Friday, January 12, 2007

Faux stone and metal

Yesterday, I finally got around to photographing some of my polymer clay beads and pendants. Among the things I photographed were the recent batches of faux stone and faux metal pendants I textured with my homemade texture sheets.

Here are some of the antiqued faux stone pieces...

And here are some of the faux metal pieces...

This last one wasn't from a texture sheet. Instead, I just stamped into the clay with a rubber stamp and used an embossing tool to make dots around the stamped image. I used the same type of rub-on wax that I used for the other pieces of faux metal.
I was a little bit disappointed with how the photos of the faux metal turned out. I mean, they're clear enough, but they don't really capture the shine and "metallic-ness" of the originals. I'll have to see if I can come up with a better way to photograh them...

One other thing I don't like about these pieces-- any time I use metallic wax on a piece of jewelry, I pretty much have to seal it with a clear finish. This adds to the shine of the piece, but it actually makes them look less realistic, I think. Maybe it's because most metal just isn't shiny in that particular way. Maybe it's because the recessed "tarnished" parts (the parts with no metallic wax on them) are shiny, too, whereas real tarnished metal isn't. Either way, I can't really see a way around it. I think that I need to coat the whole piece to really seal the wax, but even if I didn't have to, it would be a major pain, trying to varnish just the upper parts of each piece... Maybe a satin finish would be less offensive to my sensibilities, but I doubt it'll make that much difference. It's just a trade-off-- if you want the look you get from metallic wax, you have to accept the gloss of the sealant.

On a positive note-- It's interesting, seeing how the same design looks with the upper parts highlighted vs. the lower parts being emphasized with paint. The same design can take on a totally different look, depending on how it's used.

One of the next things I wasn to try is making another set of black pendants with the texture sheets and treating them with mica powders instead of rub-on metallic wax.

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