So this blog is a tutorial for making a pillow lining for glass baking dishes to cure polymer clay sculpture. First of all I prefer glass with and without a liner for curing polymer clay. Prior to making one of these I baked my figures or sculptures on a bed of polyester batting laid inside of the baking dish, and that can lead to problems first and foremost the loose polyester batting fibers do stick to polymer clay during the curing process. From experience I know some polymer clay sculpture requires propping of some kind, and it can be useful if you want to avoid flat shiny spots on your artwork to use polyester stuffing or batting. I find it particularly useful when making doll bust, and limbs, or fully sculpted figurines. Creating propping pillows gives you the same benefits of using polyester batting without loose fibers sticking to your work, or melting as a result of falling to the floor of your oven. The oven I use is a gas kitchen oven dedicated exclusively to polymer clay, I do clean it regularly, the last time I cleaned it I notice some of the fibers in the batting had made their way down to the floor of the oven and melted to it, they were easy to removed from a clod oven, but that could still pose a health or fire hazard so I decided to make the following changes the tutorial explains.
Materials List for Tutorial
1.1/4 - 1/2 yard 100% cotton fabric, cotton and silk blend suiting can work also, but I recommend inexpensive bleached or natural unbleached 100% percent preshrunk muslin. If you buy it new, I recommend machine washing and pressing it prior to using it for this project. You can also recycle almost any woven 100% cotton fabric. Knitted cottons like tee shirt material has too much stretch for this project I don't recommend it.
2. A marking pen, you can use a ball point pen or fabric marking pen, trim all the pen lines off anyway during the cutting.
3. Shape scissors / shears for cutting fabric.
4. 3-5 ounces of craft store polyester stuffing, poly-fil™ is a brand name, but this is the material in most pillows, and modern plush toys.
5. You'll need you baking dishes, to trace.
6. A sewing machine.
Step 1. Lay your baking dish edge down on your fabric and trace all the way around, with marking pen, I do this to one layer of the pressed fabric.
Step 2. After I've traced the baking dish, I fold and double the fabric, then cut the block of doubled fabric from the rest of the yardage, I repress the fold at that point.
Step 3. Since the baking dish has glass handles which extend about 1 1/4 of an inch at the center on both ends, I laid the baking dish back down and just marked from where the hands extends, then used a ruler to make a new trimming line, the seam allowance for this project is 1/2 inch, and the thickness of glass must be accounted for, the thickness of the glass is 1/4 inch.
Step 4. Trim all the way around, and cut where the new trimming line is, you won't need the handles in the tracing of your baking dish.
Step 6. I have adjusted the sewing needle on my sewing machine for a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Sewn all the way around, leaving one end open, about the length of a handle. After I sewed the seam I pressed, and trimmed it down to 1/4 inch, then I set it back down into the baking dish
Step 8. Turn right sides outs, I use a wood sculpting tool to push out the seams, press again.
Step 10. I have used these pillows for the last 2 months, and I've found them to be wonderful, I've used them on small figurines, one of the things I noticed is that during the baking process the plasticizers, and mineral oils used to suspend the molecules of polyvinyl stain the fabric. The figurines I've been baking have been solid clay, and I bake them for up to an hour without problems. It was interesting to notice this phenomenon, I don't know if it effects the quality of the sculptures when those mineral oils exit the sculpture in the curing process, but I've notice stronger more resistant sculpture, with the consistency and density of a silk stone barbie. I've also watched several videos on You Tube regarding some glazes becoming tacky or sticky over time with the charms made from polymer clay. It may be due to the fact that when cured a small amount of the minerals and plasticizers remain saturated in the clay some do evaporate, but not all. This baking method gives those mineral oils, and plasticizers an exit during curing, laying paper towels under the work might have the same effect too. I'll write another blog about the issue later if I need to.
|Steps 9-10 The baking dish has a 13 x 9 interior. Original sculpture by Alan G. Jong|
Hope You'll enjoy this Tutorial, and Thank You, Best Holiday wishes, and endeavors.