Section Three

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INDEX * 126

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Polymer cloy is one of the most exciting mediums available to work with. There are so many aspects yet to be discovered that the possibilities seem endless. It can be molded into any shape, it is fabulous at imitating other materials and you really can't make a mistake *hat can'l be fixed. As long as you haven't baked your piece yet, if you don't like what you've made, simply roll it back into a ball and start over. What medium could be as forgiving as that?

Within this book, you will find fresh polymer clay •echniques, as well as some new twists on a few older ones. While the projects are aimed at beginners to :ntermediate crafters, my hope is that accomplished artists in this medium will enjoy trying some new rechniques and mixed media applications that will, in turn, provide inspiration for their work. There are a wide variety of styles and projects to choose from, each containing mixed media applications. I have -- ed to include a variety of jewelry styles in the hope that something will catch the eye of a very diverse group of readers, crafters and artists. My jewelry may rot be as edgy as some artists, but I am confident that I nave presented truly wearable pieces that will appeal o others like myself. I have also included a gallery of 'eye candy" in the gallery section. I am thrilled and 50 privileged to be able to share a variety of jewelry pieces created by many of the leading polymer clay artists around the country, as well as internationally. My hope is that the work will inspire you and show you just how versatile this medium really is.

Over the past several years as the "craft expert" on a popular TV morning show, I have demonstrated a huge variety of crafts. Bui when it comes to my hobby and my free time, I always head to my favorite medium in my studio, my polymer clay. It is the only art medium that I have consistently worked with for the past twenty years. I love being able to mold something with my own two hands and then make it permanent in an oven. And it is so much fun to wear "matching" jewelry and see the reactions I get from people who think I must have spent hours shopping for that perfect accessory for my outfit.

My goal for you is that as you browse through the jewelry in this book, you will catch the polymer clay bug. I hope you will get as excited as I am as you create your own fabulous jewelry. Let your style come through as you choose colors that you like to wear and designs that fit your lifestyle and personality. Jewelry is personal adornment, so make it your own. My materials lists contain clay colors that I have used on the sample projects. I encourage you to choose colors that you like and think would look good on a specific project. Allow my suggestions to become jumping-off points for you. Learn the techniques and then change them up. Experiment! Add embellishments that you prefer, and create jewelry that you like to wear.

Allow yourself to unleash the creativity inside. I believe that everyone is creative—you just have to take the time to find your niche. Part of that includes giving something a shot that you haven't tried before. More importantly, allow yourself time to get the hang of it. Don't expect perfection on your first or even second or third attempt at working with polymer clay. It is a learned art that I know you can accomplish.

When teaching polymer clay workshops, I actually prefer using the term "playing with clay" as opposed to "working with clay" because for me, it is just so much fun! I encourage everyone to have a hobby of some type. No matter what your age, you still need to stop and take time to play.

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