Friday, October 3, 2008

The Beauty of Patina Continued - Patina and Polymer Clay

In my previous post I discussed coloring metal with chemical patinas. Well, there are also many more ways to incorporate the look of aged metals in your artistic designs. I love polymer clay, and when I began creating my Goddess series in polymer, I wanted to create pieces that looked like ancient artifacts. I found that metal paints and patinas work wonderfully on polymer clay! I begin with basic white polymer (Sculpy was my first choice because it was inexpensive to buy and easily available in big blocks). I create my Goddess forms in clay and bake according to directions. When she is cool and sanded down, I decide what the color pallet will be. Michael's Crafts sells Sophisticated Finish paints and patinas in gold, copper, brass, pewter, iron and a beautiful deep blue. All these paints have metal particles suspended in the paint base that react when in contact with the chemical patinas (often sold in sets with the paints) in blue, green, black, and rust. So, for the Goddess pictured to the left here, I simply painted her with 2 coats of copper paint, and misted on blue patina and watched the colors appear! When she was dry I added details with folk art paint, a turquoise cabochon and some wonderful Klew polymer clay leaves. I use Future floor finish or any of the glazes available for use with polymer clay to seal each Goddess and protect the finish. The image below shows (from left to right) an Earth Goddess treated with copper paint scratched and lightly misted with green patina then accented with 24k gold leaf and turquoise metal paint, a Moon Goddess in blue metallic paint and sterling silver leaf, a and a Stone Goddess treated with mixed stone spray paint and ivory folk art paint. I'm working on a rusted Goddess totem now. I've also used textured spray paints (the sand and stone series) layered with metal paints and patinas to achieve a truly ancient stone effect. The possibilities are endless! I strongly encourage all you wonderful polymer clay artists to play with metal paints and patinas--I'd love to hear about your experiments and see what you create! Let me know!


Mary Richmond said...

your work is so gorgeous and this is great info!

Karen A. Scofield said...

I have some textured stone paint spray paint but heard that all spray paint or spray on sealants can turn polymer clay sticky days or even months later (due to a chemical reaction with spray can propellant).

Did you coat your beads with something before using this? Do you hold the spray can a little further away? Both?

Karen McGovern said...

Hi Karen,

I tested a variety of paints on polymer and find that sealing the bead with polymer sealer first, then spraying or painting them works very well. Also, the metal paints from Sculpt Nouveau do not react with the clay--no gummy reaction at all. I have Goddess beads in my collection that are years old, and look and feel like I made them yesterday. Experiment!!

Karen A. Scofield said...

Thank you so very much for that information!

Gorgeous beads. Just gorgeous.