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  • Just starting out.....

    I am LOVING this polymer thread....I'm on page 7 of 11 so far and have made notes covering 5 pages of my jotter!!

    I have had a go at using Fimo before as card toppers and decorations, but never realised all the other things that can be done with it (Emma...you are truly an inspiration).

    My question is: what will I need to get started making polymer bead jewellery? So far I can think of the clay itself (thinking of using Cernit); stringing material (what's best though??), findings (again, is it personal choice?), tools (don't have any cutters, pliers, crimpers so need those).

    There's LOADS of stuff I want to get later on... (those glitters.....wow!) and a pasta machine (on my Christmas list, although my mother will laugh when I tell her what it's really going to be used for), extruder, holographic foil, renaissance wax.... the list is getting longer.

    I don't want to be spending loads yet, but want to get stuff that I know I'll need. Am going to take a looksy in Hobbycraft this afternoon. I don't usually shop there because it's very pricey, but I can't wait to get started.

    Thanks in anticipation of your replies,
    Suzy
    Last edited by SuzySu; 03-10-2010, 11:14 AM.

  • #2
    Hi Suzy

    welcome to the fun world of polymer clay!

    The thing to remember is to take time, pace yourself. This is a medium that will keep offering you new directions for as many years as you take to run with it. Trust me on that one ;-)

    So, there is no need to buy everything and try everything at once. Just try to think what you would fancy having a go at first?

    If you know you will want to make jewellery, it makes sense to get the basics for that. Stringing materials can be anything from expensive multi-stranded tigertails like Flex-Rite to more economical waxed cotton. Much depends on the types of stringing projects you want to do (great inspiration can be found in beading mags, especially Stringing magazine - for ways to use larger art beads in pieces)

    Next - of course, some clay. If you buy a few simple colours you can mix from, such as a lemon yellow, turquoise blue and fushsia pink etc, you would be amazed how many different colours you can mix. Or maybe just try a dark, mid and light shade of the same colour- for maximum contrast.

    Starter kits can be a good way to get everything you need to get going - and often work out a little cheaper than buying the bits individually. But so long as you have an oven in your kitchen - just a few blocks of clay and a wooden toothpick will be more than enough to make your first clay beads!
    Emma
    www.ejrbeads.co.uk - unique art beads & more
    www.ejrbeads.co.uk/shop - beads, polymer clay, glitters and inks oh my
    www.facebook.com/EJRBeads - Like me at Facebook!

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    • #3
      Hey....thanks for your words of wisdom. I've made my wish list from your site so will start saving my pennies (well, pounds really) and can't wait to buy all the exciting things on my list.

      At the moment I am just googling online tutorials on everything and anything to do with polymer - there are some exquisite designs out there (and I include yours at the top of the list!).

      I've got a friend's 40th coming up later this month and I'd love to make her a necklace. I thought I'd use red as the base colour and maybe a little bit of white or black marbling. Nothing fancy - just simple but well made (I hope). I love the look of the lentils, but that's a bit ambitious at the moment, so will probably just stick with round or maybe try some twisted ones.

      So glad you've posted on my thread Emma - it's your website that inspired me to go down the polymer route rather than just sticking to the beads I've used before.

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      • #4
        Hi Suzy, so glad my site inspired you to give clay a go! I am sure making some marbled beads for your friend will be a lot easier than you imagine.

        Just remember with Cernit, the colours can darken on baking, so its a good idea to mix in a little white when using colours if you want them to stay the same colour as before baking.

        Another thing that might be useful - on my site if you set up a customer account and log in, anything you put in your cart will be saved there until your next visit. Useful if you want to take some time working out what you want. By setting up an account you can also sign up for my newsletters.

        Emma
        Emma
        www.ejrbeads.co.uk - unique art beads & more
        www.ejrbeads.co.uk/shop - beads, polymer clay, glitters and inks oh my
        www.facebook.com/EJRBeads - Like me at Facebook!

        Comment


        • #5
          Great idea Emma - I'll do that.

