Friday, 27 March 2009


Originally uploaded by Pips Jewellery Creation
I think that Spring must have gone to my head this year. I have not created so many flowers since I used to make Wedding Cakes and made them in Sugar Paste!

This bracelet has over 60 little flowers and Ivy Leaves and each one has been individually wire wrapped onto the bracelet links. It took ages, but I am so happy with it, and it sits beautifully!

This is the reason I love Polymer Clay so much. It does not matter what idea/inspiration/brainwave I get in my head, I do not need to source beads, or try and find the correct sizes, or try and match colours. I do not need to spend hours trying to find what I need (I can spend that time making it instead). I do not need to worry that I will not find what I have imagined. I know that my imagination can be made a reality. I can do it all with the clay.

What a wonderful medium!

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Blossom Branch

At last I have had a little time to play with the Art Clay Silver.

This little brach of blossoms was inspired by a photo my friend Kate from Organic Odysseys posted on our Forum. I had at first, decided to inlay one of the blossoms with Polymer Clay, but that proved a lot more tricky than I had imagined! So the tiny centres of the blossoms are polymer in shades of pearl, lilac and cerese instead. Just that little touch of colour really makes the pendant "pop" and shows off the silver that little bit more.

It is a steep learning curve, making things with Silver Clay, not least because of the short time you have before the clay starts to dry out, but I am enjoying trying things with it. I made a few more dics to inset into polymer pendants as well and will make those up next week. I have a lot of beads I need to make up into a pebble fringe bracelet and a couple of pendants that need wire work and they all have to be done before Saturday so I can take them to Cirencester.

I think I will have a busy day tomorrow!

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Ocean Currents

Just had to show you my latest pendant.

This technique is called mokume gane. There are many different ways of doing MG, but this particular technique was shared with me by the wonderful Linda of NK Designs, please check out her blog, the link is on the right in the list of my favourite blogs.

She sent me the tutorial last night, and I couldn't wait to have a go at it. I am so happy with the way this turned out and of course it is in my favourite shades of teal and green. Mind you I did do some pink ones as well! I will post those on flickr later today I hope.

So just a huge thank you to Linda - what a great artist and a great friend. Please check out the link and have a look at hers, they are amazing!

Thursday, 12 March 2009


It's been a hectic few days for me. Lots of family things to sort and not a lot of time for bead making.

I had a disappointing time with a new style of bead that I spent at least 4 hours on, only to find that I had pierced them incorrectly and they would not string properly. Very frustrating and it wasted time that I did not really have.
So I was really pleased that a pair of earring that I made in a completely new style worked out just how I wanted them to!

I have called them Leaf Flowers and am hoping to make them in different colours and some slightly different styles.

Then yesterday I was so happy to find I had my Monochrome Necklace included in a beautiful Treasury on Etsy, compiled by a fellow PCAGOE team member Chicki. She called the treasury Monochrome, after my necklace, which was a lovely touch. Thank you so much Tina - you made my day!

I have also made a necklace from the Lady's Slipper Beads and love it! Hope you do to!
I have a busy week next week, I will keep you posted - I am hoping some Art Clay Silver will make an appearance!

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Lady's Slipper

One of the difficult things in this Polymer Clay Life, for me, is the balance between making pieces for my Craft Fair at Cirencester each week and Creating.

I want so much to create something new, something different, something that pushes the limits. I want to play. I want to experiment. I want to just see where the clay takes me.

Making pieces for my Craft Fair is wonderful work. I hope that each piece I make will connect with someone, that a colour will draw someone closer, that a pattern will intrigue. Often it does. My most satisfying moments are when someone wants to talk about what I have made, how it makes them feel, what they like about it, what they don't like. Making that connection - it's heady stuff.

Creating. It takes time, more time than I have to give, so I have to do it in little ways. A twist on something, looking at something from a different angle, a change of colours, a change of shape. Sometimes I am lucky and inspiration will come all in one go and I have the chance to run with it. Other times I have to be patient. But all the time I try and look at my work with new eyes and hope to see a way to move forward a little.

These Lady's Slipper beads are a twist on my cockleshell beads. Something a little bit different. A stripe instead of a circle. Little steps, building to new things.

How do you make the balance between what you need to do and what you want to do? Let me know, I would love to hear your views.

Friday, 6 March 2009

That Something Gorgeous!

Just a quick post to show you what I made with the Kaleidoscope Cane of yesterday's post.

This is probably my most favourite style of necklace. These square beads always sit beautifully when worn and the black and white will go with just about anything!
And a close up of the beads so you can see the detail in the pattern.
If this has inspired you in anyway to have a go, then please let me know how you get on! I would love to see. Have some fun!

Thursday, 5 March 2009

How To Make a Complex Kaleidoscope Cane in Polymer Clay - It's Simple!

Kaleidoscope caning is one of my favourite techniques to use with polymer clay and lots of my beads are made using these canes. I thought it might be fun to show you how I make one.

First choose your colours, for this cane I have decided to go monochrome.

Condition your clay really well. You can use a Pasta Machine or a roller or your hands, whichever is easiest for you.

Here are my sheets after I have finished conditioning and I have put them through the Pasta Machine on a medium setting, about #4 on mine.

Next, make some interesting elements. Here I have made a Jelly Roll Cane, a Striped Cane and some plain "sausages". I have a couple of small sheets also.

Then combine them in whatever way you like, I try to keep them in a general right angle triangle shape, loosely speaking!
Then I reduce the cane, refining the shape as I go into a more recognisable right angle triangle - please note that this is not an exact science in my case!

When the cane is about 4 inches long I cut it in half and then combine the two halves, mirroring the image.
Now we have an almost square shape. Reduce the cane again, refining the square as you gently pull, squeeze, tug, smooth or whatever your preferred method of reduction is.
I then cut the cane into four equal lengths and again, mirroring the images, combine the four into one larger square.

One more final reduction and here is your finished Kaleidoscope Cane.
Of course, it does not need to finish there - you can reduce yet again and recombine, change the shape of the cane from a square to a circle for example. Add another cane , or several. Cut the cane in half and then cut lengthways and recombine. The possibilities are endless!
Here are my beads I made from this cane, cut, pierced and awaiting baking!
Now I just have to make something gorgeous with them!

Very Berry

I finished making two lots of Berry Beads yesterday and sanded and polished them up today.

They take a lot of work, but I really like the graphic element of the black and pearl canework against the soft shimmer of the beads. I have been playing with the idea of doing black beads with coloured canework, but have not tried it yet. Still not sure in my mind whether that would work or not.

Ihave also made a black and white Kaleidoscope cane and have taken pictures of the different stages of construction, which I will post later today - lots and lots of photos, but I thought it might be interesting to show a little of my process in cane making. Be warned though - my cane making is not an exact science, more of an organic process!

Wednesday, 4 March 2009


I seem to be in a very colourful mood lately, as far as my beads are concerned, anyway.

These bright Mosaic Canework Beads are inspired by the work of my friend Jo of Muddle House Mosaics. I have blogged about her here before and I just love her work. I have been meaning to make a mosaic cane for a little while, and had envisioned it to be in various shades of soft green, but somehow the vibrant colours were just calling to me to use them instead. I am glad I did now, but will still make that soft green cane as well soon, otherwise I will never get it out of my head.

There are some more pictures of this necklace and another square one made from the same cane on my flickr site - just click on the flickr box on the left if you would like to see.

I have also been making some Berry Beads which I hope to finish tomorrow and will post some pictures then.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy

I am a proud Member of the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy and have been now for nearly a year. Every month we have a challenge, which both members and non members of PCAGOE can enter.

It is great fun and helps to push me to try new techniques that otherwise I would probably never have a go at!

This month the Theme is "Canework". There are some really beautiful and amazing entries. Here are a few of my favourites and I have to say that I am glad I am entering this month, otherwise I would have a very hard time choosing just one to vote for! Just look at the beautiful detail on each of the flower canes on this suncatcher called "Sunshine and Rainbows" by Angela of Polymer Clay Creations. Her Etsy Shop is at

This gorgeous necklace is by Laurabeestudios. Her Etsy shop is at I love the delicate detail and subtle aged effect she has achieved.

There are three different prize packs up for grabs simply for voting!! Please come and vote, we love to have lots of votes - it makes everything very exciting and you will be entered into the prize drawings. So please go to, have a look at all the entries, be inspired, vote and then keep your fingers crossed to win one of the fabulous prizes!