Sunday, 5 February 2012

Polymer Clay - Covered Box

Well as we are snowed in, I thought I would spend my time productively over the weekend - and decided to follow a video and instructions I found on the official Polymer Clay website here

I rely to a great extent on written instructions as I can't hear the videos - but they are good to watch.

List of supplies needed: (From their site)
Clays:Premo! Accents: Antique Gold - 2 oz-- 2 blocks
Premo! Sculpey®: Black - 2 oz - I didn't need this much as I wasn't going to do the extras'

Large Texture stamp - I improvised
White Craft glue
old foam brush
(Note that there was no mention of the box)
It took me ages, but I spent a happy Saturday afternoon and evening working on the box.  It was a bit fiddly - but I was really proud when I had finally covered the box.
Firstly I painted the box and lid inside and around the outside which was under the lid - then followed the instructions to the letter.  
 For the design on the lid I used an old crocheted napkin, which I thought worked really well.
For the side of the lid and box I used a whirl style stamp and stamped all along the strips of polymer clay before attaching

As you will see from the instructions on the link above.  I used the glue specified to stick the Premo Sculpey to the sides, and top, and underneath the bottom and trimmed it all to fit.

Following the instructions, I left the box overnight - to allow the glue to dry to avoid any air pockets.
Then yesterday, I put it in my halogen table top oven with other pieces of clay to bake.  I was feeling really proud of myself for making a good job of it and so looking forward to the next stage that would finish it off and make it look really professional, with silver rub and buff to accentuate the raised patterns.
So it was with great excitment when I went to unload the oven. 


I used a box which looked identical to theirs - but mine was made out of wood - and the baking has melted the glue!  I spent almost four hours trying to glue all the pieces back together.  I tried E6000 which sticks absolutely everything - but not the base.   I tried and tried and tried and used small bulldog clips to keep it together, pegs - and just pressing it for ages with my fingers  - and it just sprung back open.  I tried super glue - as you can see from the photo below where it is shiny, the super glue just kinda poured out and wouldn't stick - but it did stick everything else my fingers came in touch with.

If you look carefully you can see where the lid is peeling away and it just won't stay stuck!   The pictures above are taken after I took the box and lid out of the oven - didn't I do a good job with the deeply embossed patterns.

When you are a beginner, and products are not listed correctly in a tutorial how are you supposed to know that you can't use a wooden box in a cooker - mine looked identical to the one in the video!  

I have spent quite a while today doing some research and found out that you need to use paper mache objects if they are to be covered with polymer clay that needs baking.  It's perfectly safe to put polymer clay onto typing paper, cardboard, mount board etc in the oven,  as the temperatures are so low that it doesn't affect them.  So it didn't occur to me that a wooden box would be affected - it wasn't it was the glue!

I sent a nice polite email to the Polyform Products Company to the address on their website, explaining my predicament and asking if they would please be sure to put the actual products used in the list and explain why.  

As a beginner we really don't know these things - its what they don't tell you that causes the angst!

All that wasted clay, and time and effort.  And it was my best bit of work to date! And no - I haven't heard back from the website or company.