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Elvenwork Forum

This forum has been a way to provide a public exchange of questions and answers for polymer clay sculptors. But, as I said in my final post, there comes a time when all things must end. That doesn't mean the forum used as an archive has nothing to offer. Indeed it is still loaded with questions and answers that remain relevant and which are searchable! For that reason, I'm keeping it available, though no new posts can be added. If after searching the forum your question isn't addressed, Join me on to ask it. As always, you'll find me there as Katherine Dewey. Hope to see you there. --  Katherine

Elvenwork Forum
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Confused on what sealer to use on skin areas?

I'm very new at this and I apologize if this info is here somewhere and I didn't find it yet and if you specifically told me in the 2 books I have! But...what do people use if anything on the skin areas to seal and protect the clay and any painting details and goodness just for the final step? I get using a gloss for shiny areas but what would be okay for the rest of it? Premo satin glaze is too shiny, minwax doesn't come in matte...

Also, I did a tiny little "leaf pixie" (under 2 or 3"s) and painted it with water soluable oils weeks ago and I can still rub some of the color off so I haven't sealed it with anything yet, maybe they have to be used only as a glazing?

Thank you for having this forum, I will learn alot over time from your books but after going through the figure book, decided to not be quite so realistic yet but I still want the characters to be finished properly!
Melissa Bittinger

Re: Confused on what sealer to use on skin areas?

With the exception of gloss or satin varnish on eyes, hair and, occasionally lips, I have never used a sealer on the clay, even painted clay. Be patient and wait for the paint to thoroughly dry. Water mixable oils will dry, but how fast they dry depends on how diluted they are. It may take 2-3 weeks if they have not been diluted enough.
Acrylics can peel from the surface until the paint is fully cured (about a week). A low oven, less than 200F, can speed up the cure time of acrylics and help bond them to the clay. The same low temp can speed up the evaporation rate of water mixable oils.
Hope this helps,

Re: Confused on what sealer to use on skin areas?

Thank you, that's exactly what I needed to know. I did not realize acrylics could take up to a week and had no reference point on the water/oil except using it as a "tint" on lips and cheeks and as an antiquing glaze on a previous figure which didn't rub off any after couple of hours. I did apply it thicker on the little leaf pixie mostly for experimental purposes to see how much coverage the water/oils could do, which I only knew about thanks to your first book!