Thursday, April 26, 2012

The not so lonely life of a bead maker.....

Yesterday, very excitedly.....I packed up my clay, pasta machine and tools and went to a polymer clay day organised by the lovely Cara JaneI have been admiring Cara's work for ages, she makes the most beautiful beads from polymer clay and it was lovely to finally meet her.  I also met some amazing ladies (Caroline Casswell, Hannah Falcon-Lang, Chrissie Baker, Anita White and Rosalind Vernon) all sharing their knowledge and experience of polymer clay.  I learnt so much I felt like my head was going to explode with all inspiration and ideas that kept formulating in my head as we were making things.

Caroline Casswell was wearing a couple of beautiful rings that we were all openly admiring.  Very kindly she did a demonstration of how she made them and guided us all through the process.  It was so clever and something I would never have thought of!  You can see my examples in the top right hand corner of the photo....I need a lot more practice but my daughter has placed a very large order for herself......

Caroline also showed us how to make a heart bead.....mine kept growing longer and longer.....I'm still not sure why or what I am going to do with it ... but it was funny making it!

The main theme for the clay day was textures so after lunch Cara showed us a new technique called Mokume and told us about an amazing polymer clay artist called Melanie Muir who developed this technique and makes absolutely stunning bracelets.  Cara is a brilliant teacher and we all had a great time following her with our own versions.  I am definitely going to try this again!

Cara also showed us a good way of using up all the waste canes and clay that is left over (I had lots).  I was particularly struck by this technique called Stropple Cane named after Alice Stroppel the lady who invented the idea and when I got home I combined this technique with our heart making.....

One of the things that struck me as we were working is how much I work in complete isolation.  I really enjoyed sitting at the table with a group of like minded ladies chatting, sharing ideas, sharing knowledge and experience and having company.  It was great! Also as a result of this my mind was buzzing with so many ideas and inspiration.  Creatively it was fantastic! 

It did make me wonder if I am lonely when I am working or if sometimes this is a necessary evil.  I put myself in isolation to be able to focus on creating an idea that has formed in my head.  I know I can't work at all when my children are running around because I cannot concentrate or focus.  But it can be a very lonely existence and yesterday did show that there is definitely a need to meet with people and share ideas, thoughts and experience because it helps develop your own creativity and creative talent.

So what am I doing now.....well I have abandoned the torch today to focus on polymer clay because this is another thing that I realised yesterday....I really enjoy working with polymer clay and really want to do more.....  Another thing that struck me using polymer clay was that the ideas are limitless.  You can add textures, colour with inks, make the most extraordinary shapes, patterns etc etc....what a fantastic medium to work with.... as I am right now.......

Sarah xx


  1. thanks for coming, it was great to meet you! I think i am the same as you - I need to isolation for creation but sometimes it is lonely - hence the time I spend on facebook lol. I guess meeting up with others now and again is a good compromise - to interact and inspire as well as have some company! someone to chat to who understands and shares the same passions (thinking poor husband who has to listen to all my chatter about polymer clay - he tries to care but...)

    Anyway it was Caroline Casswell was the lovely lady who shared how to make the rings - her website is here -

    Have fun playing today - look forward to seeing what you get up to!

    1. It was a lovely day wasn't it? Thank you so much for organising it Cara.

      Haa haa! My husband is the same .... I know when his eyes glaze over it is time to change the subject ... hee hee

      Thank you for sharing Caroline's website. I have added the link to her name now and it should go straight to her website. Caroline's rings were amazing and definitely a favourite with my daughter....

      I learnt so much, it really was inspirational. Thank you again.

      Sarah xx