This week's episode of What's on My Bench?? is from JET member Anne-Marie Hildebrandt, of LimeintheSky. Anne-Marie is going to teach us a little about polymer clay.
Hi. I’m Anne-Marie Hildebrandt, of Lime in the Sky Designs. I’m primarily a mom of two middle schoolers, a PhD student, and a musician - I perform, write, record, and teach music- but I also love making things with my hands. In 2009, I opened Lime in the Sky Designs, my first Etsy shop. At first. I worked mostly in semi-precious gems and sterling silver, but, I’m one of those people who likes to change things up every so often. I’ve branched out into fiber arts, upcycling, ceramics, and my recent obsession - polymer clay. That’s what’s on my bench today!
Let’s make a few pendants, shall we? I start with a little hunk of white clay.
Then I work it in my hands until it’s soft.
Here I’ve got a few different pendants in my baking dish, which happens to be one of my latest ceramic pieces! I’m in experimentation mode right now, so I’ve got a few different shapes and sizes.
If you notice, in the back of the dish there are a couple of little houses with colors on them. That’s another recent experiment - “painting” on baked clay with tinted, transparent, liquid polymer clay. There are a few in-progress pieces in that series lying on the bench right now…
But let’s get these guys in the oven!
After baking and cooling, the pendants get sanded. That’s when I work out any “wrinkles” and unwanted marks.
And now I carve and scratch some designs onto them. I’ve recently taken to making pieces with musical themes. It’s kind of fun to mix my passions up! I’ll let you know if I ever find out a way to make “jewelry music.” ;-)
After carving, I apply some heat-set paint…
…and wipe it off.
A little more sanding, and wah-lah. I like where this one is going!
Then it’s back in the oven again to set the paint.
After more baking and cooling, the pieces get their final sanding.
Then comes the big decision… what will it become? A necklace. Short or long? Strung on leather? Linen? Gold or silver? I think an 18” oxidized silver ball chain will look nice. I make the clasp using some little yellow Czech glass beads (I often like to add something a little unexpected)…
oxidize and polish the chain…
And there we are.
Now it gets to live with its siblings and get listed in my shop!
Remember, if you want to learn more about Anne-Marie, visit her shop LimeintheSky! Please return next week for another episode of What's on My Bench??