Click here to visit our Sponsor the Clay Factory!

Prairie Craft Company

Polymer Clay Central Homepage

Polymer Clay Central Message Board

PCC Cyclopedia
Chat Calendar
Contest Schedule
Swap List Page

Poly's Clay castle

Polymer Clay Central Archive Pages
Artist Interviews
Featured Artist Page
Frequently Asked Questions on Polymer Clay
Members Lessons


Tips and Techniques from our members

Mission Statement

Meet some of our Staff

Message Board Chat Bookstore My Delphi Polymer Clay Central

PCC Chats With
Sarejane Helm

April 4, 2004
Topic: Personalized Tools and Production Techniques

cjblanton: Entered room.
cjblanton: Good afternoon.
Sarajane: hi there!
cjblanton: Can't believe I finally got into the chat room. I've been unable to get in for several days.
Sarajane: oh, sometimes the web is that way!
cjblanton: I don't know if others are having the same problem, so it will be interesting to see how many people turn up today.
cjblanton: I think it's mainly Delphi that's the problem.
Sarajane: yes, I also got too busy and forgot to remind people
Sarajane: aol has its own funky qualities--together its tough!
cjblanton: Yes, I used to be on AOL. Got tired of getting kicked off, not to mention all the penis enlargement ads
cjblanton: DH's is just the right size, thank you very much.
Sarajane: they offer so many things in todays market
Sarajane: tho, given the state of my garden, maybe I DO want to make the aquantance of a Russian Farm Girl
cjblanton: Now there's an idea. Probably not what the advertiser has in mind.
Sarajane: little do they know I want weeding!
Sarajane: not wedding
Sarajane: so, what have you been claying lately?
cjblanton: I just made a cane - only my second attemp. I extruded square snakes in pastel translucent colors and formed a square cane.
Sarajane: oooh, like a quilt block?
PoKoPat: Entered room.
Sarajane: Hiya Pat!
PoKoPat: Good afternoon ladies!
cjblanton: Yes. Each color was wrapped in a thin piece of white.
cjblanton: Hi Pat.
PoKoPat: Hi CJ. What are we discussing?
Sarajane: that really helps it show when reduced
cjblanton: Porn ads and my cane.
PoKoPat: rofl
Sarajane: just started talking abbout extruded canes
Nutreeno: Entered room.
PoKoPat: That's something I've been meaning to try.
cjblanton: I have more of the extruded colors. I was thinking of wrapping them in translucent.
Sarajane: hello!
PoKoPat: Extruded canes, that is. ;)
Sarajane: the trans darkens, and I dont like the look, you might tho
Nutreeno: Greetings--I'm late.
Sarajane: try it in black
Sarajane: hello!
cjblanton: I wrapped one piece in black but wanted to keep the colors light and spring-like.
PoKoPat: Don't feel like the Lone Ranger, Nutreeno - I just got here.
Sarajane: it tends to look more like stained glass when wrapped
cjblanton: Yes, I imagine it would.
PoKoPat: What kind of cane are you building?
Sarajane: or try oit in silver, or copper
Sarajane: a mix of silver and black would be most like glass
cjblanton: It was 5 colors of pastel translucent - pink, purple, yellow, green, blue. Extruded in square snakes then put into a square log.
PoKoPat: ahhh, sort of a square lace cane?
cjblanton: or a quilt block.
PoKoPat: of course. silly me. ;)
cjblanton: I had a lot of air pockets in it.
Sarajane: has everybody seen my new index page with Leigh's lace canes?
cjblanton: I tried to roll it from the center toward the ends to squeeze the air out, but still had some bubbles.
Sarajane: you have to pack them really carefully in the start
cjblanton: Yes, I thought I did, but I'll have to try again.
cjblanton: No, haven't seen your index page yet.
Sarajane: when you lay the pieces, look at it from the bottom too
Nutreeno: Sarajane, what's the site with the index page? I'd love to see it.
Sarajane: here, I'll pop up the page
Nutreeno: ty
Sarajane: did that work? I dont see it...
cjblanton: Nope.
Sarajane: *SHOWURL*
Sarajane: its halfway down, in the ThankYou card
Nutreeno: Wowza!!!
Sarajane: did you find it?
cjblanton: *PART* Left room.
Nutreeno: I'll say!! Can't wait to read it all!!
Sarajane: oops, wonder if that bounced her out!
Nutreeno: i can see i am going to have to get this book. I have the Polymer Clay Impression book and love it, love it.
