What is a "polymer" clay?
What all can be done with polymer clay anyway?
Cross-pollination (from other crafts, mediums)
Other online FAQ's
100's of lessons here at GlassAttic
Lists of lesson links (at other sites)
Company websites with many lessons
Animated demos, online
Examples of polymer clay work
...."higher end" polymer work
Supplies, books, videos
Groups for clayers
Finding more info from newsgroup archives
OVERVIEW of polymer clay
After you finish reading this page, use the alphabetical navigation bar
on the left to learn much more about specific categories of interest to you within polymer clay
What is a "polymer" clay?
Polymer clay is not an "earth" or mud-type clay like potters use, and it is not water-based.
Instead, it is made from oil-based solid and liquid polymer** ....substances which will "cure" after being being subjected to a certain temperature of heat long enough to harden the liquid part (plasticizer) and fuse all the substances together. Inadvertent long exposure to ultraviolet light (sunlight, fluorescents) will also cure or partly cure polymer clays.
A kiln is never used for ordinary polymer clays (it's much too hot).
.....Rather, polymer clays are cured in an ordinary home oven (or toaster oven, or convection oven) at approx. 275 degrees.
This ease of use is one of the things which has made polymer clay so popular.
Polymer clays are also not the same as "air dried" clays (paper clays and others) which are water-based and will harden when dried (polymer clays won't ever "dry" since there's no water in them, remaining malleable forever if not cured). Polymer clays are also not the same as "modeling" clays (which are primarily used by children and animators) although both are oil based (modeling clay has wax added to it and will melt if heated).
.....There are also other types of "clays" and doughs which are used primarily for sculpting (...sculpting is sometimes referred to as "modeling" by some people, but "modeling clays" aren't the only material which can be used for sculpting). Sculpting clays can include air-dried clays, polymer clays, 2 pt. epoxy clays, etc.
Polymer clays can be purchased at craft or art stores (as well as by mail order/online)
....the most common brand names of polymer clay you'll see in the U.S. are Premo, Fimo (Classic & Soft), Sculpey, and Kato (...other brands may be available in other countries).
Polymer clays also come in special types or clay "colors", such as:
--metallics & "pearls" (mica-containing clays) ... these have special reflective properties, and can also be used for special effects
--translucent clays (though transparent only in very thin sheets)... often used for giving depth, or for giving an organic look to simulations of natural materials like stone, wood, ivory, etc.
--"flesh" colors for dolls and figures
--flexible clays like Bake & Bend (Superflex), Eraser Clay, MoldMaker
--there are also liquid clays --sev. brands available, but generally you'll see only Translucent Liquid Sculpey in retail stores at this writing
--(real) metal clays... (Precious Metal Clay & Art Silver Clay) ...these handle much like regular polymer clays but require a much higher temp than a home oven can achieve in order to cure...curing leaves only real silver behind... won't see it unless you look for it though.
On the Characteristics page here at GlassAttic, you can read about:
....the advantages of polymer clays (especially as compared to earth clays)
....the characteristics of the diff. brands & types of polymer clay
To read about the various other kinds of "clays" (air dry clays like paper clays and cold porcelain, modeling clays, various doughs, etc.,) look in the same Characteristics page mentioned above, but also in Sculpting > Clays.
**A polymer is a very large, "long-chain" molecule, which is composed of repeated sub-units of a relatively simple and light molecule (a monomer) in a process called polymerization.
..natural polymers include proteins (polymer of amino acids) & cellulose (polymer of sugar molecules)
..synthetic polymers include PVC (a polymer of vinyl acetate), as well as PTFE or Teflon (a polymer of molecules containing fluorine and carbon), etc.
WHAT CAN BE DONE WITH polymer clay?
The things that can be done with polymer clay are practically endless! ....that's one reason why so many people are attracted to it, and why it keeps them interested.
