Skygrazer Designs

Glossary Terms
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TERMS BEGINNING WITH:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M
N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z



P

Pasta Machine Originally designed for making pasta, the pasta machine is an invaluable clay tool. It consists of two metal rollers which are turned by a handle. It is used for conditioning clay, mixing colors and rolling out thin even sheets. The most popular brand seems to be the Atlas.

PearlEx Powders Brand name for a line of mica powders made by Jacquard. The powders can be used to create metallic and iridescent effects on the clay.

Polymer Clay A clay-like synthetic modelling material which will not dry out and can be cured at ordinary oven temperatures of about 275 degrees. See What is Polymer Clay? for more details.

Premo A brand of polymer clay made by the manufacturers of Sculpey. It is easy to condition but not as soft as Sculpey and holds up to sculpting and canework without mushing. It is also stronger than Sculpey and the metallic and pearl colors have interesting mica effects. To reveal my bias, it's my favorite clay to work with.

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Q

Quilt Cane A cane which is created using a quilt pattern.

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R

Reduce Make a cane smaller by squeezing, choking, rolling or pounding it. Ideally, the cane will end up with a smaller version of the same pattern running through it with little or no distortion.

Relief Work Sculptural relief composed of modeled forms that project
partially from a flat background. A polymer clay cameo could be one example.

Rope A long thin cylinder of clay. A log is normally thicker and a string would be thinner. You can roll ropes of clay by hand or extrude them from a clay gun.

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S

Sculpey III A brand of polymer clay. It is a good beginners clay although it is a bit soft for some techniques.

Sheet A thin flat piece of clay. A pasta machine is really useful for getting consistent regular sheets but you can also make them using a rolling pin or brayer.

Skinner Blend A technique developed by Judith Skinner for creating smooth gradations of color. It involves triangular sheets of two different colors and repeatedly folding them and running them through the pasta machine. See the Resources links section for lessons on this topic.

Snake Long thin cylinder of clay.

Swap Popular among internet artists, a swap generally consists of a group of people making a certain number of items on a theme. They all send the items to the moderator who sorts them out and sends one of each item back to each participant.

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T

Texture Plates Plates with different textures on them which can be pressed into the clay. Some can even be run through the pasta machine. They are available online from several distributors.

TLS Translucent Liquid Sculpey A liquid form of the clay made by the makers of Sculpey. TLS cures to a flexible, almost transparent film. It can be painted onto solid clay, used for transfers, faux enamel effects, and a variety of other techniques.

Transfer Putting an image onto polymer clay. The clay will pick up certain types of copier toner, colored pencils, chalks, etc, which allows an image on paper to be transferred to the clay. There are several types of transfers. Most photocopies and some brands of colored pencils will transfer directly if placed on the clay. Some brands of T-shirt transfer paper can be baked onto clay to transfer the image. Transfers can also be made onto Liquid Sculpey.

Translucent Clay Clay which allows light to pass through it. The thinner the clay, the more transparent the effect. There is currently no truly transparent clay and plain translucent looks rather milky on its own.

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