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Tips & Tidbits!

Food Processor Tip:
by Donna Z.

For FIMO users who condition in a food processor: I keep a very stiff brush (like what comes inside a jar of rubber cement) nearby, and use it to quickly collect my precious Fimocrumbs into one compressed pile for easy removal...sounds silly but it saves me lots of picky picky-ing and I never have to wipe out my machine anymore.

I use the same brush between colors on my pasta machine to get into those sneaky slits where black and red clay remnants live together in sin, waiting to pounce on your innocent translucent.

— Donna

Clay Cutting:
by Donna Z.

For those of you who weave clay, or otherwise need to cut sheets of clay into precise shapes, I bought a plastic mat called a Quilter's Grid at Michael's, and it is clay-proof. I lay out my clay and cut beautiful, perfectly even shapes and strips. No more rectangle pins that look like Picasso cut 'em out!

— Donna

More Sculpture Tips:
by Katherine Dewey

  • Use very firm clay, either advanced or leached. Firm clay is less likely to accept fingerprints, and while harder to push into shape, it's also harder to push out of shape.
  • I make heads, bodies, arms and legs separately, and let them rest at least a half hour before attaching them.
  • I use an insoluable, smudgeable clay, either Super Sculpey or Premo, so that rubbing a moist finger helps to finish blending seams.
  • Leave sculptures alone and out of sight a day or two before baking, then look at them with a fresh eye in bright light. You're more likely to notice fingerprints and nicks.
  • I bake on a cushion of fiberfill; usually the figure is laying down.
  • After baking, when the sculpture is cooled, scrub under hot water with a fiber scrubbing pad. Gotta be really careful around fingers and toes, eyes, ears and nose. A dental scaler is perfect for these areas.
  • Garments are added to a baked, nude figure. I know the skin is smooth and flawless. Diluent makes my polyer cloth hold fast, and I can remove it if I don't like the cut or drape.
  • I know a lot of artists who "brush down" with alcohol or turpenoid before the sculpture is baked. This process doesn't work for me as I often bake the legs or arms then add them to an unbaked body; brushing down with solvents will break the bond between baked and unbaked clay.
  • Brushing a baked sculpture with alcohol wil help acrylic paint adhere.
— Katherine

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