Also since polymer clay is a fairly new medium (though it's been used for simple sculpts a long time), clayers are discovering and inventing new things all the time! (....see Patty Barnes' short article in Polyzine about just how far polymer clay has come, and how many more techniques, books, sources of info we have now! http://www.pcpolyzine.com/2005june/npcg.html)
Here are a few ways polymer clay can be used:
...sculpting (figures, faces, flowers, bas relief, anything!) ... clay clothing & accessories for figures can also be sculpted (... sculpted items can be any size, from miniature to quite large)... this is sometimes the only polymer technique that non-clayers know of!
..."covering" various items with sheets (or slices, bits) of patterned or decorative clay (small items often covered range from pens to votive candleholders and switchplates,and many more.... non-bakable or large items like tables can be covered as well by using pre-baked veneers)
...all kinds of vessels can be created, large and small (jars, boxes, bowls)... these can be created freestanding, over armatures, or over removable armatures)
...making "canes" (logs of clay with a pattern running through their entire length, from which identical slices can be cut ...think of a jellyroll as one example)... the resulting patterns in canes can be simple, complex or anything in-between; they also can be pictorial or simply geometric ...the canes and their images can be "reduced" so that the they become quite small, then combined repeatedly to make multiple images... caning is much-used technique for many clayers)
...textures or images can be impressed into raw clay in all kinds of ways (rubberstamps, texture sheets, sandpaper or other tools and items from around the house, etc.)
...clay can be carved into ...those areas can be filled in with other clays or liquid clay, or otherwise colored, etc.
...clay can can be used to make molds, and also to make casts from those molds (to duplicate textures, shapes, or even whole faces, etc.)... candy and many other kinds of molds can be used for clay, and other mold-making materials can also be used with clay
...clay can be extruded through a "clay gun" to create uniform rope shapes which can be used in many ways
..."transferring" b&w or color images onto clay from photographs, drawings, computer-created images/text, etc
.. fauxs...many natural materials can be convincingly simulated in clay (ivory, jade, turquoise, wood, granite, metal, etc.)
...inlay and other mosaic-type techniques
...onlay & bas relief techniques, etc.... various kinds of collage are also possible
..."paintings" of various kinds can be created with polymer pastes, etc.
..."mokume gane" (shaving off thin slices from layered but distorted stacks of clays/powders/inks/etc.)
...making jewlery of all kinds
....seasonal items like Christmas ornaments, or things for Halloween, Valentine's, etc.
....mini-books, notebook or other covers, greeting cards, postcards, etc.
...other items like frames, games (and game pieces), dioramas, etc.
...any colors (or brands) of clay can be mixed together to create almost any new color, or colors can be mixed to make continuous blends of one color to another
...clay can also be colored with other media as well ... they can be colored throughout, or only on the surface, with paints, inks, colored pencils, chalks, metallic (mica-containing) powders, metallic leaf and foils, glitters, embossing powders, etc.
...various inclusions can be mixed into clay, often into the "translucent" color (e.g., metallic powders, spices/herbs, glitters)
...mica clay ... the metallic "mica-containing" solid clay colors have special properties and can be used for special effects (as well as being used as regular colors)
...translucent clay...another special "color" of clay is translucent (which can even be transparent in very thin sheets)... used in lots of ways
...polymer clay also comes in a liquid form (liquid clay) which can be used in many ways
...finishing...clay can be left as is after baking, or it can be sanded and buffed to a sheen or glossy shine... (or a liquid finish can be used for the same effects)
...clay can also be used in various ways with many other media ( wire, paper, beads, charms, stamps, fabric, etc.)
...clay can be used with various glues as well, including gluing baked clay bits onto non-bakable items
.............and way too much more to list!
....had to add this one too <g> ...from Carolyn:
........polymer clay in its raw state is also terriffic for plugging up holes! . . . I found that out 15 years ago when the basement flooded from a big hole drilled in the wall. It was pouring out like a faucet so I ran for the good ole white sculpey and plugged up the dike. It's still there, covered up with waterproofing, and has worked like a charm!
