Friday, September 30, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Let CreativeCritters show you how to sculpt a rose in polymer clay

Polymer clay is the perfect medium for creating beautiful and delicate flowers.  In this three part video series Michelle of CreativeCritters demonstrates how to sculpt a rose, which can then be used for earrings, pendants, and so much more.  This is part one of the series.  Stay tuned for parts two and three!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A colorful collection from the Polymer Clay Smooshers

Polymer Clay in the House
Curated by ValeriesStuff | Collection Published on 09-26-2011Coral Reef Framed Polymer clay Mixed Media Wall ArtWine Glass Charms in Industrial Steampunk Style Purple Pink Blue GreenRed Blue and Purple Polymer Clay and Glass Candle Holder with flowersShadow box art flower vase in the windowHandmade Floral Irish Coffee Mug set  of TwoKuan Yin Mosaic ShrineOOAK-java jewelry wire trinket box w/ clay & fair trade coffeeHanging Ring shelfPolymer Clay Tile Mosaic - Dream - PCTMDElizabeth I Memento BoxGrapevine Switch Plate CoverPolymer Clay Blue and Purple Faces Wall Hanging 

"The Polymer Clay Smooshers Guild is back! Please enjoy this collection of housewares by our members."

Monday, September 26, 2011

Meet Polymer Clay Smoosher member AmazingDesigns

 Marlene, of AmazingDesigns, is one talented Polymer Clay Smoosher!  She was kind enough to answers a few questions and let us get to know her a little better.
Pewter Dragonfly Charm on Blue Feathered Pendant Spotted Tiger Lily Five  Petal Reversible Necklace Blue Mood Triple Circle Pendant
With all the mediums available for crafting why did you choose Polymer clay?
It is the most versatile medium ever created. It can mimic just about any of the others, and is completely forgiving, reusable and adaptable.

How did you learn to use polymer clay? Internet, experimenting, books, classes.....
On a dare. My son was using it for his creations, and when I suggested making jewelry with it, he said "You do it", so I search the Internet, bought some books, and blocks and I was hooked.

What is your favorite tool to work with?
My pasta machine. The blends that come out of it are amazing and very often surprising. I can get a whole new inspiration, just from what comes out of it.

Do you like to work with any mediums other than polymer clay?
I would have to say my current passion is for wire wrapping, and making chains, to complete some of my creations.

What is your favorite polymer clay technique and why?
I don't really have a favorite, as I often switch from one to another, but the most used one I like is making canes. Taking slices of them further into a completed design really gets the creative juices flowing.

What is your least favorite technique and why?
Haven't found one yet.

What is on your "to do" or "to learn" list?

Do you mix your own colors? Why or why not?
Yes and no. I primarily use Sculpey Premo, which has a wide color selection, but of course, there are often times when a different hue, value, or saturation is needed for a palette.

How do you keep your designs fresh and original?
Keeping my eyes open, observing current trends, and, the biggest one, taking inspiration from nature.

What keeps you from getting into a creative rut?
We all have times of "brain drain", but what works for me is just a little down time. Taking care of grandchildren, tending to my orchids, working on my photography, or just keeping up with others in blogs and chats, all help to get new inspirations.

What is your favorite brand of clay if you have one and why?
As mentioned Sculpey Premo. I use it almost exclusively. Some would say it is too soft, compared to others, but I have no patience for conditioning the others to the extent they need, and often the softness can be overcome by just letting it sit, or place in the 'frig, for a while.
Here are a few beautiful pieces that can be found in AmazingDesign's shop.  Be sure to stop in and see all she has to offer! 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Polymer Clay Smooshers guild is BACK!

