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Creative Session: Polymer Clay Earrings

More often than not, you can find me tinkering, crafting, making, painting, and dappling in the arts. This week's coping mechanism was diving the trending and popular technique of creating Polymer Clay Earrings. I headed over to my 'holy' place, the abundant land of Michael's Craft store in Boulder. The fluorescent lights greeted me with squeaky shopping cartwheels; I was on a mission to find the perfect hues of clay. I haven't done much work with ceramics and pottery, except for a miniature bust sculpture of Mozart made in the fifth grade. Perusing the store aisles for more time than just, I approached aisle 68 in all of its colorful glory. I picked up several of oven-bake packets of clay in various brands to test out which would be preferred. I then headed over to the jewelry area, where I picked out earring posts and jump-rings to connect the future earring pieces.

After my venture in the store, I headed back to the craft table. Here is something about myself, when I want to do something, I can hardly wait as if it were acceptable to begin rolling the clay out on my steering wheel, I probably would. My patience needs to be humbled, but twenty-three years in the making, I do as I please when I please. Anywho back to the earrings, I tested out several methods where I rolled out the clay, finger-pressed the clay, and tortilla pressed the pieces. I discovered I could not achieve the appropriate thickness via rolling or tortilla-pressing; it would not peel adequately from the surfaces; thus, finger pressing was the solution.

Cutting the shapes in various patterns, I looked to achieve 'organic' frames, meaning not perfect or somewhat perfectly imperfect. Like a machine, I began to crank out shapes and pop them into the oven, wait 30 minutes, and boom on to the next step. I enjoy minimalism, as a personal style, but I also find joy in colorful patterns and intricate designs. Inspired by the Southwest, I used vibrant acrylic paint to dot out patterns on each piece. I was able to use my Dad's tiny paintbrushes to paint the designs; it is charming for me to connect with him through the arts. Every time I set the brush down, I can hear him say, "Hey, remember to wash that, okay?" Don't worry, Pops; I am cleaning your brushes and keeping them nice.

Anyhow here are some of the final pieces that have been finished. Please let me know if you have any questions on how to make these if you are interested in making them at home. Happy creating, folks!

Materials for Clay Earrings
  • polymer clay in the colors of your choice*

  • rolling pin

  • knife or clay cutter

  • jewelry pliers

  • earring pieces

  • jewelry jump rings with open connectors

  • small circular cookie or clay cutters

  • super glue

  • cutting surface

  • parchment paper

  • baking sheet

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