POLYMER PLAY

by Sandra Bruce

Imagine this: you wake up to a view of Lake Tahoe in the crisp Fall air, head to the Dining Hall to have coffee and breakfast with some great folks who share your love of creativity, then stroll over to your classroom where you’ll spend the day with a few other like-minded souls, making wonderful things with polymer clay: buttons for wearables, beads and other jewelry pieces, art books, or any other thing your heart desires. After lunch, take a break in the afternoon to walk down to the lake, or take a nap, or chat with your friends. In the evening….more polymer perhaps? One of our programs, shopping in our store, or watching a sunset. Sound good?? Read on!
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This year I am teaching a polymer clay workshop, where a beginner or even a more experienced polymer fan  can spend the week learning many techniques and go home with some goooood stuff! I can hardly wait myself for a solid chunk of polymer time!img_9191

Let me show you just a few examples of what is possible. Here is a necklace made by a student after a 1-day polymer class. She made the beads and then took them home and made the necklace. Stunning!! These polymer beads are made with the “Mokume Gane” technique which I will be demonstrating.

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Another visual of some of a student’s work at the end of a one-day class:img_3441

You can even make a little figurine. I made this in a workshop with teacher and polymer artist Dayle Doroshow. My little Italian cook resides on my kitchen shelf.img_3451

Here is a purse I made and then I made the button to go on it. Buttons can be made in almost any shape, size and color(s) to match a purse, sweater, jacket, blouse, or any garment. Knitters and crocheters, you too!

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I bought this blouse recently, it had a very boring set of white shell buttons on it, so I replaced them and here is the blouse now. Voila!p1020423

Necklaces are so easily made to go with an outfit, since you can make the colors match and get it just the way you want it. I’ll bring my jewelry-making supplies and we will make some one-of-a-kind pieces.

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Big beads like this are fun to make, and very “Frida Kahlo” inspired!img_7476

Earrings can be long, short, fancy, simple….what’s your favorite?p1030984-filtered-copy

 

 

So that you can see the “magic” of polymer clay, I’ll show you one of the easy techniques, step-by-step:  There’s no waste with polymer clay. Look below, here is a little pile of scrap pieces. The colors don’t even look like they go together, do they?

img_7795The scraps get chopped into little bits.

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Then, a log is created in your hands, of the bits.img_7797The log is twisted, for a minute or two….then flattened….
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…..and VOILA! Striped buttons! I love this technique.

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Canework is the “backbone” of polymer clay work, I like to say. We’ll be making them in many styles.

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You can see how easy it is to get carried away making things with polymer. Really and truly!

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Making gift “books” is a wonderful idea. The front and back covers are polymer, with blank accordion pages inside to write on. Very unique!img_1917

I could go on and on, as there are endless possibilities. If you want to see more, I encourage you to go to my Pinterest account, and on my Polymer board I have over 3,500 pins of polymer clay. Techniques, videos on “how-to”, and many beautiful pieces created by all the polymer fanatics out there (I’m one too!) Check it out! You can find me under my name, then the polymer clay board.

So, if this sounds fun to you, if you want to try polymer or continue your love of the craft please consider signing up on our “workshops” page under my name. I am happy to gear the workshop to what you want to make. I guarantee you will have a ball and enjoy yourself in this beautiful, inspiring place. Class size is limited and I already have sign-ups so make your plans soon!

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10 thoughts on “POLYMER PLAY

  1. Great blog! I especially like that I can scroll your Pinterest board right there. I’m hoping your students make lots of buttons, etc. that they might like to sell to those of us who can’t take your class.

  2. Sandra,

    I love your blog. I’m from Placerville but now live in New Mexico. Someday I hope to go to your Tahoe retreat. I noticed you spelled mokume gane Wrong. I have a mokume gane engagement ring made by Michael Daniels in Cool. It means wood grain in Japanese.

    I took Christine’s Urban Ombré class in Grass Valley a few years ago and finally (almost) finished the queen size quilt except there are still just a few safety pins in it …

    Robin West We are the ones. The time is now.

    >

  3. Sandra, your polymer photos are amazing. I shared with my new crafty friends here in Raleigh/Durham. They are drooling! If you EVER have another reason to come to our area, we would love to have you come teach a class at our Art & Craft Guild in our housing development. Alas, we cannot afford to pay travel fees, but could offer you many nice guest rooms to stay in.

  4. Wow, wow! Great pictures to get me wanting to pull out ye olde pasta machine. Acckkk!! There are not enough hours in the day!! I love to work in polymer clay because of what I learned from you in past classes.

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