Skygrazer Designs

Glossary Terms
A-E





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



A

Antique   Artificially make something look older. One common method of antiquing polymer clay is to use a wash of dark acrylic paint to simulate age and wear.

Armature   Internal structural support for a piece, usually sculpture. The armature could consist of wire, aluminum foil, stiff paper, or anything else that can be baked at the same temperatures as the clay. An armature can add strength to a piece and it can also save on baking time since a solid clay object will need to be baked longer than one with a foil core.

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B

Back Fill   To fill a carved or indented pattern in baked clay with unbaked clay. Usually any excess is sanded down after baking again.

Bakelite   A synthetic plastic that was used in jewelry extensively during the 1930's. It is popular with collectors today and can be imitated with polymer clay.

Balinese Filigree   A technique which uses strings or ropes of clay in coils or freeform shapes to create an intricate textured surface.

Bargello   A technique which imitates the bargello style of needlepoint stitchery by using strips of clay in gradated colors.

Bead Roller   A tool used to roll uniform beads. It is usually made up of two pieces of partial tube which the clay is placed between. The top piece rolls the clay down the trough and it is formed into an oval or sphere as it rolls.

Bench Grinder   A power tool which has rotating grinding discs. It can be modified by replacing the grinding wheels with muslin buffing wheels for buffing polymer clay.

Bezel Setting   A way of securing a stone with a thin band of metal around the edge. It can be imitated with a thin snake of clay.

Brayer   A tool which looks like a rolling pin with a handle. It is used for smoothing and flattening clay.

Buffer   Any machine or tool used for buffing, or putting a gloss on a surface. This could include an actual buffing machine, a modified bench grinder, a Dremel with a buffing wheel attachment, or a pair of blue jeans.

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C

Cabochon (Cab)   A polished, rounded stone (or polymer clay piece), flat on the back and domed on the top. Lapis, turquoise and opals are stones which are commonly formed into cabs.

Cameo   A style of carving where the background is cut away leaving the design in relief. The cameos you usually see have a woman's face or profile in cream on a reddish/pink background. A similar effect can be achieved with layers of clay.

Cane   A technique, originally adapted from glass, where a design is constructed using long rods of clay so that the design runs lengthwise through the log or block. This allows for identical slices of the same design. Canes can also be reduced or made smaller so that you can get the same design or pattern in a smaller slice.

Cernit   A brand of clay which is often used by doll makers for its translucent skin tones.

CFC06   A special version of Premo Translucent clay which is considered to be slightly clearer than the ordinary translucent. It can currently only be ordered online.

Clay   In the context of this site, a shortened form of polymer clay.

Clay gun   A metal tool with a plunger, similar to a syringe, which when squeezed forces clay out through interchangeable disks. The disks have openings of various shapes and sizes. It is used to make consistent ropes and strings of clay for the Balinese Filigree technique among other things.

Condition   To mix and soften the clay into a workable state by kneading, running it through the pasta machine, putting it through a food processor, etc. Different brands of clay take different amounts of effort to condition.

Cure   To bake the clay so that it sets permanently and is no longer soft or workable.

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D

Diluent   Made by the makers of Sculpey, diluent is a fluid used to thin or soften clay. A little goes a long way so be careful. It can also be used to help strengthen bonds between clay pieces, especially between baked and unbaked clay.

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E

Embossing Powder   Powders used by rubber stampers which melt when heated. The powders can also be used on and in polymer clay for a variety of effects.

Extruder   See "Clay Gun". An extruder could also be a garlic press, sugar craft implement, or other tool which will force out shapes of clay.

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