I'd recommend that you start with simple techniques in the area that you want to work in. "You gotta walk before you run," or something like that. ;) . . .
If you want to do caning, start with the easy canes and move on gradually to the hard ones.
If you want to make little figures, start with those that use simple shapes and detailing and gradually add your own touches, experimenting all the way. . . .or if you want to make realistic figures, start with making small studies of heads or hands or legs or whatever using an anatomy book for reference.
If you want to do household decor, start with easy (like stamped-and-PearlEx) light switch covers, and move up to more complicated things like boxes or votives, etc. Elizabeth
from other crafts & mediums
There are many ideas and techniques from other interests or crafts which can be cross-pollinated to polymer clay, and that's part of the fun.
Some examples would be quilting and sewing and fiber techniques, stamping/inks/paints/collage, woodworking, weaving/braiding/etc., books and bookmaking, etc....but there are also those which are not art or craft oriented (e.g., teaching, animals, fishing, etc.)
Well, that clayer probably got a "seed" idea from watching someone else do something creative (with rubberstamps in this case, but could have been anything)... and she then figured out how the essence of that technique could be adpated to polymer clay. So one technique spawned an idea, which spawned another technique in a different medium. You can do the same... just let your mind loose!
.....When you see something done either in a book, video, or on TV, etc, train yourself to automatically think "how could I adapt that to clay?" . . . .for example, I was watching a wedding cake decorating show and saw how the baker used almond paste to make flowers and other decorations for the cake. I realized the techniques she used had probably been practiced by earthen clay artists and the like for centuries. Clearly, those techniques could be adapted to polymer clay.....Also rubber stamping and other molding techniques have been around for ages.
....There are likely countless techniques that could be tinkered with and adapted for use with polymer clay. Desiree
Many tools can also be appropriated from their traditional uses to work with polymer. ...here are only a few:
Imagine my excitement when I found that my cross-stitch patterns could be used as beading patterns, my quilting pattern book (like I am ever going to get one actually made) can be used in polyclay, polyclay can be used to make beads for jewelry, of course jewelry eventually needs wire, dollhouse miniatures use ALL kinds of crafts
....Then I go outdoors and there are stained glass, mosaics, plant stakes, fairy houses under bushes, painting/decorating flower pots, plaques and lettered stones,. etc
...and the yarn was calling me, begging me to crochet it into a choker ..and of course it needed poly-clay beads...and the stamps have such lovely images, and of course work so nicely with the clay....and wire just feels so solid and substantial.. and of course also needs beads...and those fabric remnants are so sparkly/shiny/pretty/textural..and so inexpensive, I'm sure I'll find SOMETHIING to do with them....and on and on and on......Cross pollination, right? Jules
other ONLINE FAQ's
(some Frequently-Asked-Questions about polymer clay, at other sites)
Elizabeth has put many good suggestions for beginners (tools, clays, colors, some beads, some fauxs, mokume gane, etc.) on her website
http://thepolyparrot.com/greatstarts.html (...some of the categories require Adobe Acrobat to view)
-- Polymer Clay FAQ--clayspot,6-99 (Jeanne DeVoto)
-- PolymerClayCentral (lessons, photos of many swaps, interviews w/ clayers, FAQ's on powders, & Liquid Sculpey, etc.)
... and their Cyclopedia:
--some of the history of polymer clay in the U.S., etc. ... and interview with Nan Roche
--various clayers responding to the question:
"How has polymer clay made a positive change in your personal or professional life?" in the Nov 01 volume of Polyzine
GLASS ATTIC ...finding the hundreds of lessons here
( see middle of the Home page for much more on these ways of searching this site)
You can search the entire site for many hundreds of lessons using Google's "domain search," using the word lesson as your search term.
You can search on any particular page within this site, using your browser's Find feature.
For example, if you want to find all of the lessons I have (or have links for) when you're on a particular page, simply:
(--go to the category page you want)
--Ctrl + f
-- write lesson in the window
-- Find Next
You will be taken to the word lesson and it will highlighted (then repeat clicking on Find Next until you've found them all on that page.)
