I've used that floristry tape for other non clay crafts and was quite
surprised by how variable the amounts of wax in it were. I've assumed
that the wax is in the crepe paper to make it stick to itself when
it's exposed to hand heat.
I'm wondering if the wax is vaporising at the claybake heat and its
expansion is causing the cracking as it tries to escape. It's
extremely unlikely to be metal expansion that's causing the trouble,
unless you're using very thick wire and very little Sculpey3 over it.
Of all the commonly available wires, galvanised steel (like florists
wire) has one of the lowest coefficients of thermal expansion - so
I'd stay with that.
Try aluminium foil as a shaping agent rather than the paper/wax tape -
it may well solve the problem (I've used Al foil over steel
floristry wire for very spindly insect parts with no problems of clay
cracking - but that was with a Fimo/Premo mix)
Good luck in finding the soluton.
--- In UKPolyClay@yahoogroups.com
, "aethelberga" <aethelberga@...>
> I have worked with polymer clay for a while, but am just starting
> sculpt dolls. When I am making hands over wire armatures (floral
> wrapped with floral tape) the fingers are cracking. I am assuming
> is because the metal in the wire expanding when it is heated, but
> am supposed to use wire armatures what can I do about it? I looked
> around and can find no one else who has commented on this problem
> My top two guesses are 1) I am using sculpey and it is too soft
> FYI, I am using sculpey because I am just learning and I have a ton
> the stuff to use up) or 2) floral wire is not suited to this and
> I should use a metal that does not expand as much.
> Any dollmakers out there care to weigh in on this topic?