Polymer clay, a medium which caught my attention accidently while surfing randomly, but it was so alluring that I kept returning to it. I could not resist trying my hands on it. However, it seemed unattainable. When I tried to procure it, I found it is imported from US and is available only on select craft shops. The only option was to order it online and wait. When it came into my hands, I found that it is like putty which can be twisted and turned in the hands and be molded into desirable shape. This opened a huge vista of creative ideas. I was royally hooked to the clay. What started as a hobby became so consuming that it absorbed all my free time. The first trials were not so satisfactory but I kept on trying. As the old adage goes, practice makes a man perfect, so it is. However, perfection is relative term which according to me is yet to be achieved.
Polymer clay has provided me with an opportunity to express my ideas in 3D. I have always loved to paint but felt to turn my two dimensional paintings into three dimensional art. Polymer clay has helped me in achieving this dream. Working with clay reminds me of my childhood days when I played with dough kneaded from wheat flour. I used to grab some dough and tried to design the shape of birds and other objects. My mother would shoo me away from the kitchen reprimanding that this dough is for preparing chapattis and not for playing. However she would relent and give me a small amount of dough to shape. It was then cooked and I could eat it finding it tastier than rest of the food.
Polymer clay is PVC (polyvinyl chloride) along with a liquid plasticizer, making it a plastisol. On applying sufficient force by kneading or by using a mallet, or by passing through rollers as in pasta machine, the material yields as it becomes more pliable and easy to work with. This plasticity is what makes it useful as modeling clay. It retains its shape when heat is applied and does not melt.
Polymer clay is available in many colors, which can be mixed to create a wide spectrum of colors or gradient blends. Therefore, it can be used for designing jewellery, home décor articles, desktop accessories, figurines etc. It is highly versatile medium that allows experimentations, it can be mixed with other craft mediums and the end result is a reward and delight. Once the clay is shaped to one’s satisfaction it is to be baked in an oven to cure it. After curing, it becomes hard and non pliable. Now it is ready for use.
I had never thought that I will be designing handmade jewellery. But once I designed a few pieces and took them to my office, all my colleagues went gaga over them. I was inundated with orders. People were asking me to design costume jewellery, color coordinated with their dress. It certainly proved to be a high point and inspired me to push my boundaries further. Polymer clay has provided me with the chance to be creative even with my hectic schedule of a highly demanding job. I keep researching all through the week snatching time here and there, eagerly waiting for the weekly off when I can put my ideas to claying. The field of polymer clay is so vast and I feel like Alice who has just fallen through the rabbit hole. The mesmerizing world has opened for me and an ardent DIYer like me is busy exploring.
Now it’s time to roll a few beads.