You can browse the extensive Table of Contents page
....or you can search just that page with the Ctrl + f feature listed above.
(these links are pretty old... prob. best to just look for "lessons" on the page of any topic you're interested in)
LISTS of LINKS to lessons ... at other sites
(or many lessons on site)
*Laurie's links to many different projects
SkyGrazer's lists of links to many diff. lessons
purplepapillon's (Rachel A's) long list of lesson links
Rachel A's list of cane lessons
SkyGrazer's long list of links, organized by category
Judy (LittleBit's) long list of lessons
Irish Red's (Kim's) many tutorial links
http://www.tlcnet.com/~polyclay/tutorials.html (gone temp?)
Elizabeth's many links to individuals' websites
Melnik's long list of lessons
Sunni's many links to: lessons, shopping, personal websites, magazines, miscellaneous info, inspiration, sources for newbies, links for beginners to online selling, chatrooms
http://sunnisan.com/claylinx.html ...... http://sunnisan.com/claylinx.html#tutes
Irish Red's (Kim's) many links & tutorial links
http://www.tlcnet.com/~polyclay/links.html ... http://www.tlcnet.com/~polyclay/tutorials.html
--Lynelle's Mostly Polymer Clay Links--LOTS ! (LOTS of LINKS to p'clay websites) http://members.aol.com/lynellev/lynelle.htm (gone?)
making CANES lessons(see many, many more in Canes--Instr.)
Monica's many links to cane lessons
http://bussola.supereva.it/italyclay/eng/index.html?p (click on Techniques, then on Canes)
Sculpey & Polyform (checks,spirals,flowers, faces, etc.)
Also, if you don't already know about this next technique --symmetry-- it has a bazillion possibilities. You can get some very interesting patterns and complex-looking canes from simple combinations (Kris uses only 4 repeats in this version, but you can use 5-8 or more!) . . .actually, almost any color pattern of clay can be used for the repetitions, or to separate another set of repetitions
http://www.polymerclaycentral.com/kalcane1.html (Kris' kaleidoscope cane, 4-part, abstract)
http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/cr_clay_jewelry/article/0,,HGTV_3238_1390488,00.html (look under Making the Cane --Donna Kato's 6 or 8)
http://www.thewildbunny.com/Stainedglass.htm (Bunny's stained glass, 6-wedge kaleidoscope cane)
Natasha beads 1
PRODUCT & CO. websites with many lessons-projects
*GlassAttic ....for instructions on how to find the many hundreds of lessons I've linked to here at GlassAttic,
......look at the bottom of my Home page: http://glassattic.com
PolymerClayExpress (complete lessons)
Sculpey brand clay now offers a number of Sculpey kits (for all their different clays) which come with a number of bars of clay
...and also has many project lessons... some are seasonal, or relate to one topic like faces or dinosaurs, etc.
