Working with polymer clay is an endless journey with limitless possibilities. The reason I love it so much is because I never know exactly how the finished piece is going to look like, what’s going to happen along the way and which new things I am going to learn as I go. I find my inspiration in everyday life, people, dreams, animals, nature, movies, music, you name it! And the beauty of it all is, that everything and anything is possible.
When you take a piece of raw polymer clay in your hands, it’s like working with play dough. The possibilities are endless: you can roll it, cut it, paint it, shape it, use it with other materials, make beads, canes, strings, you can use one colour or 100, individually or mixed together, …you get where this is going, right?
So, first, you need to condition it, so it gets soft and then the fun begins! I used to do it with a roller, now I use a pasta machine, which speeds up the process and makes it a lot easier. I roll out sheets of clay and start designing the piece in my head. A lot of times, an unbelievable new thing comes out, when you think something went terribly wrong. That’s another great thing about creativity – no one can tell you what is right or wrong, it’s your piece, so you make the way you want it! I use different techniques: sometimes I use special stencils, called silk screens, which allow me to print amazing patterns on my raw clay. I use pastels, oil paints, acrylic paints, mica powders (for a little bit of sparkle 😉), cookie cutters, stamps, texture sheets, again, the sky is the limit and the best things are usually lying around you, not in a fancy, expensive craft store.
Put it in the oven…
After your design is finished, you bake it in the oven, so polymer clay can cure. It does not require high temperatures, such as ceramics for example, the normal kitchen oven does the work perfectly fine. Once the piece is baked, it needs to cool down a little bit and then more options are available again. You can paint it, sand it, combine it with other pieces or materials, seal it with varnishes, drill it, whatever you want, really. Most of my pieces is jewellery, so this is when I put earrings’ hooks in or place pendants on the necklaces.
My designs are very versatile, from funky, edgy pieces to elegant and romantic ones and I’m proud to contribute to the selection of unique, Irish handmade jewellery. I am currently exploring special techniques, which give the pieces the so-called organic look. I am recreating leaves patterns, shells, wood sticks, stones and putting them together in various unusual combinations.
I believe as long as I am able to create with polymer clay, my inner child will never be hungry 😉
I hope my designs make you as happy as they make me.