We love that stamps are so versatile – they can be used on an almost endless number of surfaces. Something we haven’t tried before is stamping onto polymer clay, so when fibre artist Heidi Helyard came to us with the idea of creating custom tags using polymer clay and a custom stamp, we thought we’d try it and share the results. Heidi has kindly documented the below a how-to guide, so you can try it out yourself!
I make woven wall hangings and use a stamp to make fabric labels and sew them to the back of the weaves, which works great. Paper swing tags are usually removed, so I love that my piece still has my name on it.
I recently started making acrylic framed ‘fibre paintings’ (fibre artworks framed between clear acrylic/Perspex) and found that these were harder to get my name onto! So, I came up with the idea of making polymer clay ‘tags’ (similar to wax seals) to attach to, and brand my paintings.
What you’ll need
1. Polymer clay. I experimented with some different colours and found white or black to be the least legible. In my experience the softer the clay the better an impression you will get with the stamp. And I find the Sculpey range to be softer than the Fimo range.
2. A rolling pin (you can get fancy ones made specially for polymer clay, but I found a plain wooden one did the trick!)
3. Some shape cutters, tools or toothpicks (which are great for making small holes).
1. Roll the clay to your desired thickness. I found 3mm worked well for getting the detail in the stamp, and being thin enough for my purpose.
2. Start stamping! You may find it takes a little practice to get the right amount of pressure to achieve your desired look.
3. Cut out the tags, and place them on some baking paper on a baking tray ready for the oven! I found rolling small circles and stamping those gave a nice organic finish to the tags. More time consuming than using a cutter though!
4. If you plan to stitch the tag onto something, or tie it with twine, use the toothpick to make a small hole at the top.
5. Bake them according to the instructions on the pack. Be sure to check the time for baking and compare that to the thickness of your pieces! My instructions were based on the clay being 6mm thick, so I halved the baking time as my tags were half that thickness.
If you try this out for yourself, we’d love to hear how you get on so feel free to share your experience and any tips!