Sculpey Mold Maker (Formerly Known as Super Elasticlay) FAQ

Pros, Cons, Tips, and MSDS Safety Sheet Link

Cons

  • Cured molds made with this will harden over time — reportedly
  • Not really comparable with flexible silicone molds
  • Will crack with heavy use — reportedly
  • Is better for more shallow molds rather than deep ones with noses, undercuts, etc — reportedly
  • Not suitable for molding resin, but OK for polymer clay
  • Not suitable for a children’s art medium — that’s information is actually on the MSDS safety sheet (see below link)

The Usual

  • Must be used with a mold release like talcum powder or cornstarch both when originally making a mold and then again when molding an item from it
  • Make sure you follow manufacturer’s directions
  • As with other polymer clays, it’s all fine until you burn it, then it can release toxic fumes
  • Use in a clean work area or you’ll get dust on it
  • You have to clean your hands well after using it and before you touch other surfaces
  • Use on a craft mat of some sort, as opposed to on a plastic table or wood furniture with any type of finish on it or it can permanently mar surfaces

Pros

  • Takes detail well
  • Longer open time — does not harden until cured in an oven according to manufacturer’s instructions
  • Can be used to soften clay
  • Can be used to make texture sheets (see tip immediately below)
  • Can be made more flexible with Sculpey Diluent (AKA clay softener) (Now there’s a tip you don’t see many places. Less is more, meaning you can always add more diluent to Mold Maker until it’s at it’s prime for your needs, but be careful not to add too much.)

Try

  • Mixing it with Sculpey Bake & Bend (doesn’t handle repeated baking well)
  • Mixing it with Sculpey Ultra Light polymer clay
  • Mixing it with a smaller amount of Sculpey Souffle

Note: All three — Sculpey Bake & Bend, Ultra Light, and Souffle — are somewhat more flexible than many polymer clays. So I suggest experimenting with adding these three clays so that the molds have a little more flexibility to begin with and over time. Still, using it straight or in a mixture like this is not really comparable to the flexibility of commercially manufactured silicone mold compounds (unless there’s some manufactured to be stiff).

MSDS Safety sheet

 

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Whole Foods Plant-Based: Red Lentil, Carrot, and Quinoa Soup

Note: Read entire recipe first before beginning.

Also, if you want a more traditional NW Indian version (Masoor Dal) that used tomatoes and certain spices, go here. I think it tastes much better, but this is what I’m doing before my spices arrive (we lost all ours in a house fire).

On Measuring

t = teaspoon, T = tablespoon, c = cup, and lb = pound. A rounded t of something has just a bit extra above the spoon’s level. A heaping t can have a small pile above the level of the measuring spoon. I don’t always measure. It depends on the recipe and my familiarity with it or how touchy it is. I was taught a recipe like this in person with someone who didn’t measure with measuring spoons or measuring cups. I learned cooking from others with both careful measuring or cooking without measuring, using pinches, sprinkles, and certain amounts in the hand by sight and feel. If that makes you uncomfortable, this may not be the recipe you’re looking for…or you can hit that last two hyperlinks for explanations IF you have any questions.

Labor

This recipe is somewhat labor intensive. 

Vegan

This is a “happens to be” vegan recipe that, if you eat in sane portions, has a lower glycemic load so it shouldn’t jack up your blood sugar like processed foods might. Quinoa, along with amaranth and teff, are some of the lower glycemic whole grains. If you’re diabetic, check with your doctor and (and!) a nutritionist regarding your diet.

Serve With…

Serve with fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, homemade spiced tea (sugar optional), and potatoes or flat bread like naan/roti (1 is good).  I like to eat it with peeled and sliced cucumber drizzled with a touch of oil and lemon juice with a light sprinkle of salt (salt optional of course). The extra starch in the potatoes (baked or microwaved — not fried!) or flat bread is not required but does make a delightful meal. Note: If you warm up your flat bread and butter it, then your meal is vegetarian instead of vegan.

Calories

About 3035 calories for the whole pot. Measure serving sizes according to your daily caloric needs.

Some Equipment

You will need a crock pot or larger pot with a vented lid (or put the lid on but not all the way) if doing this stove top. You’ll also need a cutting board/surface and a decent knife for chopping vegetables, as well as stirring spoons, etc. Having kitchen scissors for cutting herbs helps but is not crucial. Also, a mixing bowl and a sieve.

