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Alternative Christmas gift - Clay Jewelry - Elegant jewelry that is light and beautiful

Updated on November 15, 2013
Clay polymer wine stopper PHOTOGRAPHY - ALL BY Sean Michael Beyer
Clay polymer wine stopper PHOTOGRAPHY - ALL BY Sean Michael Beyer | Source


What is Polymer clay? Polymer clay is made from PVC - polymer polyvinyl chloride. Surprisingly, it has no clay in it but it is only called "clay" since its texture and working properties are similar to those of mineral clay. The "clay" can be cut with craft knives and at times, a pasta machine is used to mix colors, condition the clay and also, to create patterned sheets. The polymer clay then gets baked. The clay gets conditioned and cured. After that, the clay surface can be sanded, buffed then painted on. Gems and semi-precious stones can be glued on the clay surface. Because polymer clay is so versatile in that it comes in dozens of colors, it can be blended to create marbling effect or to make your own colors. What turns out then is a beautiful piece of artwork, sculpture and/or jewelry to be used as pendants, bracelets, wine stoppers, buttons and many more.

Polymer clay is durable, versatile and lightweight. They come in multitude of colors that can be blended for unique jewelry creations and sculptures. Each piece is truly a piece of original, hand-made artwork. You cannot mass-produce polymer clay art or jewelry.

History Remember Bakelite? This substance was very popular with designers and was an early form of polymer. However, some of Bakelite products were flammable and were discontinued. Polymer clay, as an art medium however, has been around for centuries. Some popular brands of polymer clay include: Fimo, Sculpey, Polyclay and more. Polymer clay was first created in the late 1930s. Fifi Rehbinder, a doll maker invented polymer clay. She then developed a plastic clay called "Fifi Mosaik" which she used for sculpting her doll heads. In 1964, Rehbinder sold the formula to Eberhard Faber who then experimented with the clay, thus creating the Fimo brand of polymer clay.

Polymer Clay arrived in the United States in the 1970s.The Shaup family, who also came from Germany, received Fimo as a Christmas present. The Shaups' clay creations started to become popuar through their circle of friends and in 1975, the Shaups started importing Fimo to the United States, and American companies started to follow this trend.

In the 60s, Zenith Products company created its own version of polymer clay. They then developed "Polyform". The owner's daughter started to play with this clay and sculpted an elephant. "Polyform" was the original version of "Sculpley". Believe it or not, though Polyform/Sculpey was being sold as early as 1967, it was only in 1984 that the present day brilliant line of colors came out.

Polymer Clay Now Polymer Art jewelry is now part of several collections of the Museum of Art and Design in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and many more.

Thank you Fifi Mosaik for inventing this.

Pendant | Source
Clay Polymer Necklace
Clay Polymer Necklace | Source

Polymer clay is so versatile.

You can use polymer clay for:

  • Sculpting
  • All kinds of jewelry
  • Covering items such as glass, metal, plastic, terra cotta, some plastics. Even large tables or desks can be veneered.
  • Vessels - such as jars, boxes, bowls
  • Simulations or faux - one can simulate polymer clay to look like it is made of marble, turquoise, granite, ivory, stained glass, mosaic and cloisonne
  • On-laying clay with other materials to make collages
  • Utility items such as frames, games and game pieces, toys, mini books, notebooks covers, greeting cards and postcards.

Wine stoppers
Wine stoppers | Source
Buttons | Source


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      Gary 5 years ago

      Nicely done, Bernie! Informative and purposeful!

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      sis 5 years ago

      Looks great Bernie...