Starting this January, I will post a new Step-by-Step tutorial for making your own artistic Carmex jars each month. Feel free to share your artistic journey on the lids you create. We'll start 2013 off with a bang and one of my favorite techniques - Faux Dichroic. Happy Creating!
Faux Dichroic Confetti Jar
This eye-catching gem of a jar is ideal for beginners or a quick and easy project for those with more experience. Be sure to catch the tips and tricks throughout the project steps for best results and creative variations. There are literally dozens, if not hundreds of creative possibilities of using clay foils. The "Confetti Foil" method to create the look of iridescent dichroic glass works especially well with the foil sheets that have already been used for other applications and have scrappy bits or open areas of foil left.
What You’ll Need:
- A Carmex jar - of course!
- One block of black polymer clay (softer clays work best with foils. I used FIMO Soft)
- Lisa Pavelka Clay and Craft Foils (choose the colors you like. I used the Rainbow sheet available from either the "Bold & Bright or Celebrations" collections
- Poly Bonder High Temp clay glue
- Texture tool: I used coarse sand paper, but you can also try rubber stamps or other textures you find around the house.
- Clay dedicated pasta machine (or stacked playing cards of two equal piles and an acrylic roller to get a clay sheet of form thickness)
- Polymer clay blade (the sharper, the better!)
- X-Acto type craft knife
- Smooth ceramic tile to work on and to bake on
- Armor All or STP Son-of-a-Gun as a release agent (from auto supply stores)
- A piece of parchment or deli paper
- Optional: brightly colored permanent Lumacolor or Sharpie markers
Always condition clay thoroughly by hand-kneading rolling through a clay dedicated pasta machine until soft and pliable.
Step 1. You’ll need to roll out enough clay to cover the lid of the jar to start with. One quarter block is more than enough to cover the top and sides (possibly even two jars). Cut the quarter in half and condition. Roll the clay through the 3rd or 4th largest setting of the pasta machine (or between two stacks of 4 or 5 cards). This can be trimmed to be slightly larger than the lid of the jar. Don’t worry about the shape of the clay at this point.
Step 2. Press a small area of the foil down over the clay (color should always face up). Hold your fingertip against the foil for several seconds with firm pressure. Holding the foil sheet at one corner, rip it backwards as quickly as you can. This should leave a small patch of foil on the clay. When working with a fresh sheet of foil, this may take a few tries before small flecks of foil begin to stick to the clay. Continue pressing small spots of foil until all or most of the black clay is covered to your satisfaction. Although the featured sample was created only using the Rainbow pattern, I often combine colors of foil from multiple sheets from one or more different sets.
It's easiest to do this technique with “broken” (already started sheets of foil). This is a great technique for using up every tiny bit of your foil sheets when all you have left is scrappy areas.
For all of your foiling projects, keep the sheets intact instead of cutting them into smaller pieces. Having a larger sheet of Mylar to work makes handling and applying the foil easier.
Step 3. Remove the inner plastic liner with a needle tool or end of the craft
knife. You can choose to throw this away or reinsert into the lid after
completing the project.
Step 4. Texture the foiled clay with your chosen texture tool.
Step 5. Apply a very thin layer of Poly Bonder glue to the lid, avoiding the edges to prevent glue from seeping out when clay is attached. It's not necessary to cover the entire surface of the metal with glue, just a few thin strips. Flip the foiled clay upside down over the parchment/deli paper to prevent it from sticking to the work tile. Trim away excess clay using the craft knife. Touch up any areas on the lid with your chosen texture if needed.
Step 6. Bake the lid for 5-10 minutes according to the clay package directions in a preheated oven with a thermometer to make sure the oven is properly calibrated. The first baking doesn't completely cure the clay, but only heat-sets the clay, allowing for easier handling when completing the next step.
Tip: Certain foil colors (like the Rainbow) may fade during baking. If this occurs, you may prefer the faded, pastel effect (which sometimes resembles the metal niobium) or you can re-intensify the color once the clay is cool, by lightly coloring over any faded area with a permanent marker of a similar shade. Note: only the yellow and orange in the "Rainbow" pattern tend to fade. I use only yellow on faded yellow and orange areas. Using alcohol ink or non-permanent markers is not recommended. These are not compatible with Magic Glos quick cure UV resin and will result in bleeding and a possible failure to cure.
Step 7. When the lid is cool, glue a strip of black clay around the rim. Start with a strip that is longer and wider than the actual rim. Roll the clay out on 3rd or 4th largest setting of the pasta machine (or between two stacks of 4 or 5 cards). It can be hard to get a smooth seamless veneer. Here I used coarse sandpaper to texture the surface and hide blend the seam. Use the clay blade to trim excess clay from the top and bottom. Bake the lid a second time at the recommended temperature for 25 minutes.
Step 8. When the lid has cooled, add Magic Glos so that it spreads out to about the size of a quarter (roughly 2/3rds of the lid). Spread the resin evenly with a toothpick or needle tool. Cure for 10-15 minutes under my UV lamp or outside in directly sun. Do not handle the jar for at least an hour after curing.
Bubbles are seldom a problem with Magic Glos and even enhance the appearance of the art glass effect when used with Faux Dihcroic technique. Surface bubbles can be popped by passing a forced flame (from a butane torch) a few inches over the surface for one, quick second.
On open/flat pieces, you may notice the resin pulls up and away from the edges leaving a small border exposed after curing. This is not unusual when Magic Glos is used outside of a bezel or frame (refer to package instructions for more information). Adding a thin second and sometimes a third layer may be necessary to fill in the exposed areas along edges. Enough resin needs to be added so that it will self level across the surface and reach the outer edges. Be careful not to add so much that it drips off the edge and requires extra effort to clean up after curing. Surface tension and gravity will allow a second (or third layer) to fill in any exposed outer edges. Often, having a textured surface will prevent the need to add multiple layers on open-sided work. Visit this highlighted Magic Glos link for a helpful video tutorial on working with the product.