Sunday, February 20, 2011

Guild meeting in Corpus Christi

While traveling I like to stay in touch with fellow clayers. Here in Mission Texas, Corpus Christi is the closest guild. It is a three hour drive to guild meetings but with a book on CD, the drive goes quickly.

Their meeting is the 3rd Saturday of the month at the Joann's store. The meeting was very informative. This guild has a hands-on project that members learn how to do during the meeting. The teacher brings the lesson and helps the members learn the techniques.

Teacher Patty taught a lesson on how to make molds using three different mold making materials. The members busily made molds from a variety of items and the time flew by.

I made molds of some of the rubber stamps that I designed for using scrap clay. A mold like this can have clay pressed into very firmly, making a molded part that can be used to make faux enamel items. A similar class was taught in the Central Oklahoma Polymer Clay guild by Angela Mabray.

You can use molds like these to make a faux enamel pin or pendant, faux Cloisonne, etc. The rose pin to the left was made using a polymer clay scrap mold.

Black clay was pressed into the mold. After de-molding, the clay was coated with gold PearlEx powder and baked. The cells were then filled with liquid clay that had been colored with alcohol ink and baked again. The cells were then coated with clear liquid clay and clarified with a heat gun giving a lovely shine to the 'enamel'.

These molds have beautiful detail but must be misted with water or dusted with cornstarch to allow clay that is pressed into them to be removed.

We also used a two part silicone rubber material to make a flexible mold. Some of the things molded were old jewelry, coral from the sea, buttons, and things that I had sculpted. I wanted a deep teddy bear mold for buttons and sculpted one the night before the meeting so there would be something to mold.

As an experiment, the heart pin on the left was covered with the Amazing Mold material. It turned out beautifully. I had no idea that the details could be molded without breaking.

When I got back to the RV, I sculpted some tiny tassels, flowers and leaves for a new mold project.

Patty showed a polymer clay material that is flexible from which molds can be made. However, after a few years, this material will harden. This flexible clay can be used as a softener for hard clays.

The ladies of the guild have become friends and it was a delight to spend time with them, learning, laughing and catching up on each other's lives.

My thanks to all the ladies of Corpus Christi Polymer Clay Guild for making me welcome.

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