|The Enchanted Gallery flexible push molds work best with polymer clay or materials that do not need to be thicker than 1/4" to 1/2" (such as art doll faces,
jewelry and buttons.) My molds are made for jewelry and are not deep enough for soap bars, only thin inclusions or cameos. There are no even sides or
backs for poured materials.
|***Using molds with Ceramic / Terra Cotta / Kiln Fired Clays***
This is really just a matter of how smooth or gritty your clay is and if it can take fine detail. I have no way of experimenting with all kinds of clay, but other than the "picking
up detail" ability of your clay - there is no reason these molds wouldn't work for you. Press the clay into the mold, flex the mold to pop the clay out, and fire the clay as usual.
Ceramic clay could be used (for the impression, pre-bisque firing) but I recommend the more deeply carved molds. I know that this type of clay is more gritty and wet, thus
it may not able to pick up the finer details of many molds. Nature spirit carvings and button molds should work, probably not the more shallow molds such as vintage art
nouveau items or simple faces.
***Tips for making flat backs on your molded artwork***
For most of my projects, pushing them mostly flat as I make the impression works well enough for me. Sometimes when I need a flatter back (say for using glue to attach
a the art to a board/stiff panel) I sand the backs with "wet or dry" rated sandpaper under water. You could also cut away the back of the clay before you remove it from the
mold by using a craft knife (the long flat ones made for polymer clay are best.) If the clay is really sticky I put it in the freezer while in the mold for about 10 minutes to
make the clay firm enough for cutting. You just have to be careful not to cut too deep and damage the mold.
For the long term durability of your mold, I recommend removing your polymer clay from the mold before baking, but the molds CAN be baked at temperatures up to
approx. 395 degrees. You could also use hot glue, candle wax, soap, paperclay, UTEE (poured heated embossing powder), plaster and much more!
Copyright notice: You may use my molds for your art for sale, published works or online galleries. You may even sell plain, ready to paint beads/cabs made with the
molds, but please do NOT use your cabs to make new molds for resale. Some are my own design, or commissioned carvings that I have paid for the use of, or from Art
Nouveau antiques. You have permission to use my craft supplies to make anything OTHER than molds for sale, rubber stamps or machine reproduced images.
My "Angel Company Policy" applies to The Enchanted Gallery's exclusive rubber stamps and molds only. Updates: you can follow to be notified or just see what has
been newly added to this website on Pinterest. Just placed an order, have a question about shipping time, or package tracking? See the after-order info page here.
Need to contact me? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Made from UTEE (Poured embossing powder in a melt art pot) heat set ink and rub n' buff metallic wax.
|***How to use flexible molds with POLYMER CLAY, air dry clays or Paper Clay.***
With these flexible molds you can skip the "release agent" used in hard molds (usually corn starch or water to prevent clay
from sticking to the mold.)
You can use any fine-particle clay such as polymer clay (I have used both sculpey and premo brands which give great
detail. For functional button making try a stronger clay such as Cernit. I've also had good luck with Paperclay or the air-dry
polymer "Makin's Clay" if you'd prefer to avoid the baking step.
Roll it into a ball roughly the size of your mold.
As a softened/hand-warmed ball, press the clay into the mold firmly, creating a flat back as you fill the mold. Some molds
have odd shapes that are difficult for beginners, but you can overflow the edges and trim with a craft knife.
If your clay is really sticky or so warm that it warps the image when you try to remove it, just place the mold (with the clay in
it) in your freezer for 10 minutes while your clay becomes more firm.
Flex the edges of your mold and the clay should pop right out.
I recommend getting an inexpensive toaster oven (I got mine at Target for about $20) to bake your clay. A plain ceramic tile
is a wonderful surface to bake your clay on (try Home Depot) which distributes heat more evenly than metal trays. I prefer
not to use the same oven I cook food in, since clay fumes can leave residue in your oven and is not healthy. Toaster ovens
also allow for better temperature control and visual monitoring.
|***Tips on painting, coloring and bringing out the details of your polymer clay cabs***
Before you bake your clay:
A toothpick or needle can be your best friend! If your mold lacks details such as defined eyes, mouth , nostrils, etc. don't be afraid to make them more pronounced. Even add
new lines or fancy designs to your cab, never let your mold limit your creativity!
I love using perfect pearls metallic mica powders. You can use a fluffy paint brush to dust your clay cab, however you get a lot more detail on intricate designs if you lightly
coat the tip of your finger with the powder. Dab powder gently onto your cab's raised areas and allow the dark clay crevices to show through.
After baking your clay:
If you are working with a clay color that you would like to completely cover up, I recommend using a quality acrylic paint. If you have a lot of time you can use multiple colors to
fill in each detail. Usually I just use one color (like the gold Lumiere brand paint shown above.)
Sealers: I have used water based Polycrylic spray by Min Wax or Sculpey glaze on polymer clay with no ill effects. I have heard reports of Krylon and other sprays that are not
water based, or with chemicals in the propellant, that cause the finish to become sticky several months later. Varathane by RustOleum has been widely recommended as a
brush on sealer for clay. There is also a more expensive spray sealer on the market that specifically states that it is safe to use with Polymer clay and it is called PYM II.
