With all the mediums available for crafting why did you choose Polymer clay?
Polymer Clay offers limitless opportunities to express my creativity. Add to that the fact there isnt any waste, and if you stuff it up you just smoosh it and try again. Certain parts of the process are also very theraputic, giving time for reflection.
How did you learn to use polymer clay? Internet, experimenting, books,
I was first introduced to the wonders of polymer clay on beadingforum.com.au by some of its members, who create some fabulous things. They have a monthly clay play, and I had been admiring from afar for a while, until they did 'brain canes' one month. I checked out the links online they provided and thought 'I can do that'. I didnt have the colours suggested, or any tools really.. but I did it with the cheap Sculpey III that Spotlight had. The results were surprising and pretty good.. I was in love. Now I trawl all over the internet, read PolymerCafe and absorb as much as I can from fellow clayers. I also just sit and play with the clay... its amazing how much you can learn just by letting the clay talk to you.
What is your favorite tool to work with?
Pasta machine. Getting my first pasta machine was a turning point for me. I use lots of different tools, but without my pasta machine I dont think I would create as much as I do.
Do you like to work with any mediums other than polymer clay?
I work with lots of different mediums, including chainmaille, gemstones, glass beads, seed beads, fibre and more. I used to paint mandalas, still do if one begs to be created, as well as knitting, crocheting and cross stitch, and I was making jewellery when I found polymer clay. I have a fairly short attention span, and need to have lots of choice to keep the creativity flowing.
What is your favorite polymer clay technique & why?
Mica Shift is one of my absolute favourites, although Faux techniques are catching up. At different times I think every technique comes to the top of the list, but when I need to make something, if I am blocked or unmotivated, then Mica Shift is the technique I turn to. And it makes the most awesome looking clasps!
What is your least favorite technique and why?
I would have to say Skinner Blends. I love the effect, and I use them a lot, I just find the process frustrating at times. I've come to the point of not doing it the way its supposed to be done.. no triangles for me.. I take two or three colours and kind of smoosh them side by side and put them through the pasta machine. I get a similar effect, just not quite the smoothness of colour change.
What is on your "to do" or "to learn" list?
Faux lampwork is currently on the list, after seeing some fabulous creations by a fellow Australian on the beading forum. I would also like to develop my sculptural skills, do some miniatures and develop my caning skills further.
Do you mix your own colors? Why or why not?
Yes, I mix my own colours. I only use black and white straight out of the packet. Sometimes I only add a little white or pearl, but my goal is to never create the exact same piece or cane twice, so I dont measure or note the amounts. Mixing my own colours means they are individual to me, and are what I want.
How do you keep your designs fresh and original?
I dont consciously try to be fresh or original, but I don't like to make the same things over and over. I guess that keeps it pretty fresh. I've never really thought about it too much, I just create and because I made it its original to me. LOL
What keeps you from getting into a creative rut?
Trying new techniques, drooling over the creations of others, doing monthly challenges for the Smooshers, AussiePolyclayers and beadingforum.com.au and not being afraid to experiment with ideas.
What is your favorite brand of clay if you have one and why?
I love Kato. Yes, it can be harder to condition, but its a fabulous arm and hand workout. Kato is wonderful to sand and buffs up beautifully, and stays very true to colour. Its firmness lends it well to caning. The only down side is that there are less colour choices, they dont do the traditional artist colour pallet, which means learning a new way to mix some colours.
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
The best thing I ever did was opening my first packet of Polymer Clay and playing with it. It has opened up a new world of creativity for me, and introduced me to some truly amazing artists.
HaffinaAgain on Zibbet