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Vaseline

Posted by goregt On May - 31 - 2007

Using Vaseline With Polymer Clay

I’ve already covered the use of Vaseline in a few of my tutorials but though I should also do a little write up on it under the tools section of this site. Vaseline, or Petroleum Jelly, is used to help non-baked clay, which I will refer to as new clay in this article, stick to baked clay. One of the benefits of working with polymer clay is that you can bake the sculpture multiple times during the sculpting process. This key advantage allows you to bake the sculpture in stages verses having to sculpt the entire piece before baking. Some of you may be wondering why anyone would care to bake a sculpture multiple times. The key advantage of being able to bake the sculpture multiple times is that you can work on the details on one area of the sculpture and then bake it to preserve your hard work. Nothing is more frustrating then spending a lot of time working on detailing part of a sculpture only to accidentally grab it with your hand and undo all of your hard work. I’ve done this many times myself. I have spent hours detailing an arm or face only to accidentally grab it and squish some of the details. See my partial baking article for an example on how I bake a sculpture in stages.

Here are the quick and easy steps for using Vaseline on a sculpture

  1. First step is to select a paint brush for applying the Vaseline. Use this paintbrush for only applying Vaseline.
  2. Lightly apply the Vaseline to the baked sculpture
  3. With a tissue remove the excess Vaseline (it doesn’t take much for the new clay to stick to the baked clay)
  4. Apply a thin layer of clay to the surface of the baked clay.

If you would like a visual on how to use Vaseline on baked clay then check out one of my previous tutorials here. The pictures in the tutorial walk you through the steps I use to add new clay to baked clay. It’s an easy process and one that will save you hours of frustration.

5 Responses to “Vaseline”

  1. Teeko says:

    I am new to polymer clay, having previously been into leather tooling and quilting, but I can see this is going to become a new obsession. Thanks so much for the tips. I would never have thought of using a lazy susan or vaseline.

  2. Juliana says:

    Oh my gosh, I wish I had found your website earlier… for my very first project ever, I’m working on a rather “unique” wedding sculpture… Mario and Princess Peach… and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve munched noses and ears while working on hair!! Thank you for the great tips, I’m still browsing and learning more :)

  3. stephen says:

    I also wish I had found your website sooner. I have just started experimenting with poly clay, right now my purposes are to make models that I will then make molds from. There are many materials to make molds, and poly clay itself is one of them. I found advice on another website about using a mold release on the cured model, pressing it into the uncured clay to form a mold, and baking that in place (so as to avoid deforming the mold by trying to pull the model out while its soft. Maybe that would work but this is what they listed as possible mold releases: 1 Water, hmm, that would evaporate in the oven I guess. 2. corn starch, ok, but I dont have any on hand. 3. ***Vaseline*** !!! I had that on hand and yes,… now my model is glued very well into the mold.

    Fortunately, I was with it enough to use a throwaway model that took about 5 minutes to make for that learning experience.

    Thank you for your website. The internet being what it is, its hard to sort the misinformation from the information, keep up the good work.

    by the way, all is not lost for my attempt. It actually looks pretty artsy to have a poly clay model embedded in a poly clay mold, keys and all.

    Stephen

  4. Phidias says:

    I just want to congratulate you, I´m new in this type of sculpting and ” Polymerclayfan ” is helping me a lot, I really mean it. I´m just finishing my first sculpture in super sculpey and i´m very happy that i found P.C.F.( polymerclayfan ).
    Thanks

  5. jackie says:

    Mahalo~

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