I love a good tip! I collect good jewelry-making tips like some folks collect stamps and coins. I post them on a cork board above my desk; I keep a list on my laptop. A good tip can save you time, money, and something else just as precious—frustration! So when we released our newest polymer clay workshop, Advanced Polymer Clay: Mixed Media, the first thing I did was read the tips.
Every workshop Interweave offers includes the host’s top five tips to help you succeed. In each of Christi Friesen’s earlier polymer clay courses, Polymer Clay Jewelry: Design Basics and Polymer Clay Jewelry: Learn 10 Beads and Charms, she shared five tips to help guide students through the process of mastering polymer clay techniques. She shared helpful advice, like:
- why you should never “hoard” polymer clay but use it soon after purchasing
- how to cure polymer clay with a simple oven
- how to securely embed wire hooks in clay
- how a piece of accordion-folded paper can help you in your polymer clay work
- the number one tool for working with polymer clay (hint: they’re attached to your hands!)
After covering the basics, Christi moved on to more advanced polymer clay techniques with her new course on mixed media with clay.
Christi Friesen’s Top 5 Tips for Mixed-Media Polymer Clay
Excerpted from Christi’s workshop materials, here are five of her top tips for making polymer clay mixed-media designs.
1. Safety First: Don’t be fooled into thinking that arts-and-crafts materials can’t hurt you. Be extra careful around sharp tools and make sure you have good ventilation when using resins and other materials.
2. Use All the Things!: This is mixed media, so mix it up! Have a look around you, because everything is at your disposal. If you can imagine a use for something, you can include it.
3. Funky and Functional: Wire can serve a dual purpose. In a supporting role, it provides an inner framework to give stability to your piece. In a decorative capacity, it can accent your jewelry in beautiful loops and wraps.
4. Make an Impression: Using lace to create imprints in your clay is just one way to incorporate fiber. Fiber can also be embedded and baked into your clay and even used to tie pieces together.
5. It Ain’t Over Yet: Just because your clay has come out of the oven doesn’t mean it’s done! You have plenty of other options to consider. Resin, for example, can imitate water, and metal coatings and patinas can give your pieces an entirely different feel.
Polymer Clay: From Basics to Mixed Media
If you’re new to polymer clay, Christi’s Polymer Clay Jewelry: Design Basics workshop is the perfect little introduction to this fun, affordable, super versatile material. You’ll learn to use polymer clay as you make leaves from clay and then turn them into earrings.
For those of you with a little experience working with polymer clay, Polymer Clay Jewelry: Learn 10 Beads and Charms is the workshop for you. In it, you’ll learn to make 10 different beads and charms using polymer clay using crystals, patterns, surface effects, carving, sculpting, and more.
But if you have polymer clay experience—or have been fortunate enough to take Christi’s first two workshops and are ready for the next level—her new workshop, Advanced Polymer Clay: Mixed Media, is ready for you. Taking Christi’s mixed-media polymer clay workshop will teach you:
- how to glue items that can’t be baked or rebaked
- the best clay-to-clay connectors
- coatings for oxidation and other surface treatments
- how to embed items in clay properly
- how to create translucent embellishments
- ways to use resin with polymer clay to create effects like glass and water
- how to use bits of leftover clay and clay canes in mosaics
You’ll master using polymer clay in your mixed-media designs and get loads of ideas for adding the “mix” to mixed-media polymer clay. Don’t wait to add this incredibly versatile material to your mixed-media toolbox—sign up for Advanced Polymer Clay: Mixed Media!
—Tammy Jones, Web Producer and Social Media Manager, Interweave Jewelry
Learn more about Christi at ChristiFriesen.com.