~ A special clasp (not just a lobster claw)
~ Some coordinating spacers or beads
After making the finished piece, I have to say, truthfully, that working with the brass chain and beads was awesome. I really have developed a love for the material, whilst Laurel’s handmade focal pendant just reaffirmed how much I love the range of beautiful things you can create with polymer clay.
I feel like this bead soup did what it was supposed to; it took me out of my comfort zone, gave me a chance to try, and appreciate, materials I’d never worked with before, and resulted in a piece that made me smile. Mission accomplished, Bead Soup Party.
A quick eye-candy post to show this new style of bracelet I’m obsessed with – I love watching sugar art being made, and just had to have a go at a ribbon candy-style bangle.
In other news, there are some some items in my Etsy shop.
In other, other news, I had a tutorial in the March 2011 issue of Making Jewellery called Polymer Poppy Pendant. I learnt a LOT from it – mainly that I hate macro-settings on cameras, and their desire to show every flaw *G*
Just a few signs that you probably think too much about polymer clay:
You snap your glasses and try to mend the bridge with a snake of metallic gold polymer clay before it occurs to you to get them mended at, y’know, the opticians.
You catch sight of your latest blue-to-purple Skinner blend and your immediate thought is, “That is so sexy…”
You condition polymer clay in one hand while you’re reading/watching TV/eating/in the bath (okay, I’ve never done that last one).
You pick up a magazine you haven’t read for 3 months, and find an actual skinner blend tucked between the pages (sidenote: you wouldn’t believe how much plasticizer had leeched off into the paper!)
I’m sure that a lot of people who do any sort of creative work have had the experience of getting an idea into their heads and being unable to let it go until they’ve exhausted it, even if is blatantly not working. Yes, that’s right, this is one of those stories *G*
I’ve always loved the look of polymer clay mixed with alcohol inks, but seeing as the people who make the ones most used with polyclay never got back to me about whether or not it was vegan, I gave up on those inks. Then my desire to use natural products in my work (which is a bit of a stupid desire when you consider than my favourite material is a polymer…and thus, essentially plastic) collided with my desire to experiment with paint effects, and I embarked on a week long period of madness, during which I discovered:
1). I do not have an inherent knack for making stamped, carved or inked pieces. Other people’s efforts in this vein look distressed in the artistic sense; mine look like the person who made them *was* seriously distressed, and possibly did her in a darkened room with a rabid squirrel as her only tool.
2). Liquids with a high concentration of water are a no-no with polymer clay.
3). I don’t know when to give up.
At the end of this week, all my surfaces were covered with pooling liquid and half-dried scabs of my paint, my hands were stained, and I’d used a silly amount of nice white clay for something that ended up disappointing odd. I’m not giving up though (see point 3) – there is a tiny glimmer of prettiness lurking in the idea, and it will be nurtured as soon as I can face anything paint-like again. I daren’t go looking to see if this has been done before, partly because that would mean the experiment of stupidity could have been shortened. partly because I can’t bear to read about stuff that I can’t currently bear to do.
So can you guess what the ‘paint’ is?
Yup, it’s beetroot juice. Beetroot juice mixed with liquid fimo (turns orange), beetroot juice mixed with Pearl-Ex powders (lovely colours, needs work to keep it *on* the clay), and neat beetroot juice (sporadic patterns, can be pretty). Also, the best way to apply it is by letting soak about 40 seconds in a capful of beetroot and mica powders. Any longer and the clay cracks.
By the way, here are the ‘best’ of the experiments:
I’m no good at recognising stone/semi-precious beads (the only ones I have are amethyst chips from two years ago!), but whatever they are specifically, these creamy-tan nugget beads and green rounds are stunning; they feel lovely and weighty in the hand, and have beautiful subtle colour variations. Accompanying them are little brass fillegree beads (to the right) and some pretty green glass beads too, as well as a length of brass chain, a handmade brass clasp (seen in the centre of the brass spacer beads), and best of all, a stamped heart focal. Most of the materials are ones I haven’t worked with before, and to be honest, they’re awesome; I completely understand the attraction of Vintaj and Trinity now that I have brass in my hands (feel free to laugh at me if it’s not brass but something else – whatever it is, I love it) *G* Thanks Laurel
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