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Friday, July 05, 2013

Buttons & Blossoms Simply Pressed Clay Molds

Button, button, who's got the button?  You do!  If you have the "Buttons & Blossoms" Simply Pressed Clay Molds then you have a lot of fun in store for you.  

I know a lot about clays. I have been playing with them since I can remember. I remember the oily based non-drying clay we got in elementary school.  I remember the real earthen clay we got to play with in art class in middle school and even into high school.  Then several years after high school I discovered Sculpey and fell in love with clay all over again.  It only came in white at the time and you had to paint it after it was baked.  Now it comes in lots of colors and you can blend them to create even more colors.  

This clay is a little different than the Sculpey clay.  This clay you don't bake.  It's an air dry clay so you need to be a little more patient with it in the sense that you have to give it time to dry.  It takes longer to get a finished product with the air dry clay than the baked clay because baking time is under a half hour for this type item and the air dry time is several hours.  I have made these buttons as the last thing I do in my workroom at night and in the morning they are dry.

I did experiment with them to speed up the drying time. Do NOT put the mold in the freezer.  Freezing the clay does not dry it out and it doesn't make it hard as a rock for easy removal either.  I didn't do that with this mold, I just know the properties of this clay don't allow that.  I have worked with silicone molds before and they can withstand 400 degrees F.  So with that in mind I thought I would put the Stampin' Up! mold to the heat test too.  I mixed up some Strawberry Slush clay and put some in each button well.  I used a straight edge razor and scraped across each button to expose the holes.  You want to expose the holes.  It's not fun sanding them round after they are dry.  Smooth off the back of the buttons with your finger.  If the clay feels a bit too dry to smooth it, huff on it a couple of times.  The moisture from your breath will add just enough to the clay to make it workable. The clay is a paper base so you can not heat it to over 451 degrees F or it will catch on fire.  And keeping in mind my other silicone molds can handle 400 degrees F, I headed over to my heat tool.  I had the heat tool about 6" from the mold. I moved it around in a circular motion.  I did not at any time stop in one spot.  I did not touch the clay as I was heating it to dry either.  I did heat it for about one minute.  Then I turned it over to heat up the other side of the mold. I repeated what I did for the other side.  I kept it 6" from the mold and I kept the heat tool moving around.

Next I set the mold on my worktable and left it there until it cooled off to room temperature.  I was then able to remove the buttons so they could finish drying. I also have an embroidery hoop that has some tulle pinched between the rings that I use as a drying rack.  This gets the air flowing on both sides of the buttons.  They will dry laying on a flat surface but you do have to turn them over at some point so they completely dry.  And you can just leave them in the mold to dry too.  Those are the ones I remove in the morning and during the course of the day I make more using the heat tool technique.  I am also going to give this mold a try with some Sculpey and some resin.  I'll let you know how that turns out.  I won't get the pretty Stampin' Up! colors using those mediums but I will get something different and fun!  And I'm going to give the flower mold a try too and see what I come up with.  

If there is any little bits of clay left in your mold from your own experimenting, use a toothpick to clean up the mold.  Make sure you crush the tip of it on your work surface so it's not so pointy.  Don't use anything sharp on the mold, it could scratch it or mark it up and you will not be very happy with the end results.  A Q-tip could be used but it may leave cotton behind.  

These buttons are very lightweight and when they dry the color remains the same so what you see is what you get when you mix the colors.  I have a little project in mind for my buttons and I will be making more in other colors for this project too.  

Have fun with these molds!

Thank you SO much for stopping by today,

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