Polymer clay jewellery - colourful and fun!
Polymer clay is a popular sculpting medium which is based on polymer polyvinyl chloride or PVC. It is not actually a type of clay but is called one owing to its hardening ability which is similar to regular clay when it is put in an oven after liquid has been added to it. Its gel like properties and hardened toughness make it a multipurpose and cost effective crafting medium. Recently, polymer clay charms have become fashionable among fashion aficionados and crafts enthusiasts alike.
The clay is organic, and easily malleable, much in the same way as actual clay. The process of creating polymer clay jewellery involves flattening it via a pasta machine and adding additional layers of colored clay, if a multicoloured look is desired. The clay is then rolled or cut into the desired shape and baked in an oven at approximately 175*C for 20-25 minutes, after which it is left to cool. The finished beads or pieces are then ready for stringing onto necklaces, earrings and bracelets.
Polymer clay charms are popular fashion accessories, and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and textures. It is easy to customize pieces according to ones outfit of choice by simply blending matching colours and creating desired shapes out of them. Once properly baked and allowed to dry, they can be attached to hooks and wires and incorporated as single pieces such as pendants, or as part of a larger piece, which could range from a long necklace to a choker.
The DIY [do-it-yourself] nature of polymer clay jewellery makes it a unique, environment-friendly and fun craft to share with friends, or to enjoy by ones self. Various coloured clays are available at craft shops, and can also be manually rolled out without the assistance of the pasta machine, the only difference being that the thinness of the clay layers and subsequent designs post-rolling the clay will not be as intricately-patterned.
Baking the clay, however, is an unavoidable step in the process as it hardens the clay and helps maintain the shape and design of the bead or shape chosen. Additional texture should be added prior to baking.
For those who wish for their polymer clay pieces to be additionally unique, one can incorporate glitter, shiny finishing enamels and rhinestones to the beads, and “modge podge” a special type of craft glue, can be used to adhere stones and sequins. A number of jewellery designers also incorporate semi-precious stones and metal to their pieces.
Polymer clay jewellery is one of the few fashion trends which can be created from scratch. This gives it the unique distinction of being the most easily customizable type of jewellery available. It is easy to purchase the clay from stores or online. For those who prefer simply buying readymade pieces, there are a host of websites which sell pieces made by individual artists. However, given how the quickly trend of do-it-yourself jewellery is catching on with the artistically-inclined population, it is highly recommended that you get a basic kit together and let your imagination run wild as you create beautiful, one-of-a-kind customized pieces for yourself.