Wednesday, May 27, 2009

New Technique for Reducing Irregularly Shaped Polymer Clay Canes

I love when people think outside the box.

Here is a new and clever idea I just read about at Polymer Clay Daily. Idit Fischer Katz (Idit Zoota) developed this technique, and Naama Zamir translated it to English.

Many polymer clay artists create complex flower canes, which are really difficult to reduce. Usually such a cane is wrapped in a layer of translucent polymer clay to obtain a cylindrical shape, which is then reduced easily. However, the layer of translucent clay presents a new challenge when the cane slices are assembled into a final piece. The translucent parts have to be made nearly invisible, which is not easy. It shows up on your design if the slices are too thick, if the backing temperature is not just right, if the finished piece is not sanded hard enough, and also for no particular reason as well... In other words, this step is tricky and requires a lot of practice, patience, and luck.

Idit took a completely different approach. Instead of fighting the translucent clay, she replaced it with Play-Doh. She says, Play-Doh works well during the cane reduction step, and then it can be simply peeled off and washed away. The cane slices used for the final design are nice and clean! No more fuzzing around the translucent clay in your final design! Wonderful idea, isn't it?!

Naama's post gives step by step instructions for this new technique.

While this idea is being discussed on the Internet, people with Celiacs Desiase remind us that they are sensitive to wheat in any form, even when they touch it. Play-Doh contains wheat. Here is a recipe for a home-made wheat-free equivalent:

½ cup rice flour
½ cup cornstarch
½ cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon cooking oil

Thank you, Kate from Organic Odysseys for sharing the recipe.

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