Learn the Secrets of Making Polymer Beads

Leslie Rogalski Polymer tips for beginners from a beginner.
Every culture has a legend about creating something from clay and bringing it to life. It’s very magical to change a lump of clay into something else. It also seemed so easy. I played with clay as a kid. I should have looked at Carol Blackburn's Making Polymer Clay Beads, but I didn't, at first. Like the ambitious sorcerer's apprentice, I tried stuff on my own. Totally scorched the holes in my beads.

Make patterns with canes
Learning my lesson, I looked to the masters to make better magic with polymer clay. Making Polymer Clay Beads was chock-full of secrets revealed. One technique the book teaches is using cane to make striking graphic patterns, such as in these black-and-white beads.
Transform clay into stone
One of my favorite polymer clay properties is how it can be transformed to look like something else. Check out these beads. Don't they look like marble? I just think this is an amazing effect, and can't wait to try it.
It's easy to explore surface and texture
So many surfaces can be achieved in polymer clay. Matte, speckled, rough and gritty, or super slick. In this necklace, the clay looks like Venetian glass. Baked polymer can be sanded for such a shimmering finish. Who knew?

Inspiration from the experts
There were, however, plenty of things I figured out by myself. For instance, working with clay is a heckuva lot more physical than stitching beads. Effort is transferred from fingers to hands, arms, and body. I rediscovered muscles I forgot I had. Here's a nice prospect: polymer clay beadmaking burns calories!

I talk a lot about being self-taught, but don’t get me wrong. Some materials have special qualities and safety features that would take years to discover on my own. But check out the pointers and inspiration from the pros such as those showcased in Making Polymer Clay Beads and presto!

You’ll be amazed what you learn!

Do you work with polymer clay? What tips do you have for absolute beginners? 
Share them here on Beading Daily!


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