Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Clay Tile Tags

As my air drying clay obsession shows no signs of stopping, I've backed away from the mini cookie cutters and begun trying my own stencils, shapes and variations to my previous posts [here, here, here, here and here].

Rolling out my clay in exactly the same way, I used a ruler as my cutter and guide for my stamps and made my impressions:
...and then used my ruler to mark the top and sides of the tag, pressing down into the foil:
[... I didn't 'saw' the ruler to cut the clay completely as this would have changed the shape of the clay and caused it to gather, as the ruler with press the clay to it's thinnest, when dry, this will easily break]

I then used a toothpick to make threading holes either side of the taG:
and left to dry overnight:
Carefully breaking the clay along the lines:
...and sanding the edges:
...and then this happened:
I have tried many, many emergency recovery operations and unfortunately, there is no alternative to REDOING it.  Glue doesn't work, filler doesn't work, you can't get little bits of more clay to try and stick the pieces together.....wasted time...I had to redo it in the end:
I then carefully thread the sides and carefully used a needle to carefully thread the tag in place on front of card......carefully:
I love the simplicity of the design.  I'm a little bit in love with air dry clay.

  • The clay will warp slightly, especially when fairly thin.  I like the 'handmade' quality that this gives, but it does make things more prone to break.  To fix this, cover the clay with foil or paper/card after about 5 minutes when you leave it to dry and place a light book or something of an even distribution of weight on top.  This wont spoil any design impressions you have made and will help stop the warping.
  • Should you not have time to redo any breakages, a clear strong glue of runny consistency will work.  You will have to hold the clay in place tightly to dry to ensure the cracks are completely invisible and be patient.  Apply little drops of the glue at a time, otherwise it will clump and bubble, making the glue visible and this is very hard to disguise or remove once dry.
  • I'll be experimenting with finishes, varnishes and paints next, which should all help with keeping these delicate items a little more robust.

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