Sunday, 22 August 2010

Adventures with Fimo

OK, so I've seen all of these lovely things on the internet that have been made with Fimo clay.  It looks like it's very versatile and comes in all sorts of colours these days.  Some colours even have added sparkles. :)  When I saw that TheBeadShopScotland was running a workshop showing how to make a Mokume Gane style Fimo clay pendant I had to try it.

I bought the raw materials, 12 block of different coloured clay, on eBay.  So I really only needed 3 but I was indecisive, OK?  On arriving at the workshop I discovered that a half block of black and white were being provided.  2 of my 12 down, 10 more to choose 3 from.  Decisions, decisions!  In the end I went for metallic copper, raspberry and glitter purple (cos I'm a glitter kind of girl).

Tools supplied included a pasta machine, some seriously sharp blades (count your digits before and after) a big, shiny, ceramic tile to roll things out on and a hollow plastic tube as a roller.  We were asked to bring a potato peeler along.  Typically I chose the wrong kind.  I took this one:

Note the clay still stuck to it.  It wasn't very good!  The lady sitting next to me had brought one like this:

This type was SO much better.  It shaved off slices of clay much more effieciently and without the blade getting clogged.

It got a bit interesting with 8 of us plus an instructor sitting around a table trying to use pasta machines and weilding blades and rollers but there was only one minor casualty and it wasn't me (surprise surprise).  Naturally, being me, when it came to the time to choose what shape to make the pendant and what cutter(s) to use, I had to be different.  As I have just bought some square copper frames, I decided I'd make a patching pendant, square with a hole in the middle. :o)

We were shown some other techniques so I have a variety of creations currently cooking in the oven.  Here is the pre-cooked version:

The instructions say cook them in the oven at 110 degrees celsius / 230 degrees fahrenheit.  My oven only seems to go down as low as 250 F so my fingers are crossed.  I may keep the jewelery I make from these for myself so that I can stress test it :o) and make sure it's fit for selling on .

I also have all these bits of clay left over to play with at home:

Sausages-R-Us, LOL.  I will think of something pretty to make with these once I've had dinner.

So, my verdict on Fimo clay?  Yes, it's fun.  Yes, it's messy.  Yes, it also has the potential to get complicated when you have no idea what you're doing.  I guess it comes with practice.  It does seem that you need to have a lot of space to work while you're being creative and space isn't something readily available in my house.  Not when I'm competing with my husband's collection of indoor mountain bikes, wake boards, tool kits and the like.  He collects tools like some women collect shoes (Imelda Marcos springs to mind).  I think I will probably use up the Fimo clay I already have and leave it at that until I can afford a bigger house.

My oven timer has just beeped and I've taken my creations out of the oven.  They don't look a whole lot different to when they went in so that sets my mind at ease about possible shrinkage.  I still need a bigger house though.  I have high hopes for the National Lottery. :o)

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