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Old 12-31-2012, 09:47 PM   #1
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Default Post Polymer Clay and Big Shot Machine

Hi, i was just wondering if anyone has actually tried to emboss polymer clay using an embossing folder and running it through a die cutting machine. Is it possible to do this or is it best to emboss images by hand.

I did try experiment a little but it didnt go so well so i thought there might be a tutorial or something on how to do this, any help would be greatly appreciated
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:41 AM   #2
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I haven't tried it yet, but I had a couple of polymer clay books for Christmas. I have been reading through them,and this is what I remember about embossing- you need to coat the surface you are embossing on with a release agent- cornstarch or misting with water are the main two she ( Donna Kato) recommends.
I think maybe the Big Shot applies too much pressure? Try a thinner sandwich maybe, or just roll out the clay on the side of the folder you want to use.Thats how she does it with rubber stamps.
Donna Kato here is a link to a whole bunch of her tutorials on You Tube. I just bookmarked these as well, as I have a lot of clay, and I think it's about time I used it again
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:57 AM   #3
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You don't need anything like as much pressure as any die cutting machine will apply in order to make a pattern in polymer clay. With that kind of pressue, your clay will just squish really hard into your folder and you'll spend forever picking it out of the crevices bit by bit.

If you want the pattern from one of your folder, condition your clay well so that it's soft and pliable, roll it out to the thickness you want and then spritz the surface with water or dust with cornstarch (Sculpey brand clays work well with water as a release, other brands may need the dry release agent). Decide which side of the folder you need, remembering that the bits that stick up on the folder will be the bits that go down in the embossed clay. Press the folder firmly against the clay (just use your hands or try rolling over with a brayer or rolling pin if you like). Lift the folder and you should have nicely embossed clay!

One of the beauties of working with polymer clay of course is that nothing is final until you cure it. If the embossed impression isn't as clean as you'd like or you decide you used the wrong side of the folder you can have another go. Just make sure the clay is dry (or wipe off any cornstarch) and start again.

A word of caution - if you use anything plastic when you're working with polymer clay, make sure you clean it immediately. A good wipe down with rubbing alcohol and then a wash with mild soap and water is a good method. Some plastics react with the clay and start to "melt". I have no idea whether the plastic of most embossing folders falls into this category but better safe than sorry! (this is also worth remembering if you have floor coverings that have synthetic materials in them - if you drop clay, pick it up as soon as possible and wipe that area)

Did you get Donna Kato's Creative Surface Effects book, Shaz? It's one of the few craft books I have that I can sit down with again and again just for the sheer pleasure of looking through it!
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Old 01-01-2013, 02:16 AM   #4
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Thanks for the advice, i had already previously had a little bit of a play around with it today so i already made that mistake of it sticking to my embossing folder so won't be doing that again in a hurry.

I havent as yet done a lot of embossing with clay, only done a couple with other texture sheets that you would use in the manual way, so i think that is definetly the way to go.
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:42 AM   #5
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Hi Joanne, yes, that is the one I received- love that Amazon wish list gadget! I agree, it is a book I will spend many an hour with I can tell. On a similar line, my two most loved books are Paper Transformed, Julia Andrus , and Texture Effects for Rubber Stamping, Nancy Curry . I have loved your recent Craft Stamper projects, by the way-the faux bamboo was gorgeous.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:55 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Karmi84 View Post
Thanks for the advice, i had already previously had a little bit of a play around with it today so i already made that mistake of it sticking to my embossing folder so won't be doing that again in a hurry.
Yikes! Hope you managed to get it all out without wasting too much clay or spoiling the folder! Rubber stamps work really well to produce a textured effect on polymer clay by the way - worth a go if you haven't already played!

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Hi Joanne, yes, that is the one I received- love that Amazon wish list gadget!
Me too! It led me to getting a polymer clay book by Julie Picarello this Christmas (this one). Her style is very different to Donna Kato and very much based on a variation of mokume gane but she does some lovely work. She has a photo stream here on Flikr if you're interested in seeing what she does.

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I have loved your recent Craft Stamper projects, by the way-the faux bamboo was gorgeous.
Awww, thank you! As you can probably tell from avtivity here as well as the stuff you see in Craft Stamper , I'm a stamper rather than a card maker (ie my stamps get used for all sorts of things that are not necessarily related to layers of paper!). The polymer clay "bamboo" or "ivory" was inspired by Desiree McCrorey - again, she has a very different style than Kato or Picarello (or me!) and she has lots of projects and instructions on her web site if you're looking for another reason to get out the clay
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:44 AM   #7
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Thanks Joanne, I just bookmarked her web site, AND added that book to my wish list, lol.I have polymer clay, but felt it was time I really got into what I could do with it, having seen so much awesome work around the web, magazines & books.
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:09 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=Angelnorth;19914278]Yikes! Hope you managed to get it all out without wasting too much clay or spoiling the folder! Rubber stamps work really well to produce a textured effect on polymer clay by the way - worth a go if you haven't already played!



No it wasn't to bad because it was just an experiment i didn't use a lot of clay to begin with. As for the embossing folder i got most of it off but i read somewhere if you use glad wrap or something that stops your clay from touching the embossing folder which i did but because of the pressure that it applied to the clay it came out the sides of the cling wrap anyway but overall wasn't to bad, i think its just a matter of playing around to see what works the best
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:11 PM   #9
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I am a little off topic but I just wanted to compliment Joanne - you know so much about EVERYTHING lol...........and always give excellent advice - you go, girl !!!!!!!!!
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:21 AM   #10
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I am a little off topic but I just wanted to compliment Joanne - you know so much about EVERYTHING lol...........and always give excellent advice - you go, girl !!!!!!!!!
How sweet of you, thank you I'm always interested in how things work so I tend to experiment and ask questions rather than just "do the steps" when I'm making stuff. I suspect you retain information better when you've done more to create it in your own brain, if you see what I mean.

I have to say that your username is one that always makes me smile (maybe because I'm a Brit and hear the voice of a little Cockney street urchin saying it!).
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:49 PM   #11
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I have thought about doing this myself, but I don't see the point of putting it through the Big Shot. Its already been said that would make a mess. I would lay a piece of card stock or thin cardboard in the folder then lay a sheet of clay down and close the folder. Apply light pressure with a can.
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
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I am a little off topic but I just wanted to compliment Joanne - you know so much about EVERYTHING lol...........and always give excellent advice - you go, girl !!!!!!!!!
I love the procraftinator!!!! Makes me smile..love it! Whenever my hubby asks why I couldn't do something, that's my excuse! I am procraftinating..

I hope I have your permission to borrow it
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