Collaging with Foil and Resin

Presented by Lisa Pavelka, Award-Winning Artist, Author and Instructor,
Instructions by Jennifer, Content Development Group, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Condition a color of polymer clay well by hand or running it through a polymer clay roller until soft and pliable. Continue running the clay through the polymer clay roller at the thinnest setting.

Add rainbow foil to the sheet of clay.

Note: Please refer to Lisa Pavelka's ''How to Make Foiled Polymer Clay Shapes'' how-to video to learn how to apply foil to polymer clay.

Condition black polymer clay then run it through the polymer clay roller at the largest setting.

Tip: Run the clay through a thinner setting if using shallow bezels.
Use clay cutters to cut out one circle and one heart then use slicer blades to cut different lengths of zigzag or wavy-edged stripes for later use.
Using a clay blade, evenly trim the edges of the foiled sheet of clay.

Trim six very long tapered triangular stripes of foiled clay, approximately 5 inches long and 1/8 inch in thickness.

  • Let the clay grab onto the clay blade to reposition the stripe from one location to another
  • Gently brush the clay off of the clay blade if the clay doesn't easily fall from the blade when repositioning the stripe
Position the stripes on a ceramic tile next to one another, flipping each one so that the pattern on each stripe is opposite the stripe next to it, making sure that no two colors sit side-by-side.

Repeat using four tapered triangular stripes.
Remove the original piece of clay from the ceramic tile then cut the stripes in half to double the number of stripes.

Carefully slide the clay cutter underneath half of the foil stripes, lifting them from the ceramic tile then position next to the remaining stripes, making sure each stripe's color pattern is opposite the stripe next to it. Trim the ends so that they are even.

Note: Put the stripes back together if they separate when lifting from the surface.

Tip: Use the clay blade to better align the stripes evenly when positioning them together.
Trim the end of the stripes as wide as they are long, approximately 1/8 inch, to create small squared stripes. Place the squared stripe onto the ceramic tile.

Trim a second squared stripe then position it underneath the previous squared stripe, making sure the stripe is off-set by one square to the left of the previous square, preventing colors from touching one another.

Trim a third squared stripe then position it underneath the second squared stripe, off-setting it one square to the right.

Repeat until a desired length is obtained or until there are no more clay stripes to cut from, creating a checkerboard pattern.
Place the conditioned black sheet of clay over the desired bezel then, using a pair of scissors, trim the clay to the size of the bezel.

Remove the clay and place it on the ceramic tile then place the bezel on top of the clay. Trim the clay with a clay blade to the shape of the bezel, using the bezel as an outline. Remove the bezel.

Note: Trim the clay so that it is still slightly larger than the bezel.
Gently press the tapered end of one tapered triangular stripe created in Step 2 into the black clay. Using your fingers (and tools if needed) curve the stripe to the right and left while continuing to press the tapered triangular stripe as desired into the clay, creating a squiggle.

Trim the end of the tapered triangular stripe and keep for a later project.

  • Be sure not to stretch the stripe when laying it along the clay or the foil will begin to separate
  • Gently lift up the stripe and reposition if the desired look is not obtained on the first try
Add a circle and heart created in Step 1 to a desired area.
Using a clay blade, cut a large heart from the checkerboard pattern created in Step 5. Use a clay blade to remove the heart from the ceramic tile then position in a desired location onto the black clay.
Press the tapered end of the remaining tapered triangular stripe created in Step 2 into the black clay. Use your fingers to curve and rotate the end into a swirl. Continue the swirl off of the clay or morph the opposite end of the stripe into a squiggle.
Cut a shape from the checkerboard pattern and a length from the zigzag or wavy-edged stripes created in Step 2 then press each into the black clay in a desired area.

Continue to add a variety of shapes to the black clay to create a freestyle design.

  • Use different colors, shapes and patterns as well as negative space to your liking
  • Use shapes that break or become distorted as embellishments to create a one-of-a-kind, unique look
Leaving the designed clay on the ceramic tile, gently press the bezel over the clay but do not cut out the clay to leave an outline of the bezel. Use a straight clay blade to trim the inside of the outline.

Tip: Use a cutter that is slightly smaller than the setting if using a clay cutter. Trimming too small is better than trimming not enough in this case.
Remove the clay from the ceramic tile then position it inside the bezel to determine if the clay will fit. Reposition the clay onto the ceramic tile before brushing a few strokes of Poly Bonder® glue inside the bezel then position the clay into the bezel.
Use a toothpick or awl to push the black clay out towards the edges, stippling the black clay. Continue to stipple the entire surface of the black clay, even the negative space in the center to add texture while spreading the clay to better fit the bezel.
Bake according to manufacturer's instructions. Let cool then remove from the bezel.

  • Use a permanent marker to "pop" color back to the foil if the color fades during baking. Alcohol-based or water-based ink will bleed under Magic-Glos resin
  • If not using Magic-Glos use any type/color or ink desired. It's important not to scrub or the foil will tear when applying ink
Drill a hole through the top of the clay to attach a bail or jump ring from; if desired skip Step 14 or create a sandwiched attachment.

Note: Refer to Lisa Pavelka's ''Pop Art Polymer'' how-to tutorial to learn how to create a sandwiched attachment.
Using your fingers create a pedestal, smaller than the baked clay piece, out of raw scrap polymer clay then position it on top of a cure tray. Press the baked clay piece on top of the pedestal.

Tip: Use a cure tray, mirror, ceramic tile or old hotel key to allow the pedestal to grab onto the piece.

Note: The pedestal keeps the piece level, prevents the piece from sliding and catches the resin.
Add Magic-Glos® to the center of the piece then use a craft knife to spread the resin out to the edges. Let the resin self-level.

Tip: Apply less than you think you need; adding more is easier than removing excess resin.

If needed, use a butane torch to quickly "flash" over the Magic-Glos for a quick second, allowing any bubbles on the surface to pop. Position the component in the sun or into a UV light for 5 - 10 minutes to cure.

Tip: The resin will yellow if cured for too long in ultra violet light.
Apply another layer of resin to bring the resin to a dome then cure for another 5 - 10 minutes.

  • Foil very thin sheets of clay then bake directly on ceramic tile to make foiled flowers for embellishments
  • Use a ripple blade to create rippled foil stripes then abut the strips next to one another for a textured design

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