Jan 9, 2008

Toggles and Beads


Decided to spend a day making Polymer Clay Toggles and a few Beads. Never could find any pleasing CLASPS to go with my polymer clay work, especially when I don't always want to use metal ones. Sometimes I like the look of a functional clasp in the front that can act as a pendant. Now comes the hard part....trying to decide how to string them, whether to use just polymer clay beads and a few other types of beads or whether to go out on a limb and do something a bit more elaborate which includes wire or wire crochet. Will see. I may do a bit of both. These pics really don't do the toggles justice, but I just didn't have time nor the place to set up my lightbox. My daughter is moving....can you imagine trying to work around piles of laundry? lol

Tomorrow I make some toggles in other shapes...

7 comments:

rpm said...

I recently found your blog and I just wanted to say I really enjoy reading it and love the tutorials you provide. Your toggles are beautiful!
I am signed up to take a class in polymer clay and I've been studying and buying some supplies. How long did it take you before you started feeling like you were making good progress with your clay items?

Vanessa said...

Tina! I love your toggles! They are wonderful. Will you write a tutorial for them? Pleeeeeaaaaseee!

Vanesa

Tina said...

Thanks so much for the comps! Well, rpm, I started claying in 1989 so it's been a while. Trying to remember how *long* it took before I felt I was making good progress is a really good question. To jog my memory, there were no classes back then, nor the wonderful WWW. I discovered Fimo while visiting my father in Germany. He took me to this great hobbystore called Obi. I purchased some clay and a few leaflets. A couple days later I found a couple of Fimo starter books (which I still have) which my father thought I absolutely should have, lol. One is by Marlis Meyer "Romantic Brooches made of Fimo" and the other by Gudrun Hettinger "Schmuckboutique". (Schmuck, lol...isn't what most of us *think* it is, it's German for "Jewelry".) The instructions included mostly finished pictures and very few pictoral cues, so basically it was hands-on and trying to get the feel of the clay, making sure it was well conditioned so it wouldn't crack and trying to emulate the look in the book. I got the hang of it fairly quickly and I'm NOT the most patient person either. Whereas some clayers don't mind a few fingerprints to show the item is HANDMADE, I'm really nit-picky about that particular *impression*. Sandpaper and fabric as a texture on raw clay became a much needed necessity to hide those pesky marks. My early pieces were mostly brooches and hairbarrettes. I still have my first pin, a metallic tree in clay with a few Swarovski crystals as stars.
Vanessa, thank you! Write a tutorial for them eh? Good suggestion and will see ;)

rpm said...

Thanks for letting me know how you started! That's interesting about the fingerprints. Do you ever use gloves to help out on that problem? You sure did start when there was not a lot of help out there. The Internet has been so wonderful for research. Thank goodness for people like you who will share your knowledge with everyone and even go as far as to show us how you do it!

Tina Holden said...

I know there are some amazingly thin gloves out there, but at this point I'm so used NOT wearing any when I clay. I'd find it tricky to pick up small things like beads if I wore them and would have to learn how to use forceps,etc. I think we like to stick to what we're used to.

Debbie said...

I love these toggles too. Like you, I've made some polymer clay bracelets and necklaces, and the metal findings just look glaringly out of place! These toggles are a perfect complement.

Do you put anything inside either end for a stronger toggle? I was thinking of a toggle kind of gizmo for bracelets, but wasn't sure that a 'stick' of polymer would be strong enough to withstand being banged around on my wrist.

Or am I just tough on jewelry?

Thanks for sharing!

Tina said...

Hi Debbie,
the toggles are actually quite thick and hard, about 3/16th of an inch thick, about 1" long and 1/4" wide. These are best suited for necklaces. My smallest toggle, the triangular (without the point) does have rebar wire as an 'armature' and can handle being banged on bracelets. I'm planning on making more, larger and smaller and will post ;). Some are already up on Etsy.

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