The Polymer Clay Smooshers Guild on has gone through some changes lately, starting with our original guild master having to step down because of personal issues, and a short time later, the replacement guild master deleting the guild. It was quite a shock for many of us Smooshers to suddenly discover that our guild, which had been one of the most active guilds on ArtFire, no longer existed.  I have been a member of the Polymer Clay Smooshers guild for 3 years, and I couldn't stand the thought of such a great guild disappearing.  So I decided to keep the guild going and become a guild master for the first time.  It's a big job, and a big responsibility, but I think I'm up for the challenge.  And I'm not doing this alone.  I have the help and support of the rest of the wonderful members.  Luckily the original blog, and all it's posts, the Facebook Fan Page, and our Flickr group were all saved. Our private forums on the zetaboards were lost however, which is why I set the new forums up on invisionzone. I can already see many benefits to this site, and I have high hopes that the Polymer Clay Smooshers will continue to be a very active and popular guild.  Whether you're a member, or just a guest interested in polymer clay, we welcome you to visit and share in some Smooshers fun ;-)  Guests can visit this site and learn about polymer clay, view the work of the Smooshers, find out who's having a sale, etc. I have a lot of ideas for moving forward with the guild, and I welcome your suggestions as well.
I know that being a guild master is a huge responsibility, but I'm willing to take that on in order to keep the Smooshers alive. A lot of people were very upset when they learned the guild was gone, and many members were quick to jump in and offer their help once I decided to give the guild a new start. A guild is a group of people with similar interests working together to learn, grow, and share their creativity. I only hope that I can do the Smooshers guild justice :)
-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Friday, September 16, 2011


The Polymer Clay Smoosher's Guild has closed.
This will mean there is no Masquerade Ball this year.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all our members and fans for the support over the last 3 years. Even though the guild is not going on, the talent members are still creating wonderful pieces, many of which are available on ArtFire.

Thank you again

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Studio Stroll - Creative Critters

Post by Creative Critters

I was going to wait until I had my craft room cleaned up, but since that's such a rare occurrence I just took pics of the "real" craft room ;-) I consider myself very lucky to have an entire room dedicated to my crafts. This is a spare bedroom and gets lots of light all day long.

This is where I do all of my clay sculpting. Just about everything I need is within easy reach. I have plastic boxes filled with all sorts of molds, two lazy Susans full of sculpting tools, texture plates, an organizer with all my clay cutters, a metal box full of stamps, and of course my pasta machine is clamped to the table. This was an old computer table I got for next to nothing at a garage sale.

There's a little printer stand on wheels that pulls out of the desk, and that's where I store all my jewelry tools. I used zip ties to attach a metal rack to the top and the handles fit quite nicely. On the shelf above that is a box with all my acrylic paints, which I use quite frequently on sculptures. You can see one of the lazy Susans loaded with tools and paintbrushes. Next to that are some of Lisa Pavelka's foils, which add incredible color and shimmer to unbaked clay. I used these on a few projects so far. I cut off the top of a large cereal box and store all my texture plates in there.

This plastic dresser sits next to my clay table. On top I have a few of my larger molds, my sewing thread, and a plastic box where I store my clay. I make sure to put any opened clay in plastic bags. Sometimes certain types of plastic can react with the clay, so the bag keeps everything safe (and clean). The drawers of the dresser have some of my fur fabric and plush animal fabric in them, along with with all my trim. I often cover the bottom of my sculptures with fabric, so it's handy to have everything in one spot. Sometimes I'll use fabric trim on my pieces, and some of the fur fabric can make really cool hair.

This rack, which I got free from from a relative, is mounted next to the dresser and holds my Gallery Glass, Pearl Ex powders, fabric paint, embossing powder, and glass containers. I've used Gallery Glass with polymer clay with some very nice results, and I adore the shimmer of Pearl Ex on clay. The glass containers can all potentially be covered in clay to make vases, candle holders, and other things.I keep a lot of glass of the landfills like this!

And this is where I have all my craft books and magazines, as well as pictures I cut out of magazines for inspiration. I have books on human and animal anatomy, clay sculpting, jewelry making, fantasy artwork, knitting, sewing, dollmaking, stuffed animal making, and much more. I'm self taught, so books have played an important role in furthering my skills. When it comes to polymer clay, some of my favorite authors include, Christi Friesen, Maureen Carlson, Lisa Pavelka, Katherine Dewey, and Boris and Dinko Tilov. They're all amazing artists and wonderful teachers.

This dresser (which Gramma gave me) is filled with beads, findings, wire, candy molds, buttons, and all sorts of things I might have a use for someday. When Gramma gave me the dresser she left all her vintage beads in it as well. I store my sewing patterns in the bottom drawer. I have a fluorescent light hanging over the dresser, and I use the top to photograph my items for sale. I use different colors of scrapbook paper as backgrounds for my smaller pieces and large pieces of fabric for the larger items.
And here's a picture of the work space in use ;-)

Thanks for taking the grand tour of my craft room!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Accidental Creations with Polymer Clay

Post by Valerie's Stuff

There are times when I sit down at my work table with a clear mission-a picture of
an end product I want to create in my head.  Sometimes, I want to try an new technique or
revisit a favorite - for example, mica shift cuff bracelets:


Other times, I feel like playing with alcohol inks.  Or maybe I want to work with a new clay or am drawn
to a color.  Then there are times when stuff just happens.

