I have wanted to learn to work with polymer clay for some time, but like many things, I put it off. Then I saw what looked like a wonderful opportunity: the Fluttering Wings Summer Camp with Heather Powers of Humblebeads. I already knew Heather was a good teacher; I had seen many of her free Bead Table Wednesday video tutorials. Here is a bracelet I love that I made based on one of them.
I was excited that not only did the summer camp include some polymer clay projects but also a metal etching lesson and some finished jewelry projects using what we made. The course is set up in three distinct parts, so I took three days off of work. I thought it would be too easy to put it off and say I would do it “later” if I didn’t. I was so glad I did. I found that the online format is great for me. There are written and video instructions that I could read/watch the day before and then get right into a project the next morning. I’m a morning person; it’s easy to lose my get up and go by the afternoon if I’m not already into it. I can go back and watch/read things as many times as necessary. I have lifetime access to the materials to try them again and again or use them as the springboard for other projects. There was also a Facebook group where we could share with others and ask questions. Although this is no longer available, there were a limited number of kits containing many of the course materials. I would highly recommend getting that if you ever take a course where that is an option. It was so helpful and beautifully organized.
My things turned out pretty well. (Although I have to bake my beads again because I didn’t use an oven thermometer.) When something didn’t go as planned, I was able to figure out why and knew how to fix it or re-do it based on the excellent course information and/or answers from Heather. Here are some of the beads in process.
Here are some practice ear wires and bezel pendants – one finished (blue) and one that needs a repair, rebake and finishing. The kit included sterling wire for finished earrings, but Heather even included some copper wire for practice. I made a couple of charms from scrap because I wanted to see how easy (or not) it was to embed wire in polymer. (It was easy.)
I haven’t finished the rest of the jewelry projects yet because I got sick as things were winding down and decided to take it easy. I’m still recovering and will get to those projects when I am able. At the end of the course, Heather did a video showing even more great jewelry projects using the components (or versions thereof) that we made. A great bonus!
I have kind of a bad attitude toward learning new things. I’m always worried they won’t work out, I’ll feel like it’s all been a waste, and I won’t want to keep trying. I think I can change that outlook now. My mom and I have been doing resin experiments and on the whole, they have been turning out. When they don’t, I can figure out why and even want to try again. The same can be said of my work for these lessons. Everything was so much more doable and worked out so much better than I could have imagined. I loved it, and it was an incredibly positive experience. I am planning to take more of Heather’s online classes and have even looked at other polymer tutorials I bought and never used. It’s an exciting new way to explore my creativity.