Desperate for help with translucent

Desperate for help with translucent

Post by Cheri Stryke » Sat, 18 Sep 1999 04:00:00



I am endlessly fascinated by translucent effects, and was STUNNED by the
beads Donna Kato did on the cover of Jewelry Crafts magazine.  BUT, I am
endlessly frustrated, as well.  How do folks get that glass like
clearness with their translucents.  My canes ALWAYS look like frosted
glass.

Am I slicing too thickly?  Am I not sanding/buffing aggressively
enough?   Someone please help!
--
"I have a tendency to wear my mind on my sleeve"
        Bare*** Ladies
---------
To Email, please remove the obvious spamblock

 
 
 

Desperate for help with translucent

Post by DABla » Sun, 19 Sep 1999 04:00:00


Quote:
> How do folks get that glass like clearness with their translucents.  My canes

ALWAYS look like frosted glass.

Translucent clay is just that . . . trans*lucent* --unfortunately not
transparent.  Different brands and types of translucent have different
properties re translucency and clayers have developed some ways of getting more
transparency, etc.  

Here are some posts that have discussed this (some were written before Premo
came out):

Diane B.
``````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
`````````
Kathleen Dustin mentioned that she finds it difficult to work with sheets of
translucent any thinner than #6 on the pasta machine. I do remember that she
said the clay will absorb moisture and oil from your hands, which can cloud the
translucent, and therefore it was important to handle the translucent as little
as possible for maximum clarity. She takes a fresh, out-of-the-wrapper block,
smooshes one edge just so it will fit into the pasta machine, runs it through
at the thickest setting, and then again at #6 (second thinnest).  She advised
me to use this fresh-rolled sheet immediately. . .
     Kathi Dustin's technique. She rolls the translucent to #6 on the pasta
machine (thin) and places it carefully, then presses down REALLY hard with
plastic wrap over the   You have to WORK at it to get maximum transprency.
Think like applying contact paper, too, and press from the center to the edges
to move any bubbles away. Do this gently BEFORE pressing the clay down hard.
********. . . she draws directly on baked clay. So for you, I guess, you'd make
the form and do the transfer, then bake, then cover with translucent (maybe
including ultra fine glitter mix-ins or something) and bake then
sand/buff/polish like crazy! (Careful not to remove the whole layer of
translucent, of course.)
 It doesn't look right without the buffing.
``````````````````````````````````````````
I remember from a class I had with her that Lindly preferred the Fimo AT for
most of the things *she* does (esp. mokume gane).  I'm pretty sure she also
agreed though that it was not best for making the *thinnest* sheets of
translucent --those that are meant to be used as a top "clear" veneer (over
colored-pencils-on-baked-clay, mokume, or other techniques, etc.).  **Sculpey's
translucent can be rolled incredibly thin--and it can be stretched even
thinner! --compared to the other translucents.  

Another difference I've seen between translucents is that when baked, Sculpey's
translucent is a little pinker/tanner than Fimo's (which is yellower) --they
make different looking faux ivories, e.g.  I don't think this shows up in very
thin sheets though; either one could be used to advantage.  (I think, but am
not sure, that Premo's tranlucents have the least "color."  Any one else
know??)  Does Cernit have a translucent?  What about the new Flexiclay?  As for
plaquing/mooning, Premo's "bleached" translucent is supposed to plaque the
least of them all since Marie tried to create it with just that characteristic
in mind.

Didn't we have a longish discussion about translucents in the newsgroup a while
back, with some good info coming forward?. . . looking up those posts might
yield even more differences between the brands and types (was there something
about flexibility, e.g.?) --I think the word translucent or translucents was in
the subject line, so use translucent* to cover them both.  Diane B.
`````````````````````````````````````````````````
My understanding was the "shock" method of dunking hot clay into cold water was
for translucent clays to create a more translucent glass effect.. (Dotty says
into ice water!)

