Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Flunked Shaving Cream 101

Lately I've been drawn to all beads speckled, mottled, variegated, and earthy looking. So I decided to try Gwen Gibson's shaving cream bead tutorial from an old Polymer Cafe. Sunday I went to Michael's and bought the Farmer's Market color pack of Adirondack Inks. Yesterday I decided to give the tutorial a try. I used some previously mixed off-white scrap clay and made some quick beads. (meaning I didn't mind the fingerprints) I had watched Linda Peterson's youtube video on shaving cream beads and wanted to try the heat gun technique.

After several different tries, and variations of everything, none of the beads speckled like I had hoped. Shield your eyes...these beads are uuugly.

I am so slow. Just now as I'm typing this did it dawned on me....you did not use Pinata Inks, you big dummy. Perhaps not all alcohol inks are created equal. Duh!!

Was that my major problem? Using the Adirondack Inks instead?
I tried mixing more/less ink-to-shaving cream ratio.
I tried physically mixing more/less. I thought perhaps it effected the amount of air bubbles in the cream. So some beads got thoroughly mixed cream while others got very two-toned barely stirred cream.
I tried really glopping it on the beads vs. a very thin coating of cream, and everything in between.
I tried low and high heat with the heat gun.
I tried horizontally hanging the beads in the oven vs. standing them on end with toothpicks.
I even tried rotating the (horizontal) beads a 1/2 turn during baking.

The 8 beads on the right were mostly heavy cream coated. Some heat gun, some oven. I also gave them a single coat of Future to try to minimize the ugliness.

The 6 beads on the left were new Kato clay. Less ink in the cream. All oven baked. Actually...1 of those 6 was a heat gun bead. With a teeny thin layer of cream. It turned out the best! But then I ruined it by trying a 2nd super thin layer of cream on top of it. (Duh!)

The 3 small beads used leftover cream mixtures with a few drops of Posh Impressions metallic inks added in. Those beads actually speckled better than the rest but the metallic inks left a raised icky residue.

Overall....it was a totally disappointing afternoon at the clay table. I googled the subject and found that I'm not the only one who had less than great first results. But I am an instant gratification gal. With the exception of my 13 years in a classical ballet studio, I am NOT a try try again person. If it doesn't work perfectly the first time...I'm moving on! :)
Sadly, the last couple weeks at the clay table have been failed experiments. After this shaving cream flop yesterday I was totally frustrated and ready to pack it in. But then...I made some great beads! Which I'll share with you tomorrow. ;)

As for the shaving cream beads....do you have any advice to share? I'd love to hear it! I was really excited to make some pretty speckled beads, but I must admit that my enthusiasm fizzled almost as quickly as the hot shaving cream.


Susan Turney said...

Hi Christie,
I don't have a clue how to do the shaving cream beads but I hope you try the Adirondack inks on leaf. I'm so hooked on that technique!! It's about all I do anymore. I couldn't find the group with red in it at Michael's so I bought some Posh Impressions inks that came with a sponge. I was hoping they were alcohol based but I don't think they are so I'm going to have to experiment. It says something about a heat gun so they must be okay in the oven...I hope!!
BTW I love the green bead in the middle!

Christie said...

Thanks Susan. Your comments always make me smile. :)
You know what? After these failed beads I thought about all your GORGEOUS foil creations and thought I might try something like that next.

I used my Posh metallics in some mokume gane. I found a picture of these old magnets using it:
The inks are really lovely and shiny!

Susan Turney said...

They're beautiful and I love the dangles! The inks I bought aren't metallics. They're just bright colors...I'll try something with them, though, and we'll just see!

Michael said...

I've been meaning to try shaving foam beads again. My first try was disappointing, too, but I used cheap fabric dye that time. I want to try again with alcohol ink. (As far as I've heard, there shouldn't be much difference in how the two brands "act"-- just a difference in the colors they offer.)

If I ever work out a way that works, I'll be sure to write about it on my blog, but I have a feeling I'll get nothing but flops. (g)