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Tuesday Tip - Making Flexible Texture Plates


I love those rubber texture mats and every time I go into the crafts shop I want to load my cart up with the lovely designs that are out there. The problem for me is they are not my designs. Recently, I ran across a product made by Sculpey called 'MoldMaker'. It's a special polymer clay that remains flexible when cured. It's available at a number of online shops. I picked up mine at Hobby Lobby. I was mostly interested in this because it potentially speeds up the process of making texture plates from ceramic clay and then casting a plaster mold. I think this product has a lot of potential for bead makers because it's ideal for working at a small scale. And, it is flexible like those texture mats I covet.

So here's what I did to test out the Mold Maker.


First I created a base of conditioned regular polymer clay. It's about an 1/8 thick.


I built up a simple pattern on the base of the clay and cured it in the oven according to the manufacturers specifications.


I took the cured polymer clay model and embedded it in plastalina (modeling, sculpting clay) so that just the raised portion of the texture is above the surface. I often use platstalina to hold things down because it doesn't require any conditioning and is so easy to work with.


Next, I rolled out a sheet of the MoldMaker a bit thicker that the highest portions of the textured model. The directions actually say to work with chilled polymer clay. I didn't. I chilled the MoldMaker slab  in the freezer for about 5 minutes. It comes out feeling quite hard. I dusted the model with cornstarch. The MoldMaker slab then got pressed onto the model pressing from the center out to the edges to avoid bubbles. I then lightly rolled the back to give it a nice even surface.

Oopsie. See that texture plate on the right has little double lines. I rolled the first one a bit too much and had to make a new slab. But it's OK. You can re-use the clay if you mess up and haven't cured it yet.


Once cured, the MoldMaker texture plate is surprising flexible.


Here's a piece of porcelain that I've textured with my new texture plate. Oh, I love naked clay!

I have no idea how one of these texture plates will hold up with repeated use. This was just an experiment to see if this product had potential for use in clay bead making. So far, I'm reasonably impressed with it. I've got a few ideas I want to try out so, for now, I'm going to keep this in my bag of tricks.

10 comments:

  1. What a great post on mold making and a new material. Flexible, Wow. I love the step by step photos and details of your trial. Thanks so much for doing a tutorial on this topic LeAnn.

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  2. I can't wait to get my hands on some of this stuff! I've been wanting to make some flexible textures, but couldn't bring myself to use my $15 Mega Mold. This might be the answer!

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  3. Thanks for this post - I've been wanting to make my own texture plates too.

    And I appreciate you posting the "oopsie" picture - nothing like learning from another's mistake. Good to know you could reuse that piece of clay.

    Kate

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  4. That is awesome!! TFS! I really enjoyed the process :)

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  5. very cool! I'll have to check it out!

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  6. That's fabulous! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  7. Such a great post on mold making and very nice pictures on this post....

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  8. Stop it!! Don't show me any more sool stuff! I can't take it anymore! LOL
    Oh My Gosh! That is one of the best tutorials I have seen yet!
    Keep them coming!
    Bravo!

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  9. This is great! I do use commercial texture plates for some of my work but I really want to start making my own. I'll have to give this a try!

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  10. WOW, can't wait to get back to the USA and try this !!!!

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