Work in progress- inlaid polymer clay

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Wmcullen

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Dec 1, 2020
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Messing around with a technique I saw in the video linked at the bottom, I felt the urge to share these in-progress results.
a1.jpg


Method:
Softened polymer clay (green) and rolled into a few dozen "bb sized" balls.
Placed in a small tupperware with a squirt of black acrylic paint and shook it for complete coverage.
Let dry a little on wax paper.
a4.jpg


Cut "trenches" into rounded blanks on router table.
Packed trenches with glue and clay balls.

a3.jpg


Baked at 250 for 30 minutes, cooled and turned to see what would happen...

a2.jpg


a1.jpg


These are just tests with ipe and butternut but will post final pens in the future.
Thanks for looking
- Cullen

 
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jrista

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Aug 12, 2021
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Very interesting. So those lines separating each little ball, are intentional?

I have done some inlay work with pens (and larger turnings) using Milliput, which for those who don't know is a two part clay epoxy. It cures hard, turns well. It does not, however, come in all that many colors. Black, white, terracotta and turquoise in addition to what they call "standard" which is kind of a "doesn't go with anything" greenish-yellow?

I'm curious to see how this goes in the long run. I know there are significantly more color options with polymer clay. Interested to see how these turn out in the end.
 

jrista

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Exactly. The acrylic paint forms the lines. It's an interesting effect with better potential than I've shown so far.
A two-part clay epoxy sounds like a flexible option... thanks for mentioning it.
Apparently, milliput CAN be colored. I was curious and looked it up. It can apparently take up to a 20% mixture of pigments, so that might open the doors there if you try milliput. FWIW, milliput dries on its own, no need to bake it or anything. Inlay in the evening, and you should be able to turn in the morning! ;)
 

DanielleJ

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Feb 6, 2023
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Location
Utah
Thanks for sharing! I turn quite a bit with polymer clay but it can be easily blown out if you're not gentle. I'll have to try milliliters.
 
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