To add a color tint to your sealer add a drop of acrylic paint or stamping inks. Sculpey glaze, like most other clear drying sealers, can be mixed with any color acrylic paint you
want and will settle into the deeper areas of your cabs, doing your highlighting job for you.
|Customer art examples of how you can add acrylic paint to your baked molded clay to make your own personal customization:
|Note: Liquid usage is very limited, as mold depth is capped around 1/4" to 1/2" deep (depending on the carving it was cast from.) If I try to build higher than the master
cast the compound would set inwards creating an edge folded inwards blocking the impression. This would make removing your material, especially for people using clay
or other unhardened media unable to remove the art without warping the edges. Because of this, my molds have low edges. My molds are made for clay, not poured
materials, so there may be some difficulty using liquid/poured materials that need to be thicker than 1/4" without leaking out of the sides.
|POURED materials (Utee, Wax, Soap, Hot Glue etc.)
You will need to set up your mold to lay flat. Since most molds have rounded
backs, they will not stand even on their own. Simple cup bases can be made
from anything, such as lego blocks or scrap paper, but I would use play-doh,
silly putty or other bubble-gum textured material to easily make bases for the
molds that fit their shape.
I recommend trying some of the round shaped faces and button molds to
experiment with first, since they have more easily defined edges than the
nature spirit carving molds.
Utee: You'll have to pour already heated embossing powder into the mold.
Don't try to heat the powder inside the mold with a heat gun. Use a melting
pot such as the "melt art pot" by Suze Weinberg / Ranger Ink. After your cast
has cooled a simple way to bring out the details is to gently rub metallic paint
over the surface (Rub 'n Buff brand metallic finishes in small tubes work
|The Enchanted Gallery's Flexible Push Mold Basics:
|Easy polymer clay jewelry using metal pendant blanks:
|Then bake the clay while it sits in your
metal pendant. Once it has cooled down,
remove the clay from the pendant tray, a razor
blade can aid in this step.
Seal with your choice of sealer (Polycrylic
clear gloss is my favorite, found in a spray
can at most hardware stores near the wood
sealers and stains.)
Glue it back in place with a strong adhesive
rated for plastic to metal adhesion (I use
|Soap: My molds are safe to use with soap, however none of them are large enough for entire soap bars. You can make small cameo attachments or inclusions from your
poured material, but I recommend testing a mold with a smooth shaped edge (such as a circle face/not a jagged edge design). Most of my molds are around 1/4" deep up
to 1/2" deep depending on the carving it was cast from. Again, most molds have uneven edges that will cause liquids to pour out of the sides and they should only be
used for wafer thin soap top cameos or inclusions.
Glue: If you can find black glue sticks, there is a really cool looking technique for hot glue. After your glue has cooled in the mold, pop out your design. Use a heat gun or
hot blow dryer to very quickly pass over the surface (just enough to make it sticky again, not to ruin the impression.) Apply gold/colorful mixes of metal leafing by rubbing it
on with your finger. The glue keeps it in place for a rainbow metallic finish and the black glue is a great background for any tiny missed areas.
|Resin: Usually resin comes in a two to three part
system: resin, catalyst (hardener) and color (oil
based inks/dye.) Follow manufacturer instructions
for mixing and pour into mold. Usually resin takes
24-72 hours to set. Since molds are shaped to the
item cast, you'll need to build a base to keep it level
with your table. Lego blocks work well for building
temporary bases. If you are making jewelry that will
not be glued onto fabric for beading/other backing,
and need a thicker piece entirely out of resin you
may need a deeper mold than I offer. A spray sealer
is often needed for resin as it sometimes cures to
a slightly sticky finish.
|<-- PMC ring by Michelle Ink Designs at runforsanity.etsy.com
***Using molds with PMC (Precious Metal Clay)***
PMC3, or anything in clay form, will work fine. You can use these molds the same way you would use polymer clay.
Press the PMC into the mold and flex the edges to pop out your design. Do not heat the mold itself.
After pressing the PMC into the mold it can be left in the mold to air dry. Overnight would be the best as the clay
needs to be completely dry before firing. You can also place the mold, with the clay in it, into a dehydrator for
quicker drying. (Follow manufacturer instructions for your clay product.)
The PMC can also be removed from the mold immediately if you want to shape it into curves etc before drying.
PMC takes on fine details very well. The shrinkage of the clay when firing makes these details even finer.
|NOTE: New mold compound is a silicone based
putty, heat resistant to 395 degrees F. The old
compound, Mold N Pour by Ranger Ink, has been
discontinued by the manufacturer. Molds will no
longer be gray or purple in color, currently they are
yellow. The temperature resistance is still plenty to
be used with hot glue, poured embossing powder
and chocolate. It is preferable to remove polymer
clay prior to baking, but it should not damage the
mold if your oven heat spikes are under 395.
DURABILITY: Repeat heating and cooling may
weaken the mold over time. When used with clay at
room temperature, molds typically last hundreds of
impressions/years of gentle adult usage. I do not
recommend allowing children to play with flexible
molds as they can tear with rough handling.
|Would you like me to display your
work on this page?
Feel free to email me at
your jewelry or art projects
pictures/links using my molds, along
with your name and any website
address you would like acknowledged