Polymer Clay Jewelry

Learn how to create a unique polymer clay jewelry that is marketable.

Have you ever found yourself in a craft store drawn to those solid, small and magnificently colored blocks of polymer clay and wondered what in the world one can do with them? Or, specifically, what is polymer clay and how can I use it? Polymer Clay is not really clay at all, but polyvinyl chloride (PVC) mixed with a plasticizer for flexibility and color pigments. Completion of designing your piece, and baking the clay at temperatures between 215 and 275 degrees F causes the PVC particles to polymerize. It is for this reason, the clay-like mold-ability and the chemical polymerization that polymer clay got its name.

Who would ever imagine that you could take three dollars worth of clay and create a necklace that could be sold for seventy-five dollars? Here are the simple steps it will take to create your own line of polymer beaded necklaces. The supplies are inexpensive, the rewards are gratifying both creatively and financially.

You will need to start:

3 different colored blocks of 2oz polymer clay

Beading wire - tiger tail or beadalon - 1 roll will go a long way

An assortment of seed beads - black is good as the base color

A single edge razor blade

Super Glue

A kitchen oven or toaster oven

Nice to have when you become serious:

Crimp beads

Bead crimping tool

Needle nose pliers

Directions:

Look at the first block of clay and notice that it has four score lines drawn in it. Slice along each line, creating four slabs of clay.



With one of those slabs, divide up by four and roll each ¼ piece into a round ball. Create 16 balls in each of the three colors.

Then take one ¼ slab and roll into a long roll 5" long and 1/8" round. With single edge razor blade slice small round slabs off the long roll.

Apply the "dots" in random order on the larger balls.

Mix up all the colors so that you have several selections of polka-dotted balls. If your sense of design can't tolerate the random look, choose a pattern and color palette you like.

Put a hole in each ball with a wire the size of a hanger.

Bake in oven for 10 - 20 minutes at 275 degrees on a clean cookie sheet that will be used for clay only (it is not advisable to mix clay residue with food).

Once all the beads are completed, pick a random 35 -50 beads and string them on the wire, placing one to three seed beads in between the clay beads.

Finish off the end by either tying a strong knot, or adhering a clasp.

The fun begins with the art of selling the necklace. You might try wearing them yourself to attract attention. Wear a simple white or black shirt or turtle neck and walk around either art galleries, funky, arty neighborhoods, sit at outdoor cafes and be receptive to people admiring your necklace. Always tell them as soon as they compliment it that you just created it and it is for sale. If your personality is not comfortable with this very direct sales approach, hire friends to wear your art and give them a commission on each necklace.

Also, take your art to galleries or small boutiques, however, they will charge more of a commission. You may also lose the dynamic exchange of customer feedback that stimulates creativity.

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