Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ask a Smoosher: glues and polymer clay

Teri of TheBeadedBranch asks...
What is your favorite glue?
What glue do you use to attach bails?
How do you attach eye pins?

There are as many ways to do something as there are people doing it so I asked the Smooshers to give their answers so Teri could hear them all.


ValeriesStuff says:
My favorite glue is Loctite Quick Set Epoxy. I use it for attaching bails.

To glue the bail: after baking, I first sandpaper (very gently) the spot where the bail is to be attached. I prepare the epoxy according to the manufacturer's directions. I put the glue on the bail and the bail on the finished piece:

Another way to attach a bail:

This piece was done in two steps. First, I made (and baked) the front of the pendant. Second, I cut a round piece of black clay for the back. I put a small loop of wire at the top of the wet clay and baked both pieces together. (did that make sense???)

Eye pins:
I insert the eye pin into the wet clay and bake the item with the pin in place. After baking, I remove the pin and put a dab of Loctite Super Glue on the pin and reinsert.


ColtPixy says:
For this type of application any type of cyanoacrylates (super glue type) will work. Everyone has their favorite glues, mine is Loctite 411.
I glue the bail on after the piece is baked. I don't sand first unless it is a piece that needs sanding, like mica shift. This is one of those flat back bails like some resin artists use...

For eye pins the way I do it depends on what it is. If it is a sculpted piece like this...

I wrap the eye pin in wire like this...

Then I paint on a thin coat of a PVA glue. My favorites are Sobo and Aileen's Tacky glue. This gives "tooth" for the clay to adhere to. After the glue dries I then sculpt onto the eye pin.

For other pieces such as this one...

I make the piece, push in an eye pin and bake. Then I pull out the eye pin, sand the piece then put Loctite 411 on the eye pin and push it back in the hole.

This has no glue. I baked it with a jump ring inserted in it that the bail is attached too.

You can find lots of information about glues and their applications by various contributors here http://glassattic.com/polymer/glues-Diluent.htm


tooaquarius says:
I actually prefer not to use glue to attach bails - instead I sink a jump ring into a slit in my pendant, line the slit with liquid clay, heal over the bottom of the ring, creating a mechanical hold. I bake and then sand normallly.

I have a post (with photos) on my blog about this:

And this bead in my shop is made this way:


CatsWire says:
I don't use glue. Glue is no friend of mine ;-)


2goodclaymates says:
I hardly ever use glue and try to avoid it whenever I can. When I make my earrings I make my own eyepins that have kinks in them so that when I insert in the clay, they will not pull out after baking.

Here are some earrings I have used this technique:

Other earring pieces I might use some tiny prong bails like on these:


If you have a question for Smooshers please leave it here in a reply.

7 Smooshing Thoughts:

EmilyClaireCreations said...

This is very interesting, I really never thought about all the different ways to attach bails! Thank you for the post, very informative :D

Teri Landow said...

Thanks for all the FABULOUS information!!!! This is sooo helpful!

coltpixy said...

You're very welcome Teri. Hope you got the information you were needing.

Cat said...

You even quoted me *lol*

Maybe I'll have to try again, with all this info I got now!

Dori said...

Great information. Thanks.

eaglehawk said...

Great information. I had no idea how this would work.

Janine said...

Thanks for the interesting and useful info! I have a question...

I make canes and I do pretty good with them but distortion is soooooo frustrating. Anyone have a trick or two for combating distortion in their canes?