Sarajane: finally got that send url thing working too! now I can pop up pages
Sarajane: oh, thank you!
Sarajane: say, Pat---whatcha been working on lately?
Sarajane: me, I'm learning to use my new camera
Sarajane: ssetting up a place to shoot how-tos
Nutreeno: what kind of camera didja get?
Sarajane: its a HP
PoKoPat: Open eggs, SJ.
PoKoPat: brb
Sarajane: with 5.3 mp
Sarajane: ok
Nutreeno: sounds great--keep those how-to's coming!
Sarajane: and I am learning not only to use it, but also to process the pics..
Sarajane: so its a learning curve, but it'll really open things up
Sarajane: there should be several new things coming--books, printed how tos, on line how tos
Nutreeno: tell us about your set-up for shooting sequential how-tos!
Sarajane: and lots of new pics for my site!
Sarajane: well, the tripod is essential
Sarajane: also indirect lighting
PoKoPat: sorry - that was my pizza. :)
Nutreeno: save me a slice with mushrooms.
Sarajane: I am very lucky to have worked with Bobby Grieser who does all the photos in my two books
Sarajane: me too!!!
PoKoPat: hehe, ham and pineapple, ya goofs.
Nutreeno: his photos are great---so detailed--it's not easy to photograph the fine nuances of your subtle colors.
Sarajane: oh, Andy's fave!
Sarajane: we set things up and light very carefully
Sarajane: considering most are shot in a basement, its not bad!
Sarajane: I'm learning how to use the macro settings, and override the flash and all that
Sarajane: digital is far less expensive to learn that 35mm
Nutreeno: you are making me want a new camera.
PoKoPat: I haven't gotten that far yet. Just got a digicam a week ago.
Nutreeno: my digital camera is four years old and therefore ancient.
Sarajane: I've been wanting one and waiting for several years and now I have my mitts on a good one
Nutreeno: you were smart to wait--they are lightyears better than they used to be!
Sarajane: the hand beads pic and the workroom pic on that index page show pics at 1/4 resolution possibel!
Sarajane: yes, quality went up and price went down recently
Nutreeno: i was just gonna say, the hand beads pic is GREAT!! They are my "hands-down" favorite.
PoKoPat: what did you get, SJ?
Sarajane: so it was the time to get one!
Sarajane: HP digital 5.3
PoKoPat: wow
Sarajane: its lovely...
Sarajane: also does up to two minutes of video
Sarajane: so there will be live feeds of how tos coming
Sarajane: but I have tofigure out HOW first!!
Nutreeno: So can we expect to see VIDEO demos soon? Hmmmm? :-)
Nutreeno: Ahh, you anticipated my greedy question!
Sarajane: yep, just gotta figure out the mechanics
PoKoPat: look out world, SJ's entering the 21st century. ;)
Sarajane: many machines have entered my home in the last 4 months
Nutreeno: Best of the past, present and future!
Sarajane: yes, theres always a place for good tools
Sarajane: and this is the Big New One this year
PoKoPat: Oh, SJ, I've also been working on faux dichro, using that acrylic nail stuff.
Sarajane: now I can document classes
Sarajane: oh, hows it going?
Nutreeno: oooh, tell all!
PoKoPat: Great. Took a couple of tries to get my hand back in.
PoKoPat: Been a while since I had acrylic nails.
PoKoPat: But I can make the clay surface uneven, as they do with glass,
PoKoPat: and then coat with the acrylic, and it evens the surface.
Sarajane: I saw a catalog meant for nail-doers=---it had COOL stuff in it
PoKoPat: And the depth is incredible.
Sarajane: oooooooo!
PoKoPat: Kathi does real dichro, and said my faux was the closest she'd seen to the real thing.
Nutreeno: Congratulations--that's quite an accomplishment!! Gonna post pictures? Can't wait to see this stuff!!
PoKoPat: And it isn't even machine buffed yet!
Sarajane: its a great look---o, once you buff I bet it will REALLY stun!
Nutreeno: My husband just produced an ancient buffer from the basement this weekend--my life will never be the same!
PoKoPat: Of course I'll post pics. hehe - they can't keep me from posting pics.
Nutreeno: Great!!
Sarajane: yes, we have one in the garage, also ancient--and my DH just cleaned it out and unearthed it this week
Sarajane: so that will be another new/old tool!
PoKoPat: Hubby got me a delta for Mother's day a year ago.
PoKoPat: I was all smiles.
Sarajane: spring cleaning is a wonderful thing, esp. when others are working the hard parts
