Jewellery making is a low investment, viable business for people who are creatively oriented. Australia has seen an increase in the popularity of jewellery making and sales of unique, handmade jewellery. This popularity could be due to the advent of online portals that connect enthusiasts, help them learn skills, be creative, add their touch and reach out to potential customers via different social media portals. One such popular creative expression are the jewellery pieces designed using polymer clay in Australia.
Why is Polymer Clay Trending?
Polymer clay is a versatile material that artists, hobbyists and enthusiasts can use to create a wide variety of objects, including jewellery. Due to its versatility, the possibilities are endless for making creative and customised pieces that suit one’s taste. They require simple tools and a minimal amount of space. Even people who are not creatively oriented can make jewellery if they have the right tools.
Basic Tools Required to Make Polymer Clay Jewellery
May it be beginners attempting their hand at making handmade jewellery or pros who want to create polymer clay ornaments, it is important to have good-quality basic tools at their disposal. Here’s a list of all the essential tools that are must-haves for every crafter.
A Non-stick, Smooth Work Surface
Jewellery-making using polymer clay in Australia is an intricate task that requires one to work with multiple miniature parts. For this, they would require a clean, clear surface to work on, where they can arrange all the tools and materials of different sizes and colours. The surface design must be such that it should not interfere with the process and protect the tabletop. Clay mats are the best option as they adhere to the table surface and store all the accessories on them. Cleaning after the task is also relatively simple.
Crafting knives are a valuable part of the toolset as they help jewellery makers cut the polymer clay into different shapes, pieces and segments. An economic alternative would be to use a single-sided razor blade, but one must be careful while using it.
Acrylic Rolling Pins
Acrylic rolling pins are widely used to condition the polymer clay used to make jewellery. Artists also use them to roll the clay into sheets with even thickness or slabs from which they can cut different shapes to make the jewellery. They must ensure that their rolling pins are not wood or plastic but are acrylic because polymer clay can stick to them, ruining their structural integrity.
Sewing Needles, Pliers and Wire Cutters
Sewing needles are a staple part of craft inventory. They serve multiple purposes, including cutting shapes, creating holes, scratches, designs, stipples or other textures required to accentuate the jewellery. Pliers and wire cutters help handle additional accessories like wires, rings and other metal in the jewellery making process.
Ball stylus is a helpful tool in painting dots, creating indentations and holes in the jewellery. It helps in bringing out unique textures, allowing enthusiasts to expand on their creativity.
Tissue blades are long, thin and flexible or rigid, which help in slicing pieces of clay from a block with precise measurements, according to the requirements of the acrylic roll conditioning process. The flexible blades curve to cut rounded shapes, asymmetrical shapes and symmetrical lines to suit the needs of the design.
Dry and Wet Sandpaper
Sanding is one of the most necessary finishing steps in jewellery making to get a clean, smooth and professional-looking ornament. Sandpaper rubs away the imperfections, dust and protrusions, leaving a smooth surface behind. It also gets rid of fingerprints and other marks without damaging the clay or the shape of the jewellery.
Author: Alison Lurie