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Posts Tagged ‘BPCG’

Polymer Clay Flower Brooches

November 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Now that I’ve got the hang of making polymer clay flower canes I’ve been wondering what to do with them. I decided to experiment with brooches:

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and here is a slightly closer look:

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“Breakthrough” Backgroundless Polymer Clay Cane Technique…

September 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Over the last few months I have been hearing a buzz about a new technique in polymer clay cane-making.

As Naama Zamir (founder of the Israeli Polymer Clay Guild) described it in the title of one of her blog entries, this technique is “A Breakthrough” for polymer clay cane-makers; in fact it is such a revolutionary technique that already it is gaining almost legendary status – up there on a level with “The Skinner Blend”.

I first noticed some references to a new ‘backgroundless’ technique in the Spring of 2010, and was intrigued by how excited the authors were to discover it. Trying to track down the source of this brilliant method (and to find out what it actually was), I attempted to trace it back through various cryptic and secretive references that I encountered in the blogs and websites, but kept coming to a dead end.

However, by Summer 2010 the trickle of references had become a steady stream, and I was finally tipped off by Penny Vingoe’s “Clayaround” newsletter, which pointed to this blog: http://naamazamir.blogspot.com/2009/05/breakthrough.html. At last! I could tell I was getting closer to the original source! It appeared that Edith Fischer-Katz (“Zoota” on the etsy site) was the inventor/developer of the backgroundless technique.

I contacted her today to ask if (a) she really was the original inventor, and (b) if she would be happy to participate in an email ‘interview’ to be published on the BPCG website, and she replied “yes” on both counts. So as soon as the email interview has been conducted, it will be shared with BPCG members on their website. I am really looking forward to it.

“But wait – what the heck is this fantastic new technique?” I hear you ask. Well, until now the usual way of reducing a non-round (e.g. flower) cane has been sort of grab both ends of the cane and just pull (which does result in very nice beads, but they are often inconsistent sizes, as the cane can become rather lumpy and often gets very thin in the middle and remains very thick at the ends). Even with very experienced cane-makers, the ends of the cane are often squished out of recognition, and need to be consigned to the growing pile of scrap clay (as shown in the photo below):

wonky flower cane

wonky flower cane

…but now Edith has provided the answer. Suitable even for beginners, the ‘backgroundless’ technique is a brilliant way of reducing a cane and keeping crisp edges and a consistent cane diameter, and results in far less clay going into the scrap pile. This new way involves wrapping the cane in Play-Doh and then an outer layer of scrap clay. Edith pointed me to a YouTube video which demonstrates it, which was created by her friend Yonat Dascalu: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ecS_Sa0KbM&feature=player_embedded#

Wow! This month I have been in contact with polymer clay royalty! First Cat Therien (yes – THE Cat Therien) commented on one of my blog entries, and now I have had the opportunity to have an email chat with Edith, The Inventor Of The Most Exciting Polyclay Thing Since The Skinner Blend.

I shall die happy now.

Polymer Clay Experiments

September 3, 2010 1 comment

I’ve been doing a lot of polymer clay experimentation recently, in the run-up to going to the BPCG AGM next week. The (sort of) chrysanthemum is a new design:

pink chrysanthemum layered pendant

pink chrysanthemum layered pendant

The frustrating thing at the moment is that I still haven’t found any regular outlets for my work yet, so I now need to start working just as hard at trying to sell my wares as I do at making them. Plan so far:

1. Keep plugging away at ebay and etsy.
2. Contact craft magazines to see if I can write an article for them.
3. Sign up to do a craft stall.
4. Approach local shops/galleries to see if I can sell my jewellery through them.
5. Approach local nail salons to see if they are interested in polymer clay nail art.
6. Get the ‘Shop’ section of my website working.

I’m finding that it’s not as easy to just knock items off lists like that straightaway, though. For example, for most of those items above it would be best if I came up with a letter of introduction and a page of photographs, so that I can leave the documents with the shops if the managers aren’t in at the moment. And to produce those documents of course I need decent photographs. And to produce decent photographs I need a camera that takes closeups. And to produce the photographs I also need to have come up with good examples of work in the first place, that will stand up to being photographed up close.

Then with the website I not only need the photographs but I also need to do a bit of revision/research on creating web pages and how to set up payment buttons. etc…

So I end up with a big web of other tasks/obstacles that need to be addressed before I can go ahead.

…Fortunately I have now got a camera, so that’s why I’ve been creating new bits of jewellery to take pictures of:

blue-white petal cane

Blue-white petal cane. I never get bored of petal canes! They're so versatile, and they form the base of so many of the canes that I make.

floral charm bracelet

floral charm bracelet

pillow bead pink bracelet

pillow bead pink bracelet

pink flower and leaf bracelet

pink flower and leaf bracelet

flower  and leaf pendant

flower and leaf pendant

Yay! My new business cards have arrived.

September 1, 2010 Leave a comment

One of the first steps in the creation of my Craft Empire has been to have some business cards printed. Oh dear though – the flowers have been printed a lot darker than they were in my original design, so they all just look like big brown-ish blobs from a distance:

front of business card

front of business card

back of business card

back of business card

Gaaaaaah – I particularly liked those beads, as well! Just for the record, here is what the beads look like in real life:

blue flower bead

blue flower bead

pink flower bead

pink flower bead

purple flower bead

purple flower bead

Still, for the moment I would rather have a disappointing business card rather than no business card at all, so I just need to make sure I give lots away!

In the meantime, I’m looking forward to going to the AGM of the BPCG on 11 Sept 2010. Hopefully we can all get together and decide on holding another “Polydays” one day. It’s been so long since the last one and I absolutely LOVE Polydays. (It’s a weekend retreat in the UK where internationally-renowned polymer clay artists come and teach classes. Heaven.)

Polymer Clay Fest

July 28, 2010 2 comments

I have been indulging in a massive polymer clay fest over the last few days, and have created so many beads that I need to get rid of some of the excess stock on ebay. For example I’ve put a wholesale batch of 100+ beads (listed here)…:

100 polyclay beads for ebay

100 polyclay beads for ebay

close-up of some of the beads

close-up of some of the beads

…plus I’ve made some bracelets:

flower bracelet

flower bracelet

pink flower and leaf bracelet

pink flower and leaf bracelet