Bedecked Beads Blog, Handmade Jewellery and Gifts, Cheshire

Welcome to Bedecked Beads Jewellery Blog. Here I am exploring the use of polymer clay and observations of the handmade world

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  1. I am very lucky to belong to a supportive Facebook group which is for polymer clay people based in Scotland. The Scottish branch of the BPCG meets in Edinburgh every 3 months and also in Glasgow. We run a monthly challenge and the new challenge for July is colour.

    We have a lady who is a great help at our clay days,Bella Green, who is an artist and also enjoys creating with  polymer clay. Bella holds classes for budding and experienced artists and so is an expert with colour.




    My main colours in this piece were blue and yellow and have mixed colours together to create this necklace. The blue and yellow made this lovely forrest green, yellow and a bit of red made the orange, green and yellow made the brighter green and yellow and white made the lemon.

    All of these were threaded together on yellow waxed cotton cord and the necklace fastens with a button, also made of these colours of polymer clay.

    The wonderful thing about using clay is you ALWAYS have some left. So while I had these delicious colours on my work table, I created some more handmade buttons and a new seam ripper


    P1010803  P1010800

  2. I am inspired by a lot of polymer clay teachers and it is very difficult to name only one. I was first inspired by Melanie Muir who also lives in Scotland and makes the most beautiful jewellery inspired by Scotland's landscape. I have undertaken workshops by various artists and have been absorbed by their work. One lady, who is very inspiring, by both her work and her wonderful generous teaching is Donna Kato.


    So when our Scottish Clay Group on Facebook came upwith a challenge to make something inspired by a teacher, I had a go. I made this mustard and turquoise veneer to start with, using a cane inspired by Donna's work

    I made two necklaces, which were very different in style for me but I really enjoyed making them. I am my own worst critic and one of the necklaces, I ended up keeping for myself as I could find a few small faults with it. I think the mustard and blue veneer is very fresh though and I am quite happy with it


    This is the necklace I kept for myself on the right and the new mustard and blue necklace on the left is the one now on the website. I love the contemporary look of this necklace, do you? Thanks Donna for the inspiration!


  3. I was lucky enough to win a competition on Crafty Arts over on Instagram recently. Lucky me, I won 6 x blocks of the Fimo Leather Effect polymer clay by Staedtler, black, indigo, berry, saffron, olive and rust.

    I wasnt sure where to start, this product is fairly new and there hasnt been a lot of work done with it. These are just some of my thoughts. I found the clay very malleable and sticky, it is in a large wrapper which means that you can fold over the plastic when you have taken clay from the packet. Quite useful I thought. Although I liked the colours of the clay I received, I wanted to see how the clay mixed and make some custom clay blends


    I mixed equal parts of berry and indigo = purple,  

    saffron and indigo = turquoisy green

    berry and saffron = rose pink 

    The clay wasnt easy to mix and you can see the bottom blend in the picture was more marbled, I did however mix if further to make a rather attractive purple. Glinger Davis Allman of The Blue Bottle Tree, used a marbled blend to make a purse

    I decided to mix the rust with a very small amount of black which gave me a more natural leather colour, which I used as a base

    P1010709 To be quite honest during this process of blending, there wasnt much need for a pasta machine as the Fimo clay was very malleable.

    I rolled out my clay with just a roller and textured it, which I thought made a rather nice pattern on the leather. Please note if you stretch the clay slightly it will give you more texture

    I cut tear drop shapes from each colour (apart from the brown) to make shapes for my necklace. As stated by others, the Fimo leather effect does not give a clean cut even with the sharpest cutters or blades due to inclusions in the clay


    These segments were used on the base brown clay to create the necklace. The necklace was then cured at 130°C for 45 mins ( covered with tin foil to protect it ) I even made a brooch and a pair of earrings with my blends. I did feel that the colours were a tad too bright for the look I was going for, so I coated the pieces with a burnt umber acrylic paint and rubbed tit off the surface. Coated the clay with a matt Golden Varnish to protect the surface





     Here are the finished pieces

    What do I think of Fimo Leather Effect ? I enjoyed experimenting with something that was different to my normal clay (Premo) I like the fact that it is VERY flexible after curing and the effects you can get with it. Dont forget you can sew on it too. Maybe that should be my next project?