Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New Year, New Medium: Polymer Clay

For various and assorted reasons, I haven't made glass beads in a few months now.  I thought I'd start the year out with something new, to get my creativity flowing!

Polymer isn't necessarily new to me - I have taken two classes with Christine Damm at ArtBLISS and have enjoyed them very much!  Below are some beads I made in the latest class I took with her, in September.
However, I have such limited space and have spent so much time getting ready for Bead Fest, etc., that I just never gave the polymer and everything else that goes with it much attention.

Some raw beads that I just made last night, for earrings.  I actually used a lampwork tool to make the spirals!  See - always thinking, always saving some money!

Below are some beads I made at the cooked and antiqued stage.  The ammonite pattern is also from a lampwork tool I have!  It's very easy to use these tools to press the designs into the beads.  Anything can be a tool if you think about it!
These beads have all been colored with either alcohol inks (the earring pair) or artists crayons.  They are waiting to be sealed and listed in my etsy store. 
Although I've never considered myself an "artist" and came to making glass beads in a completely different way than the artist major in college, I do like playing with colors and pencils and using my hands to really get into this medium.
 I'm hoping that this exploration will make me want to go back to glass beads, or show me a new path!
What new artistic mediums are you trying this new year?  Are you enjoying your experience?  Does it make you want to go back to your old medium, or continue to explore different mediums?

Susan Kennedy


  1. These are great looking! Haven't done much with Polymer clay - did actually take a class and enjoyed it. Had trouble with my beads cracking so I haven't pursued it any more. This inspires me to give it another try.

  2. Maybe we need to have a Churchill-Forest Hills clay afternoon sometime!

  3. Awesome! I need to break out that expensive set of crayons I bought after ArtBliss with Christine Damm. They are in a drawer so they are out of sight, out of mind. I want to expand my polymer clay repertoire this year as well. Currently in the fallow season, the thinking and preparing stage. But metalwork has always been a closet passion of mine. Maybe this is the year that I push that center stage. Love what you are doing! Keep it up! Enjoy the day. Erin

  4. They look great Susan!!! Question...what kind of crayons do you use?

  5. Love those ammonites, Sue! I have been playing with my clay as well.

  6. These are wonderful, Susan! I've been noticing you branching out to new types of bead-making lately and it's great fun to watch!

    I've been playing with polymer clay for several months now--starting from the very beginning--reading everything I can get my hands on and experimenting. I have so much to learn yet! It's limited my time to work with metals, which I also greatly enjoy, but it is so much fun to be learning something completely new and exploring the techniques! I hope mine look so 1/2 as good as this and soon! :-)

  7. I just love the colors on those beads, especially the last ones. It always amazes me just what can be made with polymer.

  8. Watch out all you "new to clay" experimenters...it has a way of taking over your life and brain and crafting studio! :)

  9. Wow! Were these all made from polymer? I'm familiar with how polymer such as ISO13485 Polymer can be used in plastic but never realized it could be used as clay or to make jewelry. These are beautiful! I may have to try using polymer to make some jewelry myself!

  10. When you say "artists crayons" what are these crayons called on the label? I have never heard of these before, but they I am interested in trying this technique after seeing your beautiful pieces.


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