I don’t think I’ve blogged about this, but I hit a wall with my crafts a while ago and just stood there staring up at that wall for a while(and occasionally banging uselessly into it over and over like one of those malfunctioning androids you see in a lot of sci-fi)
I have ideas, but invariably my fingers will refuse to cooperate, or the clay/glass/wire start doing things I don’t want them to (on a side note, I’ve lost count of the number of times I jabbed myself while trying to cut and manipulate 1.25mm copper wire. I have a lot of respect for proper wire-workers *G*)
So I’m just plodding: making tiny plain lampwork spacers in the hope that the practice will benefit me in the end; clearing out my clay table; mixing polymer clay colours.
Anyway, in the spirit of clearing my head, I’ll be posting some polymer clay work I’ve been doing over the last few months that have been hidden away in my bead tins. They’re variable in quality and concept; I’ve been thinking, ‘I’ll just perfect that, and then I can use it in jewellery’ but I can’t seem to get past doing more that prototypes.
I don’t know about anyone else, but sometimes I hold so tightly to something that it begins to almost suffocate me and being stilted in that way is anathema to getting work done.
I’ve also come face to face with synchronicity in ideas – I purposefully avoided reading about carving when I was making my own take on carved beads, but I’ve just now come across the same idea, documented, I would guess, about 10 years ago. I’ve never looked into carving except for a few comments people have made about lino cutters (which are apparently scary tools, prone to slipping, and with a tendency to gouge more than just clay.) And I guess the reason I didn’t look into it is precisely because it’s a pretty simple idea, and I didn’t want to know that it was already in use. No harm done, I never thought about claiming it as My Very Own Special Technique (who would want it, for one thing?), but it’s always funny to see this happen…especially when you’re apparently a decade or two behind everyone else *G*
Happy New Year everyone!
Practical Polymer Clay Tips
And here are some of mine, that come purely from my experiences with polymer clay. Many polymer clay artists have incredibly insightful tips scattered all over the internet; I do not. I just have these *G*
- If you like to use sparkly, shimmery dust of any kind (mica, flakes etc.) designate one whole day “Sparkly Day” and do nothing else that day. No matter how hard you clean, how strenuously you scrub, the sparkles WILL get everywhere – your clay, your hands, your significant other’s work clothes. Best to accept this, and embrace it to the fullest.
- My favourite working surface is a cermaic tile (floor, bathroom or kitchen), as they’re generally smooth, grip the clay well without grabbing it too much, and can be popped straight in the oven, which helps keep flat components from being distorted by transferring them. DIY shops may have offcuts, or wait until you’re getting your bathroom re-tiled, and ask for leftovers from the nice builders *G*
- Always have hand-wipes nearby; some colours bleed very easily, to the point that their colour can be transferred to the next one you use. A quick wipe of your hands solves any problems beforehand.
- Don’t burn it, don’t eat it, and don’t mix it with anything that will be toxic if baked. Other than that, experiment! Mix in herbs, pencil shavings, fragments of sweetie papers, bits of grated, cured scrap beads. Dip it in vegan gravy, stain it with tea, roll it in sea salt. You might get a few fugly test beads, but you’ll never again have to wonder if baking beads suspended on dry spaghetti is a good idea (I ran out of cocktail sticks).
Check out the post that gave birth to some of these tips here: http://allthosethingsandtheotherstoo.blogspot.com/2009/06/polymer-clay-addiction.html
More tips will be forthcoming (when I erm…discover them *G*)
I managed to take a photo of some beads I made a week ago though!
If you’re obsessed with polymer clay, you WILL:
find a sudden proliferation of colourful splodges on the bottom of all your shoes,
look at random objects and immediately think, “A new way to texture clay! Awesome!”
have a pasta-machine cranking arm like Popeye,
flaunt a permanent mica sheen on your skin
think people are weird for using Polymer Clay Conditioners to make pasta,
worry that you have a lot of bruises, until you realise you accidentally stuck your elbow into a heap of blue scrap clay last night,
have more blades than a surgeon,
know what it tastes like (or maybe that’s just me…honestly, it WAS an accident),
cover 90% of small objects in your house in polymer clay sheets
believe that one day, a polymer clay house will be made. And it will rock.
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