Adding words and phrases

by Teri
(Jeffersonville, IN, USA)

I want to create pendants/charms, with a design on 1 side, possibly image transfers, and then use alphabet stamps to add phrases on the back. What clays will work, what finishes, and how can I "color in" the alphabet indentations so they show?

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Adding words and phrases

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Sep 03, 2011
Letter prints on clay
by: Anne Cecilie

Hi Terry,
You can use all types of polymer clay for image transfers and stamping. When you buy clay, make sure that it is soft and not crumbly. Sometimes it is stored wrong and that starts the curing of the clay. If you get a pack that crumbles, return it to the store and get a new one.

You can read about the different types of clay here:
Polymer clay brands ? firm and liquid

When it comes to surface finish, there are many ways to treat the clay, from leaving it as it is to make it very shiny. You can read about them here:
Choose the right surface finish for your polymer clay beads

To make the stamped indentations show, there are several ways to do that. One is to rub ink or paint onto the piece after curing and then sand the piece. The ink/paint will remain inside the indentations and you sand away the ink on the rest of the piece.

You can also ink the whole back when the clay is raw. The ink will then gather into the indentations and will look darker than the rest of the inked surface. You can achieve very nice effects with ink.

Another option is to make a Mocume gane. This technique is very beautiful. You make several layers of thin clay and stack them. Then you use the stamp to make an indentation in the stack, and with a tissue blade carefully slice off thin layers until the indentation is leveled with the rest of the clay. The letters will then stand out against the background.

If you want them in a particular color, use that color on the top of the stack. You will then push this layer down with the stamp, and when you shave off the layers that will be the color of your letters.

If you add metal leaf to the top layer, you can make gold or silver letters.
You can see how to do mocume gane if you go to this page and then scroll down to the mocume gane tutorials:

Polymer clay tutorials

On this page you will also find tutorials on how to use ink and paint.

You will find information on what kinds of inks and paints and other things you can use with polymer clay if you check out the links on this page.

I wish you good luck. Don?t be afraid to experiment with different techniques. If you don?t want to experiment on new packs of clay, you can use scrap clay for the experiments.

All the best!

Anne Cecilie

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