Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Polymer Frenzy!!!!

I'm pleased to announce to the world that I have been officially cured of my sanding-and-buffing-only polymer clay snobbery. Oh, my goodness... When I first started working with the clay, absolutely NOTHING would do for me but to sand and buff every single one of my pieces. I hate to admit it, but I did feel a bit smug and superior about it. Ugh, I hate my inner jerk, especially when I come face to face with her.

But, I can punch her in the face today because I have discovered the joys of varnishing!!!! YAY! Things get so pretty and so nice and you don't even have to work that hard at it. Sometimes, not really at all. It's sent me on a polymer frenzy. All of these old things I've made, waiting in their crowded spaces for the day when I would finally get around to sanding and finishing them all, have suddenly seen the light once more! I did sand many of the beads, with a medium sanding block and then a fine one (I also have discovered the rapturous joy that sanding sponges can bring!), then coated them with a varnish. They sparkle. They're gorgeous. I love them. And I think I love them even more because they're finally FINISHED.

I still love sanding and buffing. That's the absolute truth. And on some things, still, the varnish just won't do. But to be able to feel like I can breathe again--like I don't have to wait to create until I have enough time to finish everything... That's a huge relief. It makes me feel like doing nothing but polymer for the next 17 days at least.

Here is a huge pile of stuff I've recently made/finished (in the last two days!):

You can see, starting from the left top area, and going roughly counter clockwise around: Cane beads and slices (sanded, varnished with thick gloss), mini sushi trays (varnished with satin varnish), jointed (JOINTED!) oyster with pearl inside (varnished with gloss), totally cute octopus bead (varnished with gloss), layered stamped and alcohol inked silver leaf beads (sanded and varnished with thick gloss), tube of "jade" to be made into heishi beads (sanded and varnished with thick gloss), coffee bean beads (left plain, but so cute!), shaving cream beads (varnished with satin).

Here's an up close shot of the octopus bead which may just be the cutest thing I have made thus far. I LOVE it. I know I could sell it, but I don't think I want to.

And here is the oyster opening his mouth to reveal the pearl! That's a freshwater pearl that I wired into the inner area. The backs of both shell pieces were cut so that this piece can actually be hinged. I haven't entirely decided yet how I'm going to display/attach this to something. But I'm really excited about it! Basically, I formed everything, then pierced and cut the back hinge pieces. While the clay was uncured, I bent the hinge part so that they matched and slipped that part onto a bead pin. Lightly coated the inside of both shell pieces with Kato Repel Gel and then reformed the lid and bottom piece together. When they were baked and cooled, the two pieces came apart very easily and I rinsed off the insides to get rid of the repel gel and now I have a totally cute hinged oyster that, as I said, I don't know what I'm going to do with as of yet... I can't wait to figure it out, though. With the octopus and the oyster, I'm thinking of creating an entire little charm set of under-the-sea things and turning it into a charm bracelet with one of my fine silver chains. We'll see.

Oh, and on an awesome side note... I am actually mailing my contract with Polymer Cafe out tomorrow! The article is actually getting printed! It's actually happening! Ack! I still almost can't believe it! God is so good!


  1. I love your octopus and clam Kathy! They are so adorable. How exciting that your article will be printed in Polymer Cafe! God IS GOOD! Congratulations on your achievement! How many copies are you planning on buying? If it was me I would buy a dozen. Hey, do they give you a free one as well? That would be nice. Can't wait to see what you end of doing with the charms!

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