Someone else..maybe Karen said when she put her canes in the freezer to cool
down, she found the transluscent clays were more transluscent. Much like the
ice water trick. I plan to use both! Jan

I love CFC/Premo, one reason being that I work with a LOT of translucent and
it is not as temperature sensitive as some of the other clays.  I know it is
weird to change clays because we get used to the little things peculiar to the
brand we use most, but I think you'll be much happier with CFC /Premo after you
get used to it - just MHO ;-)  Jami Miller

Quote:
>What is the difference between Fimo's Translucent and ArtistTransparent?>  

     Fimo makes two kinds of translucent (I think!).  One is just called
Translucent, and the other is called Art Transparent.  The AT isn't really
transparent, but it is clearer than their Translucent.  Other brands make
translucents too.
    Fimo AT is often used for faux techniques like jade and mokume gane.
Sculpey's Translucent is known for being the one which will stretch the
thinnest and is often used when a covering of translucent is desired.  Premo
makes two translucents (or they did) . . .one plaques* just like all the
others, but their "bleached" one plaques as little as they can make it.

*plaques are little half-moon shapes of slightly whiter color which often show
up when translucents are baked, especially in thicker amounts and with lighter
colors.  We think they're caused by moisture in the clay or from hands.  Some
people think that air incorporated into the clay can be a factor too.  This
shows up with SuperSculpey too as it is mostly translucent; in fact, some boxes
of SS seems to just have more plaqueing than others.  To avoid moisture and air
incorporation, use dried hands and hand condition the clay rather than doing it
in a pasta machine.
Marie told me to pre-heat my oven before putting the clay in and I haven't had
it (plaquing) happen since (?).
        . . .  put the pieces in a cold oven and S-L-O-W-L-Y bring the oven up to 265.
 Let them bake at 265 for the required 20-25 minutes, and then shut off the
oven and allow the pieces to
cool in the oven - this slow heating and cooling will minimize the plaquing in
the translucent clay to almost nothing.
````````````````````````````````````
This bead was made from two different canes, the one on the left was made with
FIMO 00 art translucent as the background color and the one on hte right was
made with CFC  (Premo) 06 translucent (that's Bleached translucent).  I guess
you can see that the one on the right is much more translucent than the one on
the left!    Now I need to be a little fair that the FIMO 00 has come out
fairly translucent in some of the other experiments!   I also believe that the
00 comes out more translucent if it is baked at a lower temp!  But it seems to
always be a little cloudier/frostier than the CFC/Premo 06, that does seem to
be the MOST dependable for transparency! You can get it from Clay Factory, or
you can get it from Polymer Clay Express, or maybe other places.  Leigh
    ****her bead at Delphi looked a lot like the original Venetian glass ones.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The first thing Howard (at the Clay Factory) told me is that the translucent
which was numbered 04 ("trans-nat") has been discontinued (although it still
appears on their catalog web page for 1 lb. bars--will be updated soon).  There
are only two types of translucents that they sell now:
```````````````````````````````````````````````````
Premo translucent 5310      (2 oz)
Premo translucent 5310-1    (1 lb)
              AND
Premo bleach* translucent, CFC/Premo 06    (l lb. only)
`````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
The " regular" translucent 5310 (2 oz) is the only one available in retail
stores; it has a slightly amber cast and plaques somewhat.  (1 lb bars of this
are available by mail order).
     The bleached translucent 06 (1 lb.) is available only by mail order; it
has a less amber cast, and plaques as little as they can possibly make it.   If
you order this from The Clay Factory, it will come with only a small tag that
reads "CFC/Premo 06."  If you order it from someone else who has ordered in
bulk from them to resell, it may have another tag/sign. This translucent with
bleach can be baked at the regular temperatures without darkening --yes!
       Moisture can be added to either of these translucents to *create*
plaquing, if you want that effect.   Diane B.
``````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
```````````````````````````
. . .Finally, Finally - when it's baked, take it straight out of the oven and
plunk it in some ice water - when you sand and polish it you will be amazed at
the improvement in the transparency. Prove it to yourself - make two samples
and only dunk one! This technique works best with pieces that will be sanded
and polished to the highest gloss you can get - before you even think about a
varnish! (it won't need varnish if it's baked enough and polished well)

There was an excellent idea posted a while back about using packing foam to
press the translucent down . . . because it really works great!  To use the
foam to press down thin translucent, I just wrap it around the pad of my finger
and press the clay down. It seems to help by spreading the pressure over a
larger area and by keeping the clay from sticking to my finger

Actually, most of the granitex and fimo stone colors have a translucent base-
roll them out to 4 or 5 on the pasta machine and hold them up to the light- you
can ususally get the light through them.  I've made some really pretty votives
with the stone colors.
``````````````````````````````````````````````````````
The uncolored transparent is actually translucent (it usually says both on the
label). The Fimo colored transparents are the most truely transparent of the
bunch, and they still have to be used very thin! For maximum transparency use
colored translucent by itself - do not mix colored and uncolored translucent!
      There are six new colors of transparent Fimo: T1 Yellow, T2 Red, T21
Pink, T37 Blue, T4 Orange, and T5 Green. When I first saw these bright,
kid-friendly colors, I thought there was no way I would use them in my palette.
However, after trying them I was surprised to find that you ...