kits & clay samplers: http://www.clayfactory.net/sculpey/skits.htm .....http://www.sculpey.com/Products/products_activitysets.htm
http://wwwsculpey.com/Products/products_samplers.htm (just clay, no projects)
all projects: http://www.sculpey.com/projects.asp
all technique tutorials: http://www.sculpey.com/tutorials.htm
Michaels (craft store)... projects & info
PCPolyzine (the free online, monthly polymer e-zine) also has a number of lessons and projects:
all lessons: http://www.pcpolyzine.com/tutorials.html
The Clay Store (lessons for various items & techniques) http://snipurl.com/kqyl ...or:
HGTV (Home & Garden TV channel) ...esp. Carol Duvall Show and Crafters Coast to Coast.... projects & polymer info
http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/cr_clay/0,1788,HGTV_3236,00.html (keep clicking on "More" under each category)
--OR to make sure you have them all, go to Advanced Search http://web.hgtv.com/hgtv/web/advancedSearch
.......type polymer clay in Search by Topic window (~400 polymer programs)
(http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/crafting/article/0,1789,HGTV_3352_2000136,00.html --this may be most of them)
Polymer Clay Central’s various project lessons
Fimo brand clay (at website of Eberhard Faber, maker of Fimo) ...many projects, but not many full lessons
http://www.eberhardfaber.com/FIMO_copy6.EBERHARDFABER?ActiveID=17184 (3rd window has a drop down menu with 5-6 categories, each of which has a number of projects for jewelery, household objects, lanterns/vases, gifts, seasonal items)
ANIMATED DEMOS ...online
to check out free videos online featuring polymer clay (at YouTube, etc.), go to Books & Videos
...then click on Online Video Lessons
EXAMPLES of clay work
for photos available at polymer clay blogs, see Groups-Online > Blogs
Polyzine http://pcpolyzine.com/ is a free, online, "e-zine" featuring only polymer clay. This fabulous e-zine has loads of photos, lessons, interesting stuff to read, galleries, etc. There are some great pages there featuring a gamut of things that can be done with polymer clay; here are just a few:
Sandy Camp Retreats (1999-2006)
MDPAG Retreat 2001(nice assortment of items by various participants)
Ravensdale 2000 assortment, by various polymer clay artists
NPCG exhibit--larger things
some of the upscale jewelry being created by polymer clay artists
Shrinemont --variety of things from many participants
Mile High (Denver) guild photos
http://www.mhpcg.org/clayDays/claydays.html and http://www.mhpcg.org/member.html
many, many clay items, of many types...from Claypen chat at PCC
http://gallery.gundo.com/gallery/the-Claypen or http://www.polymerclaycentral.com/masterindex.html#claypen
PCC's many swaps with many diff. themes (including many of Arlene Thayer's older ones)
PCC's monthly "challenges" (diff. themes and participants)
...(....click on each "Detail," but beware that the detail window may jump down into your task bar!)
photos from various clayers at Flikr phot-sharing site
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/polymerclay (click on each to go to albums)
(this collection of links is pretty old . . . many of them may be non-working; I could make a much better list now, but don't have time!
If you're interested in any particular subject and its link is broken, go to the category page here at Glass Attic for that subject and there should be many more links to try.)
Kerstin's canes, mica work, etc.
http://www.kerstinsfimoseite.de/fimo/index.html (in German, but just look around at photos)
Mike Buesseler's powders, impressions, hinged lockets, landscapes, etc!
(click on Miscellany, then on various things like leaves, etc.)
Clayspot: roses, turquoise, "stone"
Poly WebRing (105 websites!!)
Crafty Michele’s galleries (lots of different things)
*Klew button/beadshapes & tiny boxes/molded faces
http://www.nfobase.com/html/karen_lewis_.htm (has new address)
*Klew's drum&Aspen beads, leaf pods, necklace
Antoinetta’s jewelry, projects, etc. (Dutch Accent)
*N&B: face&*flower cane slices
Dotty's abstract powders; bicone how-to
"wild women" swap (many many styles and techniques) (website gone)
*Comport's figure pins,god.
a few other things to do with polymer clay
*Dinko’s lesson & crazy critters
Linda Goff's Polymer Postcards
Byrd makes small paintings with polymer pastes & very thin sheets of polymer
Emi's faux ivory box lesson, stamped/antiqued, onlaid, etc.
Dotty McMillan's photo transfer at Delphi (transferring color images)
Dillon's mokume gane--bright
inlay & carved backfill; Celie's tool handles
Lindly"s applique-mosaic barrettes
*Byrd's eggs, cov.boxes, switchplates,etc.