Nutreeno: I am so in love with this poor old machine it's kind of sick. It's teal colored and is sporting a new Canton muslin wheel. Sigh.
PoKoPat: hehe
Sarajane: love is where we find it, Nutreeno!
PoKoPat: How's the test on the Versitex going, SJ?
Nutreeno: It's covered with dust and I MEAN to make time to clean it, but it's just too much m ore fun buffing beads!
Sarajane: I am getting ready to do lots of new space is ready, and so am I
Nutreeno: what's versitex?
Sarajane: You mean the Enviro Tex stuff, Pat?
PoKoPat: Did I get the name right?
PoKoPat: Yeah, envirotex. sorry.
Sarajane: the bartop stuff?
Nutreeno: oooh, envirotex, we used that to make ponds and rivers on my son Andrew's train layout. LOVE IT!
Sarajane: I havent gotten any farther, but theres no chemical trouble showing on the first pieces
PoKoPat: you were testing it on a table, right?
Sarajane: its over a year now
Sarajane: yes, its great stuff!
PoKoPat: That's good to know.
PoKoPat: That would mean pc pieces could be used outdoors, wouldn't it?
Sarajane: and it seems compatable, at least short term!!
cjblanton: Entered room.
Nutreeno: Last year we made a model of a cell for my son's science class project and embedded the cured PC parts in CANDLE GEL and they still haven't broken down at all.
Sarajane: maybe for outdoors--the major trouble is with fading of colors
cjblanton: Finally......Took me forever to get back into the room.
Nutreeno: welcome back!
Sarajane: I though maybe you bounced, CJ--welcome back!
Sarajane: i think maybe the envirotex would help protect against fading
Sarajane: and certainly agains water damage
Sarajane: tho my bathroom PC pieces are holding upjust fine
Nutreeno: what did you make for your bathroom?
Sarajane: with nothing on them, or with flecto
Sarajane: I have the rose tray with perfume bottle tops too, and jar lids
Sarajane: some jar lids are in the shower
Sarajane: no truble so far except the glue loosened
Nutreeno: wow, this is good to know.
Sarajane: the glue was Sobo
Sarajane: and two yrs in a steamy bathroom window is hard use
Sarajane: for glue!
PoKoPat: i'd say so1
PoKoPat: Sorry, was typing one handed.
PoKoPat: SJ, doesn
PoKoPat: phooey
Nutreeno: yeah, rub it in that you've got pizza and we don't.
PoKoPat: Actually, I'm on dessert now.
cjblanton: I've got soup.
PoKoPat: SJ, doesn't the envirotex protect from UV rays?
Sarajane: yes it does
Nutreeno: i'm suddenly hungry. and i suddenly want some envirotex. and a new camera.
cjblanton: What is envirotex?
PoKoPat: rofl, Nutreeno.
Sarajane: flecto has uv protectant too
PoKoPat: I didn't know that!
Sarajane: enviro-tex is a two part acrylic thats used in table tops and bartops
Nutreeno: envirotex is this two-part plastic liquidy stuff you make to seal stuff under, like typewriter keys.
Sarajane: you ever see tables at subway, with old papers under?
cjblanton: oic
Sarajane: or restraunts like that?
Sarajane: they pour this stuff over any old thing...and it sets up clear
Sarajane: any old thing like cool paer..or cloth..or pc
cjblanton: Yeah, it looks like a thick plastic coating.
PoKoPat: Now that would make some cool faux dichro.
Sarajane: thats what it is
PoKoPat: No sanding.
cjblanton: and it works ok with poly clay?
Sarajane: so far
cjblanton: where can you get it?
Nutreeno: it would be great for dichro because it is crystal crystal clear, like glass.
Sarajane: it has bubbles if yo uare not careful
PoKoPat: uh oh
cjblanton: bah, bubbles!
Nutreeno: we just got a big acrylic fish tank and it's so cool, it's like the fish are floating in the room with us--it's so crystal clear.
Sarajane: heat it with a torch
Sarajane: hang on a minute
PoKoPat: k
Sarajane: *SHOWURL*
Sarajane: rats...not it
Sarajane: I'll find it
PoKoPat: Say, Nutreeno, did you have breakfast this morning?
Sarajane: i'll look later
Nutreeno: Gotta go pick up my son. Thanks everybody, this was so much fun! No breakfast yet, but maybe I'll take my son out for lunch! Bye!!
Nutreeno: *PART* Left room.
PoKoPat: Bye!
PoKoPat: oops
Sarajane: see you!
cjblanton: She was too fast for us.
PoKoPat: sigh, another tease opportunity lost. ;)
PoKoPat: We could just google for envirotex, sj.
Sarajane: true!
Sarajane: you want to or shall I ?
