My experiments with polymer clay play, continue in a haphazard kind of way! I love to experiment, but in fact, usually end up with a motley collection of techniques. Some work, and some don’t!
I want to actually make something exciting out of my polymer clay. Do I really want to make a bunch of beads? Perhaps not, but there must be something that I can make!! In the spirit of experimentation, I’ll continue along the exploration path, until I come up with something that I’m satisfied with.
Okay, I need to say this, polymer clay play is not terribly difficult to do. As long as you buy the right products, then follow the rules about conditioning and baking, you will come up with a perfectly acceptable product. Of course, you know that there’s more to this, don’t you?
Sanding!! To get a lovely smooth finish, you need to sand and buff. This requires multiple different sandpaper grits (a minimum of three, but preferably more), and a certain amount of elbow grease. I do not like sanding!!! Does this mean that I will never be a polymer clay artist? Perhaps not a traditional one, but we’ll see!
Rough and very textured surfaces, surely require a minimum of sanding! Would it be possible to skip the sanding step completely? I expect not, but I’ll certainly try to keep it to the bare minimum. I know that our very own Barb Colautti, would probably be horrified to hear me say that, but that’s why she’s teaching polymer clay classes, and selling her work, and I’m not. LOL!
Will polymer clay play just be another notch in my mixed media toolbox? I certainly hope so! I’m learning the basics, then I plan to go all crazy on you, and mixed media them up!!!!! Won’t that be fun? I promise not to expose you to my fledgling efforts, unless I come up with something spectacular! Well, I’ll probably show you some of my experiments, but for now I’ll just show some work that I admire.
Staci Louise Smith is a rock star, in the polymer clay world. She makes rough, edgy mixed media pieces, and I’d love to own one!! Just to touch and feel would probably be enough, but for that I’d need to take a trip to the Bead & Button show, and that just isn’t happening right now! I bet she doesn’t heavily sand her pieces? Those rough bits, are just screaming for touch!!
Barb Fajarado is someone that I’ve discovered in the last few months. Her sense of colour is magnificent, and I’d love to get my hands on some of her colour recipes! It appears that her work (at least in these pieces) is an adaptation of the Mokume Gane technique, but she shows a soft sophistication, that is not apparent in the work of many of the others that I’ve seen. Oh, to own one of her pieces! I read somewhere, that while she does sand her work, she now prefers a matte finish (at least on her recent work). For me, that’s part of the allure!
Now I can’t leave you without mentioning Ginger Davis Allman of The Blue Bottle Tree. Anything, and everything you ever wanted to know about polymer clay can be found on her site. It’s a huge resource!!! She’s recognized as one of the foremost experts in the field, and is very generous with the amount of free information she shares. Another rock star, in my humble opinion. Oh, and did I mention that she also writes amazingly detailed tutorials (but you do need to pay for these). She even has one on how to sand and buff polymer clay, and I actually own it. Ask me if I follow her sage advice? Hanging my head in shame!!! Well in my defense, I do know how to sand off the rough edges, it’s after that my interest wanes.
Who knows how polymer clay play, will fit into my creative future? I certainly don’t, but I do know that I’m having a lot of fun right now, researching, watching videos, reading, and puttering about with the clay. Have you ever tried working with it? Are you tempted? Why don’t you give it a go?