Jody's Liquid Sculpey FAQ's (& 5 proj's)
PattiClay: weaving,crocheting w Sculpey Flex
Ready Stamps (stamping on clay--use link at bottom to examples)
Woosley, tech's bracelet! transfer & canes pins
Victoria's pens (&shade,box,sculp)
*Chet's Clay Page
*MANY tiny items (sculpting)
Oscelyn’s variety of things to do with polymer
(website gone) (gone)
*Kimba’s "Gorkley"-type mirrors
*dolls & figures (many)--worldwide
MarieR: bas relief polymer plaques*
*JennyD's Natashas, Altoids, rockamulets, jade+
(website gone) (gone)
*Dotty McMillan's various polymer items, often using metallic powders
(website gone)Black & Gold Swap (bead shapes,etc.)
some really "Higher-End" polymer clay work
Some polymer clay "artists" sell their elegant work for the big bucks!
(at most of these sites you can click, or double-click, on any photo to see an ENLARGED view with much more detail)
Elise Winters http://www.elisewinters.com/work/brooches.html
(Ford & Forlano) CZC http://www.fordforlano.com/Images.htm
http://www.cityzencane.com/Pins%20page.htm (click on each to see the prices!) (gone)
James Lehman http://www.akrobiz.com/polymer_clay/gallery_index.html (just start ANYWHERE! .. . and keep clicking until you get the most enlargement for any photo) http://www.akrobiz.com/polymer_clay/i_20.html
Tory Hughes (faux amber, vessel, necklaces, etc.) http://craftsreport.com/april00/onlineexclusive.html
Gwen Gibson http://gwengibson.com/ (lentil beads & PhotoEZ) http://gwengibson.com/gallery.htm (click on each year)
Celie Fago http://www.celiefago.com
Katherine Dewey (sculpting) http://www.elvenwork.com/archive/archive1.html
Mike Buesseler http://polymerclaycentral.com/mikeb/MoreO&E.html ... http://thepolyparrot.com/mikeb.html
.. landscapes http://www.polymerclaycentral.com/mikeb/
Klew (click on each) http://klewexpressions.com/gallery.htm
Cynthia Toops http://www.lapidaryjournal.com/feature/1099str.htm (micro mosaics)
Toops & Dan Adams -regular mosaics and thread mosaics http://www.pmclay.com/zshow23adamstoops.html
Sarah Shriver http://www.sunnisan.com/ss/gallery.html
http://www.beadunique.com/computersalesinfo/retailrequests/retailshapes.htm http://www.beadunique.com/Product/3D%20One%20Of%20A%20Kind.htm (caning and caned mosaics)
Sandra McCaw http://www.pbase.com/image/1766906
http://www.heartofclay.com/pc/wip.htm (also faux "stained glass" with liquid clay) http://www.geocities.com/polyzine/january2001/heaser.html (pietre dure inlay)
Grove and Grove http://www.groveandgrove.com/wearablegallery.html (click on each) (gone?)
Pier Voulkos http://www.freehand.com/mixed/voulkos.asp (boxes --click on photo for enlargement of marquetry) http://www.tinapple.com/guild/piervoulkos.html (gone)
Diane Dunville "lamps" & triptych http://www.tinapple.com/cynthia/98retreat/98retreat5.html
photos of many artists' work, gathered by Cynthia Tinapple
http://www.polymerclaydaily.com (click on "See All the Photos" and just look all around!!)
http://www.tinapple.com/oldsite/cynthia/polymer.html (older things)
Precious Metal Clay (polymer clay which must be cured in a low-filed kiln)
See Supply Sources page, or the relevant page for your subject of interest, for much more info on where to buy things.
