Aug 14, 2010

Tips For Mixing With TLS

I know that using TLS (Translucent Liquid Sculpey) for the first time can be a little daunting for polymer clay beginners, which is why I wrote "Liquid Clay 101" some time ago. But I thought I would go into detail about the mixing process to make things a little less daunting. :)

I have compiled a small list of 5 random tips for mixing TLS.

  • If you are mixing a small amount of polymer clay with your TLS for things like frosting/icing, make sure that the piece of clay you are trying to blend is as warm and soft as possible. This is where softer brands of clay like Sculpey III or Fimo Soft are especially useful. I don't normally use these brands when it comes to regular sculpting, but they definitely blend well with TLS.

  • Adding a small amount of oil paint in the same colour as your icing choice is a good idea when creating icing/frosting with polymer clay and TLS. This further opaques the colour and really makes it vivid.

  • Don't over-do it on the oil paint. If you use too much oil paint in your TLS, you'll really be able to smell the oil paint. There should just be a hint of the smell. You'll discover after you've baked your piece if you've used too much, especially when you glaze it. If you use too much oil paint to colour your TLS, you'll notice that after you glaze the piece that the glaze will cloud over and become sticky... and a very strong smell of oil paint will be apparent.

  • If I could give you any ratio at all for creating frosting/icings and opaque sauces, I would say the following for oil paint:

    • Frosting/Icing: 1/4 of a quarter bar of Polymer Clay (preferably Sculpey III), roughly 2 fluid ounces of TLS, and just a pea size amount of Oil Paint in a matching hue.
    • Sauces: roughly 2 fluid ounces of TLS, and a pea size amount of Oil Paint in the sauce colour of your choice.

  • When creating clear sauces like maple syrup or strawberry sauce, Fimo Decorating Gel is the best way to go - it's like the TLS of the Fimo world. It's a lot more clear and transparent than TLS is, as TLS is much more white and cloudy, which is why TLS is great for sauces in which opaqueness doesn't matter - such as chocolate sauce. Since Fimo Decorating Gel is a lot more expensive than TLS and comes in smaller portions, try only using it when you need translucency in your mixture. If you wish to keep your mixture translucent but want it coloured, use shaved soft chalk pastels.

    Often times, people will have trouble getting the soft chalk pastel shavings to mix with the Fimo Decorating Gel. Even in the final mixture, there are often small particles and specks of the chalk pastel. To avoid this, do not mix the chalk pastel shavings directly with a large amount of Fimo Decorating Gel. I'll further explain this:

    Take a nail file and rub the chalk pastel across it to get some very fine chalk pastel particles. Do this on your work surface, such as glass, ceramic, or marble. When you have the desired amount of chalk pastel particles, add just a few drops of Fimo Decorating Gel. Take a toothpick and vigorously mix it into a paste. Add a few more drops of Fimo Decorating Gel, and mix again. You can do this a few more times if you like.

    Now that you have a paste of the Chalk Pastel and Fimo Decorating Gel, you can scoop the concentrated paste into a tiny baggy or container and add as much Fimo Decorating Gel as you please to make your desired mixture. If there are any particles left, leaving it over night usually does the trick... just give the mixture a good stir or massage the baggy of the mixture the day after, and the particles should all be desolved.

Hopefully this will help you all in your claying endeavors! If there is anything you would like to know, let me know in the comments section and I will try to write a blog entry about it.

Happy Claying!

19 comments:

  1. I also use alcohol inks to color Fimo Gel.

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  2. Oh yes, alcohol inks work well, too... do you have to wait until the alcohol has evaportated before you use the mixture, Cindy? I know some people do.

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  3. Yes, I put a few drops of ink on the Fimo Gel then I let the alcohol evaporated a minute or two before mixing it together. I do the same thing when mixing with clay. It works great too to make my own transluscents and pearls colors!

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  4. Great tips! There are a couple of new ones I haven't tried yet!

    I've been using Sculpey Bake and Bond in place of TLS for awhile now and really like how it behaves. It is very sticky, strong and sands better than TLS because it is less rubbery. It bakes up just as clear, so it works well for all kinds of applications other than just as a bakeable glue. Try it, I think you'll like it!

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  5. Awesome, thanks for the tips you guys! I learn something new everyday. :)

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  6. I make FIMO things all the time. I was wondering if it was a bad Idea to mix FIMO and Transparent Liquid Sculpey?

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  7. I'm honestly not sure! I've never mixed the two. You could try experimenting and give it a try. :) Let me know how it turns out! I don't forsee it as being a problem, though.

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  8. Is it okay to mix acrylic paint with liquid clay? I know acrylic isn't the best but is it still possible?

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    1. Yes, it is definitely possible! You'll have to let me know how it works out. :)

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  9. Are oil pastels toxic when you bake them mixed with TLS? I heard that the fumes can be toxic. 0_0

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    1. You mean Oil Paint? The oven temperature is fairly low, so I've never had any fumes as a result. It's a very tiny amount of oil paint, as well. But I've never tried Oil Pastels. I only use Oil Paints and Dry Pastels. :)

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  10. If I don't have chalk pastel, can I use color pencils?

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    1. Pencil crayons are a mixture of pigments and other additives like binders, minerals, waxes, gums, resins, etc.

      Chalk pastels (otherwise known as Dry/Hard Pastels) are a mixture of pigments and binders (like gums), as well...

      So, technically... you *should* be able to use coloured pencils. If you try it, please us know your findings!

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  11. thank you for sharing your findings it's really helpful.. can you help me please.. the other day I wanted to make a donut icing I used translucent liquid sculpey and I mixed it with soft pastel the icing looked nice shiny and glossy before I baked it..and after baking it the icing didn't look shiny and glossy anymore it looked dry .. so how can I keep it looking wet and glazed plz help :)

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    1. My suggestion would be to either use Fimo Decorating Gel instead of TLS for a more translucent look or to glaze the icing with a high shine gloss after you are done baking - it's the only way to make it look still wet. :)

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    2. oh I get it now.. can u please suggest me a gloss that work well with the clay ? other than sculpey glaze because I can't find any in my country :( .. thaaaank you verry much :)

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    3. Anything glaze that is water based (NOT oil based, it will eat your clay), such as a polyurethane. Varathane is a good choice here in Canada, however I am not sure what would be available to you where you live. You should be able to find some sort of water based polyurethane or acrylic based clear coat in your local hardware store with the paints and stains.

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  12. Love your tips and this blog, and your art! Thanks Monster Kookies!

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    1. No problem! So glad you dig my blog. Have you seen my new YouTube channel? :)

      MK on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/themonsterkookies

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