Sunday, January 10, 2010

Removing clay from brass tube

As you know the last couple days I have been making pens and pencils. I was breezing along making more when one of the tubes came out of the oven with a big ole air bubble... dang! I tried sanding it but then ended up with an air bubble hole, you can see it here, the light spot a little to the right of center.

Click on the photos for a closer look
Obviously the sanding didn't work, I needed to get the clay off the tube. I went to my friends on Polymer Clay Central for advice. Jackie, Ginger and Moe (I know sounds like the 3 Stooges but these gals are experts and gave me excellent advice!)

First I need to put the tube back in the oven and heat for 10 minutes. I did that. Moe recommended that I hold the heated tube with a pot holder and use a wooden scraper to remove the clay. Ginger said it would be easypeezy to slice with an exacto knife and peel right off. I was to lazy to go to the kitchen for a pot holder so I folded up a paper towel and held the tube with that. I don't have a wooden scraper... I know Moe, I'm sure every PC artist should have one but sad to say I don't (next trip to Michael's I'll get one okay?), so I decided to go with the exacto knife. First I laid out my First Aid Kit and the box of Bandaids, just in case. I'm prone to injuring myself. I then took a deep breath, secured the hot tube with the folded paper towel and made an incision down the length of the tube.

Ginger was right, it was easypeezy, peeled right off licky split! SeeFortunately I had a small piece of the original clay sheet that I hadn't tossed in the scrap box. It is just barely big enough to cover the tube once again. But first I followed advice from Jackie and wiped the tube with the above mentioned paper towel doused with alcohol,( waste not, want not). Jackie said it is important to throughly clean the tube so I did just that.
I now have matching tubes to complete the pencil. I need to sand and assemble the pieces.... maybe tomorrow. I still have a cold and I need a nap.
While I'm thinking of it..... check out my new Flickr link. The old one hasn't worked for weeks. All on my own I figured out how to add the new one. And what a grand link it is, it randomly selects new photos each time someone logs on... I'm seeing photos I haven't looked at for months and they are pretty neat, if I do say so myself!!

For all you computer nerds this probably doesn't seem like much of an accomplishment but for those who are computer challenged like me it will seem like a miracle. (I still think the internet is magic!)


  1. Grandma, I'm following you on here! I made some polymer clay deserts!

  2. You are so smart! And funny - the 3 Stooges remark had me cracking up over here!! Thanks for the laugh. The pen parts are LOVELY! I am jealous! I have to get back to my pen making one of these days. You are doing great. And now I see that your granddaughter is following in your footsteps - awesome!

  3. Hi Sarah..... did you take picures? I wanna see the deserts!

    Thanks Jackie... I have a very talented granddaughter, she won the gift wrapping contest this year.. wait til you see what she did.

  4. I did take pictures. They are on my blog.

  5. I saw them and they are cute as can be!! You did good.

  6. Moeart.blogspot.comJanuary 11, 2010 at 4:51 PM

    You did good and I don't see any blood splatters! The pen is gorgeous! :)

  7. Thanks Moe, nope for once I didn't stab, slice or otherwise wound myself.:)