Mar 31, 2009

Inspiring each other with polymer clay

In a strange coincidence, two artist inspired each other with their polymer clay work. One is in France, the other in Canada. I was totally surprised to discover that I was blogged about today. I just left a comment for the person that inspired me when I saw that I too had inspired her. Too funny :), but in a wonderful way.

This is the necklace that was inspired by French polymer clay artist Roudfra of au fil des pates . I was inspired by the shapes of the uneven beads that are more pebble like. She in turn was inspired by my imitative ceramic. haha...this is great!
This one is obvious...I used some photoEz stencil for the swirl earring. I thought a nice little match for the necklace.

I can't remember what I did to these flowers, lol or what I used to get the effect on the leaves of the polymer clay. Should have written it down.

Mar 29, 2009

Green, purple and a bit of black

The title sounds like bruises, doesn't it? Well, my arms and fingers feel a bit bruised after wrestling with different gauges of wire. Yep, I've been mixing media again. First I was using bits of wire for my polymer clay flower chain (see below). This involved hammering some jumprings with a ball pein. Then the idea of making some big rings got in the way. Then the green stones led to the creation of a cane for the green bangle (and matching necklace and earrings) and now I'm back to purple pansies. And how was your weekend...? Tomorrow is Monday and I'm back to writing (shhh...another tutorial in the works)

Enter my Giveaway

It is March 29th and since it is so close to the end of the month...the draw will happen May 1st...Please read on

The Survey is now closed...thanks to all who entered!

Mar 22, 2009

Polymer Clay Inkjet Transfers that work

In the Fall 2003 issue of PolymerCAFE I demonstrated using Flecto Varathane as a transfer medium for inkjet images on polymer clay. Back then it was said that T-Shirt Transfer paper was the only way of doing transfers from an inkjet. Behind the scenes this wasn't true. Actually it was two of my friends that clued me in to the idea to try something different. During a workshop retreat that Gera Scott Chandler hosted in 2002, she had been using and demonstrating Acrylic Medium with good results and Cheryl Trottier introduced the coated paper method which used no medium, but involved burnishing onto clay and letting the plasticizer of the clay do the work.

T-Shirt Transfer paper is very expensive and I wanted to find a different way. After this, other techniques using TLS, Fimo Gel and Kato Liquid Polyclay became popular choices for inkjet transfers, but also using the same coated paper I had described. I have no idea why Flecto Varathane didn't become just as popular because it actually makes nice 'matte' transfers and has dual purpose in claying as well. I've heard recent rumors that coated paper maybe more difficult to find now, but I just googled "Staples Office Supply" and they still carry it, although it is 'heavyweight' or 45 lb stock rather than 27lb. I'll be purchasing some next week on my trip out of town and report on it.


  • 1 small block White Premo (Premo seems to work best)

  • Tissue blade

  • Tile or other suitable worksurface

  • cardstock

  • Flecto Varathane Diamond Wood Finish - Interior (Waterbased)

  • Alcohol (Gin, Vodka, Rubbing alcohol)

  • Epson High Quality, Photo quality (matte) for Inkjet printers (look for the word “coated” on the packaging). #384737 approx. $17.96/50 (CDN)

  • Pasta Roller Machine

  • Inkjet images

Step 1: Select images and print onto the Epson paper. I saturate the ink setting to make the colours brighter and bolder as the transfer will look a bit duller. Make sure you print on the smooth coated side, which looks whiter and feels smoother. Cut our your images and don't leave a border.

Step 2: Roll out the white Premo clay to a #3 setting on your pasta machine. Lay the clay sheet onto cardstock paper. Place images face down onto clay and cut around image. Gently remove images from clay.

Step 3: Working on one image at a time, bush Flecto onto the raw clay. Lay image face down onto the clay and burnish lightly. Be careful that paper doesn’t slide around as it sticks right away.

Once it sticks do not lift paper off the clay as colour may transfer at this point. Repeat with all images. (Photo 1)

Step 4: Using a clean brush, dip into alcohol and saturate image by blotting it. Lightly press and burnish with finger, gently wiping, but being careful not to poke hard into the clay with the brush as to dimple the surface or rubbing off the paper. You will see the image appearing through the paper. Any “whitish” spots you see are indications that the image is not quite burnished onto the clay. You may need to re-wet the brush and the image a few times. You will see a complete image through the paper when done. Let dry, this will take approx. 10-15 minutes. At this point you can trim excess clay around image, but be careful not to cut or press into paper. (Photo 2)

Step 5: Bake clay and paper according to clay manufacturers directions. Turn off oven and let cool.