PoKoPat: I think I've seen it at Lowe's.
Sarajane: let me, I can paste it
PoKoPat: Okay.
cjblanton: It will probably be something else that is hard to find in Canada. Sigh.
Sarajane: yes, thats where theyd have it
Sarajane: its expensive too
PoKoPat: yeah, we were considering it for the garage floors - but that's a lot of floor. Three bays worth.
cjblanton: I can't get Pinata inks and so far can't find Lumiere paint.
Sarajane: here we go
PoKoPat: cj, can you order online from someplace here?
Sarajane: *SHOWURL*
PoKoPat: or is the shipping too high?
cjblanton: For some things. Apparently there is a problem shipping inks that are alcohol based. Plus I end up paying a nasty customs brokerage fee.
PoKoPat: ewww, that's bad.
PoKoPat: SJ, how thick is the envirotex?
Sarajane: cj did you try Dharma trading co?
Sarajane: I get the catalog for clothing blanks, and dye them--they carry Lumiere and Pinata
cjblanton: It isn't a problem finding the stuff in the US, it's the cost of getting it shipped up here.
Sarajane: its as thick as you want to pour it if you dam it, or self leveling its about 3/4 to an inch
Sarajane: so come visit!
PoKoPat: Sorry, wasn't clear enough.
cjblanton: And some mail order places won't ship to Canada and/or they won't take a Canadian credit card.
PoKoPat: I meant, what's the viscosity?
Sarajane: go to Vermont, have things mailed to a PO box there!
cjblanton: Yes, but that is still expensive to do - gas, etc.
Sarajane: its very syrupy Pat, and self levels to a thickness of 1bout 3/4 inch without any dam
cjblanton: Buffalo is just an hour and a half away.
PoKoPat: hmm, would be a little difficult to use on a bead, then.
Sarajane: yes
Sarajane: not really good for wearables
cjblanton: because it is too thick?
Sarajane: but you could pour for a faux dichro that would be fab
Sarajane: yes
PoKoPat: well, pooh. always looking for ways to get a thick clear coat.
PoKoPat: with a minimum of work. I'm just lazy at heart.
Sarajane: youd want smaller flatter pieces, I think--tho experiments need to be done with thinner layers brushed rather than poured
cjblanton: If you dipped a bead??
Sarajane: tooo many new things to try at once!!
PoKoPat: hehe, I know that feeling.
Sarajane: even dipping in flecto is not good
Sarajane: this stuff takes 8 hrs to set
cjblanton: That's a long time to hold a bead and spin it around.
Sarajane: Pat, I suspect for flat pieces, theres great potential
Sarajane: yes!!
cjblanton: I get to go to a clay retreat in a week or so.
Sarajane: oh, where?
cjblanton: Morrisburg, Ontario.
cjblanton: I'm not sure if it is just for the Southern Ontario PC Guild or for Clayamies also.
PoKoPat: Well, I suppose I should finish these experiments first.
Sarajane: you getting ready for any shows?
PoKoPat: who?
Sarajane: you getting ready for any shows, Pat?
cjblanton: not me
PoKoPat: nope. Shows scare the dickens outta me.
PoKoPat: way too shy.
Sarajane: I have a lag going here!
Sarajane: you have things in the family store tho, right?
cjblanton: There was a huge craft show in Toronto last week. At least 3 polymer clay artists.
PoKoPat: Not a family store. A local gift shop, and the local art gallery.
cjblanton: One doing miniatures for doll houses, one doing jewelry and one doing light switch plates and other objects.
PoKoPat: And the gift shop owners keep asking me to go to shows with them.
Sarajane: really, CJ, thats a lot of PCers
cjblanton: It is a huge show.
PoKoPat: Sounds like.
Sarajane: oh Pat--youd have a good time and break the ice, so to speak
Sarajane: better than by yourself
cjblanton: The lady doing the minitures is amazing. A lot of it is food - cakes, hors d'oervres, plates of sushi.
Sarajane: thats wehre a lot of PC started in the 30s and 40s
PoKoPat: I suppose, SJ. But I'm so tongue tied (in person, that is) with strangers.
cjblanton: You could take a keyboard and type to them :-)
PoKoPat: rofl
Sarajane: so wear something you made--that 'll do it
PoKoPat: That might actually work, CJ. hehehe
Sarajane: that's break the tension!
DonnaPyro: Entered room.
DonnaPyro: hi all
cjblanton: HI Donna
PoKoPat: Well hi, Donna.
DonnaPyro: :)
PoKoPat: Rescue me by asking a question.
Sarajane: Hi there!
DonnaPyro: ummmmmm
PoKoPat: SJ and CJ are trying to talk me into doing shows.
