We’ve finally finshed the cake. By “we’ve” I mean “I and my ever-numerous chins”, by “finshed” I mean “gluttonously consumed in an absurdly short time”, and by “cake” I mean “everything Halloween related in our home”. How you doin’?
During my last post’s festivities I had a number of ideas and out of sculpture-less guilt, I cranked out a new belt buckle that became instantly ruined when I tried to make a mold of it. Argh!
But no, to leave it at “argh!” would make us no better than the Peanuts Cartoon…
See the shiny film in the above 2 images? It’s shiny because it’s wet and sticky. The clay inhibited the Smooth-On mold from curing properly and I don’t know why. I learned that Smooth-On products don’t work with sulfur based clay and had to do an absurd amount of research to discover that my previous batch of clay had sulfur in it. I bought this clay that is “sulfur-free” and am having the same exact issue with the Smoooth-On mold not curing.
I’ve been experimenting with Smooth-On products for some time now and have had more failure than success. This drives me crazy since it seems like Smooth-On (in theory) is exactly what I’m looking for. I’ve spent around $300.00 total, and wish that counted for something when I call asking their representative “what the heck happened?” and they’re as clueless as me. What’s their problem? When it comes down to it, they’ve got a job and $300.00 from me; doesn’t sound like much of a problem there… so what’s my problem? There’s nothing about returns on the receipt and definitely nothing about returns for customers who’re having bad luck.
In my experience, Smooth-On products have bled me financially without much to show for it. It’s hard to recommend Smooth-On to anyone considering all the destruction it’s caused for me. So that’s what Negative Nancy had to say about Smooth-On. But I don’t wanna be a Cry-baby, I wanna be a Try-baby! So here’s how a Try-baby takes responsibility for his mistakes:
I like to experiment. If you browse my portfolio or blog posts you’ll see I haven’t yet made 2 of the same thing. I also rarely make anything the same way I’ve made it before, but that’s how I’ve discovered most of my preferred methods. My problems with Smooth-On are due to my experiments. I had an idea for a new belt buckle design. Instead of using Sculpey (a polymer clay) like the last belt buckle I thought I’d try using this sulfur-free clay that doesn’t harden. That way I could reuse the clay over and over, and feel better about not burning through both my money AND my resources.
“…I will remake it! Better! Damn it! And when I DO remake it, better… frankly, it will be the first time I’ve ever accomplished making a ‘second’ come out ‘better’.” This time I’d make it out of Sculpey again because I KNOW it will work.
This whole time I haven’t even mentioned what this design is, although you may have guessed some sort of daemon spider. It’s a Spiny Orb-Weaver spider. It’s scientific name is Gasteracantha Cancriformis. The genus name Gasteracantha derives from the Greek words gaster (“belly”) and acantha (“thorn”). Cancriformis derives from the Latin words cancer (“crab”) and forma (“shape, appearance”). I grew up around these spiders and without squeezing they can be handled easily. As far as I know they’re not poisonous. They just seem to want to get away. If you accidentally walk through their webs, just giv’em a second and they’ll drop a line to the ground to escape you, you ferocious beast.
Before I added it’s head, I baked the abdomen (the large portion with the spikes) alone to keep from the inevitable-unintentional-mashing. The head-clay sticks on easily with a little dab of petroleum jelly. Another spot of luck – the wife and I received a spiffy new camera with credit card reward points from Bank of America, whom we are still leaving for a local credit union (we just held out for the camera). Check it, I’m still fiddling with the setting but let me know if you like the “new look”.
What do you think? I do believe the second came out better than the first :)
It almost makes me feel like thanking Smooth-On for this opportunity for a do-over, “ALMOST”. I’ll have some upcoming photos of the mold process which I can guarantee will come off without a hitch because *yawn* I’ve done it this way before.