My newest “work art” project is working with polymer clay as part of the vocational arts program. I am officially obsessed with it. I hesitated to get involved with polymer clay for two reasons: 1) It involves some special equipment which therefore equals an outlay of cash,2) I knew I would fall in love with it and immediately want every piece of special equipment. Guess what, I am in love.
Polymer clay is a pliable medium that is basically made out of plastic. It comes in a rainbow of colors which can easily be mixed to fantastic effect. Sculpted clay is baked in the oven for a short period to “cure” it. If you are working with polymer clay you will definitely need: a pasta machine, acrylic rolling pins, tissue blades (like a long razor blade but thinner), plexiglass or glass sheets to work on, a bead roller and if you are really hard core a dedicated craft oven.
Clients in my vocational arts program are making beads from the polymer clay that are then assembled into jewelry that we sell at various venues. We have done some beads with the bead roller which is a very handy tool because it makes beads that are uniform in size. We are also making canes out of the clay that are cut into slices for chunkier beads. The canes are surprisingly easy to make and there are endless variations. I am attaching some pictures to show you what a couple of amateurs did their first time out of the chute.
As always, I love how the energy invested in a creative endeavor seems to build on itself. There is a synergy that happens when the idea meets the medium. I continually shake my head in wonder that working on these kinds of projects with my wonderful clients is something I get paid for. Sitting at my desk making jewelry is my job. Thanks to the Goddess of Creativity for the gifts you give me!