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

Polymer Days 2012 – Part 2 – Carol Simmons’ Mokume Gane Technique

posted in: Jewellery, Reviews 2

One of the reasons I booked a place on this course was to meet and learn from American polymer clay artist Carol Simmons, who creates the most amazing Kaleidoscope canes. I can’t exactly remember how I found her on Facebook I guess it was via other polymer clay enthusiasts.

Carol has been claying since 1995 and teaching since 1996. Her beautiful Kaleidoscope canes take a long time to make and the courses she runs for these take about 3-6 days. As the Polydays only lasted three days, she chose to teach us how to make beautiful shimmering Mokume Gane veneers.

Mokume Gane is a Japanese technique originally used with wood and metal, but has been adapted for Polymer Clay. Different tutors have slightly different techniques, but the basic Mokume Gane technique involves the stacking of several sheets of different colours of clay, texturing them and revealing the resulting veneers by carefully slicing the cane. The beauty of this technique is that you never know what you end up with and each slice will look different.… 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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Snakes in the Studio.

Working with polymer clay is fun but also very time consuming. My latest pendants were originally planned as rings. I wanted to make snake rings, however on the day I couldn’t find my ring mandrel and had to improvise and because the snakes are not that thin they ended up being very small in diameter – mainly size I which is very small indeed. So I now sell them as pendants.… Read More