Check out my older polymer clay
and miniatures if you're feeling
intimidated by what you see "out on the web". You'll feel better
We were all beginners at one time. There's no shame in being a
1999 Geocities website got canceled and I
rebuilt them on PhotoPoint and then
Epson and when they went dark I put them here.
It's a process. The more you do - the more you learn. When you look at
my older stuff and then compare it to the stuff I'm making now you'll
see that it took time and practice for me to get a grip on my clay.
Now some folks might say that since I've only been doing polymer clay
for five years that they feel they should make the same
progress in the same amount of time. But fair warning. I've been doing
polymer clay and running this list for five years, just about every
day, 8 and more hours a day. Some folks been working with polymer clay
for 5-10 years and don't have as many hours invested, for they are
working full time, have young children, have other crafts that they
are involved with and the amount of hours spent with polymer clay
might be actually less than what I've invested since I've been so
obsessive about it.
I love showing my older stuff. Especially when it's rough. Especially
before I discovered wet/dry sand paper or even using a Future finish
on things. Oh I thought I was the bomb even with these rough items.
But we're here to amuse ourselves. We're here to find our way in this
new medium. If you're new to polymer clay, or to miniatures, or to
sculpting, give yourself the right to take baby steps. Give yourself
some room to experiment and discover what the clay will and will not
do for you.
Do Not Compare your work with anyone else. They are not you. Problem
with comparing your work with someone else's work is no matter how good
you are there's someone better. I could get depressed if I go around
comparing my stuff to other people's stuff for there are many clayers
who are better at particular techniques than I am. On the same hand
no matter how bad you are there is someone who's work sucks even more
than yours. So it's a waste of energy to compare your work or anything
else you do to someone else. We do what we can with what we know at
this time. As we practice we get better, it's as simple as that
Do you see other clayers documenting their disasters? Do they document
a struggle like the Short and Brief Life and Sad Death of Xev-1?
Not hardly, that's because folks often show what their perfect stuff
looks like. These are the people who clean the house before the paid
housekeeper shows up. LOL They are embarrassed to show the chronicle of
a wrong turn turned even more wrong with fiddling and fussing and then
chopping it all up. I'm not embarrassed to show what happens when I
make a miscalculation, it's part of that process. I learned a great
deal with that Xev-1 disaster. There's no loss of honor in admitting
that not everything I make comes out perfect. For who is perfect but
God and the Angels? I'm a mortal, prone to imperfection, it's ok, I'm
bonded with all other imperfect mortals who struggle with something.
Here we just struggle together. Helping each other up when we fall,
dusting each other off and giving each other encouragement and tips
and hints on how maybe to have an easier time of it. I love it when
folks have disasters and share that for they bond with all the other
imperfect mortals who are fellow list members. Pascale shared her
busted pens. I love her for that. Everyone should have some horror
story like how one list member used a golf ball to do a tiffany lamp
and it exploded in the oven, making the smoke alarm go off and after
she just sort of let things cool off over night her son tried to heat
up some midnight pizza making the smoke alarm go off again.
Peeeeuuuuu, don't inhale folks. Open the windows and fan that toxic
smoke out. We've all burnt a tray of goodies. We've all crushed an egg
shell when applying cane. We've all made that cane of grave
disappointment, ergo the chop and toss and natasha beads...God bless
those canes of grave disappointment for they are what made my first
African Mix, the most popular mix I got going on my site.
Like I'm fond of saying a baby doesn't pop out of the womb doing the
Tango. We got to crawl before we can walk. Your first efforts are the
bravest things you will ever do. It's no big deal for someone who's
mastered the basics to crank something out quickly. The big deal is
opening that first package of clay. The big deal is curing that first
item. The big deal is taking a picture of a disaster and laughingly
share it with your loving claymates here on the list. Those are the
most courageous things to do. Everything after that is a walk in the
Just as the alphabet is limited, and from this limited number of items
comes an unlimited amount of potential utterances, so too are the
basic clay moves. There is only a limited amount of things you can do
to clay: sheets and snakes, to start with. Exhaust sheets and do
chevron leaves, geometric patterns, plaid. Exhaust snakes and do bulls
eyes and lace cane. Do your color cards and see what colors you can
mix and mix again for you left yourself a trail to follow.
After you have experimented with the half a dozen basic things you can
do with polymer clay then ask yourself...what has meaning to YOU? It's
not what might sell. It's not what others are making. It's not what
will please your significant other. None of that counts. You count the
most for you are the most important person in your own creative
development. What means something to you? I'm talking about following
your bliss in that Joseph Campbell sort of way. After you master the
few basic moves that you can make with polymer clay the biggest part
of the journey begins. The basic moves are packing the bag for the
journey, once that bag is packed you're ready for your own artistic
exploration. What you make must have some significance to you. If it
moves someone else, fine, but it's not a prerequisite.
I do find that if you're true to yourself, do what means something to
you, you're claying from the heart, and it will move folks who see it.
Another person will resonate to that truth you've shared. For
example... I'm a mom and a grandmother. I loved my pregnancies, loved
nursing, loved the babies and I'm one of those people who go instantly
into baby talk when I see a baby. Thousands of dollars in debt for a
college education to be reduced to a "coochi coochi coo" granny when
see a baby. So the sculptures I've done of mothers and their babies
always get a response from someone. The nursing mommy that's on my
home page has gotten tons of responses because I sculpted it from the
heart. The empathy works when you are true to what means something to
you and you create art from that perspective.
We know what stuff looks like when folks are insincere when they make
something, when we are being manipulated by false sentiment. We know
without being told. We also know when someone has made a statement
that comes from a true and sincere space, we resonate to that like
chords are being plucked from the harp of our hearts.
So are techniques the end all and be all of doing polymer clay or
doing miniatures? Nope, they are only the starting point. So if you're
new to clay and want to get a grip on the basics show up for our
Demos. We'll go over all the beginner moves and it's why the demos are
done, so you can experiment and give basic techniques an effort and
not feel alone in the process. You can also ask questions, make
requests to see a particular thing and I'll give it my best to show
you what I know. We might discover something new together, you just
don't know what you might learn if you don't show up.
UPDATE: The webcam demos are on hiatus.
Most importantly allow yourself the right to take those baby steps. Al
low yourself space to experiment and do not compare your work with
anyone else's unless you just want to annoy yourself for no good
So this is long enough for a "I'm home" ramble, let me send this
NoraJean Stone (formerly "Gatine")
aka Fearless Leader... nothing to be afraid of here, we're a loving
PS: Faith is the opposite of Fear. Have Faith in yourself, that's the