Jun 17, 2010

Polymer Clay Trends: The Rainbow Cake Slice

If you're wondering what all the rage is in the polymer clay world at the moment, one of the best places to check is all the arts and crafts sites to see exactly what is being submitted. This month, there has been something in particular that a lot of polymer clay artists and dabblers have been fixated on - the rainbow cake slice.

Cake slices have always been a very popular item to create, but lately rainbow has been all the rage!

So how do you accomplish a rainbow cake slice, exactly? Well. The process itse l f is a ctually pretty simple, but it is also rather time consuming. So if you have the patience and the time, making these dainty little things is certainly a labour of love.

You start with about 7 colours colours of clay all rolled out and flat - about 2-3mm thick. You can use any amount of colours that you want, but it's typical to use Red, Yellow, Pink, Green, Purple, Orange, & Blue. Cut them all into circles using a cookie cutter and then slice the circles 3 or 4 times through the middle to get the amount of cake layers that you want. Depending on how many times you cut, this will determine how many cake slices you can make. Three cuts will get you 6 slices of cake, whereas four cuts will get you 8 slices of cake.

Next, you will want to create the crumbly cake texture on the two long sides of the cake layers, because the round part at the back is generally covered in icing. This texture can be accomplished by a toothpick or pin by gently grabbing and pulling and swirling at the clay until you get the desired effect. Some people just leave it untouched with texture, but you can also use things like toothbrush bristles or sandpaper to make it more easy.

Of course you will want to make an icing as well. This is just a mixture of a tiny bit of kneaded clay and a bunch of liquid clay. Put it all into a cup or onto a tile and just mash and stir until it is smooth and is the thickness of icing. If it's too thin, add more kneaded clay and re-mix... if it's too thick, add more liquid clay.

As you can see from the photos, some people don't use any icing between the cake layers, and some even use solid clay for the layers of icing - it is entirely up to you! But you can use the icing to squeeze onto the top, and you can even use cake decorating tips and piping bags with the icing to get some lovely border effects. Your clay extruder can also be used for some cute border effects.

You can choose to leave it as is, or you can add things like eyepins to make them into charms or even add Rare Earth Magnets to the bottom for some awesome fridge magnets or locker magnets! You can also add little extras like tiny clay flowers, tiny clay cherries, sprinkles, glitter, drizzle, or other little garnishes. A great way to get some inspiration is to look through old cookbooks and google image search.

So, out of all the rainbow cakes you see - which is your favourite?

1. mynameisjade @ DeviantArt.com
2. mothermayijewelry @ DeviantArt.com
3. seaofcreations @ DeviantArt.com
4. bloodcross @ DeviantArt.com

Jun 14, 2010

Being Nice To Your Hands

If you've worked with polymer clay before, you'll know that it can wreak havoc on your fingers and hands. What with all that dirt, grime, grease, and residue, I am quite sure that you could use a little treat for your digits once in awhile. After all, your hands and fingers are your most prized posessions! Without them, sculpting would be quite difficult. So learn to take care of them, and they'll take care of you... and your clay!

Below, I have listed some awesome all-natural scrubs for your hands. They are gentle enough to use them everytime you are finished claying, too, and they can even be used for your whole body. These can be made for under $10.00 worth of ingredients, and both have been personally tested by me. They both work great!

Brown Sugar & Oatmeal Scrub
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Oatmeal (not instant)
1/4 cup Honey
3/4 cup Sweet Almond Oil (or your favourite Oil)

Mix the brown sugar and oatmeal together in a bowl. Drizzle in the honey, mix, and then add the oil a little at a time. Use enough oil in the scrub that the sugar and oatmeal is saturated but there isn't a large pool of oil left. Then spoon the mixture into a Mason Jar and keep beside your sink.

Sugar & Salt Scrub
1 cup Coarse Sugar
3/4 cup Honey
1 cup Sea Salt
3 mL Sweet Almond Oil (or your favourite Oil)
3 mL Fragrance Oil (Orange & Ylang-Ylang are a good combo)

Mix first three ingredients in a bowl and slowly add in the oils. Use enough oil in the scrub that the sugar and salt are saturated but there isn't a large pool of oil left. Then spoon the mixture into a Mason Jar and keep beside your sink.