Monday, March 11, 2019

Crackle! A New Product

As you may be aware, there are many approaches to creating a cracked or crackled surface in polymer.  My most recent posts featured composite metal leaf that had been slightly crackled and dyed with alcohol inks. I've tried other methods of crackling, but a lot of them have made very thick layers of crackle that don't cut well or fall off if not well-sealed. For the most part, I was not happy with the results, and set the concept of crackling on the back burner.

Recently, I heard about a product from DecoArt called Perfect Crackle and decided to give it a try. The product comes in two parts, that have a consistency similar to some polymer liquid clays.  You apply a coating of the first liquid over the sheet you have conditioned, and let it dry.  Once it is dry, you apply a coating of the second liquid on top of the first liquid, and let it dry.

Ah, let it dry.  That part requires patience.  To get really dry takes at least 12 hours and overnight is even better.  It needs to be completely dry in order for the crackle effect to appear.  Once it was dry, I applied alcohol inks to color it.  The 2 different solutions in this set make different designs.  It is also possible to enhance the crackle effect by running the sheet of polymer through the pasta machine.  I experimented a little, but will have to go back and try more variations.  Once the alcohol inks were dry, I cut out my shapes.  I found that using a regular shape cutter, even those with sharp metal edges, was the trickiest part. The crackle was hard to cut in places, and lifted off the surface.  I found my best bet was to use shape templates and cut the treated polymer with an Exacto knife.  Perhaps you'll notice that a few of these shapes come from some new templates I picked up.  It's always fun to experiment with new shapes!

After baking, I sanded edges and backs, and finished the surfaces with Magic Gloss. The color of the alcohol inks really deepened and popped when I added the gloss.  Huge difference.

Here are some of the first sets I made.  I also am working in a color combo of yellow, orange and a touch of green and will share those once they're done.

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