Patty Barnes, President
National Polymer Clay Guild
Owner, Clay-Polymer Yahoo Group

 

From: Patty Barnes <pbarnes@the-i.net>
Date: Tue Nov 29, 2005 23:54:20 Asia/Singapore
To: garie@cyberway.com.sg
Subject: Styrofoam
Reply-To: pbarnes@the-i.net
Attachments: There is 1 attachment

 

Hi Garie,

I have been reading your posts at Polymer Clay People with interest
regarding using Styrofoam. When I began working with polymer clay almost 20
years ago, a Fimo booklet showed using a Styrofoam ball as the base for a
head sculpture. Not knowing any better, I used the Styrofoam ball available
here in the US from the local craft store. The Styrofoam ball caused the
clay to crack badly. I believe it was giving off its gases and since the
ball was completely covered with clay, there was no place for the gases to
escape.

Since that time, I've been told that the product sold in Germany and perhaps
other places, which is called Styrofoam is different than the Styrofoam sold
here in the US. I noticed that your English seems not to be from the U.S.
and am wondering if perhaps the foam you are using might not be of a
different chemical composition than that sold in here.

I have been told by many people not to use Styrofoam with polymer because of
the gases it gives off and evidently that is also happening with your forms
since they shrink and become more compact. The word "Styrofoam" has become a
generic name for a product which can be made by many different companies
that appears very similar. One example would be the word "Kleenx" which has
become a generic word for facial tissues.

So, can you find out exactly the brand name of the foam you are using and
where it is manufactured? It might help clear up some of the confusion about
the safety of the foam being used with heat.

I appreciate any help and information you can provide. Thank you for your
help.

Patty Barnes, President
National Polymer Clay Guild
Owner, Clay-Polymer Yahoo Group
www.clay-essentials.com

From: Sim Garie <garie@starhub.net.sg>
Date: Wed Nov 30, 2005 01:00:03 Asia/Singapore
To: pbarnes@the-i.net
Subject: Re: Styrofoam

Hi Patty,

Thanks for the email.
I read quite a number of your postings in the forum and from your contribution I know that you are experience in working with polymer clay. Your experience, have help many with your information in the forum and I appreciates your contributions.


With regards to Styrofoam, the one that I am using should not be any different with the US.
Anyway you can test them, cut a piece of styrofoam 1 3/4 inches x 1 3/4 inches x 3/8 inch thk. Preheat the convection oven for 15 min, put the styrofoam into the oven with ceramic tile as base.Oven temperature should set to 130º C, within 30 min. the foam should shrunk to 3/4 inch x 3/4 inchproportionately. At this size it will be hard and is like unfinished plastic.


Going back to your question about "using a Styrofoam ball as the base for a head sculpture"
direct application will cause it to crack which I had similar experience years back. The problem is not the gases but, the shrinkage of the styrofoam ball, that will pull part of the head sculpture inwardwhile the PC is curing. You can view my link of the crack Gourd with direct PC application onto the styrofoam ball,
http://www.garieinternational.com.sg/clay/magic_gourd.htm

The crack was accidental, I was supposed to cut the base with a cutter and open a view to the inside of the Gourd after baking.
The reason for covering aluminum foil onto the foam is for easy separation after my bad experience.
I can always mail you the samples of the styrofoam for verification if you need them, just give me your address.

Best Regards,
Garie

From: Patty Barnes <pbarnes@the-i.net>
Date: Wed Nov 30, 2005 01:15:03 Asia/Singapore
To: 'Sim Garie' <garie@starhub.net.sg>
Subject: RE: Styrofoam
Reply-To: pbarnes@the-i.net

Thank you for your kind compliments regarding my posts. I will try your
experiment as soon as I can buy some Styrofoam. Thank you for suggesting it.

 

As a retired art teacher, I was pleased to see the happy faces of your
students with their creations. I loved working with the children but the
administrative duties became too much for my health. Keep up the good work!

Patty Barnes
President, NPCG


From: Sim Garie <garie@starhub.net.sg>
Date: Thu Dec 1, 2005 01:16:27 Asia/Singapore
To: pbarnes@the-i.net
Subject: Re: Styrofoam

Hi Patty,
I am glad to see your posting again, I had just create a page about my test
with styrofoam and polymer clay. You can try and duplicate the experiment
and let me know your result over your side. We can compare notes and if possible
exchange materials.
http://www.garieinternational.com.sg/clay/pc_foam.htm
Meantime, I will be posting my test article for those who wants to know more.
Take care I am glad that you are well,

Best Regards,
Garie Sim

From: Sim Garie <garie@starhub.net.sg>
Date: Fri Dec 23, 2005 20:01:15 Asia/Singapore
To: pbarnes@the-i.net
Subject: Re: Best Wishes For The Seasons

Hi Patty,
Did you try out the experiment?
Anyway, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
http://www.garieinternational.com.sg/art/cartooning/cartoon9.htm

Best Regards,
Garie

On Wednesday, Nov 30, 2005, at 01:15 Asia/Singapore, Patty Barnes wrote:

Thank you for your kind compliments regarding my posts. I will try your
experiment as soon as I can buy some Styrofoam. Thank you for suggesting it.

 

As a retired art teacher, I was pleased to see the happy faces of your
students with their creations. I loved working with the children but the
administrative duties became too much for my health. Keep up the good work!

Patty Barnes
President, NPCG

From: Patty Barnes <pbarnes@the-i.net>
Date: Fri Dec 23, 2005 21:48:59 Asia/Singapore
To: 'Sim Garie' <garie@starhub.net.sg>
Subject: RE: Best Wishes For The Seasons
Reply-To: pbarnes@the-i.net

Not yet, Sim, as I haven't had time! Too many preparations for the season.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you, too!

Patty Barnes
www.clay-essentials.com

 


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