by Sandra Bruce

When Artistic Alchemy has its retreat at Zephyr Cove in September we plan on bringing goodies and having some nice surprises for everyone. I plan on bringing my polymer buttons and earrings that will be for sale. When I take them with me when I teach quilting  at guilds they are always popular, especially with those who make wearable art and purses/bags. Let me introduce you to polymer, if you are not familiar with it. If you are already I hope these images will be eye candy for you!

Polymer clay comes in big chunks, and my favorite brand is Kato Clay. It is easiest to handle and comes in great colors.


It’s difficult to describe in words how polymer clay is formed into beads and other beautiful objects. Suffice it to say it is one of the most versatile and forgiving mediums and totally (TOTALLY) addicting. Canework, such as you see below, is the bedrock of making beads and buttons, as very thin slices of canes are used to produce a beautiful surface.


I enjoy teaching polymer clay classes, people are always amazed at what they can make, even in the very first class!





Earrings hang in my studio downtown for sale.


Polymer clay comes in handy for unlikely things, such as “feet” and handle for this decoupage purse I made from a pre-made plain wooden box.

For the disc necklaces that I make, varying discs are cut out with petit-four cutters and baked.
IMG_7525 Then wires and beads are added to each piece, and they are finally strung onto a necklace.IMG_7537_2IMG_2993Other shapes of beads are easy to make, too. Here’s a piece I made inspired by Frida Kahlo, who loved wearing big, chunky necklaces.


Buttons were an obvious segue after making jewelry for a while. These are fresh out of the toaster oven and ready for the Dremmell (holes).

IMG_6907IMG_6080IMG_5619For sure, they are as addicting as quilting!

In my “Christmas on Emerald Court” quilt I gave Santa’s suit some custom-made polymer buttons.

On a recent hot summer’s afternoon, Sharon, Heidi, Christine and I got together to play with polymer. Christine, until now a novice, didn’t know she’d be hooked by the end of the day, which she definitely was! Now all 4 of us have “polymer fever”.IMG_7066

I’m looking forward to stocking up on my polymer collections, to bring up to Zephyr in September. Remember too if you have a couple of friends interested in learning how to use polymer I am happy to teach a class here in Grass Valley or at your location. I have several toaster ovens and pasta machines which are needed, and I can order polymer for you as well. Contact me for further info.

In the meantime, Happy Friday the 13th, and Happy Father’s Day, coming up Sunday.


3 thoughts on “POLYMER LOVE xo

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