Permission to play: faux stained glass and polymer inlay

March 18, 2016 , In: Clay, Polymer Clay

March is halfway over – and “eye” have been having a great time with the theme this month!

Notes and sketches in my ever present Moleskine. 

Lindsay really sent me down the research and inspiration rabbit hole. Eyes, hamsa hands, even a relatively obscure goddess Tanit. This was the perfect opportunity to play a little – to experiment with a stencil technique that I wanted to try in polymer.

Original sketch, cutting the stencil, stencil after curing, and final impression. 

The process had me draw and cut out a delicate filigree in polymer. (I think I should have tried a simpler design for my first attempt at this!) The stencil is cured, and sanded perfectly flat – then used to imprint the design in subsequent pieces of polymer. One nice feature to this technique is that it is easily reversible for paired images, or mirror images – say wings or the like. Wings! I need to try that…

The first of the series. 

I wanted to create multiples in order to play with polymer inlay and some faux stained glass ideas. I created a set of hands, maybe 6 in all – in black and other random clay colors that were on my table. The first one was a tried and true method – mica powders in the impressed areas. I cured this halfway and then added a layer of Translucent Liquid Sculpey in the impressed cells of the design. As you can see – this one was colorful! The design was rather clear – it could have used a bit more cleanup of stray sprinkles of mica…

Mica powders and a layer of TLS. 

The TLS is so so thick… So I diluted it for the next batch with clay softener. This time I tinted the “goo” mixture directly using the mica powders again. I wiped them back as best I could before curing – it was NEVER my goal to have to sand a lot afterwards. I am not a fan of sanding.

These came out really well – good opacity to the color and some fun blending where 2 wet areas touched in the blue/black eye below. I would do this again in a heartbeat!

Tinting thinned TLS with mica powders.

I tried a direct inlay of polymer clay… ( Purple and pale blue below). While I like the technique – I would like it better for smaller areas and lines. This was WAY too much sanding – and as you can see its still a bit of a mess. 

The most colorful version was utilizing alcohol ink mixed with my thinned TLS “goo”(top left).
Very colorful on the white; near invisible on the black. I think the transparency of the alcohol ink is good to remember… 
My favorite of the experiments was the final one shown here (bottom right). I used the TLS “goo” tinted with mica powders… the difference being I hit the raised areas with a Sharpie to darken them and boost the contrast. 
Alcohol inks, inlay, and inspiration! 

My inspiration for these experiments and many more was ” The Art of Polymer Clay” by Donna Kato. It is a wealth of information and inspiration! Overall I am happy I tried these techniques out in a situation with no pressure – I can see using them more in my work as I continue to experiment with polymer as a sculptural medium. 

I’d love to hear what you think – and hope this eyeful has been interesting… Until the reveal I’m off to the studio… 

Jenny Davies-Reazor

Jenny Davies-Reazor is a mixed media artist inspired by myth, folklore and the natural world. A proud Jack-of-all-trades, she concentrated in metals and painting in art school, turned to clay during her teaching career, and is truly happiest when mixing materials in unusual ways. From clay to resin, paper to polymer... Since leaving her ceramics classroom, Jenny is always in the studio: fabricating jewelry, creating ceramic shrines and decorative tiles, and teaching in a variety of mediums. " I love sharing my passion for art, and seeing sparks light up in student's eyes..."
  1. Reply

    Very inventive and cool experiments, Miss Jenny! You know I love the way you think! I just saw a Russian blog where the artist made wings from wire, filled with Liquid Sculpey to dry, then painted over the top with Fantasy Moon and Prisme Pebeo paints. Very cool look! I am experimenting with Prisme now for a show this fall. You might want to give them a try! Enjoy the day! Erin

    • Reply

      Erin – I have been eating up your Pebeo pins! Wish we were closer and could have a play date. Those wings sound great!

  2. Reply

    This eye challenge inspired me to make a hamsa hand doodle with the hamsa prayer – If I am bead making capabilities I would convert it into a bead

  3. Reply

    This was most interesting. Thank you for sharing. I also sketch out designs using moleskine notebooks. Where did you get your "pen holder"? Did you make it?

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