Monday, 21 November 2011

Ick -- first try at polymer clay

polyclay inside-out beads

First, I should add that these aren't new. The pictures are new, though, and I don't think I've shown my polyclay beads and pendants to anyone before. Why that is, is pretty obvious: I do have a hate-love relationship with all sorts of clay, which I've written about before, and this was my first time working with polymer clay. The only clays I've worked with before have been saltdough and modelling clay as a kid and then dabbling with ceramic clay in art class in school as pre-teen and teenager a couple of times.

 I'm no natural clayer. More a painter than a sculptor when it comes to creating. I like to work on a canvas, be it painting on an actual canvas, embroidering on cloth or weaving beads on a thread. While it most certainly can be dimensional, not least my beadweaving, it's not about moulding a material or chiselling away bits and pieces of it. I draw with threads and beads or piece beads together like it was Lego, I shape but I don't mould and manipulate like you do with clay. But sometimes I'm inspired to work with it nonetheless. It has its uses and there are many interesting techniques to try.

The beads above are made after instructions by Irene Semanchuk-Dean in the book Making Beautiful Beads. She calls the Inside-out beads if I'm not mistaken, which explains pretty well how they're made. It's a rather fun and very simple technique, perfect for clay newbies and kids. Like children's inkblot paintings, but in 3D.

As you can see, I haven't mastered the technique for smoothing out the edges and seams where the different clay pieces meet. One thing I did learn, on the other hand, is not to use white clay unless you're 100 % sure the work surface is clean. If there is just one pin-size speck of darker clay or one tiny glitter particle it will end up on the white clay... D'oh!

polyclay pendants

 I also used ultrafine glitters, metallic powder, liquid Fimo and copper foil on some of the pieces. You can only see the foil and silver powder here as I wasn't pleased with the other pieces. Too fugly to show...

The cat pendant and silver charm have stamped images. There was probably a good reason for adding the pawprint to the kitty image, but I wish I hadn't. Other than that, I'm pleased with the colour I mixed for it (using chocolate brown, white and a smidge of yellow, I think) and the chocolate brown frame. I also like the finish I got using Fimo silver powder.

The copper crackle cabochon is one of the pieces I was pleased with. Sure, it's a bit uneven, but I really like crackle effects -- and this one was so easy to do. Normally, instructions call for a pasta machine, but I just used an acrylic roller.

I will add another, bigger pic of the cab later. That photo shows off the copper foil better, but I couldn't add it now as the photo is on another computer. *photo added*

So there you have it, my first venture into the world of polyclay. I haven't touched it since -- and that was perhaps two year ago I made those. Clay probably isn't my thing. And now other clays have become more interesting in my eyes. Clays that don't require oven baking and clays that also work as adhesives. So why even bring all this up then? Well, I guess it's because of this. Pehaps I should give pc another chance? (Though I confess that a resin clay challenge or hop would've been much more exciting and inspiring for me personally.)


  1. This is so smart :) I love the color combination!

  2. I happen to like all of your clay pieces. Loving the colors in the 1st pic. I have been meaning to try working with polymer clay forever now. Thanks for the inspiration. PS I do hope you give it another try. You are much too creative not to.

  3. Thanks! I just added the other photo of the cab as mentioned in the text.

    Well, I can't say I _feel_ very creative when I get my clay out. Rather the opposite... *lol* But I will probably give it another go as I was tempted by read an article on doing inkjet transfers on polyclay. Most techniques I've seen require toner-based printers or copiers, but like many I only have an inkjet to print with.

    Also realised I forgot one piece, which I shot seperately. That one will also be published on the blog soon, I think.


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