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October 31, 2007

Kato Durability

Chibitude level: 10/10 (headache gone YAY!)

Kato Clay Crack Update

I am posting a follow up to my Beheading a Chibi post as well as my Kato Clay Crack Test post.
This is the head that I wacked off. If this concerns you chibi lovers, please watch the video to see that no harm has come to the chibi. As you can see, this head had quite a few cracks and moonies as well. This head was a mix of 5 parts Kato Translucent and 1 part Fimo Quick mix. It was baked for 15 minutes at 300 degrees.

This is the new head that I made. As you can see, there are no moonies nor are there any cracks. The mix was exactly the same (5 parts Kato Translucent and 1 part Fimo Quick Mix) and the baking time was the same (15 minutes at 300 degrees). The difference between the two is that this one was baked over an epoxy ball, with the clay not being thicker than 1 quarter of an inch in any areas.

When I had started working on this chibi, and then beheaded it yesterday, I was noticing that none of the imperfections ever appeared in on the body. It was always on the head. And in comparing the way the two were sculpted, the only difference was that the head was thicker. Much Thicker.

The epoxy that I used was plain old everyday 2 part blue and white plumbers epoxy. I couldn't find the kind I use online, but I just go across the street to Ace Hardware and buy their brand. I also like the Aves Fix-it if I have the patience to wait, as it has a slower curing time and isn't as sticky. I'm pretty impatient though. Don't like to wait. Gimme fast glue, fast epoxy, fast clay, fast paint, fast glaze and I'm a happy sculptor. ;)

Oh, and I've also in the past tried to use foil to bulk out the centers of my stuff, but I find that if I make a tiny ooboo and don't get all the air quinked out that it can cause the clay to crack. So I'm a no foil kind of gal.

Chibitude level: 8/10 (could have been a 10/10, but I have a headache and am feeling sleepy)

Beheading a Chibi

Chibitude level: 9/10

October 30, 2007

Coool Toool!

Sometimes I just get all tickled with me-self when I come up with a silly little idea that works so well...LOL

Well, today's one of those days. Here's a picture of my new Coool Toool.

The reason why it's cool to me, is that I do a lot of bases for my stuff, and like to roughen up the texture for either grass, stone or rock. So I took one of those cheap brushes that have tan know, the REALLY cheap brushes that the bristles fall out of, and feel like they're made of corn husk or something....LOL. I cut it pretty short and then fliggered out the bristles, then dipped it into my Kato liquid clay, and then dipped it into my sand and baked. And now I've got a nice little texture brush to use on my next base. YAY!!

Chibitude level: 8/10

October 26, 2007

Glaze and superglue tips

What to glazes and superglue have in common?

They both tend to dry out easily and the caps get stuck.

It's most important that after each use you wipe off the rims of your glaze jars, and the applicator tips of your superglue. This will extend the use of your products by double.

Also, do not leave items sitting open. Not even for a tiny bit. I save old bottlecaps, and use them to cover open bottles and jars. Most glazes won't dry out from sitting open for a couple of minutes, but each time they're open, they dry up just a little bit. If you notice your glazes getting thicker over time, this may very well be the culprit.

Sculpey glazes can have a little water added if they get too thick. I do this often.

For special mixes of your own, I recommend these little paint pots to store them. They're not easy to find, and if I come up with good source, I'll share it here. If you find some of your own, make sure they are the solid plastic. The ones that are floppy, don't hold up well. These ones I bought from Karen at but I purchased the rest that she had. I'm sorry, not trying to be greedy, she just only had 3 strips left.

I've tried lots of other little containers for my special mixes, but they've each had their own problems. For some time I used contact lens cases, but they weren't air tight and my mixes tended to dry out. Then I purchased glass bottles from Micro-Mark, but those had paper liners which would get stuck to the lids and eventually cause problems.

Thanks for reading. Have a great day.

11/02/07 Update: I was contacted by a fellow artist (very talented, please check out her work via the link below) who says that she's been using little pots like these for some time, and that she too has had wonderful success with them. She gets hers at Hobby Lobby, and she also mentioned that round garage sale stickers make super labels for these little pots.

Thank you Jeanette!!! (JRB Creations - ebay id Jeanette601 )

Chibitude level: 5/10

October 18, 2007

Chibitude in hiding!!

