First-- a little extra information on the faux ceramic technique. (If you've looked at the Polymer Clay Web forum thread on this topic, this won't be new.) I'm still learning how the Kato Liquid works, compared to TLS. One thing I've always heard (and have proven to myself to be true) is that if you hit the Kato Liquid with a heat gun or embossing gun after curing (or bump up the temperature in the oven, briefly), you'll bring out the greatest clarity. It's pretty amazing how well that works. It takes a little while for me, using my little embossing gun, so be patient. Just keep moving the heating tool around, and eventually you'll see a big improvement. Once it starts to happen, it's fast.
Well, anyway, I knew about the heat gun improving the clarity. What I didn't know is that it also changes the finish of the Kato Liquid. I've done a comparison of pieces cured normally and those that I've given the "extra heat treatment", and there's a definite difference. The "extra-heated" ones have a much shinier finish than the others. (I hope this doesn't mean that I've been under-curing the others. . . I'll have to recheck my oven's temperature, just to be on the safe side.)
Here's a photo that (kind of) shows what I mean:
All of these pieces have a Kato-based glaze, but the top two were heated with a heat gun, while the bottom two were not. (The bottom two have more of a sheen than you can tell from this photo, but it's much softer than the shine on the other two.) I think both effects are attractive; it just depends on whether or not you want lots of shine.
While looking around at Parole de Pâte the other day, I was very impressed by this entry. It's been put through a translator, from French to English, but those translating programs leave something to be desired. The translated version refers to powder (Pearl-ex) and resin. Based on the comments, I think they really did use resin (two-part epoxy, such as Envirotex Lite) for the clear coating over the powders, though at first I wondered whether the translating program got that part wrong. (I thought maybe the French word for resin tricked it, as so often seems to happen with these programs.) In any case, I decided to use Liquid Kato, as I'm more familiar with that medium and knew I could get it pretty darn clear with a heat gun.
There's still the slightest bit of a haze in one or two parts of this heart, but it's not bad at all, and I might be able to get it to go away, if I gave it a little more heat. (You could probably also eliminate this problem by doing two thinner coats and clarifying between them.)
It's a simple technique, but the result is very nice. I'm going to have to give this one another try. :o) (And don't forget to follow that link and look at the photos on the other site. They're gorgeous!)
There's another (more recent) topic on Parole de Pâte that also interests me. It's a new take on Jennifer Patterson's "Hidden Magic" technique. Very pretty!
A few days ago, a customer asked me if I "do pizza". Not yet, but it had been on my wish list of mini foods for a long time. I'd been drooling over Milo's mini pizzas only days before-- we got pizza over the weekend-- and now comes this question. . . It must be fate, right? ;o) I decided to give it a try:
There are a few more mini pizza photos on my flickr.
It was rather time-consuming. Miniatures often are, particularly when they're comprised of detailed layers-- and of course I had to figure everything out as I went along, so that took some time. But it was fun, and I definitely see more mini pizzas in my future. :o)
Oh, and for those interested in size, each slice is roughly an inch long. Way too big for 1:12 scale, but ok for "Barbie scale" (assuming that your Barbies like large slices of pizza). Since they have eye pins sticking out of them, I suppose it's obvious that they're really meant more for jewelry than doll houses. (g)