Thursday, 7 February 2013

The best way to spend a Wednesday!

....Making polymer clay canes with Julie Sumner & Pippa Chandler

Some of you may know that a few months ago Smitten gained a new bead fairy in the form of Julie Sumner, talented jewellery designer and seriously speedy bead order packer! Julie pops into Smitten on Mondays to pull me out from under the bead order avalanche that will have squished me over the weekend.

Julie in her real life is a jewellery designer extraordinaire and has a stall every other Saturday at the Corn Hall in Cirencester where she sells her beautifully designed jewellery. The Corn Hall is full of talented arts and crafts people and amongst them is another Smitten customer - Pippa chandler, a hugely talented polymer clay bead and jewellery maker. Pippa's beads are incredibly sweet, you just cant help but smile when looking over her cleverly designed pieces.

A couple of the gorgeous pieces Julie has made and her stall at the Corn Hall
Here is the link to Julies facebook page  Made by Jules 
Some of Pippa's latest buttons and beads and her jewellery stand at the Corn Hall, Cirencester
Here is the link to Pippas Etsy shop -  PiPS

For a wee while now the 3 of us have been promising to have a little get together and have a play around with some polymer clay and at last on Wednesday last week we managed to have our day. Julie bought some delicious handmade soup and Pippa her knowledge, tools and as if that wasn't enough some cookies, lovely and chocolate too! I provided the coffee!

We had a fab morning learning how to make Klimt canes with an extruder. I won't pretend that we managed to get a lot done as we chatted and laughed as much as we made, so all in all a perfect day! unfortunately my camera battery died  after this one and only photo so I cant supply images of the process but did manage to take a few the next day of my nearly finished pieces.

 The Ladies at play, a cane Pippa whipped up in seconds and what I butchered it into! 
I do hope Pippa is not cringing!

And finally here are the beads I made with my cane, I sell Sculpey through the Smitten website (Pippa's and my clay of choice) but I wanted to try out some Pardo clay that I had stashed away. All I need now is a spare day to have another go with the Sculpey than I can see how they compare, sometime next year then! First impressions though would suggest that the different colours of Pardo have different consistencies making them not ideal for using together, especially in canes.

I've never made beads before only sculpted with polymer clay and that was for puppets and props not jewellery. I have to say I really enjoyed the process but not sure that I did Pippa's tutoring justice, I had to finish mine off after Pippa had left and I'm afraid I wasn't paying enough attention in class and missed the bit about smoothing the joins of the cane slices! I think I blended a little to much!

Thank you Pippa and Julie for a lovely day.......Oh and in case you were wondering......yes the soup and the cookies were absolutely lovely ;0)

Claire xx


  1. Sounds like you all had a lovely day all round! I would love to learn how to make polymer clay beads, working alongside Pippa would be so inspiring! Your beads are lovely and Jules pieces too. I must add some clay to my next order ;)

    Karen x

    1. We did have a lovely day thank you Karen. You should try it, apart from being able to make something unique it's also very therapeutic I find. :0) xx

  2. Sounds you had great fun!! And I do love what you all have made. So beautiful

    1. Thank you janine, you will have to come next time :0)

  3. Brilliant, lucky ladies all living so close to one another, looks like you had a fun relaxing day and what fab results too.

    1. Thanks Leigh, it was fun but then again we had to do something as there's no snow here ;0)