read more »

 
 
 

Desperate for help with translucent

Post by The Polymer Clay Pi » Sun, 19 Sep 1999 04:00:00




Quote:
>I am endlessly fascinated by translucent effects, and was STUNNED by the
>beads Donna Kato did on the cover of Jewelry Crafts magazine.  BUT, I am
>endlessly frustrated, as well.  How do folks get that glass like
>clearness with their translucents.  My canes ALWAYS look like frosted
>glass.

>Am I slicing too thickly?  Am I not sanding/buffing aggressively
>enough?   Someone please help!

Cheri,

Most likely both of these. You really have to get the surface smooth and
you want to avoid too much thickness. Cut the canes really thin and then
aggressive sanding does it - working through the grades of wet and dry
to very fine (400 - 800 or even 1200). Then very thorough buffing. It
takes a long time by hand and (IMHO) is very boring! All that sanding
under that tap really can crack your hands up too. But the results are
wonderful. People using electric buffing wheels etc will get much
quicker results - a small Dremmel or hobby drill with a buffing
attachment really helps if you do not have access to a bench grinder.

It also depends on the translucent you use. I personally have found
Premo translucent the clearest of all (recent tests for my latest book).
Better than the usually recommended Art Translucent too. But Donna got
those super results from the coloured Fimo Translucents - although they
have already changed those to a Fimo Soft formula which I have not yet
tested.

Sue
--
Sue Heaser

http://www.heaser.demon.co.uk

 
 
 

Desperate for help with translucent

Post by Elizabet » Sun, 19 Sep 1999 04:00:00


Hi, Cheri,
    Whole bunch of us a lil loony over the translucents, hm? ;-)

Quote:
> Cheri Stryker wrote
> My canes ALWAYS look like frosted glass.

    I think they will look like frosted glass until after they're baked,
sanded and buffed. And this is one case where Flecto is no substitute for
the sanding and buffing, darn it! *g*

Quote:
> Am I slicing too thickly?

   That's possible... You *do* have to go   t...h....i....n!   And when I've
thought it was thin enough, it wasn't.  ;-)

   Or it could be the clay? Other people have found different brands to be
clearest... I wonder if it's the way we work? I've had the best results for
*clarity* with S3... for me, it's been the clearest, when it's finished. But
it's so weak that I use a 50/50 mixture of the SIII & Premo translucents. I
add the FIMO translucent colors to get Skinner blends and those are
absolutely wonderful... after finishing, the untinted area in the blend
looks just like glass. The FIMO colored translucents get much darker or more
saturated looking when they're baked, BTW.
    I do use the FIMO colorless translucents for things that won't have
other brands in it. The curing temp. is too low for the regular and soft
FIMO or the Polyform clays, but when I've tried to bake it at a high enough
temp for the other clay, the trans has discolored. :-T  I had a really nice
piece from all FIMO translucents, but, the next time I use that cane, I'm
going to go even thinner before I apply it to the votive.
   Another thing I've been thinking about is the "plaquing..."   if plaquing
can be induced by moisture on your hands or humidity in the air, maybe the
"cloudiness" is really millions of tiny little "plaques," in some cases?

