Wednesday, March 20, 2013

How To Make Tiny Buttons

I like this photo tutorial...great tips from this doll maker about making buttons out of polymer clay for your small scale dolls.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Tutorials About Making Fantasy Fins & Wings

There are many ways to make wings or fins for a fairy or mermaid doll. Something fun to 'play' with...who has every seen a real one? Let you imagination go free!
Liquid Polymer Clay:
Transparency Sheet:

Smooth, Smooth, and Smooth Some More

A smooth doll looks so much nicer and is easier to blush andpaint. You can smooth while you are sculpting polymer clay or after you have baked your doll. Here as some smoothing aides to try:

Smoothing unbaked clay with alcohol or mineral oil
After the sculpt is completed, you can gently wipe larger areas of the unbaked clay with alcohol prep pads (get at a pharmacy) to smooth, remove fingerprints and lift specks of dust. Some doll makers use a mineral oil based products on a brush (such as baby oil, Sculpey Smoothing Oil or hand lotions).  There are many products used by doll makers; however, just keep in mind that mineral oil based products and alcohol based products soften the surface of polymer clay so read the ingredients label and use with a light hand and with some caution.  Experiment to see if you like what they do.

Smoothing partially baked clay with Sculpey Clay Softener or a mineral oil based based product and extra fine grit sanding pads (such as Magic Eraser) to smooth partially baked clay. The doll is coated with the softener or oil prior to sanding. The clay is very fragile at this stage so be extra cautious.

Smoothing cured clay with Acetone: To finish smoothing your doll, use a Q-tip dipped into acetone (get a hardware store). Acetone dissolves the surface of polymer clay so only use a tiny amount. Don't acetone the face because you could lose the doll's features that you worked so hard to sculpt. If you get too much acetone on the clay, it will leave a whitish layer; you have to immediately wipe it off and redo.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Another Method Of Sculpting A Hand

This tutorial demonstrates sculpting a hand by attaching separate fingers to the palm. Try them all and find what works for you.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Series Bake? Partial Bake? Spot Bake? Cure?

Confused? These are terms you will see used by doll makers to describe baking their polymer clay doll as they are sculpting it. Each technique has a purpose depending on what the person is trying to accomplish. Here are our attempts at some 'not-very-technical' descriptions of these  terms:
partial baking = baking raw clay at a lower temperature then the manufacturer's directions for a short amount of time to firm-up raw clay but not cure it, so the clay is 'firmer' but remains very fragile.
Use = to begin a series baking sequence or to ready raw clay for using a craft knife to shave off clay; such as for finishing fingers, etc.
series baking =  is partial baking done more then once. Use = firming a part and then adding new raw clay parts, such as firming a torso and then adding limbs or hands, and re baking.
spot baking = is using a heat gun on a small 'spot' to partial bake only the top layer of raw clay (super heating is a special spot baking technique but using a much higher temperature). Use = make a place on a raw clay doll stable so doesn't deform when sculpting another place.
cure = is baking at the full recommended temperature for the full amount of time (per depth of clay) to harden and strengthen polymer clay. The time and temperature is written on the clay packaging and is different for different brands or type of clay. Some doll makers cure each part rather then partial bake as they use the series baking technique. Use = the final bake before the last smoothing of a cured polymer clay doll by scraping, sanding and finishing with acetone.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Baby Head - WIP

This video is approx 30 minutes long and demonstrates each step.  Bring it up to full screen; it's great for follow along sculpting. Try it!

Making A Foil Undersculpt

When making a doll from polymer clay, it is best to keep the clay about 1/4 to 3/8 inch thick so that it bakes uniformly. To do that, you form an under-sculpt over your armature wire. The under-sculpt can be made of polymer clay, sculpting epoxy or foil. It also provides a firm surface under the soft clay as you are sculpting, helping to avoid distortion. This doll maker demonstrates making a foil under-sculpt for a baby doll's head:

About 3 Of The Liquid Polymer Clays

The three liquid polymer clays we know of are Kato Liquid Polyclay, FIMO Decorating Gel and Translucent Liquid Sculpey (often referred to as TLS).  Kato, FIMO and Sculpey liquid clays are different products and have different uses. For example, Sculpey can be used as 'glue' between layers of cured and uncured polymer clay.
Unbaked, FIMO Decorating Gel looks clear, transparent and the viscosity is thin whereas Kato and TLS are rather opaque, white and the viscosity is thick. When baked, FIMO is clear, shiny and has some flexibility. The Sculpey and Kato stay a little cloudy, have a matte finish and expand a little  while baking. Of course, the translucent quality of any liquid clay depends the thickness of the application or the type of material you add to it such as, metallic powders, paint or glitter. 
To learn more about these products, see them used and the results of their qualities that were tested, check out these web sites:

Friday, March 1, 2013