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Rubber Stamping on Polymer Clay
Fig. 2 The next method is to stamp with an inked stamp. I find that a dye ink or a permanent ink work, but not a pigment ink (it spreads and smears). However, the best inks for the job are the fabric and crafters inks which are heat-set - obviously they get set in the baking. You still get the impression, as before, but also the inked lines. This can look very effective just as it is, especially with a black ink on a dark clay, but if you use a paler clay you can colour in the image after baking with most felt-tip pens (below). You may need to use a sealant after colouring - look in an art supply shop - as most felt-tip pens are not permanent. Be careful - some sealants, especially those which are solvent-based, won't dry on polymer clay.


If you are using a simple line-art image to stamp, without ink, you can fill in the impressed lines in one of two ways. In both cases you need to have done the impression, cutting and baking first. Then you can fill the dips with another colour of clay and bake again. You may need to sand down after the second bake for a good image. You can also fill in with embossing powder.

Fig. 5 The best way to do this is to use a nice wet fine felt-tip pen, and go over all the lines you want filled with powder. Add the powder, brush it off anywhere it's not meant to be, then bake again. You can emboss just bits of the image, bake, and then do the rest in another colour.

Try this: Take two colours of blue clay, marble together to make a swirly sky. Take some brown and marble it with bronze for soil. Lie them so that the sky is above the soil, roll out to less than a quarter inch deep. Stamp a tree on it, roots in soil head in sky. Use one with fruit if you have it. Cut a circle, oval or something around the tree, so you can see your great sky and soil, and bake. When it's cool, put ink into the dips for the trunk and branches and add copper embossing powder. Bake. When cool again, do the leaves in green. If you have fruit, go round a third time with red or yellow.

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