Find New Talent In Yourself: How to Make Polymer Clay Jewelry Part 1! You can find new talent in yourself by making clay jewelry! Maybe you have worked with clay before, or perhaps you like making beaded jewelry. Or maybe you just like making art in general, or are looking for something interesting to get started on as a newbie artist. Whatever your reason, clay jewelry making can be as simple or complicated as you want it to be. You can hone your existing skills or find new talent in yourself. Here are some basic tips for creating polymer clay jewelry. In part 2, you will learn step by step how to make a specific kind of pendant! Clay tips: Why polymer clay? Why not other forms of clay? Polymer clay is easy to use, can be baked in a home oven or toaster oven, and doesn’t dry out. It’s great for people who are exploring new talent in themselves. There are many brands, such as Sculpey and Fimo. These come in a wide variety of colors, some with a glittery, metallic, or stone-like appearance. This clay should be kept in an airtight container. Although it does not dry out, it does get hard when exposed to air for prolonged periods of time and will then need to be warmed up and kneaded to regain it’s softness again. Tool tips: You’ll want a wide variety of shaped tools. You can buy sets of clay tools that come in many shapes and sizes, but you can also use things around the house. For example, you can use a needle or pin to do fine detail work, a toothpick for slightly larger details, and steak knife for other details, spoons for smooth edges, etc. You can use clean, empty tin cans to cut out circle shapes. Look around you; see something with a cool shape? You can use it! You can also use objects, molds, and fabrics to create texture on the clay. New talent ? Use what you’ve got around you, be creative!
Design tips: Warm up the clay in your hands until it’s nice and soft. Use a roller to flatten it out or use your hands to form it into the shape you want. For example, you can form a teardrop shape with your hands, but you may want to cut out a circle with a cookie cutter. But making a circle shape with your hands can give it a different look altogether, which you may want. Create designs and patterns with a needle, toothpick/other tool, mold, or objects that have the shape you want. You can make a textured surface such as the ones pictures in this blog by pulling a needle across the surface many times in many directions. Press a textured piece of fabric onto the clay for a unique look (use something that you don’t mind becoming stained! Thrift stores are great for finding materials.) You can make large pendants, individual beads, small disks, shapes and figures, and so much more. The only limits are your imagination. But make sure you leave a hole for stringing thread! Baking tips: Follow the directions on the manufacturer’s package for baking temperatures and times. Put the clay pieces on a baking sheet with a piece of wax paper underneath them to keep them from sticking to the pan. When they are done baking, let them cool completely before touching them as they are very fragile when they are still hot. Painting and finishing tips: You can sand, paint, and glue polymer clay once it has been baked. There are so many design techniques you can use with these methods… but for now we’ll focus on painting. You can use most craft paints. For a multi-toned look like in the pictures, create designs that go into the clay so there are raised areas. Paint the first coat with the under-layer you want, and then “dry-brush” the second color over the raised parts. Dry-brushing involves taking an old brush, trimming it down so it’s very stiff, and adding a very tiny amount of paint on the tip. Wipe the brush lightly against a paper towel until there is almost no paint left on the brush and then brush it across the raised parts of your design. Do this several times until you have the amount of color you want. The result will be a two-toned look that looks great! You can finish up your clay pieces with a coat of clear nail polish or a paint-on varnish. Check the label to see if it works on clay. Now that you know what tools to use and you have some design ideas, it’s time to explore new talent in yourself by creating polymer clay jewelry! You can find new talent by trying new forms of art.