Ali Matteini

a life creative

Breaking the Jewellery Drought with Colour

It has been a long time, way too long – years, to be honest – since I have made any fresh new pieces of jewellery. I’ve lacked instruments, fire-proof space, creative motivation, interruption-free zones and stress-free time (inside and out). Now that I have spun all the plates onto their sticks, I have no excuse.

And…I have Fimo 🙂

While I’ve dabbled in metal clays, I’ve never used polymer clay before, apart from when I was around 11 years old and threw together a bunch of half-hearted lairy-coloured snakes and a bunch of fairy fruits. Or somesuch.

But I’ve got to say I’m warming to the material. I spent a morning or two watching techniques and effects on Youtube, reading through notes from Kathy Geurts who runs polymer workshops, which I now wish I’d gone to, and then I got to work makin colourful stuff.

Hamfisted, this is what I started off with:



Then I brutalised them like this 😉



…and baked them and their squished-ness. At least I got this part mostly right (130C for 30 minutes) with only one sticky panicky moment.



Not a bad flower candy cane first time round, really, though I find it difficult not to squish the cylinders out of shape when I poke a hole through them. It may be worth me drilling them after they’ve been baked.

Pasqua is coming! I feel like I’m beginning from scratch, and some of these beads are certainly heading into 11-year-old easter egg territory, though I have to tell myself it’s all about learning and practice with conditioning the clay, colour combos, shaping, etc:


I also have about 40 metres of semi-soft copper that I into the country, so I made some copper and polymer earrings:


Again the cubes are a somewhat asymmetrical (read: a little squished), they’re a practise prototype (getting my fingers supple again). Meh… these guys wear well.

…as for the leaf, it came together purely by accident, though still rough around the edges:




But it’s this necklace I’m surprised by, as the colours are a startling combo. All the connectors are wound by hand and ‘strung’ on leather cord. The whole lot was finished after a lot of practice…and patience! Still learning…




As I’m such a newby to the world of polymer clay, does anyone have tips and tricks they could share?

Does anyone drill after baking, and are there glues and lacquers you can recommend?

I’d love to hear from you.

A xx




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