Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sanding and Buffing

I tried using biodegradable styrofoam to create hollow beads. They turned out pretty good. I hand sanded these beads, and after sanding I decided to try something new. I strung the beads together and then used my buffing bench grinder to buff one of the beads. The buffing gave a nice shine and the string kept the bead from flying off while buffing. I suggest that if you decide to string beads together for buffing that you hold the string in your hand while buffing. If the bead gets caught in the buffing wheel the string will keep the bead from flying away.

In my quest for new techniques I acquired a vibratory tumbler. I had a set of color samples beads that were already strung together. I decided that I didn't want to restring them after tumbling - so I left them strung together, as I placed them in the tumbler. These beads were strung together using plain fishing line. The strand of beads tumbled through the tumbler without any problems. After I tumbled the beads in the vibratory I used the buffer to buff the beads. The last two oval teal beads were not buffed, but all the other beads on this strand were buffed. I think they turned out okay, but I still would like to see a little more shine. I think my next test will be to tumble the beads with fabric squares to see if I can achieve more of a shine.
Sorry, I did have one concern about tumbling. I added a little water to the tumbler, just enough to wet the beads and rocks. While tumbling I did notice that there were brown marks on the light colored beads. I thought this happened because I did not wash the rock. I stopped the process and washed the rinsed the rocks off with water. I resumed tumbling for a total of three hours. I beads were smooth to the touch. In the bottom and middle side of the small bowl was this nasty looking brown sludge. I needed a brillo pad to remove most of it, a stain remained. I wonder if anyone else has experienced this scenario.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

In Search of High Gloss

I just purchased a vibratory tumbler. While ‘cruising the web’ I stumbled upon some comments about the tumblers. One source sent me to a gun shop. Well the gun shops in the big city were very scary even on the web. Well my search sent me to a store 200 miles away, but less than 10 miles from my sister's house. Wow, I could visit my sister and the sporting goods store. So on Monday that is exactly what I did. I was surprised at how large the tumbler was. I purchased a Lyman Turbo Tumbler. The label on the box says "gives factory brass finish; twice as other tumblers; heavy-duty, thermally protected motor; quiet running; wide stable base w/protective motor shield; includes 1200 pro plus 600 pop top bowl and lid. This is a turbo twin pack. It was the last one on the shelf and it had been opened, so there were no papers inside the box. So I am looking for all the advice I can find about using the tumbler with polymer clay. I purchased some plastic "beanie baby" pellets to try. I haven't returned home yet, so I haven't been able to try them. Last night while I was reading I read about two other methods 1. Pea gravel from Home Depot, 2. Bon Ami pot cleanser. Well I might have to experiment to see which is best. Wish me luck.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Spending to support the addiction....

The last couple of weeks I found myself spending money on unusual things while satisfying my addiction. POLYMER CLAY is my addiction.

Item number 1 - DAP Tex Plus - Window & Door Foam Sealant. I was looking for a foam that cured hard. I needed a strong compound to strengthen something. I was not thinking. I could have saved my 8 dollars and used what I already had in the cupboard. There was Polymer Clay in the cupboard and in the end that was what I used. I guess I will use this sealant around the house.

Item number 2 - Biodegradeable Packing chips. Now I know I have some in my garage, 5 hours away. Another 8 dollars, and I had to sneak it in the house so my finance didn't see it. I didn't need 8 gallons worth of this stuff. I have made two beads inspired by Ronna Weltman's new book Ancient Modern, but now what do I do with the rest?

Item number 3 - cork clay. I am not going to buy this stuff. I am going to use what I already have - POLYMER CLAY. Well, Sculpey Ultra-light to be exact. I purchased it about two years ago, another time when I was spending without thinking.