Choosing Silkscreen Designs for Polymer Clay
Silkscreen stencils are an excellent way to add design elements to raw polymer clay with chalk, paint and mica powders. You can then make a myriad of designs — everything from complex rolled and shaped forms to simple flat pendants — from the unbaked clay.
Polymer crafters can even use silkscreen images as the background for additional design elements and embellishments. When you want to choose a Sculpey® Silk Screen design for your polymer clay project, consider the following:
- Positive and negative patterns: When you buy silkscreens, pay careful attention to the design aspect that will be applied to the clay. Will it be the design itself or will the silkscreen print the space around the blueprint? Just as texture sheets and rubber stamps have “inny” and “outty” designs, silkscreen designs can be positive or negative.
- Your project’s mood and style: Choosing a silkscreen design that matches the style and atmosphere of your polymer clay project will ensure your creation appears uniform throughout.
- The size of your finished polymer clay project: Both large and small pieces have their place in the world of polymer clay. Wondering what constitutes a large or small project? Smaller projects include jewelry and usually call for smaller-scale silkscreen designs. Larger works, like backgrounds for other mediums, call for more expansive silkscreen designs.
- Busyness and complexity: It’s essential to consider the busyness of your silkscreen pattern and how its style pairs with your clay creation. Will the silkscreen design cover up the underlying polymer clay, or will it allow it to show through?
Tips for Printing Silkscreens on Polymer Clay
To ensure the surface you are painting remains even, try taping down your silkscreen before working. Always make sure your silkscreens are clean before painting to prevent dried paint from filling up the mesh. If you find the color you’re using is bleeding underneath the Sculpey Tools™ Silk Screens, try Using a thicker paint or less pressure.