Quote:
> Am I not sanding/buffing aggressively
> enough?

   If you're not going small enough with the sandpaper, in successively
finer grades, the scratches might be making a cloudy "screen" on the surface
that is really hard to buff out. Get out a magnifying glass and look at it
in bright light, maybe?

   Hope you find out what's causing the trouble... I'm still in the "trial
and error" phase, myself. ;-)  Trying to figure it out will make ya a lil
nutso, hm? But then you get a piece that is just what you wanted, and that
makes you go right back into it, to try to do it, again. *g*

   Have fun!
   Elizabeth

(the-the = spam trap.)

 
 
 

Desperate for help with translucent

Post by Shelly Crosse » Tue, 21 Sep 1999 04:00:00


Donna does not use TRANSLUCENT for those beads. She uses Fimo TRANSPARENT,
which come in several colors, and produce the clear, stained-glass effect
directly out of the package. You can order these clays online sources such
as Prairie Craft or Polymer Clay Express.

Shelly Crossen

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

PLEASE NOTE:  To reply, remove the three numbers that appear in front of my
name (which are there to thwart spammers).

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

 
 
 

Desperate for help with translucent

Post by Martha Ale » Thu, 23 Sep 1999 04:00:00


And now the question that has been bugging me ever since I started working
w/ polyclay -- that is <ta da, are you ready>  How much sanding is enough?
how much at 400, 600. 1500?  What should the surface feel like?  What
should it look like?  

                                                                 /
                                                       /\_/\    /
                                                      / o o \  /
                                                      \ =o= /  \  
                                                      ()    ()    
                                                     -----------------
                                                     Marf and a Friend

 
 
 

Desperate for help with translucent

Post by The Polymer Clay Pi » Thu, 23 Sep 1999 04:00:00




Quote:
>And now the question that has been bugging me ever since I started working
>w/ polyclay -- that is <ta da, are you ready>  How much sanding is enough?
>how much at 400, 600. 1500?  What should the surface feel like?  What
>should it look like?  

Hi Martha,

This is where one workshop is worth a million words! It is so much
easier just to show people... If there are a lot of lumps on the
surface, I sand with 200 ordinary sandpaper first - really go for it
until the surface is totally smooth but covered with fine scratches from
the grit. I then go to 400 with wet and dry, sanding across the first
scratches so as to eliminate them completely until I just have the finer
(400) scratches. Then repeat with the 600 etc. The finer sandpapers are
getting rid of the scratches of the previous papers - they are not
particularly smoothing the surface although of course, they do that a
bit too. The final sanding is with 800 or higher and no scratches are
now visible but the surface looks chalky. Then it is the buffing wheel
to get the shiny gleam. If you buff and can still see lines of
scratches, you have not done the finer grits enough.

Hope that describes it okay!

Sue
--
Sue Heaser

http://www.heaser.demon.co.uk

 
 
 

Desperate for help with translucent

Post by Martha Ale » Fri, 24 Sep 1999 04:00:00


Sue -
     Thank you for your excellent answers to my sanding questions.

                                                                 /
                                                       /\_/\    /
                                                      / o o \  /
                                                      \ =o= /  \  
                                                      ()    ()    
                                                     -----------------
                                                     Marf and a Friend

 
 
 

Desperate for help with translucent

Post by The Polymer Clay Pi » Fri, 24 Sep 1999 04:00:00




Quote:
>Sue -
>     Thank you for your excellent answers to my sanding questions.

