Fimo® Professional Clay Iridescent Image Transfer

Presented by Lisa Pavelka, Award-Winning Artist, Author and Instructor,
Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Follow along with award-winning artist Lisa Pavelka to create an iridescent image transfer pendant in this step-by-step jewelry project using Fimo® Professional polymer clay, craft foils and waterslide transfers.
Condition white and black Fimo Professional polymer clay in order of lightest to darkest by running through a poly-roller on its thickest setting until soft and pliable. Continue to gradually reduce the thickness to approximately the third largest setting.

Lay the clay sheets down on a ceramic tile, smoothing them from one end to the other as not to trap any air underneath.

Note: Do not worry about picking up different colors from prior projects while using the poly-roller, continue to blend until the unwanted color disappears.

To add a foil background before applying the image:

Choose the desired foil then place the shiny side down on the clay sheet. Use a paper towel to vigorously burnish the foil onto the clay for approximately 30 - 60 seconds.

In one motion, quickly rip the foil directly away from yourself. (Do not pull off the foil slowly or directly up as this will not transfer well.)

If any foil does not transfer to the clay, realign the foil back in place, covering the spots that did not transfer. Reburnish the foil, concentrating on these areas then rip the foil off in a different direction. Repeat until the clay is fully foiled.

Note: A paper towel is used to burnish so no residue or oil between your fingers and the foil. This creates more friction to generate more heat which will give a more complete transfer of foil to clay.
Choose the desired image from one of Lisa Pavelka's waterslide transfers then cut the image from its sheet. Dip the image in tap water, fully submerging it, then let the image sit on the workstation for approximately 30 - 60 seconds.

Use a paper towel, tissue or baby wipe to blot away the excess water from the image.

Carefully slide the base of the film off the backing paper. Place the exposed film on the clay then slowly slide the rest of the film off the paper and onto the clay sheet, smoothing down the film and pulling away the backing.

  • The color of clay used for the background is very important. A white background will very clearly display the image transfer while a black background will make it very hard to see.
  • An easy way to tell if the image has been wet long enough is if the image film easily slides around the paper backing it is placed on
  • Use Lisa Pavelka's blank waterslide transfer paper to print your own photograph for a custom project
Apply a small amount of Fimo Professional liquid polymer clay gel to the surface and edges of the transfer image and the exposed edges of the foil. This will seal the image and keep it from lifting or peeling off after the baking process.

Use a clay blade to cut away the excess edges around the transfer image.

Note: The transfer image will slightly shrink during the baking process, so leave a small border around the image when trimming.
Place the conditioned black sheet of clay on the workstation next to the foiled sheet. Cover the black clay with an automotive protectant spray release agent then texture the surface with a small piece of sand paper.

Hold the clay blade at an angle then, with a shimmying motion, slide the blade across the underside of the black clay to lift it from the workstation.
Cut a thin slice from the edge of the black clay sheet to create a smooth edge then place the slice aside to use as scrap clay.

Cut another thin strip from the smooth edge of the black clay. Place the strip along the edge of the foiled clay. Repeat, placing the strip on the opposite side of the foiled clay then cut away the excess black clay strips so all the edges line up. Repeat, placing the clay strips on the two remaining open edges of the foiled clay to create a frame.

To remove the seams of the frame, use sandpaper to retexture the corners where the clay strips meet then use the clay cutter to trim the edges of the frame and give a uniform border.

Bake at the manufacturers recommended heat setting for about ten minutes.

Tip: Polymer clay can be repeatedly baked without it being ruined, when following manufacturer's instructions.
Carefully remove the clay from the bake surface by sliding the clay blade under the clay at an angle then flip the clay over so the backside is facing up.

Apply a small dab of E6000® Jewelry and Craft adhesive to the face of a bail then apply the bail to the back of the framed clay to create a pendant. Let the glue set for about an hour before continuing.
Cover the back of the clay pendant with a thin layer of Lisa Pavelka poly bonder glue making sure to get near the edges and corners of the clay but not all the way up to them. Firmly apply a thin sheet of black clay over the layer of adhesive. Flip the clay pendant over so it is laying face up then use the clay blade to trim the excess clay away right up to the textured frame.
Cover the black clay on the back of the pendant with a release agent then texture the surface with a small piece of sand paper.

  • To give a more refined look, use two pieces of sand paper, keep one piece under both thumbs so only the sand paper is touching the back during texturing
  • A ball tip stylus can be used in place of sand paper to give a different look
Use a clay blade to trim the excess clay away from the edges of the frame. To give a beveled edge, cut at a slight inward angle.

Use a piece of sand paper to texture the beveled edge.
Bake at the manufacturers recommended heat setting for twenty-five to thirty minutes.
Place a small ball of scrap clay on a curing surface such as a small piece of glass then place the pendant on top of the ball of clay.

Place a small amount of Magic-Glos® on face of the clay transfer then adjust the angle of the pendant so the Magic-Glos is not running off the surface.

Using a needle tool or a toothpick, spread the Magic-Glos across the surface of the pendant making sure to only cover the image and its background.

  • The pendant is placed on the scrap clay to keep it stable, guarantee a level surface and allow excess Magi-Glos to run off the edges
  • Working on the small piece of glass allows easy rotation and movement of the pendant, making the process of glossing the surface and transferring to the curing station much easier
Carefully ignite the torch with it pointing away from you. Quickly pass the flame over the Magic-Glos to remove any bubbles that may have accumulated during application then turn off the torch.

Place the pendant in direct sunlight or the Lisa Pavelka UV Light for five to ten minutes. If needed, apply additional Magic-Glos the pendant and cure.

Note: Add a chain to the pendant to quickly and easily convert it to a necklace.

Have a question regarding this project? Email Customer Service.

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