Tyrannical Botanical Molds

I have been 1000% obsessed with the organic molds I made last week. But after that first batch, something went horribly, horribly wrong! Let me show you. First, here’s the exciting thing I was doing with chalk on the raw polymer clay impressions:

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Faaaaaabulous, right? I was PUMPED. But it was too hot to turn the oven on, so I covered the raw clay and waited nearly a week for an evening cool enough to bake. Imagine my chagrin when I found that all of that gorgeous colour had FADED!!

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left: before baking. right: after baking. OH NO.

I was heartbroken. I tried a few things but couldn’t fix it. My new crackle medium had arrived, and since I was getting such good results with it:

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Crackling everything I could lay my hands on…

….I thought it might be able to save my faded junk. turns out… only sorta. It’s not bad, but it’s not what I wanted.

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Better but… not quite right, not yet. I had some thoughts about making the crackle different – always learning, you know – but meantime, I thought MAYBE it had faded only because it had sat there for so long and the clay had leached the chalk colour, causing the fading. So, I made up a new batch, baking them immediately, using similar colours as before, to see what would happen.

And it did it AGAIN.

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DAMMIT

Frig. These ones I didn’t want to crackle – I didn’t think I’d learned enough yet to be trusted not to ruin these. But suddenly, I thought – what about alcohol ink?

And… well, let me just show you.

Here’s a set of sad, faded, baked medallions:

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Heartbreakingly pale.

And here are the same pieces with a bit of alcohol ink added and some distressing done to knock it back:

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SAVED!

Can you guess if there was squealing?!

Check out some more:

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Remember that faded hexagon from before? Well, I hadn’t crackled it, so I tried fixing it with ink:

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OMG

Here’s that whole second set, SAVED by alcohol ink!

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squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

My heart is still palpitating with the gorgeosity (it’s a word!) of these. I’ll leave you with a few of my favorites, taken in natural light. Needless to say, I’ll be doing these again soooooooon.

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4 Comments

  1. Pat

    Hi Gayle. Thank you so much for this wonderful post. I have to say that the final result was strikingly beautiful. I also liked the “messed up crackle” ones also. They looked aged and wonderful. Wish my mistakes would be as beautiful as your “mistakes”. Anyway, again, thanks for the inspiration and the wonderful use of alcohol inks and molding techniques. I appreciate you for sharing such great photos, information and beauty with us. Warm regards…Pat

  2. sherr s

    Haha! Gayle, you crack me up! I love your sense of humor as much as I love your art work (and I LOVE your art work!).
    So glad you figured out a way to save the medallions…. even though they looked nicely antiqued after they faded (at least in the pics)…
    Can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

  3. Gayle

    Thank you Pat! I LOVE these, so much, and I’m making more (this time with seaweed!) as quickly as I can. The crackle ones are pretty fun too! All mistakes are learning opportunities and I LOVE sharing them! :)

  4. Gayle

    Awww thanks Sherr :) I’m beaming! I like both but I just wasn’t pleased until I got my bright colours back. I love new things and it’s gratifying to know you’re following along :)

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