Shopping List: 10 to 16 oz carrots, 1 to 3 hot peppers (depending on your tastes), cilantro (fresh is preferred), lemon (fresh is preferred), 1 lb bag dry red lentils, two or three inches fresh ginger root, 2 fresh red onions, around a t or so of cumin (hand crushed whole or powder), 5 T extra virgin olive oil, 1 t turmeric powder, 1 med to sm head of garlic cloves (less if that suits you), salt to taste, some version of hot peppers (I’ve used hot red pepper flakes in a pinch but prefer fresh banana or hotter small green peppers), gloves if you’re cutting up fresh hot peppers, quinoa (white, red, or mixed). If you’ve got an Indian seasoning mix for vegetables, specifically, you could add a level t to T of that, depending on how potent it is. If in doubt, always start with a smaller amount because you can always add but once in, you can’t take it out.

Preparation

You may cut up your vegetables first. Dice the carrots and hot pepper, if using fresh, and set aside. Rinse cilantro well and cut it up fine enough. You can use dried cilantro but results will be substandard. You can tell. You may include a bit of the cilantro stems too if you cut them finely enough — including some of the cilantro stems is reportedly good for the circulation. It may help to have someone to help you at this point. One of you can prepare the dried lentils while one of you starts chopping the red onions and mincing the garlic. Peel garlic cloves, chop them up, then mince them. Place in larger bowl. Peel the red onions, cut off a bit of both ends, then chop them up kind of small, as wide as a pea or two. You don’t have to be anal about it, just make sure the pieces aren’t too big. Add that to the bowl too.

If you’re cooking alone, now’s a good time to prepare the lentils if you didn’t do that beforehand. Lay the lentils in a single layer in a cooking tray and check for any little stones, sweeping the checked lentils to one side as you go. You may have to add part of the bag of lentils as you go. Once all checked, place the red lentils in a mixing bowl. Rinse in cold water three times, agitating the lentils a bit, then gently pouring most of the water off without sending lentils down the drain. Place the rinse lentils in the pot with enough water to cover them by about 3 or so inches. In a crock pot, I turn it up on high.  If cooking stove top, boil the water, add the lentils and vegetables, and turn the temperature down to simmering (should be very gently bubbling). Note: you’ll add more water as you go so there’s initially a little pot watching. Once it’s been cooking a little while, the lentils and quinoa will swell after a bit and you want to add water so that it’s a loose mix but not drowned by several inches at this point in the cooking process.

Place 5 T of extra virgin olive oil in saute pan and heat up at about medium heat. Once hot, add the cloves, cumin, and red onion. Stir frequently enough, scraping the bottom of the pan. Before the onions and garlic are completely carmelized, turn down the heat a bit to low and add the turmeric (about a slightly rounded teaspoon), and the indian vegetable seasoning mix if you have it. Cook just a bit longer, a minute or two maybe but take off the heat before it’s too dry.

Add the chopped vegetables, both cooked and the raw carrot and cilantro, to the lentils and water in your pot. Close the lid, venting it a touch if you can. If you can’t, turn the heat down just a touch but make sure it’s simmering. Add the chopped cilantro to the crock or stove top pot.

Cook until carrots and all is soft but not completely mushy.   The mix when done should have a bit of movement to it, as opposed to stiff and almost dry, so that’s why you watch the water level. Soup!

Ladle into bowls and sprinkle just a bit with some freshly squeezed lemon per bowl just before serving (optional but oh so good).

 

 

Karen’s High Chroma, Luminosity-Loving Paint Color Palette

Note: Page may be subject to updates.

My Directional Force — Indirct Painting With Glaze layers


Sfumato indirect painting technique
, here I come! I expect to do inital layers of a painting in acrylic and some glazing layers in water soluble oil paints (Winsor & Newton Artisan), for starters. That’s why my previous entry was about water soluble oils.

I also want to try to do the indirect method from start to finish with artist grade acrylic paints. And some wild and crazy experimental Alla Prima.

karensfourthsunblackandwhitetonal

Black and white of Karen A. Scofield’s anthropomorphized sun. Tonal.

 

I’ve only completed 5 paintings thus far, you see a B&W of my fourth, above. These are my notes in preparation of pushing harder and farther, way out of my comfort zone, if I have a comfort zone. I don’t know where my zone is. Yet. But I’ve dug for years now, into paint pigments, direct vs. indirect, sfumato techniques, and many artist materials … in preparation. And I liked it. I am a digger and I tend to over-prepare anyway; it’s very much deeply in my nature.

