WHY DO I SEE PHOTOS THAT COVER THEIR ENTIRE PIECE IN WHAT SEEMS TO BE WATER?
From what I've gathered after reading up on the subject, even though I haven't actually done it, that "wet" look is actually a thin coat of TLS (Translucent Liquid Sculpey).
Reason: It's used to smooth your sculpt. A lot of artists sand their sculptures after they're baked as the first step of smoothing the piece, then after it's sanded to their (your) liking, there'll be marks or scratches from the sanding. That's were the TLS comes into play. You apply a thin layer of TLS and bake your piece for about 10-15 mins (so I've read) and it comes out smooth like it was never sanded.
WHY AM I FINDING RANDOM CRACKS IN MY SCULPTURE AFTER IT'S COMPLETELY COOLED?
A little something I learned from miss Patricia Rose (indirectly), if you find these types of cracks it's because you didn't let your sculpt cool completely on its own. Maybe you took it out of the oven before it cooled, but they are called "stress cracks" and they happen if your sculpture cools too fast. I learned this the hard way - blah !
WHERE CAN I STORE MY UNFINISHED SCULPTURE SO IT DOESN'T COLLECT DUST?
For uncured pieces, I recommend storing them in an appropriately sized box that has polyfill on the bottom to protect the piece from getting smushed then cover it with the box top to prevent dust particles from landing on your piece.
CAN I USE A BLOW-DRYER INSTEAD OF AN ACTUAL HEAT GUN ON MY PIECES?
No. Reason: a blow-dryer doesn't get hot enough to do the job correctly. I found that heat guns (also embossing guns) aren't that expensive. Especially on Amazon.com. Just do a search for "heat gun" or for more accurate results "embossing gun" and you will come up with several options. Just make sure you get the kind that don't have handles.
WHAT ARE THE TUBES & RODS USED FOR?
WHERE SHOULD I SELL?
There are several site I've come across that I find very good, although I have not yet sold through each of them. I encourage you to check them lout and see how you feel about them as a selling avenue for you and your style of selling. These selling avenues are below, click on the images to be taken to that site for further information on them.
CraftStar | Artfire | Etsy | eBay | eCrater
Since eBay is a very accessible avenue for selling, it can also be a tad intimidating. at least for me it was. So in my attempt to "conquer that fear" I found these fantastically helpful videos and PDFs that really helped me be more confident and prepared for selling on eBay.
How to Sell on eBay
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY PIECE LISTING ENDS ON EBAY AND IT DOESN'T SELL?
You can either;
There's always someone "looking" for your piece, whether they know it or not, often times than not it's all about the timing of things. Also, it gets easier when you've been selling for a while so that you've developed a following and once you reach that point your pieces will sell quicker as you and your work will be recognized.
WHERE CAN I FIND FREE EBAY LISTING TEMPLATES THAT LOOK PROFESSIONAL?
I really struggled with this one. I searched and searched for solutions that didn't look tacky or childish. I finally found a couple that I was happy with and that I switch between;
Other services I've seen artists use that do have some fees associated with them are;
WHY AREN'T MY SCULPTURES SELLING?
First, it takes time for your buyer to find you. It takes that certain person / people to find that style you create in for the sales to start happening. It will also take some time for your following / fan base to accumulate into something substantial and that's because it's all about timing, like with almost anything else. Maybe the person that's looking for your art looks the day your eBay listing ends or is looking in between the time it takes you to create a new piece and list in online.
Second, people will really take notice when you've had several pieces under your belt, as far as experience and skill goes. You might find that to have some sales under your belt you might have to sell some pieces at lower than what you originally planned or lower than you know they're worth just to show people that you do sell and you do have positive feedback from your collectors. As discouraging as this process may be, the outcome will completely be dependent upon how much you truly want to pursue this seriously. Your tenacity and determination along with your time spent will be what propels you forward.
HOW LONG BEFORE ONE'S SALES TAKE OFF?
I think we all know this is a question that cannot be answered accurately. Reason being, you could make your very first sculpture and someone who's looking for it at just the right time while your listing is online and active could swoop it up and you could very well make your first sell with the first sculpture you make. Or, it can take some time for your style to catch on / develop enough for people to like the direction you're going in - there's no telling.
CAN YOU PUT TRANSPARENCY WINGS IN THE OVEN WITHOUT THEM BEING DAMAGED?
Yes. I put transparency wings that had a clay border in my Deni oven for 25mins and it did not harm of any kind. The wings weren't even hot. Just be sure you do it in 25min increments. I haven't tested it out for any other timeframe.
do i apply shimmer powder before or after baking?
From experience in order to apply the shimmer to the clay and not have it loose any shine/shimmer it's best to gently brush or dab on the shimmer to the uncured clay before you do any baking.
I suggest making two small flat squares of clay. Fully bake one and leave the other uncured/unbaked and brush on the shimmer powder to both flat clay squares and see the difference yourself.