So, I recently uploaded a video to YouTube about Kaweco's new "Fantasie Pens" - basically a high quality pen blank, both standard and fountain, for polymer clay artists to have their way with. Check it out and let me know what you think! I apologize if it's not the best - I'm not a very marvelous talker. I usually just hide in a corner and sculpt, you know. :P
Here is a bit of an excerpt where I describe my process:
"I used the third setting on my pasta machine to roll out the clay – I used a metallic silver Premo, and then wrapped the clay around the brass pen stems. After that I etched and cut in the design with a few tools. I don’t use a whole lot of tools – I have my trusty stylus, my pokey stick, and a few bits and pieces that I like to use for texture, as well as some blades and Kemper tools for cutting. It doesn’t need much more other than the design, but I like to dust my metallic work in a little bit of mica powder to make it more consistantly metallic looking. Sometimes metallic clay on it’s own is a little streaky.
I like to bake any of my three dimensional pieces in a loaf pan that I lined with cotton fabric – not cotton balls or cotton batting – cotton fabric. Then I cover the top in aluminum foil just to make sure that the heating elements in the oven don’t get too close to the clay and burn it. I usually bake all of my stuff at about 275*F, and these pens I baked for about thirty minutes. With the cotton fabric, it suspends the clay object enough that it won’t leave a flat spot on the underside of a round object. Sometimes the cotton can leave texture on your work, but if you pre-heat your oven first, so that the clay starts hardening right away and doesn’t just slowly start soft and warm as your oven heats up, you shouldn’t have this problem.
When it was done and cooled, I applied black acrylic paint to give it a patina. The paint gets into all the cracks and crevices and is the only part that stays behind when you wipe it all off. Afterwards, I picked out some of the rivets and other details with a little bit of polyurethane glaze mixed with some mica powder. And that’s about it! I know that if you’re using a cane pattern or something more flat than this pattern is, you can go over it with sandpaper, using a few grits, or buff it to get a nice sheen. But I just left it as is, because this surface isn’t the best candidate for that process. Usually I spray my industrial pieces with a satin glaze, but since this is a pen, it probably wouldn’t be the best idea because it’s probably just going to end up wearing off overtime from all the oils from your hands because pens are handled so much."