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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Why use polymer clay?

Polymer Clay Angel

There are lots of crafts and materials out there and I have tried many of them - knitting, crochet, lace crochet, needlepoint, needle felting, drawing in everything from crayons to pastels, water paint and oil painting. Some I just wasn't very good at like oil painting or most 2-d stuff. When I knit, I often worked without a pattern and loved learning tricky patterns, especially fairisle. Still none of them kept me satified.

I discovered polymer clay to use with my kids. The smell of Play-Dough really bothered me. Polymer clay drew me in as much as the kids. I love making little figures and started looking on the web to find new ideas and tutorials. Dinko Tilov's book in 2004 really got me more excited. As you know, I love fantasy and his books pushed me beyond making teddy bears and simple creatures. I learned to do faces and use armature.

In 2007, I first heard of Christi Friesen. I bought her dragons book right away and another world of possibilities opened up. Suddenly I was introduced beads and embellishments as part of the design. Polymer clay cures at 275F so most natural materials can be added to it.

And new ideas keep on coming. I keep finding out ways to use incorporate different techniques and fun tricks. There is always something new to try or skills to perfect. Polymer clay can be anything. You can use it to sculpt, do surface embellishments, make elaborate canes, make faux almost anything, inclusions, and never mind the colors - more than what it comes in but the ones you can make yourself.

I started slowly, it took me awhile to go beyond the basics but once I did, I was hooked. At one point in the early 2000's, I got hooked on wearing acrylic nails and that limited my sculpting so I put the clay aside for nearly 8 months until I got nail fungus and had to remove them. Nothing felt as  good as playing with the clay again. Since then I have kept my nails short and mostly wear nail polish - if only to hide the clay I can't get out from under my nails :-).

I feel like a kid in a candy store, there's so much to try I have trouble choosing one.

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