First off, I have some serious doubts about the survivability of polymer clay. By itself it’s a brittle material that is likely to crack as repeated impacts of the sculpted critter against the interior of the glass bottle create stress fractures. This can be alleviated somewhat by using a wire armature as reinforcement, but fine detail work is always going to be extremely delicate. The *only* way to prevent specimens breaking apart is to coat them with a soft, yielding material that can absorb and disperse the force of impacts. Both latex, in the form of rubber cement or liquid latex adhesive, and silicone are ideal for this.
Speaking of latex, I’ve been shocked by how tough it is. I have specimens coated with hardened liquid latex floating in distilled water, isopropyl alcohol, and glycerine and none of them have shown the slightest signs of deterioration. This probably shouldn’t have been a surprise, since exposure to air and sunlight are what causes the latex in masks to deteriorate. The environment inside a specimen bottle is naturally free of ultraviolet light (it’s blocked by the glass) and the limited amount of oxygen present probably isn’t enough to trigger any significant oxidation.
This article originally appeared at Propnomicon.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Gravedigger’s Local 16 is not to be held responsible for the content on or anything that may occur (be it good or bad) as a result of visiting any links (or constructing a project that’s detailed on them). Attempt at your own discretion.