Friday, July 22, 2011

The Story of A Most Forgiving Medium: Polymer Clay

One of my first attempts at stamped beads was (A) in a copper overlay on green PC. I made them in several different shapes as seen in the next pictures. HOWEVER, I was Not happy with how they turned out. I was hoping for something close to a Mokume Gane look, but as you can see, failed terribly. So, lets add some brown acrylic paint (B) to give them an antiqued look. Not much better!  What else is in my drawer? How about some gold embossing powder (C) and rebake?  Nope, not applied evenly enough!

So they got put away in the "maybe some day" box. Until, I found a lesson on using "PC putty", making a slurry out of colored polymer clay and Translucent Liquid Sculpey, which could then be applied to indentation on beads (D). Then sand, sand, sand and buff. Hmmm, getting closer.

Picked the best one of the bunch (E) and wire wrapped it. As a finishing touch, add High Gloss Glaze (F) and voila, Ugly Duckling no more!

ADDENDUM for Art Jewelry Elements:

You might have notice the date of this blog post was over a year ago. Jeez, have I really been blogging that long? Seems like I am still learning the ins and outs of it today.  My jewelry creating and polymer clay passions started way before the blog did, and as I have mentioned before was on a dare by my son.

This addition could go on for PAGES, if I showed you all my "oops", "ah, no I don't think so", "OK lets try that agains", and a great many of them never did see the light of day, because with polymer clay, as evidenced by the above, you don't ever have to leave a piece unfinished, or not to your liking.

This is one of my latest pendants that started out as faux dichrotic look on a blue background, and again, because creative challenge means to never be satisfied until you are satisfied, I continued to add to it. It eventually became what I refer to as a Vintage Faux Porcelain Pendant.

To the newbie, first timer, just starting outer, I say Hooray for you, and just keep on going, growing and


  1. Interesting transition from ugly duckling to finished jewelry. Presume PC is Polymer Caly?

  2. Amazing how you can keep working on a bead until it's perfect!

  3. Yes Islandgirl, PC is short for Polymer Clay. It can do just about anything you ask it to.

  4. It's fun to see the progression of your work. The end result is beautiful. I had to giggle because I've always thought the term Mokume Gane was a bit strange.

  5. Good on you for sharing, Marlene... this is a great idea!

  6. great post Marlene! it is always great to hear the story behind the early works matter how hard it is to show it :D ... you're work is awesome

  7. I really want to know the process you used for the Vintage Faux Porcelain Pendant bead. It is so pretty. I could never do that!

  8. Polymer Clay remains the most mysterious of bead types to me! Every time I think I know what it looks like, I'm told to guess again! It can look like just about anything! Sounds magical! I have a hunch mine would look like a ball of rubber, a worn out eraser or something. I'll have to get brave and try it some day.

    Meanwhile, I can say I like working with metal for some of the same reasons. I can put "stuff" on and take it off again. Use a dome to curve it, then hammer it flat afterward. I can't believe how forgiving a hard sheet of metal can be! Lucky for me! :-)

    Thanks for sharing the various stages of your bead work! I enjoyed your post! --Sharyl

  9. It's cool to see all the different things you did to that bead before it was finally finished!


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