Using tutorials/books week 1 | Cara Jane Polymer Clay Using tutorials/books week 1 | Cara Jane Polymer Clay

Using tutorials/books week 1

Posted on January 7, 2013

I randomly picked a publication from my bookshelf to try out something new (my new year challenge – to use the wonderful resources sat under my nose!) and picked the magazine From Polymer to Art – Orange. A quick flick through and I chose to try out a project by Fabi. Her pendant in the magazine was orange and green – not really my colours so I changed the colours to some more ‘me’ ones from some left over clay I had from other projects.

I understand it’s difficult explaining projects fully for magazines as there are limited steps and limited text. I struggled at a few points to understand but luckily the pictures are good and helped me through to the finished pendant. It didn’t take too long and there’s a lot of different bits to the project, many of which I had done before but it still taught me a couple of new tricks.

However my first attempt didn’t work out quite so well due to me trying to rush. A common theme in my life – trying to squeeze too much in and not giving it the time it needs. I am trying to slow down and take more care but  I forgot all about that. I decided in my wisdom that I could put the back on at the same time instead of baking the front and then applying the bail to the cured front piece to save time. But I made a couple of critical errors – I rushed putting the back on and tried to bake it on the baking paper I was using to smooth the surface. When the pendant went to the oven there was air trapped under the back layer (because I had rushed and just placed it down rather than laying it down carefully), which bubbled and ballooned. If the pendant was on a tile the front surface would probably have stuck to the tile and just the back would be deformed but because it was on the light weight paper the front was able to lift up and deform too. The result – the front of the pendant instead of remaining nice and smooth and flat and needing minimal sanding looked corrugated! I decided I could solve this with sanding as the layers were quite thick I’d just sand it flat. There was a lot of sanding to do and I had run out of my normal ‘I need some serious sanding’ 320 grit sandpaper so used 240 grit sandpaper instead. Another error – it was so rough it made deep scratches in my pendant which I haven’t quite managed to sand out as I then realised that although the layers were quite thick the stripes on the edge pieces were only on the surface so that pattern was ruined – so I gave up. I am left with an unsatisfactory piece due to my haste!

Made in too much haste – see ruined stripe pattern on the right hand edge – the scratches don’t show too badly here but they look terrible in real life.

I still had some patterned pieces left so I made another pendant – baked the front piece and then took my time to add the back and bail to the cured pendant with care.

I’m pleased with the result and will try out some more like this sometime soon I am sure. The brighter colour and better contrast made Fabi’s pendant look good – I will try and be bolder next time. Thanks Fabi! It was great to play with clay again after a couple of weeks of family time!

I hope your 2013 has got off to a great start! I’m off to browse my bookshelf for this weeks project…


  1. Oh how I can relate to always trying to do things at record speed, multi tasking etc etc.

  2. That looks like a great technique, the finished pendent is beautiful. Good on you for making it again, I’d probably have had a strop at that point!

  3. Love the pendant, Cara…nice job! Love Fabi’s work and tutorials! I will have to try this tutorial out sometime!

  4. Hi Cara, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

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