Finishing

no.jpgOne of the most frequently asked question on the polymer clay message boards is “How do I seal my polymer clay pieces?” Except for a few instances, for example: protecting the surface of a photo transfer or ensuring that a mica powder that has been applied to the surface doesn’t abrade there is absolutely no reason to apply a sealant to the surface of the clay.

I would imagine that you wouldn’t consider putting five coats of spar boat deck varnish onto an antique rosewood table…so why would you even consider putting Flecto Varathane or Future Floor polish onto your polymer clay creations? No matter how many coats that are applied, polymer clay will never look like glass- not to mention the propensity of these varnishes to glop, drip, bubble and drool! I’ve yet to see a piece that I felt was enhanced by the use of one of these varnishes and sometimes the glare makes it nearly impossible to see the beauty of the underlying surface.

When a piece of polymer clay jewelry has been worn a number of times it begins to develop a lovely patina from the body oils of the wearer. Other alternatives are to sand and buff your pieces to a high gloss, apply a light coat of Golden Acrylic Matt UV protectant or a light coat of archival wax (such as the Renaissance Wax book restorers use).

Advertisements

9 Responses to “Finishing”


  1. 1 Susan Turney September 19, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    Hi Lindly!
    I just had to make a comment! I agree completely about not putting a finish on beads but…..I was at an art fair this past weekend and was wearing this inro
    Inro
    and a glass artist…fabulous work….asked if it was glass!!!! Of course, he was 3-4 feet away and it doesn’t really look like glass but….your post made me think of it!
    Susan

  2. 2 christiew September 19, 2007 at 5:04 pm

    Thank you for sharing this post. I agree totally. I think clay is the most beautiful sanded and buffed. And it FEELS so good, too!

    You mentioned powders and transfers as reasons to seal. What do you think about acrylic paint? I’m curious. I’ve recently made some very simple beads with a wee bit of acrylic paint in the crevices. I “future’d” them to keep the paint from wearing away (since they will be worn as beads). Do you think the sealer was necessary?

    I’m enjoying your blog!
    Christie

  3. 3 Malodora September 19, 2007 at 5:10 pm

    Hey Lindly!

    I stopped using sealants and varnishes long ago. The tactile quality of polymer is too nice to ruin. Interestingly, since I’ve been combining polymer with oxidized metal, I have also started using Renaissance Wax on polymer. Does a beautiful job of protecting without altering the feel.

    Dee Wilder

  4. 4 slenz September 20, 2007 at 5:03 pm

    Where would be a good place to purchase this renaissance wax? Anyone?

    Thanks

  5. 5 lindly September 20, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    If you click on Renaissance wax in the post it will direct you to Gaylords, which is a mail order soure for archival art supplies. Another place you might look is a store that specializes in book making supplies.

  6. 6 Malodora September 20, 2007 at 8:40 pm

    I buy mine from the Woodturners Catalog. Don’t know how the price compares. http://www.woodturnerscatalog.com

    Dee

  7. 7 slenz September 24, 2007 at 5:06 am

    Thank you to both Lindly and Malodora for the source.
    slenz

  8. 8 lindly September 24, 2007 at 5:22 am

    What do you think about acrylic paint? I’m curious. I’ve recently made some very simple beads with a wee bit of acrylic paint in the crevices. I “future’d” them to keep the paint from wearing away (since they will be worn as beads). Do you think the sealer was necessary?

    No- acrylic paints are manufactured with the “sealant” in them- unless you add significant amounts of water to thin the paints instead of acrylic medium there should be no need to apply a top coat of sealant. Especailly if your paint has been applied to the crevices.

    I have heard of artists applying a thin caoting of Golden matte UV protectant to their pieces, but this is a completely different look than multiple layers of Future floor polish!

    Goldenpaints.com

  9. 9 Kim Cavender October 2, 2007 at 5:33 pm

    Hello Lindly! Just got around to reading all of your posts. I see we’ve been thinking in the same vein recently. I adore your blog. There is no one whose wisdom I enjoy more than yours!

    Hugs,
    Kim


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Welcome

Thanks for visiting my blog where you'll find my latest news, class details, and new tips and tricks. You'll find more information about my work at my website. Come back often.

Calendar

September 2007
M T W T F S S
« Aug   Oct »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930

%d bloggers like this: