Polydays 2012 Part 3 – Alison Gallant’s Reversible Necklace

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Polydays organiser Alison Gallant taught our group on the final “Polyday”. Alison is an internationally renowned British polymer clay artist with over 20 years of claying experience. She is also a regular contributor of “Making Jewellery” magazine and I have attended a course of hers before a few years ago – I have also written about this for Making Jewellery.
For the “Polydays” Alison chose an elaborate and quite complicated project – a necklace that can be worn in two different ways as the beads all have two sides – a rough black dome shaped and the flat front. Complicated, because it requires several steps of preparation and baking.… Read More

Polydays 2012 – Part 1 – Bettina Welker’s hinged bracelet

posted in: Jewellery, Reviews | 3

In September I went on a three-day course called “Polydays”, which was held in a small place called Toddington. The event was organised by British polymer clay Artist Alison Gallant, who also taught her acclaimed reversible necklace on the course.

I was lucky to go – thanks to a royalty payment from ALCS earlier this year. One of the reasons I booked a place was that I always wanted to learn how to make polymer clay bracelets and I liked Bettina Welker’s hinged bracelet.

About 35 people attended the course, which was split into three groups. Each day the tutors would rotate and teach a different group. I decided to start with Bettina’s bracelet, because I had a feeling that this is the most complicated of the three projects we were taught, plus on the first day people hesitated slightly and so Bettina’s first group was a bit smaller and we were lucky to have a room to ourselves (this changed during the other two days, and all groups were taught in the bigger main room).

I was right – I didn’t finish it on the day as it is very time consuming and you have to work very precisely. Unfortunately I didn’t have the right mould to wrap the first layer of FIMO around – I used an empty soda can, which I had cut in half – which meant it could easily bent and distort. My bracelet is far too big for my small wrist. Obviously I can’t really explain to you how this bracelet is made – for this you need to book a course with Bettina, who teaches this and other techniques worldwide. Or you can buy her book “Polymer Clay Bracelets – Armschmuck aus Polymer Clay”, which is written in English and German and was published in September this year. I can recommend this book, as it has some lovely projects and the instructions are very clear and easy to follow (something not to be taken for granted, I often struggle with understanding instructions I read in a book).… Read More

The making of … a beautiful landscape pendant.

I just realised that I posted my last entry in May. Upps. Well to be fair I have been very busy making things and taking part in a three-day polymer clay workshop “Polydays”, which took place in September in a small village called Toddington. It was taught by some of the world’s best polymer clay artists – Carol Simmons, Alison Gallant and Bettina Welker and it was quite intense – and back breaking. I came away with lots of new techniques and unfinished projects – as most of the projects taught were quite time consuming. In the next weeks I will finish those projects ( a reversible necklace, a hinged bracelet and beautiful Mokume Gane slices which I will use for pendants and bracelets.) and will write a bit more about Polydays.

In the meantime I wanted to share how I made this pendant:

On the final day of the Polydays workshop Alison Gallant showed our group how to create her reversible necklace and also how to create Mokume Gane canes with ripple effect – a great technique that creates beautiful patterns. Somehow though I wasn’t so happy how they turned out when I cut them and placed them on the clay – so I mashed up the clay and put it through the pasta machine a few times -and the colours changed into something I really liked – so I cut out some small circles, used some of them for the necklace and the rest for future projects.
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