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PC13: Exploring Liquid Sculpey

w/ Jody Bishel

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$24.95 + S&H

Table of Contents:

Color
Pin Marbleizing
Gold Layering
Layered Patinas
Faux Enamel
Backfilling
Image Transfers

Approx. Running Time: 68 minutes


Painting with Polymer Clay

MindStorm Productions has recently released the latest video in its Master Artisans Of Polymer Clay Series, featuring Jody Bishel in "Exploring Liquid Sculpey." Jody makes her video debut in this excellent introduction to the use of Liquid Sculpey polymer clay as a decorative medium. As the leading artist using Liquid Sculpey, Bishel shares her creativity along with her technical expertise. This video is certain to expand the horizons of anyone who works with polymer clay.

While polymer clay itself is several decades old, the liquid form has been available only recently. Liquid Sculpey, made by Polyform, came to the attention of Jody Bishel soon after its introduction, and she has been experimenting, innovating and winning awards with it ever since. She has built on her professional art training, her experience with metal and stone jewelry and her background as a painter to create novel ways to work with this new product in conjunction with the more familiar solid polymer clay. Topics and projects include:

  • Color
  • Pin Marbleizing
  • Gold Layering
  • Layered Patinas
  • Faux Enamel
  • Backfilling
  • Image Transfers

Jody begins by reviewing the specialized tools and materials needed to complete the projects on the video. In addition to the supplies which most polymer artists have on hand, they will need items like an old light bulb, linoleum cutter, glue gun, acrylic and oil paints, Pearlex powders and, of course, Liquid Sculpey and Transparent Liquid Sculpey. Mail order suppliers for tools and for Liquid Sculpey are listed at the end of the video.

Jody's first project is image transfers. Anyone who has struggled to get perfect transfers onto polymer clay will applaud this techniques using Liquid Sculpey. The transfer process is simple and results in an image which can be applied to a curved surface if desired. When created using Transparent Liquid Sculpey on a sheet of glass, the images are extremely clear; when applied to a background of colored clay, the color shows through and becomes part of the finished design. In this small project alone, Jody shares the kinds of tips and subtle pointers which you just can't get from "book learning."

The next demonstration involves mixing Liquid Sculpey and Transparent Liquid Sculpey with artists' oils and Pearlex powders to create custom colors and effects. The mixtures are applied to a colored clay background and baked, resulting in a sample which shows the effects of the background clay color on the finished piece.

Readers who admired Jody's beautiful Liquid Sculpey butterflies in a recent issue of Jewelry Crafts will enjoy her demonstration of these brooches. Applying several colors of Liquid Sculpey in "drips and stripes" to a background shape cut from colored clay, and then using a pin tool to drag the colors through each other, she shows how it pays to take one's time to get the best results. A 3-dimensional "body" is added to enhance the realistic effect. After baking, a final coating of glaze brings out the full beauty of the Pearlex powders which were mixed into the Liquid Sculpey.

Ever been frustrated by trying to backfill carved or excised designs in polymer clay with contrasting colors of raw clay? Try Jody's approach using Liquid Sculpey. She demonstrates the use of several conventional and "found" tools to create patterned depressions in clay, bakes it, and then fills the voids with various colors of Liquid Sculpey. The project is complete with tips on removing excess Liquid Sculpey and sanding it after baking.

"Gold Layering" is the term Jody uses for her technique of creating an incredible sense of depth in a glossy finish. She impresses a design into raw polymer clay and then enhances the appearance of depth by brushing acrylic paint into the recesses. To add further contrast, she highlights the high spots with Pearlex powder. The entire piece is coated with two coats of Transparent Liquid Sculpey (with baking sessions between them), and the addition of a pin back completes the piece of jewelry. Throughout the project, Jody provides a constant stream of advice and commentary - for example, using Transparent Liquid Sculpey to help raw clay adhere to baked clay, and tips on avoiding bubbles in Liquid Sculpey.

The next project is called the "Dragonesque Brooch." Here, Jody demonstrates the art of faux enameling using Liquid Sculpey. Jody sculpted a dragon-form brooch based on an ancient one from from Britain, but any design containing open "cells" will do. After baking the polymer form, Jody creates the appearance of age with a patina, and then fills the individual cells of the form with Liquid Sculpey. After baking, the finished piece is left unsanded, adding further to its "ancient" appearance. Jody also demonstrates a variation of faux enameling by carving a design into baked scrap clay and pressing this design into raw clay. After the raw clay is baked, it is filled with Liquid Sculpey. Jody shows how to prepare open cells with acrylic if they are to be filled with Transparent Liquid Sculpey, and how to swirl multiple colors of Liquid Sculpey together. The piece is finished by sanding and buffing or by adding a layer of varnish.

"Layered patinas are my favorite technique with Liquid Sculpey," says Jody as she introduces the final project of the video. The variety and depth of colors which seem to float over each other over a curved surface are truly beautiful. This complex vessel will look familiar to people who have admired Jody's award-winning entries in juried shows and in recent publications. Jody uses an old light bulb as the armature over which the vessel is built (and provides safety guidelines for removing the glass after baking). She shows how to cut and trim a slab of clay to fit the curves of the light bulb, how to remove air bubbles, and how to attach a footed base. The first patina layer of tinted Liquid Sculpey is applied in a deliberately uneven manner and baked. Subsequent steps involve the application of Transparent Liquid Sculpey and Pearlex powder to the exterior of the vessel as well as a glazing of the interior. Jody creates folded, ribbed, patinated leaves which she attaches to the outside of the varnished vessel using Liquid Sculpey in a glue gun. Following the final baking of the piece, colored Liquid Sculpey is applied to the ribs of the leaves and set with a heat gun. The final product is well worth the many steps in its construction. Jody explains each facet of the project with the clarity of a seasoned instructor and with the enthusiasm that will inspire viewers to design their own unique creations.

The video ends with variations on the many techniques.. Pin marbling examples include Christmas ornaments and more elaborate butterflies. Rubber stamps are used to form bases for faux enameling, and we are also shown variations of back-filling with Liquid Sculpey. Patinas are shown covering 3-dimensional objects, and an elaborate pendant is covered with gold layering. A craggy, multi-hued vessel with lots of texture required at least 20 trips to the oven. Realistic leaves, coated in layered patinas, look as though they came from the forest floor, and layered patinas are also used to great effect on a bulbous pendant decorated with Paleolithic animal motifs. The final and most complex object shown is a covered vessel which makes use of several of Jody's ground-breaking and inspiring techniques.

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