Learning Pains

©Shireen Nadir 2013

Lately, as I’ve been feeling a bit resined out, I’ve renewed my interest in polymer clay (I say ‘renewed’ here, though the reality is the last time I worked with this stuff I was 15). The interest was inspired by being in Italy, and seeing the ‘mille fiori’ technique in glass–which I thought I could reproduce in clay.

©Shireen Nadir 2013

The nice thing about designing in many mediums is that, from a design standpoint, it probably won’t take you long to come up with something lovely even when working with something new. This was my first bracelet.

©Shireen Nadir 2013

But of course… pride goeth before the fall, and the not-so-nice thing about using a new medium is that I have no idea, structurally, what will and won’t work. Which is why this bracelet broke in half a few minutes after baking (you can see the seam where I glued it back together).

©Shireen Nadir 2013

What I’ve been able to discover so far is that the brand of clay I’m using (Sculpey, for those interested) is the most brittle once baked. Fimo is apparently much better, so that will be my next approach.

©Shireen Nadir 2013

In addition to that, Tito suggested overlaying the clay onto something else, so I’ve ordered up a bunch of metal cuff ‘blanks’ that I can graft my designs on.

©Shireen Nadir 2013

I still keep this one on display – it was intended to be evocative of one of my favourite painters, Gustav Klimt, and I think from a design perspective it succeeded. Time to try again!

1 Response to “Learning Pains”

  1. 1 Nicole November 28, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    You know I was thinking millefiori and I totally see the Klimt. We use Fimo, easier to work up (with kids) also……but does have a bit of “give”. For a return to the media after a long absence it is looking great, waiting to see what is next….

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