Polymer Clay Jewelry
It has been a while since my last blog. My new year’s resolution is to make sure I post at least one time per week. I have been concentrating on my art and new ways to experience my culture and my talents. Since this blog is focused on polymer clay jewelry I should mention first how I fell into it's trance. I wanted to find art clay to add an interesting and exciting three dimensional art piece to my experimental acrylic dirty pour. I came across different types of clay and learned about their uses. I plan to share with you about these different clays and how to use them on my next blog.
How I Started Making Jewelry:
First I had to research what people buy in my community. I learned that people love to buy things that they can use, such as soap, oils, clothing and jewelry. So I decided on creating what I felt was fun for me to do and something I could be proud of. If you know my work, I love to do BIG ART! But big art doesn't sell easily. So To keep the balance in my budget, I had to think small. While designing and finishing one of my BIG ART pieces, (a goldfish in a pond). I needed to add another 3 dimensional item to my piece to finish it. I felt that it needed a water lily to create interest. I started trying out different clay to add a water lily. I used the polymer clay and found that it was just too heavy for a wall hanging. I chose another type of clay (Paper Clay) and was so pleased with the result. Looking at the water lily I thought, "what a cool flower". I also thought that it would be fun to create something like that to wear. SHAZAM! Jewelry!
Knowing how different clay materials work, I decided to work with the polymer clay as it is more forgiving. Because this medium can be heavier than paper clay, I knew that it could be used for many different types of jewelry. I was hooked. I started looking at how many Items I can make with this clay and really the sky is the limit. I have just completed a Wizard of OZ bookmark series, a few necklaces, and one hair barrette/brooch, and I am ready to do more. Word to the wise: this stuff is pretty addicting. I will be taking my products to our local art gallery and see what happens. Wish me luck! About Polymer Clay: Polymer Clay is sculpting clay that you can mold, and then by baking it at a low heat, it becomes hard. You can get different types of polymer clay; there are several on the market. I went to my go-to friend YouTube to enlighten myself about what type of polymer clay was better and found that each artisan uses different types of clay for different reasons. I also went to our friendly Hobby Lobby and found this incredible book by Christi Friesen titled Steam Punkery. I purchased it because she loves mixed media. Right up my alley.
Tips for the beginner: Buy one packet of white clay and work with it. Create a bead, a small animal, or anything you think you might want to use this clay for. Bake it and then paint it. I believe that if you want to use a new medium product you're not familiar with, do not invest in a lot of it. To understand it you have to play with it. I just started to learn and use this medium, so I just buy what’s on sale (after all a starving artist doesn’t have a choice). I am so happy Christi Friesen put herself out there to educate me on the product's create-ability. There are all kinds of ways to use the clay and different types of products to add to it and to create interest and dimension. Buyers Beware: You will learn that polymer clay comes in all types of colors and these colors can create the illusion of real wood, stone and even feathers. Sounds exciting right? Here is the downer, to mix clay you will have to invest in a bit more, such as different colors of clay, a clay machine or a pasta machine. Not to mention all the other products that you need to purchase to make your product sell-able. Remember you can really loose your head purchasing clasps, chains and all sorts of material to finish your product. Be frugal and you can go to lots of garage sales and thrift shops where people are selling old jewelry and fun gadgets to add to an art piece which you may want to create.