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Opinions to weigh. maybe.

Another prototype pendant (front)

So, yes, I’m working on this new line of photographic pendants, and it’s going well.  Photo transfers are not second-nature to me, so this process has involved more trial and error than I am accustomed to.  I do think it will be worth it in the end, but for now I’m working out the answers to such questions as:

Border or no? I’m thinking yes.

Pattern on the back or no? Again, I’m thinking yes.  I like relying on my vast library of canes for this task.

Another prototype pendant (back)

How best to protect the image so that I may sand it smooth after baking? I’ve been using thin layers of liquid clay.  I vary the number of layers and the thickness of them, but nothing has seemed right just yet.  My next step is to try an ultra thin layer of translucent clay.  If I can get that thin enough, it should work.

Big pendant or small? I’m thinking both.  Big can stand alone, small can include extra doohickeys and danglies for added interest.

Danglies or no? See above.  Might do it both ways, might just do it with the smaller ones.

How does a pendant that’s been buffed shiny with a Dremel lose it’s shine? I started the day with a glossy pendant, and ended it with a satin one – what happened? My perfume? Oils from  my skin?

What brand bench buffer should I buy? Is there a difference? I’m considering this one.

Should I also sell prints or notecards featuring the photos I’m using? I’m seriously considering it, but would anyone buy them? (I don’t mean the ones of my kids, obviously – I’m thinking more of the scenic beach shots.)

Some prototype pendants

Feel free to chime in, if you’ve got any opinions.  I’ll probably just do whatever I want anyway (just ask my husband. heh.) but it’s always nice to have other opinions to weigh.

I’ve got my new Etsy shop all ready to go, it just needs the products to be made and photographed.

Oh, is that all? 😉

10 thoughts on “Opinions to weigh. maybe.

  1. Which liquid clay are you using? I see other people getting glassy finishes with the Kato brand, but it never seems to work for me, and I hate the “rubbery” feel! Have you thought about resin? (I’ve only begun exploring the options.)
    I’ve used thin layers of trans clay over my pencil drawings and it gives a slight hazy look, which could be a plus. Of course, Kathleen Dustin never seemed to have that problem, so maybe it’s just me. Or my pasta machine. 😉

    As for the buffed shine turning to a satin look, I don’t know what’s up with that. But a little rub with a paper towel always seems to bring the shine back.

    I really like your canework on the back! Love the look of the fair/carnival one!

    Oh, yeah… you said, “Feel free to chime in, if you’ve got any opinions. I’ll probably just do whatever I want anyway (just ask my husband. heh.) but it’s always nice to have other opinions to weigh.”
    LOL! That is so me! Maybe it’s a Lisa thing? 😉

    1. I’m one of those who loves the Kato liquid. It’s all I use. They recently changed the formula, though, and I hear it’s not as rubbery and not as shiny. I haven’t tried it myself, yet.

      My only experiences using a thin layer of translucent have been too hazy for my taste, too. I probably just don’t get it thin enough. It’s something I plan to play with more.

      I’m been considering resin, but I’ve also been thinking, if I were to go that route, why bother with the clay at all? I could just pour the resin over the paper copy of the photo and not give myself the photo transfer headache…

      A Lisa thing? I thought it was just a woman thing 😉

      1. keep in mind I have not played with clay in over 4 years (OMG) so this might not even be relevant…

        have you tried putting a VERY thin layer of liquid translucent on a glass plate and then your transfer…baking that (so you would get the reverse image) and then filing that baked tile to a shape and backing it with clay?

        The glass as the baking medium would give it a shine that could not be beat!

        1. Hmmm. That has possibilities… I feel like I’ve tried something similar in the past and had miserable results, but I may be mis-remembering. Transfers and I have a sordid history – we don’t often get along!

  2. I made some ornaments one year and someone suggested Future’s floor polish. It did make them really shiny, not sure how it would feel to wear.

    1. I used to use Future, and it does give a nice shine, but these days I’m more interested in getting the clay itself to shine – you wouldn’t believe how much nicer the finish is on a piece that’s been sanded and buffed!

  3. Yeah, machine buffed, no finish items will lose the bright glassy sheen I notice. I have a few beads that are still beautiful, glossy 3 or 4 years later and some that were a nice satin sheen in days. I do remember that I buffed the ones that are still shiny for a Very Long Time.

    I have a bench grinder, 6″ wheel one I think, from Princess Auto (that’s harbor freight in the US I believe). One of the wheels I switched out for two 6″ buffing pads from Home Depot. The other is still a grinding wheel – it files metal ends like no ones business.

    The bench grinder flings things which is surprising the first few times. So set it up near a wall.

    Shiny top: use several coats of varathane. You can sand that if you want 😛 I like the patterned back, the outlines. For the small ones you could always add ‘birthstone coloured’ dangles or seasonal accents for charms.

    1. Well, I guess it’s good that I like satin sheens 🙂

      I thought there were no Harbor FReights near me, but it turns out I’m wrong. I think there’s a field trip in my immediate future… I used a bench grinder once before, at a clay retreat, and the first thing it did was fling my piece against the wall and crack it. Ack! Kept that one for myself, LOL.

      I didn’t know you could sand/buff varathane. I’ll file that away as a possibility.

  4. I don’t know anything about working with polymer clay, but as far as the border question…I vote no. The ones with the beach scene, without borders, remind me of the gallery wraps that are so popular right now. Very cool!

    1. I was hoping someone without a polymer background would chime in 🙂
      I hadn’t thought of the gallery wraps, but now I see the resemblance! I think it probably makes sense to offer options – some with borders and some without.

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