Selling One’s Art Does NOT Pay the Rent!

Well, it’s been years, but I’m back! I hope it’s for good.

I’ve been working full time at a job that saps almost all of my time and my emotional and physical energy. I have to pay the rent somehow. I’m sure there are many people who can relate. I also moved to a much smaller space. For these reasons and some others, I gave up most of my creative pursuits (I still knit occasionally) for what I thought would be forever.

But I now find myself looking towards hopefully being able to retire in a couple of years. What will I do with my time?! How will I supplement my fixed income?!?

Thankfully, I didn’t give away all of my supplies, so I’m back into polymer and making jewelry again. But you know what? Working with polymer clay is NOT like riding a bicycle! I mean, there’s stuff I forgot. And I’m out of practice. I have to retrain my hands and my brain.

And I’ve been completely out of the loop. I haven’t kept in touch with other polymer artists. Things have  changed. The polymer clay community has grown enormously. It had just started to explode internationally when I left, and now… well, the number of polymer clay artists all over the world is astounding to me! And the amazing things that some of them are doing with the medium makes me so excited!! I’m so inspired!

So I really have my work cut out for me. I have a lot of catching up to do. And I won’t have as much time as I used to have, so it will be slow-going for a while. But I’m determined, and I’m excited, and I’m ready for some fun!

And here’s something exciting:

An opportunity arose recently. There’s a wonderful online store called Cool Tools here in my home state of Wisconsin. They sell an amazing variety of products for jewelry makers of all kinds. Their focus is mainly metal clay, but they also sell to polymer clay artists as well and have wanted to expand that part of their business. They have a very large library of teaching videos and asked me if I would do some polymer clay videos for them.

The videos I’ve done for them so far (hopefully there will be more to come) are very, very basic intros to working with polymer clay. They will be up on their website and on Youtube soon, but here is a link to them now:

Word of warning: these videos will not be of any interest whatsoever to people who already work with polymer clay. They’re strictly for someone who hasn’t worked with it before. They’re super-basic. Since the focus of their business is geared towards metal clay artists, we thought there might be people who wanted to add some color to their metal work and would want to know how to use polymer to do that.

You should really check out the Cool Tools website! Maybe some of you are already familiar with the company. They do sell some polymer clay. And they sell pasta machines and extruders and all kinds of textures and other nifty tools that can definitely be used for working with polymer clay. Their line-up of products is quite extensive. Whatever your preferred craft or  jewelry-making medium might be, you’ll find useful tools and supplies in their store. Their videos are so well done and really helpful. And they’re really nice people too!

Right now I’m working on a project that combines polymer and a new metal clay sold exclusively by Cool Tools called EZ960. It isn’t quite available yet, but you can preorder it on their website. It’s a sterling silver metal clay, which is cool because it will be stronger after firing than the fine silver that has been available up until recently. And it doesn’t have to be fired in carbon.

Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures yet. (I know, I know! I’m a visual person too, and I know how important images are!!) The pieces I have are ready to be fired, but since I don’t have a kiln I’ll have to send them off for that part of the process. Once I get them back and add my polymer touches, I’ll get some pictures to post. I promise.

Until then, it’s good to be back. And for those of you who subscribed way-back-when and might still be there – thanks for listening!



a good day

I had a great time teaching yesterday at RAM’s Wustum Museum in Racine, Wisconsin. I would like to thank you Jan, Susan, Joellen, Marcia, Maureen, Vickie, Karen, and Laurie for being so wonderful and for giving me the opportunity to teach you.

I apologize for not getting photos of everyone in the class (although, if you’re like me, you’d just as soon be left out of the photos!) as it’s hard to take photos and teach at the same time.  Also, my photography skills leave a lot to be desired. One photo was too blurry to use.

I am humbled by my students. I look forward to hearing from all of you and seeing more of your great polymer creations!


"Charmed With Polymer" class project

I realize that I’ve been gone for a long time. Sorry. Life intrudes.

Above is an image of the project sample for a class I’ll be teaching at the Racine Art Museum this February 18th called “Charmed With Polymer.” I’m excited about it because a) I’m teaching a class!, and b) it’s combining polymer with other media, which I love to do. It’s a class about making jewelry components of polymer. We’ll talk about basic bead making and different bead shapes and go on from there. Bead caps, spacer beads, even head pins(!) can all be made from polymer clay. And with a stash of components to work with, you can combine them with each other and also with beads of different media. If you live in the Chicago/Milwaukee area and want to take the class, I’d love to see you there. Or contact me about coming to your group or guild to teach.

I hope you all had a great holiday season, and my sincere wish is for all of us to have a wonderful 2012!