“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”
I’ve been very busy with events of late and haven’t had time to blog but here is just a quicky!
I want to talk about foils!
I know, from my membership of the facebook group Polymer Clay Surface Treatments,
that generally speaking ‘foils’ can be a very mixed bag.
I confess that my use of foils is a fairly recent thing but I am increasingly fond of
using them in my veneers.
My first foray into foils was happily very problem free and so I hadn’t realised quite
how tempremental they can be until I came upon a stubborn set that just weren’t
I will illustrate with pictures….here’s the background to my tale!
I have been using ‘iCraft’ DecoFoils Rainbow foils and achieved consitent results, good coverage and stable colours during baking so encouraged by this I went ahead and bought the most gorgeous lime green foils from the same manufacturer. I had a purple based veneer and just love the combination of purple with zesty lime green so went ahead planning to make some prototype tube beads.
First problem, I had the devils own job trying to get the foil to transfer to the clay, burnishing and ripping in as many ways as I could think of just didn’t seem to work. In the end I tried spritzing the reverse of the foil with rubbing alcohol (incase there was a fine layer of grease that could have been causing a resist) and did manage to get some of the foil to stick, if a little patchily. (Subsequently I have learned of a little trick that I haven’t tried yet but apparently warming the foils on something like a hot drinks mug helps enormously…thanks Penny Vingoe (ClayAround) for passing that one on and I will try it soon!!)
So, this all took an age and was most frustrating but anyway I went ahead with the purple/lime green combo and made some tube beads.
My next frustration came after baking…..that gloriously vibrant lime had turned to
a fairly insipid grey/blue/pale mint which, whilst not unattractive, was not the look I had
planned for nor expected!
What to do? I had done everything the same way as when I had used the
rainbow foils….used the same clay type, tented my work, used an oven thermometer to ensure temperature, used the correct temperature for the brand of clay I was using and baked for the correct amount of time…why the colour had become unstable this time was a mystery!
So, I went to the aforementioned Facebook group and posed the question to see if
anyone could help.
I love the Polymer Clay community….always ready to help and to pass on their knowledge….sure enough I soon had a wealth of opinion and a few suggestions of how I might rectify the problem and so I set to and tried a few of those suggestions out……..
The suggestions from the lovely members of the Facebook group I mentioned included pre-treating the foils with translucent liquid and leaving it on the raw clay for varying lengths of time….I tried this….no real improvement (maybe a shade closer to green but not noticeably improved!). In the end it was the ever helpful Ginger Davis Allman (Blue Bottle Tree……her blog can also be found on WordPress by the way…..definitely worth looking up!!!) who came up with the only solution that would provide my lime green. She reminded me that I could always use alcohol inks to dye the foil back to the colour I wanted……palm slapped my forehead and did as suggested!!!
Debbie Crothers….(I love that gals work!!) who works a lot with foils and has vastly more experience than myself….also informs me that not all foils are equal and that some are rather more stable than others in particular those specifically made to use with polymer clay are more reliable. I think the ones I was using are for a good many applications and not soley for use with poly clay. I can confirm that since this experience I have tried some of the Lisa Pavelka foils and indeed they do seem to be a bit more predictable in comparison. You live and learn huh!!
Back soon…..thanks for stopping by!!