          Well....I went to Hobbycraft. Didn't buy any Fimo or tools as the prices were ridiculous (Fimo £2.05 per pack) but I did buy 'How to make polymer clay beads' by Linda Peterson which I saw you recommended to someone else a while back. I also bought 'The art of polymer clay millefiori techniques' by Donna Kato simply to drool over!

          I'd love to get to that standard one day.

          In the meantime, I bought some Fimo Soft (from The Range as it was £1.79) in Cherry Red, Black and a pack of the Fimo Effect white marble. I think I know what I'm going to try so will post some pics (if that's allowed?) if they turn out ok.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ejralph View Post

            Next - of course, some clay. If you buy a few simple colours you can mix from, such as a lemon yellow, turquoise blue and fushsia pink etc, you would be amazed how many different colours you can mix. Or maybe just try a dark, mid and light shade of the same colour- for maximum contrast.
            That's such good advice. Not everything you try will work - but if you have picked harmonious colours & you have to 'smoosh' it all together you will still end up with a useable colour, or an attractive marbling. Some colours just result in a muddy brown.
            Bev
            Tamar Leather Hand tooled leather gifts that last a lifetime

            Also find me on Facebook & Folksy

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for the advice Bev. I think my first few attempts are going to be very much hit and miss but I know to keep all the leftover bits.....I've been reading past posts and it seems that no-one ever throws any clay away

              I think that I need to buy an acrylic rolling pin as one of my first purchases as all I have are wooden ones. I'd like to take a closer look at the bead rollers too, but can you get these for making big beads (round and elliptical) about 0.5"-1" in diameter?

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              • #8
                Some of the bead rollers on this page are larger olive shaped beads

                As for the hand roller - if you have a wooden one, you can mostly like make do with that at first. If you find the clay sticks or you get unwanted texture, just put a sheet of baking paper between the clay and the roller. (If you use normal paper, it will leach the oils/softeners out of the clay. A technique that can be useful at times, but might make the clay dry and crumbly when you don't want it to be. Baking paper will not suck the oils out of the clay though)

                Emma
                Emma
                www.ejrbeads.co.uk - unique art beads & more
                www.ejrbeads.co.uk/shop - beads, polymer clay, glitters and inks oh my
                www.facebook.com/EJRBeads - Like me at Facebook!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bev478 View Post
                  That's such good advice. Not everything you try will work - but if you have picked harmonious colours & you have to 'smoosh' it all together you will still end up with a useable colour, or an attractive marbling. Some colours just result in a muddy brown.
                  Exactly Bev.

                  I can have major brain farts when trying out caning techniques sometimes. So, invariably if it is a new design, I will do just this and use shades of the same colour that contrast well. Then if I goof up the cane, I can just smoosh it up and bingo a new custom colour, no-one gets to hear of my shame and the incident is well and truly buried ;-)

                  Emma
                  Emma
                  www.ejrbeads.co.uk - unique art beads & more
                  www.ejrbeads.co.uk/shop - beads, polymer clay, glitters and inks oh my
                  www.facebook.com/EJRBeads - Like me at Facebook!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ejralph View Post
                    Exactly Bev.

                    I can have major brain farts when trying out caning techniques sometimes. So, invariably if it is a new design, I will do just this and use shades of the same colour that contrast well. Then if I goof up the cane, I can just smoosh it up and bingo a new custom colour, no-one gets to hear of my shame and the incident is well and truly buried ;-)

                    Emma
                    That's a good way of describing it! Although I have, many times, rolled all the left over clay together, looked at it & thought "Mmmm.. not bad I'll roll some beads" Then after cooking &, eventually, varnishing, loved the colour/marbling effect.....& have absolutely no idea how to recreate it

                    And then find I could do with 1 or 2 more beads to make a useful bit of jewellery
                    Bev
                    Tamar Leather Hand tooled leather gifts that last a lifetime

                    Also find me on Facebook & Folksy

                    Comment

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