PoKoPat: hehe
Sarajane: we're picking on her
DonnaPyro: oh cool Pat
DonnaPyro: you should
PoKoPat: Oh, you're a big help.
PoKoPat: rofl
DonnaPyro: hehehe
Sarajane: thanks Donna!
DonnaPyro: yw
PoKoPat: Actually ... once the weather warms up a bit, I may just go to a couple with them.
DonnaPyro: I own a few of pokoPat's artsy items :)
PoKoPat: Sort of an artist visiting, thing.
Sarajane: not even all by her lonesome----as someones guest, she can go and schmooze
PoKoPat: I schmooze great with a keyboard.
DonnaPyro: lol
Sarajane: well, time to stretch those skills
PoKoPat: Actually, I'm getting better. Cuz people keep admiring my pendants that I wear.
Sarajane: go for a few hours, not the whole day
PoKoPat: Small steps, eh?
cjblanton: You could wear a pendant with a price tag attached.
PoKoPat: snicker
DonnaPyro: hehe
PoKoPat: that sounds like soemthing I'd do accidentally.
PoKoPat: hehe
DonnaPyro: just call her Mini Pearl
cjblanton: Howdeee!
Sarajane: Minnie Pearl would be pleased
PoKoPat: Actually, she probably would.
cjblanton: We're all showing our age here.
PoKoPat: Say, can we skip back to the extruded canes for a bit?
cjblanton: sure
Sarajane: sure!
Sarajane: have you seen the darlin disks?
PoKoPat: Well, could you use the extruder to make shaped canes? Like a flower, or 4 leaf clover?
DonnaPyro: *PART* Left room.
PoKoPat: Uh, nope.
Sarajane: yes!
PoKoPat: uh oh, she bounced.
Sarajane: the disks extrude amazingly complex designs
PoKoPat: because I have to say - shaped canes give me huge trouble.
cjblanton: You could extrude any of the shapes and then try to surround them with other clay.
PoKoPat: But if you could make them with an extruder it would mean little or no reducing, right?
Sarajane: they have a HUGE selection
Sarajane: yes, make at actual size!!!
PoKoPat: Do the Darlin disks fit the regular extruder?
Sarajane: the clay gun
PoKoPat: I think mines a Kemper
PoKoPat: lemme look
Sarajane: yes, but they are acrylic, not metal--wash them after
PoKoPat: huh - no name on the silly thing.
PoKoPat: it's the all metal one, looks like a giant syringe, with no needle.
Sarajane: they fit the Kemper and also the pusher thing that is the Big TimeExtruder
cjblanton: I've had great luck wrapping the clay with paper before putting it into the clay gun. No cleaning necessary.
PoKoPat: I tried that, and wound up with paper in my clay.
Sarajane: have you ev er tried it with two colors on purpose?
cjblanton: I wrap it in parchment paper - the kind you use for baking. Just wrap once with a little overlap.
Sarajane: its very cool, they come out wrapped
PoKoPat: extruding two colors at once? yep.
cjblanton: haven't tried that yet.
PoKoPat: pretty neat look.
PoKoPat: Well, I have a lot of food for thought now.
Sarajane: its fun, but hard to control a bit
cjblanton: I saw somewhere to cut small circles of clay in different colors then stack them up and put them in the gun. You get a variegated snake.
Sarajane: if you let them cool off first its easier to use them to build canes
Sarajane: cool!!!
Sarajane: wonder if you started with a bullseye cane....
PoKoPat: hmmm, I don't think that would work.
cjblanton: It would come out randomly because you can't really control how the clay moves from the wide tube through the little opening in the disk.
PoKoPat: It would push the center out first.
PoKoPat: maybe a half and half log?
Sarajane: well, stuff to play with!
PoKoPat: like two half circles.
Sarajane: that would be cool!
cjblanton: lots of things to try.
PoKoPat: Ladies, I have to go. My to do list is huge today, and I'm only a third of the way thru it.
Sarajane: I should also
PoKoPat: I still have to draw that silly camel.
Sarajane: its spring---lots thats been put off!
PoKoPat: SJ, it's been a blast, as usual.
cjblanton: Nice chatting with you guys. See you next time.
Sarajane: thanks for coming, Pat!
Sarajane: see you soon!
PoKoPat: CJ, stop by some morning at PCJ for the coffee chat.
Sarajane: have fun with your claying!
cjblanton: Too early for me!
PoKoPat: Bye all, have a great rest of the day!!
cjblanton: Bye
PoKoPat: *PART* Left room.
Sarajane: seeya!
cjblanton: Bye
cjblanton: *PART* Left room.
Sarajane: bye, CJ!
Sarajane: *LOG at 4/6/2004 2:21:23 PM* OFF