Are you a bargain hunter? I am! There's a definite "rush" when you get something for next to nothing. Have you ever bought something not knowing whether or not you'd actually be able to use it, but just because it was so darn cheap you couldn't pass it up? (g) I try not to do that, but sometimes I'll still get things figuring that I'll find a use for them, sooner or later.
Yesterday, I was looking through Hobby Lobby's marked-down Christmas stuff-- all 90% off-- when I came across these:
Plastic bottles of colorful flocking. Originally $1.99 for two bottles; at 90% off, about 10 cents each (not counting tax (g)). I wasn't sure if they'd be useful with polymer clay, but I figured I could use them for card-making or scrapbooking, if they didn't "go" with the clay. At that price, I decided to get all the colors I could find, so I now have 8 grams each of dark blue, white, red, dark green, light green, and pink.
I was thinking mainly of using the flocking as an inclusion in translucent clay. I think I've read about people putting dryer lint into clay to mimic Granitex polymer clay (albeit with mixed results), and I thought this might be an interesting alternative. Now that I google it, I see that I'm not the first to have this idea: Gale Ann Hartman's lion figurine. Even more people have written about using flocking as a surface treatment on cured clay: here and here, for instance.
I've given the inclusion method a test run already, earlier today. I put a mixture of the dark green and blue flocking into translucent Premo. I haven't used Granitex (yet), so I can't really compare my results with that. One interesting thing was that a few bits of the blue apparently didn't mix in completely, so there are a few flecks of very dark blue here and there. Over all, though, the color is fairly uniform-- not quite as different from "regularly" tinted translucent clay as I'd expected/hoped. Of course, I'm sure you can vary the look in any number of ways-- for instance, by using a greater or lesser ratio of flocking to clay. Sanding and buffing would probably improve the translucency, too.
I took a few photos of one piece, but they were all too poor quality to bother uploading. Once it's been completely finished and I'm taking the time to take decent photos, maybe I'll have something worth showing.
(On a side note, I think I may have gotten a speck of flocking in my right eye. At least, it feels a bit irritated . I'll have to be more careful next time!)
Until next time, then!
Good luck in your own bargain hunting! :o)