Creating your own jewellery business

Creating your own jewellery business
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Many people are creating their own businesses based around their creative skills and many even use a Loft conversion Bristol company such as http://www.caineslofts.co.uk/ to give them their own bespoke workshop space.

When it comes to jewellery making there are many different mediums that you can use. If you are looking for an easy to use medium for making your own jewellery, you can’t go wrong with polymer clay.

Only it isn’t really natural clay as it contains no clay minerals. Instead, it is entirely man made and based on the polymer polyvinyl chloride (PVC) that can be made to resemble metals, rocks, resins, plastics, enamels, glass, wood fibres and practically anything at all.

It can be combined with wires, stones and fillers. This wonderful material can be lightweight, translucent and flexible and is easily modelled, moulded, cured and sealed. Another great advantage is that is comes in a vast range of colours as seen in Craftsbee.

There are various brands of polymer clay such as FIMO that you can buy online at  www.cooksongold.com/FIMO-Polymer-Clay  as well as Kato and Premo. The difference between them is that they have to be baked at slightly different temperatures but all are equally versatile.  If you are looking to make your design an intricate one, glueing the individual parts together could be your chosen route.  A normal ceramic glue would be advisable.

You need a few simple tools to make jewellery and to follow five basic steps.

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Conditioning

All polymer clays have to be conditioned before anyone can work with them. This is an easy process that involves kneading it with the hands just like bread dough. This will soften the clay. The next step is to flatten out the soft clay to the thickness of pasta. It then has to be shaped by passing it through a pasta machine, not the standard cooking sort but one that is specifically designed to deal with clay. If you are a beginner, you can also use a standard rolling pin.

Colour

You can mix in colours to the kneaded clay as you like. You can mix the colours completely or produce a marble effect. Make a shimmering effect by adding pieces of white clay to a coloured one.

Shape and form

This is the point at which you have some fun. Working on wax paper or ceramic tiles, you can roll thin clay logs to shape into snakes, flowers or to weave into plaits and other little sculptures.

Curing

All types of clay need to be baked, or cured, in an oven to harden. The oven needs to be heated up to 250 degrees C. Bake the clay shapes for between a half and one hour on a ceramic tile or waxed paper but not metal as that can form some shiny spots on the clay surface. The danger here is that the oven should not become too hot. Once the temperature is higher than 265 degrees C polymer clay starts to melt and releases toxic gases.

Finishing

Once cured and cooled, the new clay shapes have to be finished. This process is a little like polishing a newly varnished table. You start by wet sanding the cooled surface using sandpaper that is waterproof. You can also use a sanding sponge. Continue sanding using finer and finer grit sizes on the sandpaper. The finishing ends with a dry polishing. For this the appropriate device is a buffer wheel or rotary tools. You can even add a little bit of varnish at the very end to give a shiny finish.

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