A couple of months ago, I was following a conversation on Facebook, and saw people showing photos of polymer clay beads they had learned to make following a tutorial,
"Rustic Beads and Components from Polymer Clay Project Fimo- Boho Distressed" written by Ginger Davis Allman of TheBlueBottleTree.
Photo from The Blue Bottle Tree store on Etsy.
So here are my first 8 beads.
And yes, they are a bit wonky!
My trimming around the beads could have used some improvement, but I filed them as smooth as I could after baking. Still, they didn't turn out very well shaped. I'm not completely sure how to improve that. (Suggestions? Maybe laying them flat rather than on the skewers? Would their design go flat if I did that?)
After I made the beads, I baked them according to the directions, then I painted them. Had I not looked back at the directions at the point to read up on sealing options, I would have missed the step that instructed me to bake again after painting! (What I learned: Must bake after painting!)
After they cooled, I experimented with different types of sealants. Some of my sealants had color, some were clear. The color of my clay was a light gray. I had purchased more colorful clays too but thought I would start with this one. I don't think I applied enough layers of color--paint or color sealant. They look more transparent than opaque. (What I learned: Need more color!)
Well, as I said before, they look a bit "wonky" but I wasn't aiming for perfection. I was "pleased enough" with my first 8 beads! I did wonder if I had anything "usable" here. What do you think?
I thought about it a bit, and finally decided to use a few of them, just for fun. This first piece, I think would have to be for me only, wearing at home with a pair of jeans! It's not a "show piece" (or a "show off" piece), but it will be a fun remembrance.
I'm a little happier with the pair of earrings that follow. Those long beads are "mood beads," and I think these are just a whimsical mix of colors and textures, so I can get away with my first-try wonky blue beads!
For anyone interested in learning more about polymer clay, I encourage you to:
1) tune into Kashmira Patel's blog, Sadafulee...Always in Bloom! where there has been an ongoing sharing recently about how to get started with polymer clay. There are beginners there, but also experts sharing, and it's very helpful and inspiring!
2) purchase one or more of Ginger's tutorials on polymer clay. I bought the one on rustic-looking beads, but there are many others!
3) go to YouTube and watch videos, read blogs, follow discussions on Creative Bead Chat, Artisian Whimsy, and other web opportunities for learning. (And remember, your local library is another good source for information!)
Thanks for joining me for the first look at my polymer clay beads! Hopefully I'll have more to show you as time goes on, and my skills will greatly improve! Please, share your experience working with this medium!