Sometimes you run across something online that inspires you to create your own version of it – all kinds of art is available to view online, collections of historical pieces as well as those by contemporary artists who sell their wares on Etsy, DeviantArt, Ebay, and Fiverr. While combing through our corner of the internet, we found a marvelous artist from Ukraine who makes jewelry out of polymer clay. These works of art are delicate, detailed, and definitely inspiration material.
If you’ve never worked with clay before but want to get started, all you need to do is take a trip to the local craft store to get some Sculpey or Fimo clay. These can be baked in the oven at a low temperature and hardened without losing color. You could also go the air dry route but I have found it to be a little more fragile. You won’t need many tools for working with clay, but they can be useful. I typically use a straw, a pencil, and then plastic bags to hold the remains of the clay. You can use other things like tin foil (best for working on large projects so that they don’t get heavy), jewelry fittings, toothpicks, buttons, and rubber stamps as well. If you want texture, you can raid your home and collect steel wool, pipe cleaners, a sieve, or bark from the outdoors.
Whatever you want to do, it is best to start small. You can look through books at the library or tutorials online, or you can just use photos for inspiration. It will take time to hone your skills, but making small clay objects takes little time and bakes in less than twenty minutes.
Want to start with a small, simple bird? You’ll need a few colors (beak and feet and eyes can be the same color, and then the body can be one or multi-colored) and a few small tools – the feather details on the wings can be done with a toothpick, as can the eye insertion. Once you’re done, make sure you’ve placed something (either a wire fitting or a clay handle of sorts) on the back so that it can be attached to another project you have in mind – a bookmark, a necklace, earrings, or a keychain. You can find our inspiration here.