Saturday, September 25, 2010

Another brand new mold!!

A couple of weeks ago, Joe asked if I had finished the settings project re-do. It was a simple idea. Make a mold that makes a setting. Not simple to engineer though, the molded part kept sticking in the mold. Pulling a ring (or oval) is a lot, lot harder than pulling a solid cabochon from a mold.
A setting stretches if any part hangs up anytime during the de-molding. After several different tries, I was ready to call it quits.

However, we persisted and after one more modification and new de-molding technique, the ring (oval setting) pulled out of the mold. It was a combo of loosening and pressing the clay to a slick surface before de-molding. Ta-da! The design worked and more goodies were sculpted to fill up the mold.

This pretty mold has 10 openings. Four settings are for these standard oval cabochon sizes: 40x30; 30x22’ 18x13 (will also work with 16x12); & a 12x10 oval connector/setting. For best results you should have a cabochon in one of these sizes ready to use before molding the setting. A bale mold is also provided. There also are two rose and ribbon swags with tiny tassels, a right and left along with two full blown roses and a leaf. All are in a richly embellished style.

The instructions have step by step molding and de-molding instructions, including how to add a bale and how to set an oval cabochon.

Before baking the setting can be modified, stretched, reshaped from an oval to other shapes. This heart setting was made by cutting a "V" shape from the oval opposite the rose at the bottom, then pressing the two cut ends together to form a heart shape. A bit of tweaking was done before baking to shape the heart setting. If desired, this setting could be used for a tiny frame.

As always, we have measured the clay for you and provided a circle measuring chart along with a list of the size of the ball of clay needed to fill each opening.

Overall mold dimensions for this mold is approx. 3.25" by 4" by .25 to .5 inches thick. Materials up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit (F) can be used in our molds.

All of the originals have been sculpted, an initial mold made and perfected, and now we are ready to begin casting the new mold when Joe discovers that we are out of the blue rubber! This is usually not a problem, I call the company from which we buy the rubber only to be told that we can not get the blue rubber until the first week of October!!! Big problem, we need the blue rubber NOW.

No blue available. We have to use a different color rubber to make the first run of our new mold. The rubber is tan, not blue, but since its' a pretty mold and we expect folks to like it, we made 20 of them for the show.

Here are some more pics of the molded parts. Rt. Oval setting with hanger or bale depending on orientation of the setting.

Setting with Bale

Round Setting

Below left: holes were made in the unbaked settings. After baking, head pins were threaded through the holes enabling the smaller setting to act as a connector and the larger one to have bead work.

This mold, PJ037 will be available on our website at
After the second week of October.

Penni Jo 9-25-10

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sandy Camp, here we come!

For the last month we have been preparing for Sandy Camp. A retreat in the hills outside of San Diego where polymer clay lovers come together for fun, play and learning.

We will be vendors so Joe is working hard to get enough molds made up for the show.

I am working hard too, preparing projects and new molds to demonstrate at the event as I will be one of nine demonstrators. We are honored to be chosen.

I'll be showing how to make these calla lilies, left, and will have simple patterns for attendees. They are made of, what I call, duplex clay. Skinner blend on one side, translucent and cream on the other side. A ribbon or bow can be added to the stem of the pin to complement the wearer's clothing.

Cabochons with embedded canes will be the focus of my demonstrations as we have several molds now that can be used to make these pretty designs.

Our primary purpose is to introduce our molds to people, show the quality and ease of use and then to demonstrate different ways this can be achieved and how they can get perfectly molded, ready to use parts every time.

I've continued to develop this technique for several weeks with continuing good results and satisfaction.

This set, Pin, earrings and bracelet, left, was inspired by antique Italian Pietra Dura.

The canes were constructed to look like mother of pearl. They did not quite make it, but the designs are appealing and give a good idea of what can be done with these colors and a dark background.

The larger pin below shows the detail.

So, what's next, buttons! This time the background is a skinner blend log cut into 1/4 inch slices and packed into a cabochon mold with the design in the bottom.

The shanks are made of colored paper clips, cut and tiny flared wire pieces sticking out at the bottom. These are stitched to a cardstock backing, just like in the 40's and 50's.

This is my work table showing the skinner blend log, tiny, borderless canes (the outside of each cane is dusted with Perfect Pearls Perfect Bronze powder to give a slight, metallic edge to the slices), pre-made cane clusters laid out ready to go into the mold, cut paper clips, a razor blade for cutting and lifting the clusters, and a mold with a cluster in the one opening, ready for the background to be pressed in firmly, forcing the cluster into the face of the cabochon. The paper clip shank is pressed into a cut in the back, clay is smoothed over the two 'legs' and pressed flat. A couple of flexes and a button pops out, ready to go into the manila folder tray for baking.

Maybe I'll see you at Sandy Camp and we can play with this technique together.

Penni Jo