Note on Paint Brands Used Until They Are Gone

Overall, I am using mainly artist grade paint with the occasional use of some hues or somewhat informed alternative color mixes, wet and layered. Acrylic mediums will help with the sfumato technique. The brands I have include:

  • Golden Acrylics (artist colors heavy body, Open, or Fluid)
  • Liquitex ( heavy body, soft body, spray paint, acrylic ink)
  • Da Vinci Fluid Acrylics.  I have a lot of da Vinci fluid acrylics because they were cheaper, but they  are in some cases made of combined pigments instead of using pure pigment … so this should be interesting. It’ll mess up value ( how light or dark things are in grayscale) a bit and may make me cringe sometimes especially with the yellows.

I will just have to be aware of that, for instance, Cadmium Yellow Light Da Vinci Fluid Acrylics, specifically, might have a lighter value because it includes titanium dioxide. I’ll just have to deal with that because I have mostly, by volume, 16 ounce bottles of Da Vinci Fluid acrylics, as far as the fluid acrylics I have are concerned. (I have the paints I do because I got them after my mom died. I miss her so much!)

A Happy Medium: Making Golden Acrylics Have More Open Time and Act Kind of Like Oils

This happy medium is one suggestion that appeals to me. Not sure if it’ll work as well with regular heavy body colors or fluid acrylics, but it’s worth a try in the upper layer(s) of an indirect method acrylic painting. Do studies first. Read the bottles and manufacturer’s information online. The Golden Paint  Company has an absolute wealth of product and technical information on their website. And as always, remember you can always add more of something but once it’s mixed in then it’s in there.

  • Open Flow Release — a bit
  • Open Open Thinner — a bit
  • Open Gloss Gel — mostly

Paint Palettes: Color Theory, Sfumato, My Own Extended One

In the future, I probably will gravitate towards more Golden Open artist color acrylics?

6 Color Golden Acrylic Artist colors (not including the whites), the palette would include: 

  1. Phthalo Blue (Green Shade) 
  2. Phthalo Green (Blue Shade) 
  3. Anthraquinone Blue (PB 60)
  4. Hansa Yellow Medium 
  5. Quinacridone Magenta 
  6. Napthol Red Light 

The 6 main colors in bold can yield an amazing array of colors. See https://www.goldenpaints.com/technicalinfo_mixguide and https://www.goldenpaints.com/technicalinfo_faq_xv_colorwheel

Studying color theory with Golden Open paints in these colors in a rapid Alla Prima style, I’d put down the basic colors and then create tints of about 5 shades, laid out in rows, using Titanium White and/or Mixing White, and begin to paint. Or so the theory goes.

Additions to the 6 Color Paint Palette (above)

In practice, I’d probably end up slipping in a little:

7. Quinacridone Red
8. Yellow Ochre
9. Mixing White
10. Titanium White

My Main Sfumato Color Palette

This palette would be assisted by the above 6-color mixing palette. The color choices between the two palettes are are my amalgam of pigments traditional and modern — influenced by what Leonardo da Vinci reported using and by my own research on making/using modern equivalents. (Colors are some form of Golden Acrylics artist grade paint unless otherwise noted.)

  1. Primrose Yellow (preferred, expensive, pigment PY35, Golden Acrylics, value 9, chroma 16, tint strength 96.49) or Hansa Yellow Light (what I have now, will use first, value 8.25, chroma 13.8, tint strength 96.31, tint strength is low in practice, pigment is PY3 AKA historical “Flanders Yellow” that Leonardo da Vinci mentioned); both lean toward blue on the color wheel
  2. Cadmium Yellow Medium (Golden Artist Color PY35, value 8, chroma 16.1, tint strength 92.5); or Cadmium Yellow Medium Hue (Da Vinci Fluid Acrylic, semi-opaque, ASTM lightfastness is 1 excellent, uses a combination of PY 73, PY 65, and PW6, not sure of chroma and tinting strength yet); both toward red on the color wheel
  3. Quinacridone Red (preferred, a cleaner red, semi-transparent, PB 209, value 3.25, chroma 12, tint strength 76.49), Quinacridone Magenta (value 2.5, chroma 10, tint strength 73.51) , and/or Quinacridone Crimson (value 2, chroma 6, tint strength 72.39)
  4. C.P. Cadmium Red — Because sometimes you need an opaque that plays well with complementary colors. (Pr 108, value 4.25, chroma 16, tinting strength 73.92, opacity/transparency 2, leans toward orange on the color wheel. May become a permanent addition to my indirect paint palette
  5. Phthalo Blue (PB 15 Phthalocyanine Blue. Intense deep blue in mass tone reddish to greenish bright blue in shades. Semi-transparent. Extremely powerful tint strength, usually extended to some degree. Staining.)
  6. French Ultramarine (Da Vinci Fluid Acrylic PB 29, value 2, semi-transparent, chroma 4.5, tint strength 79.94) or Ultramarine (Golden, also PB29)
  7. Burnt Umber 
  8. Yellow Ochre (mixed bias, co
  9. Carbon Black (has a blue bias)
  10. Titanium White (slight blue bias)

Note: The reds in #3 may be switched out or combined in certain works?

