Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Testing out my texture sheets...

I've been testing out the mini texture sheets I made a few days ago-- using them to make small, textured pendants.

For the first batch of tests, I mixed up some faux stone (translucent clay with inclusions). I now have all of those sanded (inclusions sometimes make for rough edges when you're using shape cutters), antiqued with acrylics (mostly white), and re-cured to heat-set the paint. I'm going to try buffing a few of them to finish them off. Strictly speaking, they don't even have to be buffed, but I prefer that look, myself. Then, maybe, I'll get around to photographing them.

While antiquing them, it became apparent that some of the textures probably lend themselves better (or at least as well) to metallic wax, mica powder, or other "upper surface" highlighting than to antiquing. So I've just finished baking another batch with black clay, which I intend to treat with metallic waxes, once they've cooled (and I have time). To tell the truth, I had intended to touch some with waxes and others with mica powders, but I didn't realize until they'd been in the oven for 30 minutes that I should have done the powders prior to curing. Doh! Can you tell I haven't used that particular technique very often? Well, I'll just have to make another batch, sometime.

I've also started the first steps in one of the other projects I mentioned before-- the crackled paints on very thin sheets of translucent clay, applied paint-down to base beads. So far, I've just painted the clay and am waiting for it to dry so that I can crackle it. I used each of the three new Daler-Rowney acrylic inks I got for Christmas-- Silver Pearl, Birdwing Copper, and Mazuma Gold-- plus a new shade of Dazzling Metallics (Festive Green), FolkArt's Metallic Blue Topaz (a lovely teal color), and a color of my own mixing. The color is a pale sky blue mixed with a product that can be mixed with any acrylic paint to create a pearlized equivalent of the color. It was a bit thick and didn't go on very smoothly, so I may have to look into changing how best to use that product-- especially if it doesn't want to crackle very well. However, even with pre-mixed, store-bought paints, I've noticed that there is a wide variance in how well they crackle-- even between different colors in the same line of paints. I like to crackle, but it can be a bit unpredictable. That's part of its appeal, actually. If all else fails, I can always use scrap clay!

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