Monday, 29 November 2010

Pasta Machine Thickness comparison table

Since I started improving my polymer clay work by following tutorials and going to workshops I have found it very confusing when people give you a pasta machine thickness as the different brands (particularly Atlas and Imperia the main 2 quality machines) don't compare easily. I have an Imperia machine which I love, it is easy to take apart to clean, only requiring to remove the end plate on one end (the one without the knob) with 1 screw and then I can push out the rods by hand and clean the scraper plates. I recently acquired a cheap Kitchen Craft pasta machine which looks like an Atlas but it doesn't run smoothly and the clay always wrinkles up on settings 8 and 9 - I would pay the extra and get a quality machine if you can.

I spent a lovely day in London yesterday with the London Polymer Clay Group (it was a blissful 2 hours on the train from me which I thoroughly enjoyed and I managed to squeeze a flying visit in to the jewellery gallery at the V&;A museum too!). I had already made thickness chips for the 2 machines I have and Nina kindly allowed me to make a set on her Atlas so now I have all 3! Here's the measurements
This is what my chips look like

 They will probably be a bit different from machine to machine and possibly even from different sides of a sheet depending on how straight the rollers are but hopefully it's a useful starting point.

So if you want to compare I would say as long as you remember a 1 on an Imperia is about the same as a 2 on an Atlas, 3,4 and 5 are much the same and the thinnest on an Imperia is like a 7 on an Atlas.

(Toni the table won't be visual enough for you - your machine is very close to the atlas measurements)

Friday, 26 November 2010

Autumn flowers

I had a custom order of a crochet hook in autumn colours. I decided to use my now firm favourite spliced flower cane. I started making this cane thanks to a video from Cindy Leitz

I decided to use the flower cane to make a few other bits...
Autumn colours cabochon pendant - super shiny!

Autumn owl (with glow in the dark eyes) - flew straight off my sale table!

Gingerbread men

My friend Moe has been making some super cute Hawaiian gingerbread men and hula girls - like this...
I got inspired and made some more traditional gingerbread men Christmas earrings.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

'From Polymer to Art' a review

I have now received my copy of 'From Polymer to Art'. It is the first edition, a sneak preview before the sale launches in 2011. Each edition will have a colour theme, this first one being Red.

It feels and it looks nice. The paper is a good quality paper and the magazine has been set out beautifully, interspersed with the articles and tutorials are snippets of poems and pictures of things red. There is a page of photographs of different red flowers. In this preview edition the advertising pages are blank but I see there are plenty of spaces for advertising although not so much that it overwhelms the content as in some magazines.

There are 8 tutorials at a range of levels including these fab projects...

berry earrings1
Red berries tutorial by Oksana Volkova

Oksana's work is new to me and I love these berries - so realistic - can't wait to try it!!

Necklace Baroque Red & Gold
Baroque Necklace Tutorial by  Anja Overdijk

Anja is another artist I did not already know and I greatly enjoyed browsing through her flickr photos.

A Red shades Skinner blend necklace tutorial by  Cecilia Botton - Mabcrea. I can't find a photo of this project but I like it, it is reasonably simple but very effective. I have been a fan of her work for sometime having discovered her beautiful creations on flickr

There is a tutorial on producing patterned clay sheets using alcohol inks and stencils from Jan Geisen, another new artist to me. It is an interesting project and she has included some different variations of finished jewellery pieces to get your creative juices well and truly flowing!

There are 2 tutorials from the fabulous Fabi . I have been following her blog for a while now (with the help of Google translate!) and if you haven't seen it already you should definitely check it out!



So the big question - is it worth it? It is expensive but it is a good quality magazine with good content. It only comes out 4 times a year so it's not a monthly expense. I will certainly be subscribing!

Thank you ladies for publishing a quality polymer clay dedicated magazine!

Saturday, 20 November 2010


I am enjoying showing off my jewellery at the Totterdown Arts Trail this weekend and have sold loads of my little tortoises. I came home last night and made some more and did the same tonight, hopefully I will have enough to see my through to tomorrow evening! A customer today asked me if I ever made owls, my reply was not yet but I will! So here is my first batch of owls, I'll see if they fly off the table tomorrow!
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Sunday, 14 November 2010

New Polymer Clay Magazine

I have just found out about a new polymer clay magazine From Polymer to Art from a blog post by Fabi on , I have ordered a copy and can't wait to see it. From her blog post and the magazine website where I ordered my copy it looks very exciting! They ship worldwide.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Emerald green custom order

 I had a custom order for a flower pendant in Emerald Green. I had some similar style pendants (the technique is from Ayelet Beads flower tutorial which I would highly recommend!) but I found it really hard to know if the customer would like them so I made a few variations. Hopefully she will get to see them this week (I have a sale on Saturday so I want to put the ones she doesn't choose on display then) so I will let you know which one she chooses. My favourite is the top one.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

One of my custom orders

At the 2 sales I have had I have taken quite a few orders. I am finding it quite tricky to be confident the customer will like what I've made so I have given them some options. This order was for a friend who lived locally so I made the beads and then took them to show her before I strung them.

She requested a spliced flower cane necklace on a cord with no metal clasps etc. in similar colours to this bracelet

There are about 12 different shades of browns and oranges and pinks and white and black in this bracelet  so it was going to be tricky picking up on that in a spliced flower where I normally use 4 sometime 6 colours.

These are the beads I made. I realise I forgot to take a picture of the finished necklace so will have to pop over for a cup of tea soon to do so. In the end it was strung with 5 flowers and some pink beads between the flowers as she wanted it to look lighter in colour. I finished it off with sliding knots, it took me about 5 attempts to get it the right length for her. I am looking forward to seeing her wear it!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Flower charm bracelet

I started this bracelet sometime ago but felt it needed something more, something to brighten it up. I had lots of great suggestions from arty friends and in the end I decided to add the yellow beads you can see to match the yellow of the flower centres. I would have put some little crystals inside the flowers but I had already wire wrapped them onto the bracelet by then and didn't fancy doing it all again!

I will show you my new matching pendant up close tomorrow and I've got some custom orders to show you too.
Till then...

Monday, 1 November 2010

Exhibition excitement!!!

I was very exited today to find out that a piece of jewellery I submitted has been accepted for an exhibition in a couple of weeks. It's the Totterdown lights exhibition which will showcase the 'cutting edge of what the Totterdown Arts Trail has to offer'. There is a private screening on the opening night of the exhibition for the press and 'key decision makers from within the art field'  to which I get an invitation plus one (trying to work out if I should take hubby or an arty friend - will probably depend on if I can get a baby sitter!).

I am then exhibiting as a part of the Arts Trail the following weekend. The arts trail is where different people within an area open up their homes to exhibit art. Often there are 2 or 3 different artists showing their work in one venue. There is a leaflet printed with a map showing all the different houses taking part and detailing who will be exhibiting.

This is the piece I will have in the exhibition