Step 6: Remove image by peeling from a corner. If it sticks too much, try another corner or simply soak in water and lightly rub. Paper will come off with ease. Lay aside to dry.

There is a good write up on Cindy Lietz' site about transfers as well....

Mar 13, 2009

Polymer Clay Mokume Gane or Mokume Nendo

There has been quite the heated thread going on about misrepresentation of a technique. Metal Artists have complained on an Etsy thread that some polymer clay artists are using the term "mokume gane" in the tag line for their projects and that it is inappropriate. Some very negative things were thrown at Polymer Clay Artists such as:

"polymer clay is a BIG insult to the actual technique! If only the polymer clay makers knew what a bit of LABOR goes into the REAL Mokume Gane!!!!!!!"
"What on earth has that got to do with smooshing some polymer clay together and calling it Mokume Gane???"
"stealing the term to advance the value of the clay"
"terrible disservice to the talented metal smiths who make the real thing"
"it's highly insulting and devaluing to see people calling it the same thing"
"it cheapens it for the metalworker studying it and builds up the image for the clay artist"
"artificially increasing the value of your work by appropriating a term that is steeped in historical and cultural significance."
"it is an insult to them to call a polymer clay approximation of their labour by *their* name. I could not do it; I would be ashamed to do so."
"it makes the polymer clay artists look like -- excuse me for saying it -- posers."

Then the positives:

And also, since we're quoting, here's some positives:
"I do recognize that poly clay is an art form, and I recognize its practioners as artists."
"In truth, I think your art is valuable enough to stand on its own two feet..."
"The clay one in no way takes as long. That does not detract from its beauty or aesthetic."
"Well in all fairness here, the clay artists here on etsy didnt start this..."
"Who is denying the clay items are not the result of hard work and talent??"
"I do appreciate polymer and precious metal clay work..."
"I think its a fine media, and definitely is at times just gorgeous stuff."

The negativity toward us artists who have come on such a long road to educate people that Fimo is not Filo! that polymer clay is not cheap plastic stuff! and that 'no' it is not a kid's toy! only to be devalued again by metal smith artists as 'posers' is an insult, to say the least. We borrow terms from other materials all the time, when we make stone, wood, ceramic and metal. And Mokume Gane...aren't metal smiths just imitating wood grain?! there there, calm down, lol....

Moku (wood) Me (Eye) Gane (Metal) has been applied to polymer clay as an imitative technique for some time.
It has been suggested that the term "mokume nendo" (nendo - clay) would be more appropriate, and even though I like it personally, why should we have to change it when after all we are simulating...

In the end some Metal Artists say they never meant to attack Polymer Clay as an art medium, but some are still stuck on the thought that polymer clay is EASY!!!! ahem, ok...while some have natural talents and it may come easy to them...come on try it, I say and then repeat that it is 'easy', lol

Oh boy, what is next...millefiore caning?

Mar 11, 2009

OWOH update...

I'm truly disappointed and the recipient of my "OWOH give away" must be even more so. I had mailed this heart to Amy in Nevada.
Amy wrote me the following today:


I just wanted to let you know that I got your envelope. Unfortunately the corner had been ripped of and the pendent was gone. The envelope did say "received in damaged condition" however that seemed like a major understatement since the item was gone, so I thought I'd go in and complain to the Post Office.

Thank you however for offering such a generous giveaway.


I wrote Amy back because I always wrap items carefully. This one was foam wrapped and the envelope was taped shut. I can't help but suspect that someone tore the corner of the envelope intentionally and decided to keep what was inside. Things don't just fall out! Now, I've only made 3 of these hearts and they are all slightly different, but if anyone should happen to this very heart...

Free Polymer Clay Tutorial

I've decided to do a few free tutorials for polymer clay. This is a basic tutorial on conditioning clay and adding inclusions. The lesson is also part of my Bam Bam bracelet as well as my Friendship pin/pendant tutorials. I'm offering it for free because I don't want to have to repeat these simple steps in my paid tutorials, so anything repetitive and/or geared for a beginner will become a free lesson. I'll be doing another one soon.

(just click on the images to enlarge) Note: you do not require black clay for this part...

