The other day somebody bought one of my cufflink sets on Etsy.
'Hooray!' I said and trundled over to the shelf where I keep my jewelry stuff and pulled out the most likely box.
Nope, not in that one. No worries, it will be in the box with my other cufflinks. . .
Nope. . . OK, well it should have been in that box, maybe I put it somewhere else, though I can't think why. .
Yeah well, you can see where this is going. The cufflinks weren't anywhere they ought to have been or anywhere they didn't ought to have been, and I still haven't a clue what happened to them. I looked everywhere. . About six times. . . Grrrr. . .
I shamefacedly contacted the buyer, apologised profusely and explained. I suggested I could try to make a replacement set, send a photo to see whether she thought the replacement was adequate, and if not give a refund. She said that was a good idea, so I set to.
As I set up the necessary bits and pieces, it occurred to me that it might be a good idea to document the process as I hadn't tried that before, so I took shots of the various stages of my image transfer and nasty aging process and montaged them into a series of jpgs for your amusement. I hope you're easily amused. It's almost a tut, but would need work to make it coherent enough for that. It's more of an experiment. I might try documenting stuff again but with more care and a better set up.
1- cut out images from laser print/photocopy sheet.
2- cut out squares of polymer clay, thickest setting on the pasta machine.
3- trimmed images and squares.
4- place the images face down on the squares and rub gently with your finger to ensure contact.
5- add water and let it sit for a minute.
6- gently rub away the paper with your finger in a circular motion, adding water from time to time. Go easy as it can start to smudge after a while.
7- the image/soft clay will probably distort a bit if you aren't careful enough. I wasn't.
8- don't do what I did and forget to place the squares on a small tile to start with. I had to lift them off my work tile with a blade, which also distorts the shape. Not a big issue this time as I wanted a slightly irregular shape.
9- put small tile in oven. I did 25 mins at usual temperature.
10- baked squares. The camera angle makes them look more distorted than they were.
11- selectively attack with medium sandpaper.
12- results of selective sandpaper attack.
13- I painted the surface with greyish alcohol ink diluted with isopropyl - ratio 1 ink 2 iso p.
14- gently added renaissance wax, but rubbed it in too hard. see top right of left square, the blue has come off leaving purple/magenta where blue should be. Ren wax will take the image off if you aren't careful.
15- buffed with dremel thingy after ren wax had dried for ten mins or so.
16 - the final result. Overdid it, so I made another less messed up version.
This is a pic of the second, less messed up version I made. These made it to the stage of cufflinks. Check the pic below of the 'lost' original ones and see if I got close. The originals weren't quite as brown in real life as in the photo btw.
Let's hope the buyer gives the OK. ;-)
Great post and tutorial, Jon. I've never been very good at transfers, but I'll have to give it another go. I love your honesty! Anyway, I think they're fab and I hope the buyer did too.ReplyDelete
Great job. Thanks for the tute. BTW, where do you get your cuff link blanks? And how do you attach the clay?ReplyDelete
I get blanks from a UK seller on ebay, just standard cheapish but perfectly OK ones. I attach the baked clay with 2 part epoxy, then overlay a thin layer of polyclay over the back, texture it with sandpaper, then rebake the whole thing. I colour the back layer and then ren wax and buff it. . .
Awesome tutorial. Thanks.ReplyDelete
My Man is a cufflink fanatic and I think these are brilliant! I also agree with Melanie - your honesty is exactly what we all need because nothing ever seems to go completely right every time does it?!ReplyDelete
I went looking for a pair of cufflink blanks yesterday and came across exactly one of them. Where the other one went to is surely a mystery. I know they sat on that shelf for a long long time!
Hope your buyer loves the finished product. You know as soon as you ship these you'll find the others!
Thanks ;-) The buyer was really pleased, so all good there. . .Delete
I hope your cufflink fanatic man approves of mine.
What a lovely tutorial, enjoyed your tone of honesty and how approachable you made the process seem.ReplyDelete
I'm glad I made it approachable, I'm just stumbling along with everyone else really ;-) But having been a creative freelancer for many years I do have a certain confidence in my approach that allows me to feel OK about messing up from time to time.
The finished cufflinks are terrific - the patina is scrumptious. Thanks so much for the tutorial - you are very generous to share it. I also love the webpage design!ReplyDelete