Image transfer onto polymer clay – experiments | Cara Jane Polymer Clay Image transfer onto polymer clay – experiments | Cara Jane Polymer Clay

Image transfer onto polymer clay – experiments

Posted on June 27, 2012

It was the Bristol Polymer Clay Day today and although only 2 other people came along we had a great day playing with lots of different things including image transfers! We tried out lots of different things and found some things that worked and some that didn’t work so well!

Rosalind showed us how to do an image transfer using a toner based copy by rubbing off the paper. I hadn’t tried this method before and was impressed how well it worked. The top picture is the original that Rosalind had kindly had copied for us to try. The bottom is my copy transferred onto white polymer clay.

 We learnt that it is better to go slowy and gently when rubbing the paper off, adding a little water often and that you need to trim your image close to save rubbing off extra blank paper. We also noticed the colours dull a little on curing and that the colours seem to come out a little brighter on Kato clay rather than Fimo soft. This method transfers onto raw clay. We also discovered that if you bake the transfered image and then put it in water and rub the image will smear!

We also tried the image transfer from photo paper using liquid Kato clay. I got this to work perfectly using white Kato clay but the others tried it with Kato liquid but on Fimo and the images didn’t take at all. Using this method the image transfers during baking which limits what you can do with it slightly. I also found my pieces curved a little during baking so if I wanted a flat piece I would try baking between 2 tiles.

Both these techniques are detailed in Donna Kato’s excellent ‘The art of polymer clay, creative surface effects’ book.

We then played about with the gold leaf crackle effect. We all used the same sheet of gold leaf but on different clays – amazing the difference. The one on the left is a custom mix of Kato clay in a green, the middle one is on blue fimo and the one on the right is on black fimo. The fimo produced a much greater degree of crackling even though the sheets were put through the pasta machine the same number of times.

Then we combined the two and I showed the others how I finish off my badges neatly  by covering the pin back. I think I shall make mine (the one on the right) into a fridge magnet.

Rosalind brought some of her latest jewellery  to show us, I love her bold colours and her use of a little gold leaf on the rings works well to really add a bit of sparkle and interest. Sorry I don’t have a better picture, especially of all her fabulous rings. You can see more of her work on her Flickr pages.

Sandra didn’t bring any of her things to show us today – and she didn’t bring us any of her delicious cakes (which we have complained about 😉 but you can see some on her facebook page

It was so nice to have time to sit down and try some new things. I hadn’t really played with image transfers much and now I have an idea of the possibilities. If you have any tips or suggestions about image transfer please do let me know!


  1. Cara, that was a great blog. I love the way your cat turned out. I like the tip about cutting it close so you don’t have to rub off so much paper. I’m getting a new laser printer today and I’m excited to experiment with transfers more. Had some good and some bad. I love that cat picture. It reminds me of a cat I had named Molly, she was so sweet until you took the cheese out of the refrigerator, then she turned into a wild cat. LOL
    Thanks for your great information.

  2. so nice to be able to experiment with others! You surely had a great time!!

  3. Oh, I really wish I could of been there! xx

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