On one of my latest ventures to Hobby Lobby in search of a new medium that would add some spark to my jewelry creations, I ran across an air cured clay called “LUMINA.”
So, you know me and my clay obsession… I quickly put a package in my already overly full shopping basket and headed to the check out lanes. I couldn’t wait to get home and try this mysterious new clay medium. Through much trial and error, here is what I learned about this pricey, yet extrodinary air cured resin-based polymer clay.
Lumina, unlike Polymer Clay brands such as Fimo, Cernit and Sculpey is an air drying, resin-based, polymer clay . I have to admit after playing around with this clay I was amazed at how well Lumina holds up when rolled out to a paper-thin sheet. I also am amazed and love that creating delicate pieces such as flowers and intricate small designs far surpasses regular polymer clay, and when I saw far surpasses, we are talking by leaps and bounds!
It’s flexibility makes it the perfect medium that will not break or warp when cured. Although Lumina is semi-waterproof, never leave this clay in standing water… I had some clay that dried out a bit and decided to try to re hydrate it… sadly I found that if left in water too long it will melt.
The major downside to this clay is that it only comes in translucent. So, being the adventurous person I am I tried kneading in food coloring (BAD IDEA!) then tried oil paint, a sheer disaster and then moved on to try acrylic paint. To my wonderful surprise the acrylic paint worked! I must mention though that kneading in the paint is a messy job, but the results are wonderful when you can create the exact color you are wanting to achieve. One note of caution, and believe me when I warn you that Lumina can not be kneaded in a food processor like Sculpey, Cernit or Fimo, in doing so I created a huge mess that took a ton of elbow grease clean up. =( My food processor has never been the same since…
Here are some earrings I created using Lumina, they are super lightweight. I actually painted these with acrylic paint after the Lumina had cured and then sealed them with Flecto Diamond Varathane for a water protectant sealant.
Lumina does not hold a very good bond to itself either, unlike polymer clay it just doesn’t hold its own per say. I experimented with Super Glue, E-6000 and found that Mod Podge or any 3-dimensional adhesive works extremely well.
It’s important to keep Lumina at its ideal moisture level so it maintains the right texture, this means having to add a bit of water when the clay feels as if it is drying out while you are working with it.
A word of advice, if you’re used to working with oven cured clays such as Sculpey, Fimo and Cernit, it may take a bit to get accustomed to this clay. It’s quick drying nature makes it less than ideal for sculpting large pieces, and is very frustrating to work with if you are creating canes. Lumina must be kept in a tightly sealed package in the refrigerator, and yes, it can and will grow mold.
Although I am impressed with the detailed intricate work I can create with Lumina, it is priced a tad too high for my pocketbook. Hobby Lobby carries Lumina at about $9.00 to $10.00 per package. If your ready to venture into using a new medium and you don’t mind the cost, Lumina is a fabulous medium for the most delicate forms you can create.
If you have not yet given Lumina a try, you should. It is great for tediously small works such as roses, flowers, leaves or anything else you can think of. Though the clay is expensive, I think its worth experimenting with, you never know, you could find that you LOVE working with this amazing clay!
Monday I will continue with polymer clay and Precious Metal Clay, you wont want to miss reading about these two incredible mediums!