Cameo Tips
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Tips for making Cameos Qestion: I would like to start making some cameos. I can never get mine to look nearly as good as others I’ve seen. Is there a trick that I'm missing? I can never get mine to have a nice edge between the white and the background. Answer: 1. You will need at least two colors of polymer clay: usually ivory for the cameo part and a darker color for the background. If you would like a marbleized or shaded background, mix some ivory canes or balls into the darker color clay. 2. Be sure the clay is well conditioned. Most molds don’t require a release agent, but if you find the clay sticking to the mold, try spraying with water or dusting with corn starch. 3. Take a small ball of ivory clay (better too little than not enough) and press it into the cameo portion of the mold. 4. Use the handle of a paint brush or a chisel headed clay shaper to tamp the clay down. 5. Work slowly and meticulously so as to capture all the detail of the cameo. It is OK, even preferable to leave some convexity to the ivory clay. 6. Leaving sections of the ivory very thin (for example, the folds of a woman’s dress) will create a beautiful translucent filmy look. 7. The most important step on the cameo level is to smooth the edge of the design so that when the darker clay base is added to the mold, you achieve the nice sharp edge you are seeking between the cameo and the dark background. 8. Roll out a small piece of the background clay to the proper thickness for your mold. 9. Gently press the mold on top of it to mark the shape for cutting. 10. Cut the background and lay it into the mold. 11. Tamp around the edge and work gently toward the center, applying less pressure when you are over the cameo portion to avoid causing the ivory clay to ooze out of the depressed area of the mold. 12. If the clay is not level, gently add more background color to top it off. 13. Use the paintbrush handle or clay shaper to level and smooth the back. 14. Bake as usual. To achieve an antique look, apply a whitewash to your cameo after baking. Brush on white acrylic paint thinned with water. Then wipe off the excess. Using white on a light color clay gives very subtle shadings and depth. Various cameo techniques to experiment with. · It would be fun to marbleize colored clay for an elegant background look. · As far as the silhouette goes, it could be painted first with a white primer, and then topped with a pearl or translucent paint for special effects. · Another idea would be to fill the mold in the silhouette areas with white clay and then the background with colored clay. Then when it's baked you could use white transparent pearl paint to finish off the details of the hair, leaves etc.... · Another idea that would be fun, would be to just make the whole cameo with white clay, and then use a fine tip paint pen for better details to color in the background and then use an antiquing effect over the top of entire casting. That would be beautiful. · Sue Espy’s website also has some great cameo information. If you would like to send a picture of your finished work, we would be happy to feature it on our site. You can view pictures of handmade cameos that were made by some of our very talented customers on our gallery page HERE. It’s worth a look!
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