Polymer clay buttons

Customising my project

Customising my project

As you may have noticed we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of 2 grandchildren this year.  So my focus has been on some different activities.  I have been having great fun doing some knitting which I haven’t done for years. When I finished these 2 little jackets I went looking for commercial buttons to complete them and could not find anything I liked. Read more

Tube bead gallery

New techniques

One of the problems with the plethora of information, tutorials and inspiring images on the internet is wanting to try everything I come across. I have had great fun creating a range of tube beads with varying techniques. I have used the sculpey pearl tools, extruded strings of multicoloured scraps to create spirals, tried out some embroidery added some retro and more traditional flower canes. There are textures including sutton slice and mica powders to finish the pieces. I love the way all of the different textures have come together to create these necklaces.

My oven set up

Curing polymer clay

For my followers who are interested in polymer clay one of the discussions which comes up regularly is what sort of oven people use successfully.  So I thought I would add my 2 bobs worth to this discussion. When I first started with polymer clay I used my sunbeam toaster oven. It took almost 45 minutes to come up to temp and I had to stand and watch it constantly to keep the temp even, opening and closing the door to stop spiking. Also it was in my kitchen as it was also used for other purposes. My working space is in another part of the house so if I was baking I couldn’t really do any other work. I went looking for an alternative. Read more

Polymer clay adventures and new lessons learned

My first foray into polymer clay creations were driven out of need for some jewellery pieces to wear with favourite clothes.  I couldn’t find anything in cream and black and I also wanted something in a jade green.  The cream and black was made from another tutorial on craft art edu. The jade and black was a total experiment to not only make the colour I wanted but to also copy a necklace I wear a lot.  I am pretty happy with the results of both. I am now finding each time I make a piece I learn something more.

With the  jade beads I could not get the marbled appearance I wanted in a solid piece of clay.  Instead they were made with a veneer of the colour over the top of the bead shapes which was not quite thick enough to avoid polishing of and reveal the base colour when sanding and buffing.   I had to do some of the beads a second time to cover this.  That is one of the great things about polymer clay, you can add and change and fix things and just pop it back in the oven to cure again.  
IMG_0804eIMG_0744e

First attempt at polymer

For ages I have been looking for some beads to match a favourite coral pink top. With my new addiction to pinterest I discovered lots of fantastic jewellery being made with polymer clay. So I decided to give it a go. The pink and grey necklace was my first attempt. I was trying to emulate the gorgeous piece pictured from Judy Belcher.

efa2863131da364b33ae2e7230efca3a

Judy Belcher beads

As you can see I have a long way to go. I did follow her tutorial at CraftArtEdu but I really bit of more than I could chew for a first attempt.

Here are some of the things I learned:

  • Of course there is always the problem of not having quite the right tools when you start something new as well. I wanted graduated sizes, but didn’t have quite the right moulds which were exactly the same so I am not entirely happy because I have 2 different depths in the beads.
  • Sticking the 2 sides together was easier said than done. I made the base of the bead way too thin so there was very little surface for them to stick the back and front together and even though I was very careful when putting the pieces on the moulds they were not all the same size. Most of them were ok but I ended up filling 1 bead to get the back to fit.
  • Having a smooth surface means heaps of sanding.
  • I should have made a pattern on both sides because they turn when you are wearing the necklace. I think in future I will make flat backs.
  • My next projects will be a bit simpler I think.
Coral beads

My first attempt