applying them to the surface and curing again. On these beads I’ve used alcohol inks and Pebeo SetaSilk. Not sure which I like best yet.
A funny constructed focal bead. Love to play with elements and don’t seem to do it enough lately….
These Pardo elements are amazingly strong and flexible, in case you were wondering. I’ve never seen a clay to match it! It makes possible so many more design ideas that I have. It’s not brittle at all…In fact, my only criticism of it is the way that it takes texture: I don’t quite know how to describe it, but it sort of oozes and looses the texture unless you are very careful. It’s worth remembering that no one clay is going to have all the characteristics that you want, and that perhaps, a better strategy is to work with and learn all the tricks of each brand and choose your clay according to the needs of your project.
Ok, I know…a lot of pictures of the same stuff, but did you notice how nicely the photos are PLACED? I’m going to have something to say about that in my next post. Oh, the time I’ve wasted trying to get photos to work well in Blogger and it turns out that it is all so simple. Placing them 3 in a row is just showing off, but I just wanted to do it because I never could before!
I’m making some of these beads to sell individually in my Etsy shop – what do you think? I’d love to have some feedback from you, my patient and faithful readers.