What To Do When Stranded Overseas?

My solution is simple. I rebuild a collection of polymer clay and equipment from scratch and start making more clay food. My flight has been rescheduled to 2nd May, and that’s at least 1.5 weeks from now, so I have to get claying! I regret not getting liquid clay while I was at the shop, since I need it for making cake icing and other creams. My logic at the time, was to limit myself because liquid clay can be very messy, and I would only need to keep busy for a few days before having to pack up. Of course, this assuming I will be able to fly at all when 2nd May comes along.

Take a look at my mini collection of Japanese branded tools and glue paint I found at Daiso. I wish all this was available in Zurich, or even in Melbourne. I also included my Fimo clay and other findings I got from Multifilla, so not everything is Daiso.
Tools

Besides clay, I’ve been thinking of getting a kiln when I move back to Australia. At first, kilns seem so expensive and unnecessary. Once I researched wattage used on stand-alone convection ovens, I was shocked! I’d rather get a kiln that uses 1000W instead of a convection oven that uses more than 1350W, 1800W or even higher. Kilns also have higher temperatures and bead doors. I can try out other crafts and even glass beadmaking, like I originally wanted. Oh now I’m so excited about moving back to Melbourne and starting a business… but only after my pets depart, as I would hate myself for abandoning them.

Perlenmachen aus Polymer Clay

Day 2: I was bad and purchased some more clay. I’ve come to like the metallic colours a lot, and the mica effects really make the pieces unique. Although, if you want to do without the mica, there really is no way. Another favourite is white transparent clay. I use this almost everywhere, it’s a staple for me.

Green and Gold
I worked on a more dull colour spectrum, as I didn’t like the bright child-like look of the batch I made the first time. Using my own handmade colour mixes, I really like the outcome. I made my own green from scratch, using cyan and yellow with a little metallic gold and black to get the smoky olive green. I need to polish up on my colour names. This is the best I can do to describe it!

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I’m really happy with how these turned out. I tried a chop and mix technique with transparent and opaque white to get this depth effect. They were the most time consuming beads to make, but definitely worth it, just to look at the crackly-marbly-depth. I’m going to list some of these style beads for sale and see how they go. Because I make my own colours, it took me nearly an hour to get a shade I liked, not to mention the chopping and mixing I had to do for the outer layer!

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Using the chop and mix technique again, and then just swirling them around a bit to get this effect. The good part about using a metallic clay, it adds the metallic effect to the other clays as well. The whole bead gets sparkly! Not sure if these will sell, since they are quite easy to make.

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Using leftover clay, I made lots of spacers! I wanted to get a dark brown, but ended up with a lovely bronze for these disc spacers!! I love how they turned out, but I will probably never be able to get the exact shade again. I didn’t record my mixes (and I don’t intend to). Thankfully, my design skills can be utilised here when it comes to mixing colours. I generally know what colours to use to get a tone, from all that practice with illustrator. Never had an un-salvage-able sickly colour so far.

This ‘quick fix’ hobby has turned out to be rather fun, and I think I will stick with it for a while before starting my glass beads. It’s way more economical and allows me to fulfil my wish to make beads. The only thing is, it’s time consuming and sticky. I also need a little more equipment so I can work a lot faster. Pasta machine, I will get you soon!

Polymer Clay!

I was a little disappointed when none of my bead findings showed up in the mail today, so I went down the street to the little craft/hardware store to get some polymer clay. I was also getting really impatient with the glass bead making supplies, since I still need to wait a couple more weeks before I can get all my equipment. In other words, I wanted a quick fix. I had read a little about making clay beads, and decided to do some more reading into it. Surprisingly, one needs to think in a totally different dimension in order to achieve the many intricate designs… I was amazed at ‘clay canes’. I still have to try that, although I think I will be terrible at it. Anyway, I took some quick snaps at what I managed to achieve tonight:
Before Baking
These are the beads that I made, all lined up on a card rack before baking. I found this trick on a tutorial site. The round and oval beads were done using a rolling mould that I bought along with the clay. Easy peasy. I also hand sculpted the smaller beads to make random shapes. Looks great as spacer beads.

Baked Beads
I like how they turned out! 40 minutes of baking at 120 degrees seems to work for me. I read a lot of different opinions on it. The beads are matte, my favourite to work with!! For the oval beads, I made swirls in them. They are the easiest pattern. I made holes in them before baking, which shrank a little, so I might have to work on the hole size next time. At least they still fit my stringing wire.

Plan for tomorrow: Go back to the store and get more white and black clay, along with some transparent colours. The mix of transparent and opaque clay will look awesome. Also, I need a hobby knife since I completely bent the plastic tool that came with my starter set.
This is a fun in-between hobby until I can finally melt some glass…