Cloud Nine

I’m on creative cloud nine right now. I am having so much fun marrying metal and polymer clay. It feels amazing to be back in the creative groove again. I missed this so much, and during the long dry time I was sure I would never recapture the mojo. It’s such a tenuous thing some times, the creative drive. Small things can become roadblocks and life can also throw a lot of big obstacles in an artist’s way. I am profoundly grateful at the moment that the universe is smiling on me ,and I am having a blast.

So, first I had a button making frenzy.


This quantity of “buttons” will surely be overkill, but when I compose my pendants I like to have choices of color and pattern to play with.  So I made a number of veneers and cut them up into lots of tiny squares and circles.  And I’ll probably make more in some additional patterns, because I was wishing I had some additional options when I was playing around with the compositions yesterday.

The next step in making these pendants is figuring out the combinations of buttons that I like.  Then once I have placed them on a base sheet of polymer and baked everything, I add the decorative rivets.  The copper rivets are easy because they already have a nice neat mushroom head.  The silver rivets were much trickier.  I tried balling the wire, but it’s hard to get even and centered ball heads on silver wire.  So I hammered each side into a nice rivet shape.  Lots of tiny hammer taps, but I am happy with the way the pendants turned out.




Fun, aren’t they? Building the bezel boxes is a pretty slow process of sawing, texturing, annealing, bending, annealing, hammering, annealing, refining, soldering and antiquing the metal.  It’s slow going, but as I get more accustomed to the process, it’s getting a bit easier.  Most of all it’s fun and I am really happy with the finished look and feel.

I may get tired of this type of pendant, but I have two donation pieces to make and I’d like to have a few things to bring to Klay Karma, the Massachusetts and New Hampshire retreat in a couple of weeks. I also want to try a combination of polymer and resin in the pendants.

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Polymer Clay, Beadwork and Mixed-Media Jewelry Artist.

9 thoughts on “Cloud Nine”

  1. I really like what you are doing here Libby. The combination of metal and polymer is great, but I also like the idea of the “buttons”. It gives you lots of ability to play around with a basic form and explore the possibilities. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi Libby, Your new work is a wonderful combination of polymer clay and metal. Creating all of those buttons looks like it was great fun. I love your colors. I’m also going to Klay Karma and I would love to see your work in person. Enjoy! -Karen

  3. Hee! Little circles/shapes of polymer are addictive, aren’t they???? I love what you’re doing with them. And the metalwork is a lovely showcase, too. When I grow up, I want to be you.

  4. Thanks everyone. The metal portion of these pendants does take a fair bit of patience and lots of annealing. I’m still learning what works and what doesn’t. Making the buttons is a nice mindless activity for the most part which helps since the metalwork is challenging.

    And Jenn, addictive shapes are what polymer’s all about some days. And hey, if you know me too well to want to be me!

  5. These are delightful! I can see how the metal can take a goodly amount of time, and also see how you’d have fun making the polymer pieces. I suspect that your workbench is a kaleidescope of color – and for people like me it would be tempting to sift it through my fingers like one does in the bins of specialty beads. MMMmmmmm…..

    I love to see how your artistry evolves!

  6. Hi Lib, I met you in Ravensdale, you are really doing some great work. Love it. I haven’t gotten much more metal done. Moved to my first house and have been using my creativity and free time on this.

    Hope to see you at next Ravensdale.


  7. Libby;
    All I want to be is a fly on your wall to watch any part of your process. Your fabrics are marvelous in their entirity then what happens when they are cut is magical.
    Having been a large metal sculpture I appreciate the effort a simple bezel is. The rivet detail is icing on the cake it truely ties it all together.

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