Veneers and slabs are embellished sheets of polymer clay. A veneer is used as an ornamental cowl on different tasks (a lot in the way in which you employ a wooden veneer to cowl cheap, ugly wooden). A slab, however, is a embellished sheet of clay that’s minimize aside, typically utilizing cookie cutters, to make shapes for jewellery. When you’ve created polymer clay veneer or slab, how are you going to retailer it for later use? Right here’s what you want to learn about storing polymer clay veneers and slabs.
CAN You Retailer Polymer Clay Sheets?
Some folks have nice outcomes and have giant collections of sheets they retailer for future use. Others discover that the sheets crack aside and are not versatile, making them unattainable to chop or labored to create a completed challenge. Why the totally different opinions?
Individuals will inform you that the sheets have been “leached” or that the clay will probably be too outdated, or that the sheet has dried out. Let me guarantee you, most polymer clay sheets, veneers, and slabs could be saved indefinitely. However there are some issues you want to know.
The rationale for the number of opinions is that some clay manufacturers don’t do nicely saved this fashion. And the kind of storage materials can have an effect on the “well being” of the saved sheet.
The Clay Model Issues
Some manufacturers of clay are at all times mushy and don’t want a lot conditioning. Others change into extra “settled” over time and should be conditioned earlier than use. These manufacturers will crack aside and change into crumbly whenever you first begin conditioning them (despite the fact that they soften up and change into clean as you situation them). Fimo Skilled, Pardo Artwork Clay, and Sculpey Unique are all clays that can crack and crumble whenever you attempt to flex a sheet that’s been saved for a number of months.
In fact, in the event you may simply combine up that clay and situation it once more, it could be wonderful. However within the unconditioned state, these manufacturers crack quite than flex. And if there’s something imposing a spreading drive on the sheet, it would crack aside quite than stretch. (Bear in mind this level, it turns into related when selecting a storage system.)
The Thickness Issues
Very skinny sheets of clay are fragile. Plain and easy, thicker sheets retailer higher with out injury. I at all times wish to again my sheets in the event that they get too skinny and that is why. Now that I do know higher, I seldom retailer a sheet that’s thinner than a #4 on my pasta machine. If I want a sheet to be thicker, I again it with one other sheet of clay. However don’t use Fimo Skilled, Sculpey Unique, or Pardo Artwork Clay as a backing sheet if you wish to retailer a veneer. Even thick sheets of these clays will crack throughout long-term storage.
The Storage System Issues
First, you most likely already know this, however don’t retailer polymer clay sheets between sheets of paper. Paper will take in the oils and plasticizers from the clay, leaving it extra fragile and vulnerable to cracking.
However do you know that plastic sheets additionally take in plasticizers from the clay sheet? You’ll discover this as a result of the plastic sheet will warp barely the place it’s been involved with a sheet of polymer clay. It’s because the plasticizer swells the plastic sheet only a tiny bit.
Now usually this isn’t sufficient to matter and it isn’t sufficient to dry out a sheet of polymer clay. However the swelling of the plastic can exert stress and stress on the clay sheet. And a thick sheet of plastic, if it swells a lot, can exert various stress on a clay sheet, spreading it aside. And anytime you could have one floor spreading and the opposite one being brittle…cracks happen. Because of this polymer clay sheets, saved in plastic web page protectors, will crack aside.
You need to use very skinny sheets of plastic deli wrap to retailer veneers and this does work nicely. However the clay sheets are unsupported and the act of dealing with them may cause them to crack. As well as, because the deli sheet absorbs the plasticizer, it wrinkles up a bit. And people wrinkles can mar the entrance of the sheet you’re storing.
My Storage System
Whereas this technique isn’t good, and typically I do have sheets that don’t arise over time, almost all sheets saved this fashion are completely usable. Sure, saved sheets, veneers, and slabs ARE extra fragile and also you do must watch out with them. However they aren’t wasted and almost at all times can be utilized.
I retailer every sheet in a photograph sleeve. These are clear plastic, created from 2mil thick polypropylene (which is recycle quantity 5…completely clay secure). They’re a sleeve, solely open on one finish. However I take a pair of scissors and slit two of the perimeters. This fashion, each opens like a e-book. I simply lay a sheet down fastidiously, shut the sleeve, then “squeegee” it clean to take away all of the air bubbles from either side. You received’t get all of the bubbles out. However eradicating them additionally makes the entire thing inflexible. So your veneer now could be kind of like a “card”.
I’m certain there are different manufacturers, however that is the model I’ve used and had wonderful luck with. I do need to be clear, although, that I’m not speaking about utilizing the 3-ring web page protectors or the thick plastic pocket pages that go into photograph album binders.
I do know that plenty of folks love utilizing 3-ring binders and web page protectors. In the event that they’re working for you, then please don’t change. However they didn’t work for me.
These sleeves are available many sizes, however I like to make use of each the 4×6 measurement and the 5×7 measurement as a result of that’s the scale that photograph containers are available. Sure, these sleeves match properly in photograph containers. And these particular person photograph containers may even match into giant containers and instances. Plus, you possibly can label the containers and arrange your veneers any approach you’d like. You may even write on the photograph sleeves with a Sharpie everlasting marker. This completely sparks pleasure. Take pleasure in!
This text is republished from my Crackle Compendium, which is a tutorial and exploration information taking you thru some ways to create a distressed and cracked sheet of clay for use in your artistic polymer clay tasks. You may study extra about this informative information right here: