Monday, August 15, 2011

Polymer Clay "Master's" Project List

I present my PC Mastery List

disclaimer:
I've been thinking ever since I posted this idea just exactly HOW would this work. Ok first of all I am not suggesting that I take over the world of polymer clay and decide what qualifies for a master level polyclay artist. And Im not suggesting that I am going to run a "certification" registry where I judge the quality of another person's work. Heck I'm not even an active guild member for any polymer clay at the moment, so this is just an idea.
An idea of what would make for a well rounded skill set for a polyclay artist. We all have our niches, some of us rock the cane world while others avoid canes like the plague. Some of us are queens of image transfer while others have never managed to get it to work.

But if someone suggests this to one of the guilds I want my name mentioned--I want my "skinner blend" moment --well don't we all?
end disclaimer

What would this consist of? Using the Metal Clay Master's Registry as my model I suggest there be several main categories, and several specific projects. Unlike the Metal Clay Registry I think there are no levels, just do all of the projects on the list. Right now I have 5 to 6 projects per category , 5 categories, and one capstone (show off) project. I've integrated specific projects into the different categories.

I want to make sure I include the following objects:
egg/ornament
tin
pen
light bulb
bead set
inro or box of just clay
These I think are important objects to work on in the development of a polyclay artist's skills.

MY category suggestions are:
color
canes
structure
media
effects


Color, this would look at how to alter color in polymer clay:
1. creating sampler with repeatable color recipes-6 minimum
2. surface patina using alcohol inks or acrylic paints
3. integrating alcohol inks into the clay
4. use of mica pigments in the decorative covering of a lightbulb
5. metal leafing
6. skinner blend

Canes, canes are such an integral part of the polymer clay world I think it is important to be able to demonstrate caning skills, even if they "aren't your thing":
1. create simple geometric cane
2. create complex cane of choice
3. cover a smooth ornament or egg with seamless cane tiles
4. dimensional use of cane slices
5. integration of a ghost cane technique

Structure, this is a great medium for building forms, but its important to be able to control them:
1. free form sculptural jewelry
2. sculpture with armature
3. matching shape and size bead set
4. Inro box pendant
5. high gloss finish from polishing only (no coating)

Media, polymer clay mixes with other media very well
1. integrate materials (semi precious stones, pearls, fibers, glass, crystal)
2. integrate metal
3. integrate findings to add beads to after firing
4. resin to create a high polish
5. usable handle, or cover a pen


Effects, so much can be done
1. Image transfers
2. tear away technique
3. faux materials sampler- 6 minimum
4. mokume gane incorporated into a covered tin design
5. mica shift

Capstone project
This is a super show off your skills project, this would be your "Im going to win the competition" piece, the culmination of your skills. This is the piece if you could only show one thing that demonstrates your mastery of polymer clay. It should integrate multiple techniques.


I have tried to make this comprehensive, I have not only included items I am familiar with or have "mastered." There are definitely projects on this list that will require work.

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