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.

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.

I’ve been analysing my crafting habits, and I notice that I shift hobbies really quickly. I can’t just make something of a particular style and stick with it. I start to get bored, and I move on to the next thing. It must be bad for business, I’m sure. All I know is, I’ve always been a jack of all trades, and I am just either not passionate about any craft to really focus on it, or I need plenty of variety to keep myself entertained… I can’t identify which craft I love, love, love all the time, but I do know which crafts I don’t fancy: sketching, painting, knitting, embroidery, and of course, cooking. I think I grew to dislike sketching and painting because I was always forced to do it in school, and my work was always ridiculed.

Anyway, in the past week, I picked up a pasta machine — which is not for making pasta. And then I decided to try miniature food since I was out of ideas for clay beads. It sure is fun to make fake food while I can’t even begin to make real food. I learned some new techniques like how to make realistic cake icing. My living room is seriously getting clogged up with more and more equipment. I have two work tables now, all messy and full of stuff. I am one who clutters tables and shelves as time goes on.

I’m enjoying myself now, but, I can’t help thinking… This craft is not unique, and others will always be better than I am… And what is going to be my next temporary obsession when I get bored? Why can’t I just find something I’m passionately in love with? I worry that no one is going to support a crafter that swaps between different crafts every month or so. I think this whole issue is also linked to the fact that I did not really go into any speciality at uni, and my work experiences don’t even drive me into a particular direction. Again, I can see the evidence of myself being a jack of all trades.

Oh well, self-pity aside, I have some yummy photos of my recent clay work. All these done in just a couple of days. Michael says I learn fast. What do you think?

These are the clay foods I am happy with. I have a few more that didn’t turn out quite as I wanted, and so they sit on Michael’s desk.

Yummy cake! I always thought cake had to be made with liquid polymer clay and baking soda, like a real cake, but the way I used simply simulates the texture of a crumbly cake — clay was teased up manually using a pin. I did use liquid clay for the icing, though. Funny, I never really eat much cake at all. In fact, I don’t even eat doughnuts, and but they sure are nice to faux.

Pictured are a number of pendants. I’ve been wearing the cake with the white icing on the top right of the photo. It’s the first cake I made, before even using the new techniques I picked up.

The creamy sauces you see on doughnuts and cakes in this photo were done using window paint. I normally see people selling coloured glue or 3D fabric paint for this purpose, but I decided to find a locally available replacement. I need to photograph my equipment one day! It’s really fun and challenging to think of ways to use little substitutions available at my local Migros Do-It. I love that store. I visit 2-3 times a week, seriously. Okay, so another post on my equipment is in order!

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…