Born To Be Worn by S & T Creations

Playing with Clay

Posted on: October 19, 2011

I have been reading and following some designers that work with polymer clay.  I thought I might play with some clay and see what I think.  I love to explore other mediums where I can be more creative and actually design components, whether those be beads or findings and components.  So I’ve dabbled with wire (my recent post on the copper wire cuff with the crystals) and chain maille using the same wire in jump rings.  I have taken some fantastic classes from Don Norris on silversmithing.  I learned a great deal and I enjoy that too.  Now compared to using wire and solder, polymer clay, friendly plastic and other such mediums usually fall under a listing of “alternative.” However, some things I’ve done have appeared “as is” in some test pieces, but even more importantly, I see a design in these that I then re-create with gemstones, wire and other components.  So, never underestimate the value of working with these things that seem more common, less expensive, and ones that other people may not consider “art.”

Now, before I go any further, let me first clarify that my turquoise links are not something I consider “art.”  But let me tell you what I learned while making these.  First, how to make a join and then make it disappear.  I wanted to see how thin the clay could be and still form a solid piece.  The thinner ones you see here aren’t hard, but a bit “rubbery” feeling. I can twist them slightly and pinch them just a bit.  But they would still hold as a link.  The thicker ones, though, show more color, especially those that are blended.  I compared twisting to rolling in terms of the design it made when I blended 2 clays together.  The blue and silver didn’t show as much as I thought it would, but I love the blends with the white.

My plan is to randomly combine these in an asymmetric combination of links, similiar to the asymmetric chain mail in the Creative Chain Mail Jewelry book I reviewed recently.  I think the color will add more drama.  It should be a very playful, fun design.

I took a piece of molding clay and made a fleur-de-lis mold.  I think it might be nice to make some light weight fleur-de-lis for next spring… is the symbol of Louisville and VERY popular around Derby time!  Hopefully I can find some other sizes for more molds, for larger pendants and hopefully for smaller earrings!


1 Response to "Playing with Clay"

I always thought that playing with jewelry clay looked like fun but I don’t have enough artistic talent to do it justice I think. Looks like you are enjoying it. Have fun.

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