Those of you who know me personally know that I have these phases that I go through. Little cycles of ups and downs. They're manageable, I'm aware of them, and know that all I have to do is wait it out, and it too shall

The past couple of weeks, I've been in one of my cycles, but not the usual up and down one. This is a larger one that comes about once a year or so. This one is where I feel the need to pull back and spend some time outside of all the groups, and numerous personalities (wonderful though they may be) and simplify. Although this particular cycles seems like it's bad, it's really not. This is when I start really working on my craft, and heading for new plateaus.

I find that if I'm getting bored with my "me-ness" that the best thing for me to do is to reinvent myself. If I hang out with other artist's at this time, it makes it difficult to find myself. I'm a strong believer in the adage that one must take care of themselves before they can be of any good to others.

Thanks for reading. xoxo Maddy

October 14, 2007

Cloth Covered Floral Wire (CCFW)

Well, actually I think it's more like thread covered floral wire. The reason I thought I'd add a post today, is because I was working on a special project, and started thinking how versatile my wire is.

I always get the CCFW in white. And I have a few thicknesses, 24 ga. 26 ga. and 20 ga. The reason for always buying white, is that because it is covered with thread it is so easy to change the color. Why have a million colors taking up space, when I only need one.

Another reason I love the CCFW is because if I need some plain wire, all I need to do is roll the threads off part of the end and cut what I need.

The CCFW also holds glue, TLS, and other liquids much better than raw wire. I use it for my wing armatures, as well as the armatures for my sculptures.

I've used CCFW to make this crown, painted with acrylic paints and micro beads added. That wouldn't have been as easy with raw wire, because it's smooth the paint tends to chip off as well as the wire doesn't have the tooth to really grab the glue.

Here's another CCFW painted purple, and then wrapped in black and silver thread. I really like the versatility.
That's all for now, my project pieces have dried and it's time to get back to work. :o)

October 10, 2007

Just General Catching Up.

Well, it's been a little bit since I've updated my blog. I've been working on things, little experiments here and there as well as made some changes to my website.

I've ordered a few new supplies that I wanted to share that I really like.

I ordered Donna Kato's squeeze bottle with precision tips, and I am very fond of how it works. I like the fact that I can load it up with my liquid clay, and it has a nice tip and cap, so when I need to use it it's very convenient. I do plan on buying a few more of these for my special mixes.
I like to order most of my supplies through Karen at Clay Alley. She's a very nice and honest person and will do whatever she needs to to make her customers satisfied.

You can see the squeeze bottle that I bought here. It's almost half way down on the page.

I also purchased more more more of the sculpey ultra light. Man I really use the heck out of this stuff. It's just so nice to have a clay that has a consistency that is completely different than the other clays. I got mine here.

I made a base out of the sculpey ultra light with a little tree stump on it. After it was completed, I decided that I wanted to do it differently. So I thought, I'd just pop the tree stump off, and start again. But it didn't work that way. The sculpey ultra light is very flexible, and almost stretchy. As I tried to pull, the clay gave but didn't separate. I had to pull out my craft knife and literally saw the piece off the base.

I do a lot of deconstruction of my sculptures, and I'm glad, because I've learned a lot about what materials work for which things, and their different strengths and properties after baking.

I also purchased these animal print Roylco Rubbing texture plates. They are not as expected. The prints are much larger than I had anticipated, and the plates are larger than the opening in my pasta machine. I do not consider this a wasted purchase though because I will find many uses for them, I'm sure. But for what I had planned they will not work.

I also bought some tiny little paint pots but I will not bother with the link, because I guess I bought up the last of them. But I do like them. They are the kind that you get with a paint by numbers set. I've tried all kinds of little jars and containers to hold my glazes and liquid clay mixes, but each have had their own little problems. So far these pots seems to be doing quite well. I put some Halo Glaz in them, and it has not dried out. I guess time will tell if these are going to be in my arsenal for the long haul or not.

I've also added a few more product instructions to my website. I like to scan the packaging when I buy something new so that I can throw it away. I am swallowed by paper as it is...LOL

That's all of the updates for now. I have also purchase a couple other products which I will share my opinions and where to get them in a future post.