The Ice Water Dunk is also called "Quenching"
by some clayers. The Ice Water
Dunk or quickly cooling clay makes ones cured item stronger. It also makes
translucent clay become more clear after curing.
There's science behind this phenomena but it sounds like mumbo jumbo to me
I read it... something about the quick cooling encourages crystallization in a
"Y" shape of the polymer particles, go figure. To get more information I'd
to pay to read the scientific abstracts.
Anyway, it does make the clay mixes that have a lot of translucent to look
clearer. Sanding with a fine grit wet/dry sand paper and applying a finish
make cured translucent clay even more clear because the surface will be
and sealed with the finish. Kind of hard to do with a mini platter of tossed
salad. LOL I'm thinking more of covered tins, pendants, that sort of thing.
Any mini food that has a high water content in real life needs a lot of
translucent clay in the mix with polymer clay.
Syrup, salad dressing, honey, then use liquid polymer clay so you can get a
That's why I used the Ice Water Dunk with the grapes. They had a lot of
solid translucent clay in the mix. Let's share the grape link for the new
clayers. New List Members, this is one of the earliest experiments with mini
food. That grape cane was SO HUGE, lasted for years, gave chunks away when I
on tour for three months. I wouldn't make the cane that big now, just FYI on
Do not do this with clay on glass, like recycled jelly jars being transformed
into pretty "Quarter Jars" because the change in temperature will make the
crack. Believe me. I found that out the HARD WAY. Big time forehead slapping
DOH moment for me. LOL .... dunk, CRACK, YIKES! dang.... that's the song I
about that experience. I'm laughing now but I was pretty bummed then.
ended up being chopped up after months of working with her because I got
water inside of her with an
ill fated Ice Water
I'll admit not thinking things through to their logical end because then new
clayers don't have to repeat the miscalculation. ;-)
What I've found is a good replacement for the Ice Water Dunk is popping the
item into the freezer for a couple of minutes. The results are the same as far
as I can see. Then I can use my ice for my drinks, it's easier, things aren't
all wet, my hands aren't cold and I don't have to be making tray after tray of
ice all the time when I'm in a big production mode.
So Yami, if the beads you're making are all polymer clay, then popping them in
the freezer is a lot easier than doing the ice water dunk. It's easy for me
since I have my beads on skewers. I make sure the beads aren't resting on a
of frozen peas or anything, since when they are hot from the oven they are
elastic and will get dented if leaned on something in the freezer. I hang the
skewers between two things and then let the beads cool quickly. Not for a
long time either. 5-10 minutes maybe.
I do this freezer trick if I'm working on something and am impatient to get
to working on it, figures that are cured multiple times, I can't wait for them
to cool off after one of the cures. So I'll chill them in the freezer just to
able to work on them again soon and not dink them with handling them when they
are hot. Another yikes moment that. :-/
Well my coffee cup is empty and so is my brain on this topic at this time, so
I'll send this off.