You're welcome! :*)

Sue
--
The Polymer Clay Pit

http://www.heaser.demon.co.uk/claypit.htm

 
 
 

Desperate for help with translucent

Post by Elizabet » Fri, 24 Sep 1999 04:00:00


Ooooooops!!!! *g*

I wasn't very clear, gotta work on that! :-)

I was using the "generic" term, "translucent," not the company label
"translucent." And much as I love my FIMO, I haven't found the "transparent"
labeled clay any clearer or more translucent than the ones labeled
"translucent," so I don't use the term "transparent."

Now, *that* was clear as mud, hm?

I just put up a new page on my site that has pictures of the nightlights and
votives that I've made from canes that are mostly translucent, (including
the ivory) http://www.homestead.com/ziggybeth/PCprojects2.html I made a
couple of pens with the translucent canes, but found that it's really a
waste of translucence, since the backgrounds around the individual roses is
all black. Pretty enough, but, it loses some of it's impact in an opaque
application. Better luck next time, hm? *g*

Have fun!
Elizabeth

 
 
 

Desperate for help with translucent

Post by DawnGay » Fri, 24 Sep 1999 04:00:00


Quote:
> I just put up a new page on my site that has pictures of the nightlights and
> votives that I've made from canes that are mostly translucent, (including
> the ivory) http://www.homestead.com/ziggybeth/PCprojects2.html >

And gorgeous work it is, Elizabeth!!
DawnGaye
 
 
 

Desperate for help with translucent

Post by The Polymer Clay Pi » Sat, 25 Sep 1999 04:00:00


Quote:

>I was using the "generic" term, "translucent," not the company label
>"translucent." And much as I love my FIMO, I haven't found the "transparent"
>labeled clay any clearer or more translucent than the ones labeled
>"translucent," so I don't use the term "transparent."

Elizabeth,

I quite agree with you! I always use the generic term too. I just hate
to use the term "transparent" because I think it is simply misleading.
People new to the clays expect a glass clear clay. I wish some of the
manufacturers would not use it either. One day we may have a true
transparent clay (I wish!) but until then... they should call it
"translucent" IMHO.
For example, the Premo version is called "Translucent" and it is
actually clearer than several so-called "Transparents" in my tests.

Testing translucence is fun - you just bake samples that have all been
rolled out to the same thinness on a pasta machine (say 6 on an Atlas)
and then hold them over different font sizes of black lettering and see
where legibility ends. If anyone feels like doing this with several
different clays - do let me know your findings. I like to gather this
sort of information from lots of sources so that it is as impartial as
possible before I put it into print! I have done it with strength tests
too. I feel it is good to have impartial assessment of the clays which
is something that even the most well-meaning of the manufacturers cannot
achieve!

Sue
--
Sue Heaser

http://www.heaser.demon.co.uk

 
 
 

Desperate for help with translucent

Post by DABla » Sat, 25 Sep 1999 04:00:00


Quote:
>http://www.homestead.com/ziggybeth/PCprojects2.html<

". . . about four inches across and a real bear to slice evenly. I let it sit
for several months, thinking I would eventually come up with a way to slice
it."
``````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
``````````````````````````

Uh oh, ZB, looks like you might have to spring for Judith Skinner's "JASI
cutter" for cutting large canes <http:// www.polyclay.com/jasi.htm >
--it's sort of like a guillotine, if you haven't seen one before; someone else
makes a similar one; they cost $50-65?, but well worth it for some
applications.

If you aren't familiar with them already, take a look at her version--you
should be able to rig up something similar yourself using a Donna Kato (stiff)
7" blade, a wallpaper scraper, or many-unbroken-off-segments of one of those
segmented, snap-off blade thingies. The thing about the JASI blade is that it
is slightly slanted on one edge to help separate the slice from the loaf --or
something like that :-) . . . .

Diane B.
P.S.  I think it was Shaneangel who also uses the measuring function of her
JASI for making huge numbers of various-sized bits of clay exactly the correct
size for making her angels (she makes 1000's!) --saves her lots of time.