Finding my way through polymer clay!

I am a polymer clay artist on the coast of California. I am inspired by the shapes and colors of nature, especially the beauty you find in or near the ocean.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Faux Ceramic from Polymerclayweb- Due October 22

The Holiday Craft Fair is fast approaching, and I need some new stock!  I have several ideas for some pendants and bracelets, but I am looking to learn some new finishing techniques.  Hence the tutorial I have chosen for this round: the Faux Ceramic look found on  Polymer Clay Web, here.

The look that is achieved with this is so pretty and delicate. I am a real fan!  I envision using my own textures with this technique. We will see how that goes...

If you want your version posted along with mine and/or if you want to be added to the email list to be sent reminders, please email me  (and a small caption  with the photo of your project if you so desire) no later than Friday October 22nd at 6:00pm PST. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Results!! Maggie Maggio's Split Ring Chains

I haven't been feeling to terribly creative lately, so this was the perfect project. I didn't even need to mix colors as I had a palette leftover and sitting in a baggie doing nothing that I decided to use. 

The tutorial is perfectly done. And the addition of the worksheet is simply brilliant!  No need for a ruler or anything. 

I made 1 of each size rings just so I could see how each turned out (the are the red ones you can barely see in the image below), but then did all the rest in the medium size.  I took the time to make striped skinner blends and use them on a mud core... but of course I made the stripes too small and it all ended up being rolled and I lost the effect entirely =( You can't even tell in these pics!  When I realized that happened, I just mushed my remaining clay and did a simple twist.

And here they are made into quite the bulky bracelet.

My impressions of this technique: it's really cool.  The rings are a little springier then what I was expecting, though. Maybe if I baked longer or used a harder clay like Kato (I use Premo) they would feel sturdier.  They are not my style, but I am really glad that I learned how to do it, as I can forsee using one of these split rings as an element in a design, just not the entirety of the design.

And finally, we need more tutorials like this one!  Maggie Maggio has done a great thing by providing this free tutorial.  I do have her book too and it's fantastic!

Stay tuned for the next tutorial post!  I am trying to do my monthly PCGOE challenge just now, so it may be a few days before I put up my next post.

Until then...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Maggie Maggio's Split Ring Chains - Due Monday September 20

This project just came through my reader today and I am in LOOOOOOOVE.  How fun are these split rings!  It seems like you can make so many things with them.  And how lucky are we that not only is there a VIDEO tutorial, but a downloadable worksheet that Maggie is supplying to her readers?

The tutorial and the spreadsheet are both available on Maggie's blog, here.

Here is a picture of the finished project as posted on Polymer Clay Daily which is where I saw the project in the first place.

This should be a lot of fun and I look forward to seeing what everyone does with this. 

If you want your version posted along with mine and/or if you want to be added to the email list to be sent reminders, please email me  (and a small caption  with the photo of your project if you so desire) no later than Monday September 20th at 6:00pm PST.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

PCAGOE September Challenge Voting - win beatiful prizes!

I entered my piece from the "Donna Kato Transfers" craft-a-long in the September Challenge for the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy, which I recently joined.

I want to encourage my readers to go and vote! The coolest part, YOU the voters get entered into a pool to win prizes, just for casting your vote!  Look at the pool of prize items, made by other PCAGOE members:

Pretty neat, huh?

Please go now and visit and cast your vote.  You can also read about the rules of the challenge, and have a closer look at the prize pool.  As you will see, my entry is down at the bottom, #20!


Results: Image Transfers by Donna Kato

Well, image transfers are really fun, and I can see how they can be used to really spruce up items, or can be used as the jumping off point for a larger design, which is what I did.

I ended up using 4 different tutorials I found on the web, and 1 tutorial that was given to me as part of the PCAGOE Challenge. I did a combination of all of the different ways to do transfers.  I ended up ruining a LOT of clay.  I think I did about 20 transfers before my frustration level went through the roof and I just "settled" on the one I used, which thankfully also was the best of the bunch as it turns out.

One big lesson I learned... don't make a bunch of transfers and then leave it overnight. It becomes a sticky ugly mess!

Here is my final piece:

 And, here is a close up of the details on the transfer itself:

When you look at the full size all the way blown up, you can see I get each dot of ink. I seriously took ages sloooowly and gently getting the paper off of this transfer.  And I HATE pruny fingers so this was really a labor of love.

Sadly, once again I was alone on the craft-along.  Come on people! This is good times!

Now, as I mentioned, I chose this tutorial craft along to work in conjunction with a challenge I was entering as part of the September Challenge at PCAGOE.  I will be making another post shortly with more details, but if you just can't wait, go here to vote!  I bet #20 looks familiar...