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How to Use Two Part Epoxy Clay for Other Art and Mixed Media Jewelry-Making Projects
Two part epoxy clay used to be useful for repairing things, especially in home improvement. To fix cracks in a pool or to fill in any cracks in leaking pipes, DIY individuals and handymen alike mix equal parts of it until it's a uniform color, then pat it down or glue the two broken pieces together.
Well, epoxy clay is no longer restricted to home repair jobs. It's a versatile, durable clay that air-dries and is adhesive to almost anything. Crafters usually put it in frame or bezel settings, embed objects (like beads and gems), and set it aside.
But what if you don't have anything with bezels or frames?
Well, epoxy clay isn't limited to just those alone. You can mold it, sculpt it, shape it, or cut it out with cutters (just like polymer clay) to make customized charms. And it doesn't just stop at mixed media jewelry making. You can use the charms to embellish your scrapbook pages or decorate your home!
Where Epoxy Clay can be Found
Before buying online, look around at your local bead store or your craft store for it. If you can't seem to find it anywhere, look for a vendor online. If you can, search for local stores with online shopping sites. They offer discounts and coupon codes to make buying it more affordable.
Here are some words of caution while buying epoxy clay from the hardware store. Some of them are not of good quality and some are too dull to work with or not tacky enough for your embeds. It's cheaper to buy them, but consider buying a quality clay you can possibly and comfortably afford.
As with all brands of epoxy clay, there are 2 parts: one is the resin itself (the colored part) and the other is the hardener. Pinch a portion off of each, make balls out of them, and put them side-by-side to make sure they are equal. This is very crucial for hardening once the two are mixed. If you want to be accurate, weigh the balls out using a scale lined with wax paper.
Make sure you're using clean hands so you will not embed any dirt or grime in the clay. If desired, use a set of rubber gloves.
Next, thoroughly knead the clay. Flatten the two equal balls simultaneously, pull apart, stack the halves, and repeat. Then, knead like bread dough. This is another critical step to ensure that it cures properly as it dries, so knead until there are no streaks or striations and until the clay is of uniform color. It can take 2-3 minutes to knead.
What to Embed and How to Color It
Epoxy clay is adhesive, so it's ideal for embedding small objects.
You can create a druzy or pave look by adding sparkly objects in the clay. Small Swarovski crystal chatons work good if the clay is to be shaped thicker. But for relatively thin (but not too thin) projects, flatback rhinestones more or less are better. You can embed acrylic gems in the clay for frugality's sake, but it would tend to melt in extreme heat. Buy the cheapest glass rhinestones you can possibly afford.
If rhinestones are not your thing, you can use microbeads (holeless, small beads) or glitter to fill in large sections. Also, you can embed small metal charms, small other freeform epoxy clay pieces, gemstone chips (especially for a cobblestone/mosaic effect, or crystal beads.
You can even use pearl powders or pigments if there is zero space between your embeds and make the background color multicolored. I suggest that you buy ones with binders mixed in. If you want to color your epoxy clay, I suggest that you use water-based inks, but be careful not to water it down. Thus, add the ink gradually - remember, a little goes a long way.
Keep in mind that working time ranges from 60-120 minutes, so I suggest that you plan your designs out beforehand.
Preciosa chatons also work good with epoxy clay.
No Need for Bezels on This...
Where to Put the Clay
Epoxy clay sticks to just about anything, but you don't have a bezel setting to put it into. But do not fret - there are a lot of items that can be embellished with it.
For instance, Cell phone covers with bling (read: rhinestones) are always great accessories to show off to your friends. But buying them or having plain ones custom-made can be expensive. Especially with hard ones, they can make great canvases for the clay. Just place the clay on the clean case, making sure that it doesn't go over the edge or it will not close properly. Then add on the bling (or other small objects on hand) and color.
Freeform and molded charms and buttons made from clay needed something that won't stick when they cure. To prepare the surface, cover it with some newspaper and put a Teflon mat on top of it. The type of mat works with them because it's a nonstick surface. One way to get one is to buy a Teflon baking sheet and dedicate it only to crafts.
Once hardened (it can take 12-24 hours for it to cure), you can loop jump rings to them for pendants or charms or you can tie a loop with string for dazzling ornaments.
Here's an example of a nonstick surface that can be dedicated for crafting, like freeform epoxy clay projects.
Making Freeform Projects
Just like its polymer cousin, epoxy clay can be molded into just about anything you want. But You can't use any kind of mold, as it can stick to most. The best ones are silicone rubber molds, which can enable you to release the clay from the molds as they are flexible. You can buy them at your craft store or buy mold-making kits from that said store to make custom ones.
If you are not a mold fan, you can freehand your clay pieces. Just as you need clean hands to knead the clay, you should also need clean ones for sculpting your clay. The possibilities are endless - you can make monograms, hearts, wings, and other shapes.
If you are making pendants, keychains, ornaments, and charms, you can punch holes with the end of a paintbrush (especially when you're brushing on micas later on) or a straw you don't mind throwing away. Alternatively, you can roll a small snake of clay (if you have a bit remaining) and attach to it, forming a loop on top.
Again, once mixed, the clay has a 60 to 120-minute working time, depending on humidity, temperature, and brand of clay. So I suggest that you plan your design accordingly.
- Make Your Own Metal-Look Charms: Epoxy Clay and Resin Charm Necklace - Jewelry Making Daily - Jewelr
Rochelle Nation, of Nunn Design, shows you how to make a charm using epoxy clay and a silicone mold.
- How to Make Customized Beads with Two Part Epoxy Clay | Quazen
Two part epoxy clay is a versatile medium for the crafter. Let me show you how to make custom beads from them.
Epoxy clay is a versatile modeling medium that air dries within 12-24 hours and lasts longer. Especially when mixed with acid-free, water-based inks or paints, you can embellish your scrapbook pages with charms you have made. You can make customized ornaments for your Christmas tree or other holiday tree or you can show off your pendant or charm you've made to your pals when you and they go out together. The only limit in making projects with them is your own imagination!