Monday, April 9, 2012

A Celebration!

On Saturday morning I finished carding my FINAL production batch  of polymer clay and resin earrings. I felt absolutely delighted- I hopped up and danced a jig!.


Production with a finicky buggle prone ingredient is extremely difficult and in spite of all best efforts many pieces have to be redone because of dome spills, errant bubbles or sub-clay resin leaks that can ooze out months after the earrings have been finished. I traveled up a long learning curve to be able to make 20 earrings at a time and have a 75% no-buggle run.  When everything works with UV resin on layered clay the  resin covered piece looks crisp and simple. Simplicity is not always a good thing.  I recently endured a comment from someone that implied covering clay with resin was a "shortcut" and should be valued as less than a sanded and buffed clay piece when the time comes for formulating pricing. It took me a week to stop fuming.

I think resin covered clay is gorgeous- it's lit from within and well worth the work it takes to get everything just right. I do caution anyone trying to do this work as a "line" where dozens of items must be made in a single run to maintain orders. In spite of all best efforts and days of waiting for air pockets to release, the buggles can sneak out during the cure to sneer at you when you remove the pieces from under the lights. Sometimes the bubbled resin and clay can be pried out of the bezel without damage but there are frequent bezel losses that are co$tly.I will still make occasional resin pieces- I have some bezels set aside but each one will be made as a "one off" for fun - no more production.  I sort of feel like a little buggle that has been released from the resin with a happy little pop!

 Is this perhaps why I've become a "basket case"?!

I celebrated the conclusion of the last resin run (pun?) by completing a project from the basket conference, Here's my cedar and sweetgrass covered spray bottle. Yes, those are polymer BeachStones.

Spray bottles are to basket weavers what tissue blades are to clayers, an absololute at-hand neccesity. A covered one is quite cool!

My project today is to crack open my fresh off the press copy of Stella Harding's "Practical Basketry"...


  1. I completely understand your resin and clay "issues", Gera! I'm sure the finished product is well worth your heroic efforts though :o)
    Your basketry posts are trying to tempt me into yet another artform to master. Your covered bottle is fab!

  2. Thanks Rebecca! As for basketry- when you explore contemporary basketry with a polymer clayer's eye the possibilities are endless!

  3. I applaud you Gera! Well, you know me and my love for resin and yes, especially on polymer clay :). Pooh pooh boo on the person who commented in such a negative way. Sanding and buffing does NOT work for every technique, she should know that. Mokume gane and caning, fine, they can look wonderful with that aspect, but they pop even more with the resin by adding extraordinary dimensionality and quality to the piece and sometimes just as I am doing today!...resin can also require sanding and buffing! Shortcut indeed! lol Not every technique can be sanded or buffed, nor can one add inclusions or micas without applying some sort of extra surface adherent. Resin looks much better than varnish and lasts a lot longer. Some museum quality pieces use Resins. Resin is NOT cheap and as you explain, the success rate isn't 100% which adds to the expense.
    Great blog post!
    Love the spray bottle!!

  4. I'm so glad you posted a picture of the spray bottle cover. What a beauty. I use spray bottles (*mostly saved windex bottles) and I just know I could rev them up by covering with something. Probably not a basket cover but something durable that is colorful and fun..thanks so much for the inspiration.

  5. You could test a windex bottle in the oven to see if if could withstand 275F and if it does- imagine all the fun you can have covering them with polymer clay!


  6. Horsefeathers to the shortcut! Resin and sanding/buffing give such different effects that choosing one over the other is a technical decision to further an artistic vision. Nothing to do with shortcuts as far as I can see.


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