Intro: Polymer Clay Ink Pen
Hey folks - here I am sharing one of my processes for making a custom one of a kind ink pen.
You will need to prepare by ordering a few pen kits online -
1. search for Wood Turning Pen Kits, we are using Slimline kits in this article ( I did not use the bushings but you may need them to help you plan the thickness of the clay's finished thickness)
2. visit a craft store and buy some polymer clay packs in the colors you want. ( I purchased a starter kit with several colors and a few tools in the kit)
3. purchase some hair pins to suspend the blanks when baking ( I purchased the jewelry baking rack that included its own straight pins)
4. purchase a pasta roller ( I purchase the pasta roller which was in the craft store under the polymer clay display area)
- I later found all of the supplies online
Step 1: Getting Polymer Clay Into Workable Pieces
Open the Clay and take out what you think you will need..When you open the clay package you will notice it is sectioned into 3 or 4 rows. I used several colors and that came out to be 1/2 of one row of the small pack of clay.
Work the clay in your hands to warm it up and keep needing it until it is soft and shape able.
Using a Pasta press (also found in the craft store clay aisle) put the clay in the top and roll it out - fold it over and repeat putting the fold in first. This will continue to work the clay - it took us about 10 minutes per color to go from package to a flat section of shape able clay.
(I also extruded a Green square of clay which I did not use)
Step 2: Making Your Pen Blank
Use the clay to make a small scene. I used a small rolling pin (also found in the craft aisle) to press shaped pieces into the color below. working it back and forth until the seam was nearly not felt.
Several pen turning stores online which sell pen kits are available I'm not going to name anyone specific - they all sell the same part under different names. The kit I selected was a Chrome Slimline Pen Kit.
Use the tubes for measurement, cut the clay to length both long ways and wrapping around tube.
Press the top of the design and the bottom together on to the tube making a complete wrap around the tube. Roll is lightly across the work surface to press & smooth out the joint. (If you press too hard the tube inside will act like a rolling pin and it will stretch out the design making it difficult to secure it around the inner tube)
Step 3: Prepare for Baking
hang the tubes on a tray ( I used a polymer clay jewelry baking tray found in the craft aisle) so that the clay doesn't sit - this will cause a flat spot on the pen.
Step 4: Bake Pen Blanks
This pen uses Sculpty which bakes at 275 degrees for every 1/4" of clay. Preheat oven then bake as directed.
This pen blank cooked for 16 minutes - and was a tad soft but hard enough.
Important: I am not responsible for you not following the instructions on the packaging you buy, each differs and make sure to use good ventilation as instructed as this clay is a plastic & can cause certain health issues. My instructable should be used as a guide, make sure you read your directions on each of the packages you buy and use.
Step 5: Turning the Blanks
Mount the pen blanks as normal on a lathe - follow all safety instructions for your lathe.
Step 6: Use a Very Light Cut
The joints where two or more pieces of clay meet form a place for the tool to naturally want to tear out. Use tiny passes as you don't need to shape much - just plan on knocking down finger prints and slight high spots. Keeping in mind the individual colors aren't very thick
Use Wet sand paper to sand to a shine - wipe down the blank between sand paper changes. (this sand paper was found on the site with the pen blank supplies) I also used the acrylic polish compound
Step 7: Prepare to Assemble Kit
lay out the polished pen blanks making sure to get the piece in the correct order facing as desired.
Using a pen press, press the pen kit pieces into the inner tubes within the hardened polymer clay.
Step 8: Display and Use Pen
Take a picture of your pen and share it with everyone - You have a unique, one of a kind custom pen!
Do this over and over - With polymer clay your imagination is your only limit.