Saturday, April 18, 2015

New Tutorial Sea Creatures


Are you ready for a few new ideas?

Make yourself some new jewelry in trendy organic style inspired by sea creatures - just in time for summer.



Follow my new tutorial to learn how to make fifteen different textures with a few simple tools.

I am offering this tutorial for an introductory price for two days only. The sale price expires on Monday, April 20, 2015, at noon (EDT). 


 This new tutorial is available on my web site (polymertutorials.com) and in my Etsy shop (etsy.com/shop/PolymerClayTutorials).

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

New Class: Multifunctional Hand-Made Stamps

 I am happy to unveil my new 2-day workshop that I will be teaching in Master Class Camp in Laurel, MD (July 9-12, 2015):

Multifunctional Hand-Made Stamps with Eugena Topina

Hand-made stamps for polymer clay
I am sure a lot of fellow polymer clayers can relate to this story.

For years, I've been searching for a way to turn my own designs into stamps. Sculpting or carving them out of polymer clay was an obvious first choice, but the stamps turned out too crude and small details were impossible to recreate. Then, I tried ordering custom rubber stamps online. The cost was a bit too high for me and the turn-around time was way too long. As for the stamps, they were better than my first ones, but still not detailed enough. In my search for the perfect stamp, I even considered 3D-printing at some point (which did not work out either).

Finally, one day, I came up with an idea that produced stamps with thin, tall and strong walls. These could be created on my own time, and with no cost at all. With these, I was ready to conquer many different techniques. My own faux cloisonn̩ Рcheck! Back-filling Рcheck! Sutton slice Рhave never been easier! Mokume-gane Рany design is possible! But, making the stamps themselves was too cumbersome to explain to somebody else.

It took me another year to put the polishing touches on this technique. Finally, I am ready to present it!
I'm ready to teach, are you ready to learn? If yes, then come to my 2-day workshop. During the first day, you will discover how to build these stamps. And on the second day you will be able to explore their many possibilities. Let's stamp!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Work In Progress: Sea Creatures

I am working on a new series of polymer clay pendants - with a corresponding tutorial, of course.




Coral and sea urchin inspired pieces are very popular right now, especially in ceramics.  I did not want to copy anybody's work, even if it is in a different medium, technically speaking.  It took me a good number of hours in my studio to finally come up with something that I actually like.  My husband had to listen to a lot of my grumbling, but he is finally rewarded by seeing me happy and inspired.  I see so much potential for these designs!


In the tutorial, I will describe five pendants, each constructed from three parts with different designs (that is a total of fifteen different components that can be arranged in various ways).  Each pendant will be represented in three finishes: all white, white and black, and colored.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

How to Condition Old Polymer Clay

Sooner or later most clayers are faced with a problem of polymer clay revival.

Most of us like to buy clay on sales, stocking for future projects that may never materialize.  Stored for a long time, polymer clay eventually looses some of its plasticizers and becomes really difficult to condition.

Here is some of my old Kato polymer clay.  As you can see, there is no way I could feed these crumbs into a pasta machine.


Besides just throwing the clay away, a common approach to this situation is to add either some clay softener or liquid polymer clay (TLS).  By the way, it turns out that old TLS becomes very thick and clumpy if it is stored long enough.  It makes a nice companion for the old polymer clay and works well as a replacement for clay softener.

However, mixing polymer clay with TLS is a messy process: TLS ends up everywhere, especially in hard-to-reach places in a pasta machine.  Here is my solution for this challenge: a big Ziploc bag and a hammer.


(Pardon my cat running in the background.  He is just doing his job: being curious and annoying.)

Anyway, back to my clay.  After a few minutes of beating the clay and TLS mixture with a hammer, it was soft enough to go through my pasta machine.  I cut off the plastic strips along the edge of the Ziploc bag and ran the whole thing through my pasta machine, folding the clay inside the bag every so often.  Result: my pasta machine is clean, my hands are clean, and my clay is well-conditioned and ready for my project.  The whole process took me no more than 15 minutes.

Oh, and in case anyone wonders why my clay is photographed on the floor: this is simply because hammering the clay on my workbench causes all those little things in my studio to rattle.  Working on the floor is quieter...

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Student Work: Openwork Necklace and Earrings Set

I am very excited to share the pictures sent to me by Tamara Crum.  She made a spectacular polymer clay jewelry set following my Openwork Pendants tutorial.

Polymer clay openwork jewelry set by Tamara Crum

Polymer clay openwork jewelry set by Tamara Crum

Polymer clay openwork jewelry set by Tamara Crum

I love how Tamara adopted the technique for her own designs.  She used Inca Gold and Pearlex powders to color the pieces, and the colors turned out simply gorgeous.

Tamara is in the process of setting up her shop on Etsy (www.etsy.com/shop/Welcome2alittleTLC).  She also has a few more pictures of her beautiful polymer clay and resin creations in her account on deviantart.com

I hope to see more of her works in the nearest future and wish her the best of luck both in her art and in her jewelry business.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Fantasy Flower Brooches, a Few More Pictures

I feel like this blog is turning into a non-stop promotion of my openwork technique.  To dilute it a bit, here are a few more pictures from my latest tutorial, Fantasy Flower Brooches.

Polymer clay flower tutorial by Eugena Topina

Polymer clay flower tutorial by Eugena Topina

Polymer clay flower tutorial by Eugena Topina

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

How an Artist's Mind Works

During our last trip to Florida, I gathered a bunch of coral pieces on the beach.  I thought I would use them as texture plates and make a necklace similar to one of my Faux Metal Necklaces.  I even came up with a name for this future necklace: Fort Lauderdale.

Here are a few pieces from my newly acquired collection:


Somehow in my design I progressed  towards Openwork (again!), and this is what I finally made based on those coral pieces:

Polymer Clay Openwork Necklace by Eugena Topina

And here is my question.  Would anybody ever suspect any connection between these two pictures if I did not point it out?
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