Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Ball Burnisher, Love this tool

I have a small collection of ball burnishers. The original one is from my art school days, when I used the tool to rub down custom colored text elements for design comps (yes that tool is over 20 years old, and I still use it!). It was during school that I discovered it was a great tool for clay (my first polymer clay playing was back in 1988/89). I now use the ball burnisher for polymer and metal clays.

Ball burnishers are great for making texture, drawing, smoothing seams, punching holes, and of course, making dots. Lots and lots of dots-for me that means suckers on tentacles.


Back when Sculpy expanded with the Studio brand clay, they also expanded the tool offerings. Even though Studio has disappeared from craft store shelves, the tools have not. That is a good thing, because the tools are fabulous. One of the sets is a small, piece, collection of ball burnishers one one end with clay pushers on the other. the different sizes of ball burnishers are very useful -- I particularly like the large ball for smoothing seams, and as a dome forming base.

My tiniest ball burnishers are nail tech tools--I got mine at a beauty supply store.

Drawing with a small ball burnisher
Not only are these tools great with clay. you can paint with them! They make perfect dots, and with some practice (clearly I need some more) and a flick of your wrist, you can make stars, swirls, flowers and fireworks.
I clearly need practice, painting with a ball burnisher.
If you don't have any ball burnishers, I can't recommend getting one enough. In the mean time you can use a dried up ball point pen (you don't want ink transfer), or knitting needles of various sizes. Aluminum knitting needles are incredibly handy tools to have as well, they make dots, they smooth, and you can use them as big hole forms.

1 comment:

Susan Higgins said...

I'm always looking for good ideas for making good use of my tools. Thanks.