Thursday, September 6, 2012

Another Challenge and a Free "Rusted Metal" Polymer Clay Tutorial

I've been asked about the "how to" on my RUSTic Knot pendant which I created for the September PCAGOE Metallic themed challenge.  When pondering the challenge theme, I wanted to create a "rusty aged metal" look with polymer (and some other additives). … I was pretty happy with my result:

More photos of this piece can be found here.  Here are the other wonderful entries for this month's PCAGOE challenge.  Please go to the PCAGOE blog and vote for your 3 favorite entries before September 7th midnight EST.

Free Tutorial:
So, here's the scoop on how I created the rusty metal look(measurements are approximations)

¼ bar of well conditioned transparent polymer clay
1 t. to 1 T each of paprika and chili powder
pledge Future floor finish
silver alcohol ink

Roll out the pre-conditioned clay.

Sprinkle with about ½ t. each paprika and chili powder and incorporate into the clay, keep conditioning the clay with the spice inclusions to incorporate.

Form your desired shape (adding any holes you may desire for hanging pendants, earrings, etc.) and coat the outer sides with more of the chili powder and paprika.

 Bake the clay according to the manufacturer's instructions.  Once the piece has cured and is cooled, take a razor blade or tissue blade dedicated to cutting cured clay and slice off some areas of the piece in thin layers, taking off some of the outer layer of spices.  When you do this, you are creating some smooth shiny areas and because of the spice inclusions, you will also find that small pits will form as you slice off areas, these pits will lend more to the aged look.

Then cover those areas (where you just removed some of the outer layer) with silver alcohol ink, plus cover a few of the areas where you didn't remove any outer layer, making sure that you leave plenty of "rusty" spots to achieve the look of real rusted metal…I use my fingers to smudge the ink in some areas to blend it into some of the "rusted" spots.

At this point you can even take a little water or alcohol and wipe off some areas of the silver to reveal some of the "rust" under a faint coloring of silver.  (as seen in the left hand side of the pendant in the first photo at the top of this post)  When you are happy with the look of your piece, take the whole piece and dip into a cup filled with Future floor finish to seal everything (or use a paint brush to coat with finish).

At this point I didn't want the "rusty" areas to be shiny from the sealer, so I then added more paprika to the areas I wanted to look like rust while the Future floor finish was still wet, using my fingers to bind it into place.  Adding only paprika to this stage also gives more of the rust look, as with rust, the under layers will be darker brownish color and the outer layers will have a more orange color.

Let the piece dry.  You can then add more silver alcohol ink to areas where you want the silver metal look to be stronger and more enhanced, but be sure to take a paintbrush with Future floor finish over any newly added silver ink to seal it onto the piece. Let dry thoroughly and then finish as desired.

*Note: if you dip your piece into the Future finish, you will find that flakes of the spices will fall off into the cup.  To keep these flakes from contaminating the rest of your floor finish (and not waste the whole cup), simply place a small piece of used dryer sheet over the mouth of your bottle to strain out the spice pieces as you pour the Future back into the bottle.*

Enjoy!  Any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to contact me directly or leave a comment here.  Feel free to share the link to this post with your friends, but please give credit and reference back to Create My World Designs.  And… if you use this tutorial to create something, please leave me a comment and a link to your flickr or blog with a photo of your creation so I can see your work!

Create My World Designs
©2012 text and photos

***I also want to mention; a few months ago I promised a free tutorial on how I made my Tiffany inspired faux stained glass lampshade.  I have not forgotten... I've just had an extremely busy summer in the garden in addition to a broken extruder (a tool that is essential with this project)!  I just got my new extruder and have the shade base all ready to go.  As soon as I get a bit more free time (hopefully within this month)  I will create and post that tutorial here too... thanks for your patience to anyone who has been waiting for it!