A polymer clay product whether it is jewelry or a decoration piece, with a shiny appearance is something that captivates everyone. Of course, a product with a pretty appearance will sell more than others.
How To Make Polymer Clay Shiny?
Giving a shiny finish to polymer clay is not a tough task. The most preferable technique to give the shiny touch is glazing which gives your designs a professional touch.
The process of glazing is done after baking the polymer clay. It is usually done with the help of a water-based polyurethane glaze.
What Are The Benefits Of Glazing The Polymer Clay?
Glazing is not a tough technique and it will give an extra touch to your design. All you need to do is to follow the appropriate steps with the right strategy and the best type of glaze according to your clay.
In addition to making your product glow, glazing polymer clay has other advantages, including minimizing UV yellowing from sun exposure, adding a waterproof covering to your clay, and adding an extra firm layer to safeguard your clay.
How To ATply Glaze To The Polymer Clay?
Following are the steps to apply glaze to the polymer clay:
Begin By Kneading Your Clay So That The End Product Is Smooth And Grazeable.
Warm the polymer clay between your hands to make it flexible and to remove any air bubbles. Form the clay into balls or sausages until it is soft and flaky.
After baking, your clay should be smooth and easy to buff and glaze as now it has been fully conditioned. This is why we begin by properly conditioning the clay, resulting in a smoother basis for glazing at the end of the procedure.
Mold Your Design – Make Smooth Edges For Glazing With Cling Film And Clay Cutters.
Use your hands to construct your patterns or use tools like clay cutters to make uniformed cut-outs – this is especially beneficial if you’re producing polymer clay jewelry, such as earrings, because matching pairs are easy to come by.
Before using cutters, place a layer of clingfilm over the polymer clay and push the cutter into the cling film. This will make it easier to sand and glaze the final baked product, as well as provide smoother edges for your design.
Simply tear a strip and fix it over your design, making sure there are no air bubbles or loose pieces. Then press your cutter through the clay and into the clingfilm layer. Afterward, peel off the clay.
Bake The Clay Properly To Ensure Its Adherence
Now that you’ve finished your patterns, it’s important to bake them properly so they’ll be ready for glazing. Undercooked or burned clay provides a poor glaze base, so make sure your clay is cooked to perfection every time.
Allow Proper Cooling Before Glazing And Good Storage To Avoid Brittleness.
Wait a few hours, or even 24 hours, after baking for the clay to cool and harden completely before sanding and glazing.
Make sure your clay is stored safely and away from dust and lint. If at all feasible, put your clay in a polypropylene (PP) plastic storage box or storage drawers. Glass storage options are also effective.
Before Glazing, Sand, And Buff Your Clay For A Wonderfully Smooth And Lustrous Finish.
After your polymer clay sculpture has been baked and cooled, begin by carefully sanding it.
Begin with low-level grit sandpaper and gradually work your way up.
After you’ve sanded your piece to your satisfaction, it’s time to buff it. Buff the design with a material like denim, microfleece, or muslin – a tiny cloth should suffice.
To Avoid Bristle Shedding, Glaze/Varnish Your Clay With An Excellent Quality Brush.
Varnishing (or acrylic sealing) can strengthen and protect your design from brittleness caused by moisture absorption over time. It is commonly available in craft stores, DIY stores, and online, so you should have no trouble finding some.
The glaze (or varnish) is simple to apply. Simply wait for your paint to dry before applying a thin coating of acrylic sealer or varnish to your design and allowing it to dry — acrylic sealer and varnish can take anywhere from 4 to 12 hours to dry, so be patient and avoid touching your drawings.
What Are Some Important Factors To Look For While Choosing Glaze For Polymer Clay?
The type of glaze you choose is really important for your polymer clay. The quality of glaze determines the perfect shine of the clay.
Before choosing, consider the following points:
1. Sheen Factor
You can choose from high gloss, semi-gloss, satin, or matte finishes, depending on your preferences. This information will be readily available on the label of most glazes. However, the brilliance of two different glossy glazes may differ.
You anticipate your glaze (as the most external coat on your polymer clay products) to stay lovely and clean for a long time. The best glaze should provide a long-lasting coat that is resistant to UV fading, mechanical damage, and other factors.
3. Easy To Apply
Spraying glaze without brush strokes is perhaps the quickest and most convenient method. Hold your horses, though.
Before you go out and get that can of varnish, keep in mind that aerosol glazes aren’t the ideal choice for polymerized clay. The majority of them include corrosive propellants that are harmful to the environment.
What is the composition of glaze?
Silica, fluxes, and aluminum oxide make up glazes. The glaze’s structural ingredient is silica, which can transform to glass if heated to a high enough temperature. Because the melting point of silica is too high for ceramic kilns, it is mixed with fluxes (anti-oxidant chemicals) to lower the melting point.
What is matte glaze and how does it work?
A more helpful definition is a matte glaze that isn’t shiny and scatters reflected light in many or all directions.
Now you are familiar with the way to make your polymer clay shine with the process of glazing. You are also familiar with factors to keep in mind while choosing a glaze. The shine will give extravagant look to your design. For more details, we answered some related frequently asked questions as well for your convenience, so do check those out too!
Beatrix Ainsley (Bea to her friends) is an abstract artist who was heavily inspired in her twenties by the abstract expressionist movement of the 1940s. Since then Bea has acquired three degrees in Science, Education and most importantly Fine Art. Her art works showcase exploring emotion and introspection of self. To achieve this – the use of bold, sweeping, intricate layers of color, and spontaneity of form is enhanced by reflecting on decades of life experiences. Bea has amassed a vast knowledge of art in all its forms, and hopes to pass it on with her contributions here.