Monday, September 6, 2010

Where to Begin with Clay?

I'm hoping to get some input from everyone on the best way to get started learning about polymer clay.

Should I take a 6 week class (one evening a week), watch videos, read books or all of the above?

I would love to hear your thoughts. What worked for you, what didn't? What would you do differently in hindsight?

I am hoping to learn from your trials, errors and successes if you wouldn't mind taking a minute to share.

This seems to be something I am feeling strongly about learning and since I enjoy crafting and
making jewelry, it makes sense. What do you think? THANKS SO MUCH!


Gerri said...

I started out looking at YouTube videos and then did a class with Linda Peterson - she has one called six simple shapes - the basics to making characters and then a cute bear, monkey and polypen class.

Also look into another great site with lots of tutorials and also there's a message board where you can ask lots of questions.

Lori said...

I agree,
You tube has some great tutorials on it. Lots of books out there too...For now I would just check them out at the Libray. You can always buy them later. I'm the kind that just jumps in and trys it.. Take a "basics" class and use some trial and error but I think that when you take a class you learn the teachers "style" . Its best to develop your own. You can always take more classes later if you feel you are struggling with it.

JustATish said...

I think with your artistic skills, I would forgo the classes (unless you were looking for com-rod-er-ee) you could watch a youtube video or pick up a book and be well on your way to genius in a week.

Melinda said...

I started out by bouncing through the large amount of info on the internet. I'll admit I never did look much on youtube but there are huge source out there:

Gerri already mentioned

Sculpey has some projects out there that are rather fun

BUT my ultimate favorite and where I got the most help and information is from Cindy Lietz site:
This is the link to her blog but she has videos every Friday with a new lesson for a very reasonable fee of around $10 every three months plus you can buy back issues and she has a video set that is meant for bead making beginners. Her information is invaluable and I recommend her!
You can look at my blog and see a few of my creations I make using her lessons.


Lisa, Melinda is right about Cindy Lietz, she has awesome tutorials.

When I started clay (8 years ago) I bought some Donna Kato books and Barbara Maguire books and joined a clay guild. I can't remember where you live but joining a clay guild was the best thing I ever did. I also bought tutorials from people on Etsy like Tina Holden, Eugena, SC Diva, Iris Mishly, etc. They take you step by step. The other thing you can do is join The other girls have given you some great websites also. Youtube is a great teacher. The first things I made looked like cow pies because I burned everything. Had the wrong oven. Bought a polymer clay oven at Joann's with the 40% off coupon. It works wonderful. Start with someone's blog who does clay and it will take you to other blogs that have free tutorials. I saw your picture of the Fimo. I'm a Premo, Cernit and Studio Clay person. I can't use Kato because I get a headache but it's great for caning. Sculpey III is not a good clay for jewelry making. It breaks and cracks. I have some clay information I can send you that I use when I teach. Is your email address on your blog?

Kokopelli said...

I simply played around and bought the book "Making Polymer Clay Beads". The best hint I ever got was to sand my baked pc pieces with wet sanding paper. You can buy it at the hardware store. The pieces get a smooth, matte appearance, when sanded wet and rubbed with a piece of denim afterwards. No varnish needed!

Mikki said...

Polymerclaycentral. And just play, don't be afraid of the clay.
Then pick up a book by someone like Donna'll be off and running in no time.
Go for the buff too....amazing what great finishes you can get with sanding and buffing especially if you add translucent clay to all your colors.
Have fun!

2 Good Claymates said...

There is a lot of free information available to you on the internet and I would start there. Many clay artists provide free tutorials as well as special techniques to buy if they interest you. I would recommend when you start out to test out the different clays and see which is best for you before you buy a lot. Fimo Premo and Kato are pretty much the best clays if you want good quality results but each clay acts and feels differently and everyone has their own preference.

The other tip is to learn the basics (lots of free information again) such as conditioning your clay and baking, etc. before you get started.

Lisa Crone said...

Wow, thank you all so much! What great information! I am getting very excited to get started!

Boot ~C said...

One of the most fun & beautiful things I've done w/ polymer clay is to blend spices into translucent clay.Paprika, cinnamon,cumin,oregano(powdered) even coffee grounds( used & very well dried) al give really stunning results.You don't need much,no more than a teaspoon per 1 oz or so.

Lacey said...

I read a book, did a Google search on Polymer Clay and spent a few hours reading everything I could online, then I just sorta jumped right on in. I don't consider myself a Polymer Clay artist by any means, but it is an extremely versatile medium to work with. Practice makes perfect...just like with anything else.