Learn to use polymer clay to create jewelry, functional objects or wall art.
Students will learn techniques for handling this versatile medium, combined with emphasis on principles of design. This year will focus on metallic/pearlescent and translucent polymer. This includes understanding of mica shift, where ghost images appear to be two colors, although they are created with one color of polymer. This class has been re-imagined using many fewer tools. We will also learn how to create translucent colors which can be subtle or bold. Students may create jewelry, functional objects, or wall art. The instructor will include projects which teachers can use in their classrooms. Techniques for beginners and advanced students include basic conditioning, color mixing, gradient blends, textures, stamps and impressions, mille fiore(Venetian glass technique adapted to polymer), mokume gane (Japanese metal working technique adapted to polymer), surface embellishments, imitative techniques, and inclusions. Returning or advanced students may also choose face canes, landscape canes, vessel construction, or other projects and should email the instructor about their preferences.
See materials list below.
Contact instructor upon registration to arrange for kit purchase.
Limit 12 students. Ages 14 and up.
$35 kit contents: polymer clay, roller, tissue blade, misc. supplies, postage (waived for students providing materials). The retail value of the materials included in the kit will exceed $35. If you wish to supply some materials and get a smaller kit from the instructor, that is possible. Kits must be ordered by June 10, 2021 by emailing the instructor.
Materials Student should have:
- Polymer clay - artist brands only (e.g. Premo, Kato, Cernit-in primary colors (red, blue, yellow, or cyan, magenta, yellow), black, white, metallic colors of your choice, translucent. You should have at least 2 oz of white and black.
- Polymer blade, either a tissue blade or polymer specific blade, or wallpaper scraper blades (a little less sharp).
- Acrylic brayer or roller.
NOTE: The above items will be included in the kit if purchased from the instructor.
- Craft knife or dollar store type paring knife dedicated to polymer or other non-food use.
- Ziploc bags.
- Plain white ceramic tile (at least 6 inches square), can be chipped on the edge (easily obtainable from big box hardware stores or other tile suppliers).
- Non-slip grid material to keep tile from slipping.
- Aluminum foil disposable baking tin,
- aluminum foil,
- binder clips or clothes pins.
- Plastic picnic type knife.
- Baby wipes.
- Rubbing alcohol.
- Orange mechanics cleaner is great for cleaning hands.
- A stack of index cards or playing cards.
Handy to have:
- deli wrap obtainable from restaurant supply stores (a small supply will be included if you purchase the kit;
- Liquid polymer or Genesis Thick Medium (a small amount will be included if you purchase the kit).
- Nitrile gloves if you have sensitive skin.
Other things that you may have around the house that are not essential, but if you have them from art/craft/other projects, we will discuss how to use them with polymer.
- Heavy body artist acrylic paints, like Golden, Liquitex; Derwent Inktense sticks;
- Soft pastels or pan pastels;
- alcohol inks;
- embossing powders;
- metallic leaf;
- baking soda,
- craft sand.
- Things to impress the clay with textures, like screwdrivers, deep rubber stamps, etc.
- Cornstarch packing peanuts (not styrofoam).
- Rubber mallet;
- Straight pins (actually quilting pins that have lost their heads work very well);
- Bamboo skewers;
- Knitting needles, especially small ones (size 0-2US);
- Drinking straws (used ones if clean);
- Plastic coffee stirrers (also can be re-used);
- #5 plastic containers (take-out food sometimes comes in #5);
- Printing barren or door knob or large spoon (for burnishing);
- Sheets of plain copy paper;
- Patty paper (restaurant supply);
- Parchment paper;
- Old toothbrush and/or scrub brush;
- Ruler, straight edge, or small quilting plastic square;
- Plastic sheet protectors;
- Acrylic scrap plastic, say 1/4” thick, 3” square (dimensions not critical);
- Ballpoint stylus or are fill that has run out of ink;
- Plastic table cloth (previously used is fine) to protect work surface and tape to keep it in place (especially if you are working on a wood table)
- If you wish to create jewelry, you will need to supply your own findings.
- If you wish to create wall art, you will need gessoed panels (such as DaVinci or Ampersand)
- If you have a pasta machine for polymer, you are welcome to use it, but the class will not require it.
Web sites which sell a lot of polymer:
- www.sculpey.com (manufacturer of Premo and Souffle),
- www.munrocrafts.com (has 50% off twice a month for $50 minimum retail order, but is experiencing supply issues because of COVID at the time of this writing);
- polymerclayexpress.com (not too far from Common Ground in Damascus, MD).
You may also find polymer at your local craft store chains or their online sites, but most are also experiencing temporary availability issues because of COVID. Hopefully, these will be resolved by later in the spring. The local craft stores sometimes sell multi-packs which have 1oz of 16-24 colors and which you can purchase using a weekly coupon.