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Tips & Tidbits!

Bead Holer:
by B. Messelt

I saw that someone suggested using pen tubes for creating holes for jewelry - you can also use round coffee stirrers. I also put the tips of the stirrers in talc to help prevent the clay from sticking into the stirrer (after baking the little clay piece can be pushed out easily).

More NO Fingerprints:
by Victoria Schwarz

You can use waterless hand sanitizer, or Acetone (main ingredient in nail polish remover) to clear up fingerprints before baking. Do this only as a last resort because you cannot reshape the clay after doing this.

NO Fingerprints:
by Allyson P. Hamilton

I hate having fingerprints in my pieces, but rubber gloves make my hands sweat, so I cut the fingertips out of small rubber gloves and just put a tip on each of my index fingers and my thumbs. You might have to put a small piece of tape to tighten the finger tip on your index finger, so the glove won't leave a line, but it works wonders. Also, I found an item called "finger cots" at my local pharmacy that has 144 of just the finger tips so I don't have to buy gloves anymore.

Buffing Tip:
by Pamela McQueen

Use denim to smooth and buff your clay project after it has been baked.

Realistic Moss:
by Gem

To make realistic looking moss, coarsely tear off small sections of different earthy mosslike coloured clay a ruffly place together in a small section randomlly overlapping colours. Then take a toothpick or fairly sharp needle and scratch at the surface, minute sections of clay will blend and form together in a realistic looking formation. if any little bits of clay fall or look likely to fall off, lightly pick them up with your needle tool and gently push where you would like the colour to be placed. Realism is random!!

Moonies (or Flaws):
by Laure Estep

Moonies are those horrible little white marks often resembling crescent moons that pop up just under the surface of the clays, usually in a very prominant and irritating place. A good cure for the dreaded moonie is to rub a couple drops of baby oil onto the spot and let soak in over night. Usually that clears up the flaw.

Sculpting Tip:
by Christine Rebert

I am sculpting small fairies and elves right now and I found that after you bake your piece, adding a thin coat of liquid scuplty to your project, then baking again, seems to "even" out some of the rough spots. This works especially well on faces.

Cool Clay Slicer:
by Amanda Byrne (Bead Sprite)

If you make lots of Mokume Gane, Canes or faux pieces, then, boy! will you wish you'd done this years ago! Soooo.... Go to your kitchen drawer, rummage around until you find a cheese slicing tool, (you know, the triangular shaped thingy with a handle)return to your clay and slice it, just as if it were cheese (don't eat it though!). This method takes complete slices, not broken pieces. It's safe, takes nice whole pieces and the harder you press, the thicker the slice and vise versa. I thought of the idea, but didn't think it would work, then I tried it and just had to share it with all of you! Many "Thank you's" to Kehtore for testing it out on her canes.

I'd be very interested to know how you get on with this method, or if you have any further ideas or comments, so you can contact me at:

Pasta Machine Tips:
by Leigh Ross

Just thought I would share a couple things I learned about my Pasta machine!

BTW, I have an atlas with 9 settings!

I've been taking apart my pasta machines for years now, to clean them. I've always been really mad cause you can see underneath one side but you can't see the other side.

This last time I took my machine apart to clean it, I decided to try leaving off the front plate, especially since Molly said she had trouble getting it back together and was in a hurry, so she left it off and it still worked!

Well, when you leave the front plate off, you can clean it out without taking the entire thing apart!!! It's so kewl!!!

The front plate that I'm talking about is the front section that has the name of the machine on it!!! There are enough other braces to keep the machine steady! And so far it works great!

Also, while taking the machine apart, I've been taking the bottom plate off all the time and then taking it apart! I realized the other day that you can keep the bottom plate ON, and take off the side piece, then LOOSEN the bolts and spread the pieces enough to get the SCRAPERS off, and this is what you need to clean the most!!!
Just thought I'd share this!


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