Adding Interest with Texture
Textures can add realism and interest to your polymer clay work, which can be even further enhanced with different surface finishes like rubbing back or dry brushing. The great news is - textures can be found EVERYWHERE and for FREE! Sure you can buy texture sheets and stamps, but why not make your own?
Have a scout around and see what interesting textures you can source (natural or man-made). Here's what I found in my studio that looked promising;
- Assorted Shells
- Tin Foil
- Mini Disco Ball
Of course, you can always imprint objects directly onto clay to create a negative impression. However, if you would like to invert the effect - that's where texture stamps come in! This is another great use for scrap clay, especially if you have renewed some old stuff as I recently did.
Tools & Materials
- Polymer Clay
- Sculpy Bake & Bond
- Range of Textures
- Cookie Cutters (optional)
- Ceramic Tile
- Acrylic Roller
- Paster Machine (optional)
- Mold Parting Powder / Baby Powder / Corn Starch
- Small Paintbrush
First things first, roll out your clay into a THIN sheet. Brush a small amount of baby powder either directly onto the clay surface, or onto your object. This will prevent it from sticking while taking the impression.
Press your polymer clay firmly onto the object surface, being sure not to miss any spots. Take care not to let the clay shift position while you do this, pressing around the edges will help to keep it in place. At this stage, you can also add a thicker layer of clay onto the back if you like.
Your clay should now lift away easily from the object surface thanks to the baby powder. Check out your impression! If it's not quite right or your clay moved, simply scrunch it up and try again.
Carefully flatten out your clay onto a ceramic tile, taking care not to squish your lovely impression. Cut out your desired shape using a cookie cutter, or a tissue blade / scalpel. I made a range of shapes and sizes.
For fabrics, lace or netting etc - simply lay on top of your clay sheet and roll firmly. Again, you can dust your clay to prevent sticking if necessary. This fabric made a beautiful impression! Like old, cracked leather.
Once you have a range of textures imprinted and trimmed up, part bake your clay on a ceramic tile for around 10 minutes at 130-150°C depending on how thick you went.
Once cooled, flip the texture discs over and add a handle using Sculpey Bake & Bond or similar product. I pinched and rolled some simple cone shapes, and added a bit of holographic glitter to the tips. They look just like little gnome hats! Return your texture stamps to the oven for a full bake according to packet instructions.
Done! How easy was that?! Have fun making your own polymer clay texture stamps to use in your creative projects. Til next time - stay creative!
*If you would prefer to curve to your larger stamps so you can apply them using a rocking motion, simple bake your texture discs on a curved surface such as a toilet roll, jar or mug.
* International readers can purchase Sculpey Bake & Bond here.
Rachel continues to actively and passionately participate in a range of exhibitions, prizes, collaborations and community projects. She resides in her hometown of Geraldton, Western Australia with her partner, two dogs, two cats and carnivorous plant collection.