See Books & Videos for more books, magazines and videos, plus reviews and a list for beginners)
Various videos and DVD'sare now available, covering many of the techniques just described. These are sometimes available at the public library or a local guild library, or from the National Polymer Clay Guild, for free. They can also be purchased (mostly by mail order) from any of several sources; some of those sources also carry clay and other clay supplies:
http://www.polymerclayexpress.com/list.html --Polymer Clay Express (clays, videos, many other supplies)
http://www.prairiecraft.com/ --Prairie Craft (general supplies), no Fimo
http://www.clayfactory.net/ --Clay Factory of Escondido, no Fimo
http://www.weefolk.com/new.htm#home --Wee Folk Creations (+ doll stuff)
http://www.clayalley.com -- Clay Alley
http://www.mindstorm-inc.com/index.html --MindStorm Main Menu, videos only (some for kids too)
Gameplan/Artranch (--Tory Hughes + others videos), email@example.com, ph.# (510) 549-0993; http://www.gameplanvideo.com
Nuchi--videos at discount (send an e-mail to Nuchi at BDRAI@aol.com)
There are many books now available on polymer clay. Some can be found at bookstores, but probably all the "regular-length" ones will be available at http://amazon.com or http://barnesandnoble.com, etc. (as well as some of the supply sites listed above). Enter the words polymer clay in the Search window for either bookseller. Each site should have a photo, description and reviews of each book, but as of NOV 00, Barnes and Noble has more books and photos, Amazon has more reviews.
There is also now an excellent online magazine just for polymer clay, called Polyzine http://www.pcpolyzine.com/
...and a new hard copy magazine called PolymerCafe http//www.polymercafe.com
There is a National Polymer Clay Guild http://www.npcg.org/home.htm in the U.S. which is well worth joining -- just $25 per year.
-- You get a newsletter, the PolyInformer, with tips, techniques, discussions, announcements, etc.; it has several pages of color photos with even more planned.
--You also have mail access to their lending library (take a look at the selection!!** http://www.npcg.org/Membership/library/librarylist.htm and http://www.npcg.org/Membership/library/library.htm) which is chock-full of books, videos, and magazines.
--You also receive a directory of the ~1000 worldwide members, which now includes a great Resource section, not to mention supporting polymer clay in general.
Sarajane H's complete description of the NPCG, at PolyZine
(For more info on why to join the national guild, go to Michele's testimonial at: http://members.nbci.com/kneadtoclay/NPCGjoin.html)
............**the rental time is one month, and the charge is $5.00 per video, plus s/h/ins. each way ...so that would currently work out to around $13.70-$18.70 for 1-2 videos, or $20.00-$25.00 for 4-5 videos if I did the math right (most clayers probably don't watch a video more than once anyway...some do, of course; sharing the cost of rental with another clayer could be an option too).
There are also many local polymer clay guilds which have demos, classes, book/video borrowing, show-and-tell, etc.; these are hugely stimulating and supportive!! (the National Guild can tell you if there are any local guilds in your area at this website
or here at Kim K's list of local guilds
If there is no local guild established, many people start their own when they connect with a few others who are interested in clay--see Finding People-Creating Interest).
....(my local guild is at http://home.earthlink.net/~sbpcg/.)
(for borrowing books and videos, see Books-Videos)
Both local and national guilds welcome all who are interested in polymer clay in any capacity, from newbies to professionals.
....Don't ever worry about being a newbie in a guild - the experience level will vary greatly among the members and the more experienced ones will probably be very glad to help you get started, answer questions, etc. Everyone was a newbie at this at some point.
Plus, you'll be amazed at how much brainfood comes out of just one guild meeting... the ideas you see from the different people will keep your head spinning for days afterward…Elizabeth
in Hawaii…there is a group that meets at Fort Shafter I believe on Sundays and they get together and share their polymer clay ideas and techniques. Sometimes Darlene Richardson teaches stuff she learns on the mainland. Also, the Hawaii Stitchery and Fibre Arts Guild has brought in several polymer clay artists. Our guild meets at the HMA building on Beretania Street at 7:00 p.m. Meetings are usually help on the first Wednesday evening at 7:00at Linekona Art Academy (across Thomas Square) and are free and open to the public. There is also a Bead Society which meets on the 4th Wednesday of every month at Linekona Art Academy at 7:00 p.m. Sarah from Honolulu
Other guilds outside the U.S. are (they may also have other info), and there may be others listed on my Groups-Guilds page:
the Canadian Guild, http://www.crosswinds.net/~clayamies/
the British Guild, http://www.bpcg.org.uk
the New Zealand guild (at Petra's website) http://www.zigzag.co.nz/
(not a guild...France...http://www.essi.fr/~claudine/Fimo/index.htm)
ONLINE CLAYERS' GROUPS
(see Groups-Online page for much more info)
If you are online, there are a number of groups that you can visit or join (newsgroup, message boards, "mailing lists," etc.). The most active general polymer ones that I’m aware of now are:
- http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Polymer_Clay_People (click on Register)...(can subscribe to the "digest" form to combine messages!)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/clay-polymer (same info as above group)
- (Delphiforum’s) Polymer Clay Central message board (join, or "View as Guest" with no responding)
http://forums.delphiforums.com/polymerclay/start (click on Message Board, then?)