One day, a little while ago, I was all excited to try a new clay -  in fabulous colors I might add -  so chores done, errands run, 
I plopped myself down for a nice long clay day.  It would have been lovely.  Except the clay I had bought was crumbly.  Not hard
like Kato, rather it felt as though it had been sitting on the store self too long and had begun to dry out.  I was determined
to make it work.  After much cajoling, (and a little clay softener), I finally had a smooth beautiful surface.  All was right in my
little world...until I accidentally dropped little scraps of clay onto the pristine surface.  I couldn't believe I had done that!  I reached for
my brayer and then I looked at the clay again.  I thought..."Hmmmm.  You know that's kinda interesting.....".  I arranged a few scraps
on top of my discs and added a bit of texture to the sides and faces.   Here is one of the end results:

My Flora and Fauna tone on tone necklace is one of my personal favorites.  It reminds me of how much I like this very forgiving medium and how much fun it is to create with polymer clay.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Studio Stroll - Bewitching Dreams

Post by Bewitching Dreams

My studio is rather small. I have commandeered the "dining room," since a normal dining room table and chairs no longer fit into this space with all of my other furniture I have inherited.

My main workspace is on my antique desk that came out of my grandparents' Maytag/gift store in West Virginia. I spent many a summer sitting at this desk, "helping" with floral arrangements, setting up my own items to sell on the main street sidewalk or eating chili dogs delivered from a local establishment.

Posted Image
DSC02328 by Bewitching Dreams

The fact that I can now use this desk to continue my business, 20 years later, is something I'm very proud of. I know my grandfather would be very pleased to see his desk being utilized in this way. Oh, and see that chair? That is the "chair of death." If you lean too far back, you can flip it. I've done it, my grandfather did's family tradition. It tries to kill us all until you learn how to properly "tame it."

The desk drawers are very deep and store a lot of my supplies out of sight. This includes the majority of my polymer clay, all of my paints, pearl powders, as well as my Dremel, thank you tags and other items.

I have multiple surfaces I use to work on. Everything from that small glass dish, to the porcelain coated butcher's tray that is stacked on top of the white three drawer chest (hidden by my multiple bead stringing boards). I save every pie pan to use as a baking platform and every takeout dish to use in an attempt to remain organized. The white drawer chest stores scrap clay at the bottom and finished projects in the top two drawers, so they are protected from dust and accidents.

Posted Image
DSC02330 by Bewitching Dreams, on Flickr

My pasta machine is always ready-to-use in a single moment. All of my jewelry finishings, pendants, etc is stored and labeled in the gray multi-drawer set. That was the best purchase...ever. I can quickly grab a drawer and retrieve what I need, inventory what needs to be purchased next and if traveling, dump it into the proper storage container and I'm ready to go! Sitting on top is my letter organizer, with address labels for packages and other important items. Also keeping watch is my owl from ColtPixy

All of my paintbrushes and clay tools are stored in a Marjolein Bastin cup, whose work I love and find an inspiration. My beading tools are stored on the smaller blue cup, along with scraps of tinfoil and clay.

Posted Image
DSC02329 by Bewitching Dreams, on Flickr

To the left of my desk, I have a three shelf unit. The top shelf consists of my polymer clay oven and then my collection of rubber stamps that I've had for too many years. On top of that, sits my stacks of organizer trays, where I keep my stone beads and other random items that I think will look great in projects.

The second shelf has my light box (converted photo storage box), more storage containers and small trash can.

That is the tour of my work area. It isn't much, but I love that it is organized (mostly) and on (almost) every occasion, I can sit down and find what I need when I am working. Unless someone has borrowed something, then I have to tear apart my house to find it.

By the way, these photos were taken in between projects, right before I had guests coming to visit. Trust me...the top of the desk is barely visible when I am working on items LOL

Monday, September 5, 2011

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Final Challenge for 2011 - Autumn

For the month of August the Polymer Clay Smooshers were handed the challenge of creating Autumn inspired pieces for the last monthly challenge of the year. Check out the wonderful results.

Amazing pieces from everyone.

Please remember to vote for our next theme, which will feature on our blog in the new year.

Stay tuned for October when the Polymer Clay Smooshers blog will be taken over by this year's Masquerade Ball!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Anticipating Autumn