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100 Days of Polymer Clay Necklaces: “91”

91 days to go until the polymer clay cruise…

For today’s experiment I layered some pink canes on top of some scrap clay, cut out an oval shape with a canape cutter, mounted it in a metal bezel-thing, and then made it shiny by covering it in clear acrylic nail varnish and setting it with a UV light.

layered pink flower pendantHmmm, the spiral is wonky but the flowers are mostly OK.

Etsy Here I Come!

August 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Thanks to the advice/encouragement from trinketsndreams the other day, I have been tempted into using Etsy as a possible outlet for my crafts, and have dipped my toe in the water by listing some tiny delicate polyclay leaf charms on etsy:

fifty polyclay leaf charms

fifty polyclay leaf charms

On the positive side, it’s only 20 cents to list an item – so with the current $/£ exchange rate that’s only 13 pence. But on the scary side, the exchange rate means that there is a fine line between my prices being set too high for people in the USA to want to buy my stuff, or for them to be too low for me to make a living (assuming that my theory is correct, and that far more people in the States know about polymer clay than in Britain (I think more craftspeople have heard of Etsy there, too, than here), so that’s where my main customer-base will be).

If I have time over the next few days, I think I’ll make a scientific experiment. I’m going to put three identical polyclay items for sale on Ebay.com, Ebay.co.uk, and Etsy. I’ll submit exactly the same photos and descriptions and prices for them, and then I’ll count how many hits I’ve had on each page.

Polymer Clay Nail Art

August 19, 2010 1 comment

I’ve only just found out that people are using mini polymer clay canes to decorate their nails! Duh!!

On the other hand, the UK often seems about five years behind the USA in terms of picking up on a lot of craft/fashion trends, so maybe it’s not surprising that not many people are doing this in the UK yet.

Looking at the websites of nail salons within a ten-mile radius of where I live (near Brighton), I haven’t found any that appear to use polyclay canes. Maybe I should view that as a business opportunity, and introduce them to my canes! The only trouble is that I don’t have a clue how they are actually incorporated into the nail design, so if the nail salon staff ask me how to use the canes I won’t be able to answer. Do the nail technicians bake the canes and then take fresh slices while the canes are warm? And then do they cover the design in gel and cure it under a UV lamp?

I’ve done a bit of experimenting with some leftover cane-ends that I had in my workshop, and a lot of them reduce quite well (i.e. you can still see the detail even when the canes are reduced to a diameter of about 5mm). Here are the results of my experiments this morning:

nail art cane experiments

nail art cane experiments

combination of cane elements

combination of cane elements

cool sort of mokume gane-ish water pattern

cool sort of watery pattern

even the wild violet (from the other day) reduces nicely

even the wild violet (from the other day) reduces nicely

closer view of some of the canes

closer view of some of the canes

quick experiment on some plastic nails

quick experiment on some plastic nails

Woo – I imagine that in the hands of an expert the nails could be made to look really special. Charlene ‘Cat’ Therien (polymer clay genius) has got lots of polymer clay canes for sale, and has a page about Fimo nail art, plus another page on http://www.neoflexnailart.com/shop/. There are some more pictures of pre-made nail art here, plus an article about polymer clay nail art here.