Most all polymer groups (online or not) welcome newcomers!
The GRANDDADDY of them all... but no longer very active:
...One of the best sources of loads of information, tips, techniques, and other discussions about p.c.(as well as a place to post questions) is the Internet polymer clay newsgroup called rec.crafts.polymer-clay. It has been online since at least 1995 and has archives too --see below. (For a quick link to rec.crafts.polymer-clay, go to http://www.jaedworks.com/clayspot/polyclay-faq/index.html and click on Jeanne's link.) or this link news:rec.crafts.polymer-clay may work.
You can simply read the newsgroup (or its extensive archives since 1993 or so--see below) via the Internet search engine google.com, or you can subscribe to it (possibly at Google also). If you do subscribe (except through Google and possibly others), you'll need a "news reader." Some service providers have their own newsreader built in, like AOL, or you can use one of the many "news readers" . . . if you have any problems, just ask your service provider how to join a "newsgroup.")
Finding EVEN MORE INFO
(on any polymer subject in the archives of the polymer clay newsgroup)
......Google newsgroup search......
20 July 01: Our old posts from the polymer clay newsgroup rec.crafts.polymer-clay are now AVAILABLE AGAIN. Google (which took over the archives from Deja.com) has finally made all the posts from the last years available through their newsgroup search engine area.
There's loads of info in the archives, but since there are so many other groups for polymer clayers online now, not many of the messages will have been posted since about 2002 ...
To look up anything from those archives
FIND MESSAGES: use any of the 4 options
NEWSGROUP: rec.crafts.polymer-clay (don't forget the hyphen)
MESSAGE DATES: Anytime (the default) --OR set your own FROM & TO dates
-----go back up and click Google Search Results
--clicking on the blue link for each Subject will bring up one post ("article")
--clicking on the View Thread link will bring up all the posts in that subject thread
More links for using any Google searches
If you're interested in setting your preferences so that Google will always return up-to-100 results at a time (rather than the default of 10), go to this page: http://www.google.com/help/customize.html#customize
--Customizing Your Google Display: click here:
--set the default for Number of Messages to 100
More instructions on how to search
…especially on refining your search
You should see some of my "FIRST STUFF" YIKES!!! I was actually thinking about putting some of it up. What does everyone think? I actually think it might be encouraging for newbies. Does anyone else have their "first things" up anywhere?
Okay, here's mine :-) . . . This was '94? and I was very impressed with caning and being able to make the beads (that was tempered by having my beautiful magenta become a darkish cherry red after baking--a combo with the turquoise I wasn't too crazy about; now I know to add white to magenta!). This is an old photo I'd taken which happens to include what first inspired my interest in polymer clay and millefiori; I just uploaded it to my Photopoint page... (website gone)
IMHO, I try not to be "embarrassed" about any of my previous work, including my younger "selves." There is just as much honor in being a beginner as being more accomplished in my view, and as much humility required. They both depend on just "how" you do what you do with what you've got at any level. Besides, it's just not logical . . . I'll *always* be more experienced (or older, etc.) than I am at any point, so I need to remember how I might feel from that vantage point too. Anyone else?? Diane B.