The Sfumato Technique

In case you’re curious, the technique started even before canvas or panel was touched and continued on to the last glaze layer. It went something like this:

  • Do numerous studies from real life; don’t copy other artists
  • Perfect a drawing the size of the final work — on paper
  • Stretch the canvas or prepare the wooden paint panel
  • Apply rabit glue and gesso in the traditional manner; and somehow he got this surface to feel glossy, almost like ceramic
  • Apply underdrawing in outline using charcoal
  • Veil it, not obscure it, with a mix of Flanders Yellow and White — this will be the basis for light areas and the yellow tones of warm sunlight or skin tone
  • “Draw” painting with tone using silk brushes placing shadows while paint still wet or use hard (dry, like hard pastel pencils)
  • Do retouches in thicker laquer (they used to boil turpentine that perhaps had some resin in it until it was thick, is that what he meant?) that remains matte
  • To darken shadows, use laquer plus ink and maybe add some azurite in a transparent mix
  • Highlights in mediums and tints
  • Light veil of cinnabar for portrait
  • Change your mind — be experimental
  • I’m really glossing things over in this description. Colors were layered and the effects of light and shade were glazed. For a blue robe, he might first lay down red and then blue over that. Was that a correction or use of complements, and he did mention using complement colors.
  • He attended to reflective colors a lot, colors from objects close by might appear on the skin and light clothing, and he did suggest models wear light clothing or even a white.
  • Final highlights in judicious smidgens were in white?  I know highlights were made like this by many painters, I sm not sure that Leonardo did this though.

For translating this into acrylics, I might use that Golden Open “happy medium” mixture instead of the thick lacquer da Vinci used.

Temperature Underpaintings (Mostly Golden Open Acrylics)

  1. Black
  2. Titanium White  Also used for final highlights in upper layer, used judiciously
  3. Mixing White (Zinc) — Also for use in some final effects in upper layer. May or may not mix it with other paints, as opposed to optical blends and effects
  4. Burnt Umber/Burnt Umber Light — To be used alone and/or with the Ultramarine Blue
  5. Red Oxide — Because I have to try out aux quatre crayon type of temperature “underdrawing” … in paint! I will try it in dry pastel pencils too.  These works may remain at that stage as finished paintings, rather than all being just the under painting of an sfumato work. I may be intuitively good at colors without trying, up to a point, but I am just now teaching myself to paint in my later 50s, regarding value (that grayscale light to dark). I have a lot of catching up to do. I accomplished value rather well in my (my fourth finished painting) anthropomorphic painting of the sun, but I recognize that I have so much farther to go!

My Golden Acrylics Extended Palette
(for Wet Color Mixing or Additional Sfumato Indirect Painting Effects)

Colors in bold text would be more of a priority in this palette.

  • Phthalo Blue (Green Shade)
  • Phthalo Green (Blue Shade) 
  • Hansa Yellow Light
  • Hansa Yellow Medium
  • Quinacridone Magenta
  • Quinacridone Red
  • Quinacridone Crimson
  • Napthol Red Light
  • Pyrrole Red
  • Quinacridone Burnt Orange
  • Transparent Pyrrole Orange
  • Phthalo Green (Yellow Shade)
  • Phthalo Blue (Red Shade)
  • Ultramarine Blue/Anthraquinone Blue (PB 60)
  • Burnt Umber
  • Black (used judiciously now and then in small touches)
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Titanium White
  • Mixing White

Additional Colors On Occasion or just for Fun (Optional)

  1. Quinacridone Gold (Nickel Azo) — Because it’s fun for color mixing and glazing.
  2. Turner’s Yellow — Fuuuun!

Note: Since I’m autodidactic, I may pull in more readymade colors at any time when experimenting more wildly. Oh, and if you want to see where your colors lay on a color wheel, go here. I can’t resist paint colors, as much as I love limited palettes and minding my values in painting! Because I must experiment. Life is short. And I bought paint colors before painting anything or learning about limited palettes.