(click to enlarge)
(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)

Mar 9, 2009

Polymer Clay Tutorial

Finished the polymer clay tutorial for the Friendship Hand pendant pin combo. Put it on Etsy, although private purchase is also welcome. I've listed the tutorial for just $7. Also added a kit for $4.50, that includes:

1 Stencil
1 Dragonfly charm pendant
1 pin-pendant combo finding
3 flower heishi spacers
1 2" headpin
1 2" piece of wire
1 African glass bead from recycled glass, turquoise blue
2 4mm Czech fire polish beads
1 small seed bead in peridot green

Here is a snippet of the tutorial itself:
All you need are your basic polymer clay supplies...

Mar 6, 2009

Friendship Hand Pendant-pins in Polymer Clay

Polymer Clay Friendship Hand pendant pin combos with a ceramic-like finish and look. To achieve it I didn't use liquid polymer clay like on other pendants. I find that some liquid clays can mimic ceramics quite well and I've done that, but if the texture is not deeply etched, the liquid clay sort of pools here and there. If you have been following my blog you can probably tell that this colour, an amazonite/teal is my favorite. Black and silver and dark are other colours of choice, but I feel this colour goes year-round and compliments so many colours of clothing.
You may have guessed it, I've been working on turning this into a tutorial, including the imitative ceramic 'circle dot' beads. Should be finished by tomorrow.
The stencil is a little PhotoEz silk screen which I put on Etsy along with some others. The pins will be going up too, just in case anyone wants a finished one, ready to go (smile).

Mar 1, 2009

Kreative and Lemonade Blogger Awards

I'm very flattered to have picked up a couple of Blogger Awards and am finally able to catch up. Thank you to Marre Accessories for rewarding me in such a way. Marre has a few blogs, including one in Estonian! Like myself, Marre creates multi-media jewelry using polymer clay, wire, beads, fiber...Thanks Marre!

The rule is that the ones receiving this reward will write on what inspires them. Hard to say what inspires me as it could be that particular 'moment'! Sometimes it is music I listen to, other times a single word pops into mind, or a colour.

1. Colours. I tend to be dark when it comes to colour. On occasion I will create the odd 'pastel' item, but it is a rare. I'm very drawn to Hematite, a balancing stone. For metal I am drawn to Copper, the metal of Venus and any stone set in copper or used with copper with have an enhanced energy field. Copper even enhances the energy of silver and gold. As for actual colours, I am drawn to Purple, Blue, Green and Amber. The shades vary from lighter to dark, but the mixes will compliment each other. I try not too choose too many shades or colours as to overwhelm a piece and it has to feel 'right', both intuitively and visually.

2. New techniques. I'm forever looking for new methods to adapt and combine with my work. Most of the time I have a hard time just using one particular material or method and will use at least 2 or three techniques to combine and alter into something new. I don't like repetition, although it is a necessity when selling work. I create balance by doing something 'new' in between just to relax and feed the creative energy. Repetition creates stagnation and blocks, so unwinding with learning something new is important to me.

3. Other's work. All the visual eye candy of others' creations. It helps me to get out of the usual mindset and see possibilities and realize the endlessness of them. While I feel that learning a new technique involves copying, imitation or following instructions is not for me. I like to try something new at least once, something that is not the norm for me, such as creating a doll or a hand bound journal, but usually fall back onto what feels the most comfortable which is jewelry. Although I start with a visual project in mind, it doesn't always end up being so. I compare this to going a driftwood and pebbled beach that looks arranged in a particular way, then huge waves come in and change the whole lot! or Forest Gump's box of chocolates....never know what you're gonna get! lol

Easier said than done because I have two awards to pass on. I would like to pass this award on to: Well...the first one is very easy because she's always kreativ...

1. Gera Scott Chandler

2. Naama Zamir

3. Sandy of Simple Inpirations

4. Carolyn and Dave Good

Am glad to be able to hand Gera Scott Chandler an award as it is she who gave me the Lemonade Cart Award. Had to laugh when I got this

Bloggers conferred with this award have shown a positive attitude and gratitude. I'm very grateful, thanks Gera! Although I'm about a month late showing it!...better late than never...?

1. Put the logo on your blog or post
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs that show great Gratitude and/or Attitude.
3. Be sure to list and link your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know they have received this award by leaving a comment on their blog.
5. Nominate your favorites and link to your post.

Ok....easier said than done because I have just handed out 4 awards above....

1. Joan Tayler
2. Violette Laporte
3. Jem Redlich
4. Cheryl Trottier
5. Janis
6. LoopyBoopy

sorry if this falls short....
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...