By Fancy Puppet
Today, I’d like to share with you one of my biggest dilemma in creation :
How do I have to finish this nice piece ? Do I want a shiny finish ? Something very glossy ? Matte ? Which process ? Sanding and buffing ? with or without wax ? Or, varnish, maybe ?
It depends of many features on my creations.
Finishing Techniques for Polymer Clay Jewelry
Sanding and buffing: The finish is perfect. It’s absolutely flawless and expresses a a lot of attention to details and quality. But it is not lasting. Polymer clay is not a hard enough material as it stays a little soft after curing. So it’s hard to maintain that flawless effect when it’s a piece of jewelry because it’s literally lived in. It is not a process you can apply on every pieces. If you have surface work, you are going destroy it. And to be absolutely honest, the true reason I rarely finish my pieces that way is… Laziness… I confess, I really hate sanding my pieces, hands in soapy water becoming cold, for a loooong moment, polymer clay powder under my nails, sanding paper that « skritch skritch skritch » and often slips on my skin… I often smooth the surface before baking to avoid the maximum of sanding time and only buff it. It gives a nice shine, like rock or wood, buffed by wind and sea. Look at that necklace I made. We can see flaws in the surface, but a nice shine also.
Varnish: It is so easy to varnish, it’s fast, efficient and you have different types of varnish from matte to glossy. 1 coat, 2 coats, as many as you want.
Varnish is also effective on many kinds techniques. But it can sometimes hard to apply : bubbles, brush marks… And you easily have a bad result. Let me give you my tip : I apply a generous coat with a tooth pick on flat pieces. And a flat brush for volume piece, one coat from top to bottom, then one coat from left to right. Look at this glossy finish on this necklace! Quite the same that the first picture but a different kind of glossy finish. But adding a coat of products on top of your creations is sometimes risky. What if the people get allergic of it ? Will it stays in time ? or will it flake or become yellowish ?
Resin. I already talked to you last week my love for this crystal clear liquid that becomes really hard and protective. It could be a little long to prepare and apply, it smells before curing, and you will fail a bunch of your pieces before having the BEST result. And you can’t apply on very round pieces or beads without applying dozens of thin coats with a brush. But it gives depth to your pieces so easily, hiding faults and often enhancing your colors. It always brings some « Woaw » comments by the flawless finish. What do you think of it ?
Or sometimes, I just let it natural, because I feel it shines on it’s own!
Kisses from France!!