Magic-Glos 5-Inclusion UV Resin Faux Opal by Karen A. Scofield

Trial Runs: Transparent Resin Faux Opal Goddess Pendant Using Magic-Glos UV Resin

Better results with a newfound inclusion.

Instagram screen capture of Goddess Pendant resn faux opal shown in different lighting. Karen A. Scofield.

Instagram screen capture of Goddess Pendant resn faux opal shown in different lighting. Karen A. Scofield.

 Why Trial Runs Using Magic-Glos Resin?

Lisa Pavelka’s Magic-Glos UV Resin allows me to work fast (layers cure in 15 minutes), build a focal bead in layers, and experiment. I’m using this resin to try out some new products, techniques, combinations, and sequences as I learn my preferences in resin faux opal making.

Sure, it’s more expensive per ounce, but ruining a whole batch or three of a dozen or more beads at a time is even more disheartening. If I didn’t allow for a leaning curve like this first, I probably would have given up on resin. It can take months or years to really master the medium. (Things seem ridiculously easy in the mind’s eye if our imagination isn’t informed by experience and tried and trusted knowledge base, I’ve found.)

So, here are some of my best results so far, note the slight amber tone at this depth with this resin, and I’m about to Faux Opals in Ice Resin and ArtResin. (See How to Ice Resin, How to ArtResin.) At this thickness, I expect almost no amber tone with Ice Resin and no detectable amber tone with ArtResin.

Magic-Glos Resin Tips

1. Don’t seal paper or cardstock inclusions with Mod Podge or PVC (white craft) glues if you’re using them with Magic-Glos — reactions between water-activated mediums, inks, and Magic-Glos can occur over time.

2. Bubbles can be prevented almost all the time. Read resouces given here. Bubbles can be removed by letting cured item sit one hour, drilling a hole into the bubble, cleaning up drilling debris, adding just enough Magic-Glos, and curing again.

Things Magic-Glos Doesn’t Work Well With

  • PVC glues – your white craft, nearly all decoupage mediums/glues, and school glues are PVC glues — https://thebluebottletree.com/what-is-the-difference-between-mod-podge-and-acrylic-medium
  • Air–dry glues — air-dry glues get trapped under things, don’t cure 100%, then release air bubbles into your curing resin. Use two-part epoxy glue instead!
  • Ice Resin, whether or not each resin is cured or wet (insured) — chemical reaction between the two resins causes cloudiness
  • Water-based sealants – any sealants that are not waterproof after drying (water resistant is not waterproof)
  • Alcohol inks
  • Unsealed inkjet prints
  • Anything that may run or bleed if wet
  • Sharpie markers

If in doubt, test first, often weeks ahead to make doubly sure.

Baking Magic-Glos

Don’t. Don’t bake Magic-Glos. Avoid temperatures over 100 degrees F. See MSDS.

Warning: Baking Magic-Glos with polymer clay will cause the resin to amber (brown). See MSDS sheet (link given above) for further info.

Magic-Glos Layers

Doming, Pulling Away, and Self-Leveling Properties and What They Mean to the User — The same properties that allow Magic-Glos to dome causes the resin to pull away from edges/periphery in first layer or two, hence a good dome is built up in layers, each of which are cured before the next is added. The last layers are minimal amounts and it may help to spread the resin nearly to the edge (with a toothpick or small ballpoint stylus) and then let Magic-Glos self-leveling finish the job, finally fully covering evenly and doming. Let it sit 10 minutes to 1/2 hour out of UV light to let it finish self-leveling and to let air bubbles make themselves evident. The self-leveling properties mean that you might think you only added enough, the self-doming is a bit of a delayed reaction, and then suddenly you have Magic-Glos running over the sides. If still uncured, it can be cleaned up with cotton swabs and wet wipes but prevention is better than damage control. Prevention involves adding thinner, multiple layers that are each cured before the next is added and curing your item while on a pedestal — a bit of polymer clay or poster-tx on a craft mirror a bit larger than your piece but small enough to fit in the UV lamp oven.

If the overfill cured, it can be pried off with your hands and/or chipped off with a craft knife.

Minimum Number Of Layers — usually 2 layers, less is more, meaning it’s better to add thin/incomplete layers than to overfill. Thinner layers allows the air bubble popping method of passing a butane mini torch or windproof lighter over the surface of the Magic-Glos for one and only one second.