Friday, September 30, 2011

Tearaway technique

Paper side of tearaway

Paper and polymer piece (detail is in the clay although it's hard to see)
These are used to roll the clay onto to create texture

It's been eight months since I've been to a guild meeting.  I belong to the Western Pa. chapter of the PMC Guild which has meetings whenever we can find a place to host them.

Last Tuesday evening we had a meeting at the Four Directions Jewelry Studio of Barb Kaczor (one of our members.)  The studio is located in Springdale, Pa and is very impressive.  Stop in and check it out if you're down that way.

We usually have show and tell and some type of demo.  Donna Penoyer gave a very informational demo on tearaways.  (Any demo Donna does is great.)  Tearaways are another thing that metal clay artists have adopted from the polymer clay people.  I've used them but never made one (until today.)

A basic description would be that a toner based copy of a black and white line drawing is made on glossy paper.  White polymer clay is conditioned and rolled into a thick sheet and the copied drawing is laid face down on the polymer clay.  Using the palm of the hand, the back of the sheet is rubbed to create heat and friction.  Slight pressure is applied while doing this and the rubbing continues for a specified time period and then allowed to rest and cool.  This rubbing and resting process is completed one more time and then followed by a final rubbing.  After the final rubbing the paper is torn off with a quick pull.

This process creates two plates that can be used to create texture on the metal clay.  The paper picks up polymer clay on the inked lines and the drawing cuts into the polymer clay.  Both pieces are cured in a toaster oven when finished.

The polymer piece can be used indefinitely unless it cracks.  The paper piece can be used multiple times until it wears out.

I tried making one for the first time today.  Rubbing the back was a little warm (and tiring..... I'm such a wimp.)  I was anxiously looking forward to the ripping action and I have to admit it was fun.  (Like ripping off a band-aid.)  My piece turned out perfect.  I was thrilled.

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