I’m not usually one to let the green-eyed monster get the best of me, but it has been a little tough to view all the spectacular photos coming out of Malta from the EuroSynergy polymer clay conference. The weather and scenery make me long to flee the toasty desert-ish cage of Los Angeles in exchange for a nice breezy day while I pound the cobblestone streets of the Mediterranean island.
Actually, are there cobblestone streets in Malta? It seems like there would be.
Instead of thinking about all the awesome classes and information exchange I was missing, I decided to conduct my own polymer clay class. With one student. Me.
The earrings that resulted from my trying to avoid sitting on the Pity Pot came out of not just envy but unbelievable procrastination. First, I was avoiding chores I promised myself I would finish Thursday. Secondly, I was constructing jewelry that would match a blouse I had planned to wear to a friend’s wedding. Only, the wedding was last weekend.
The one guideline I set myself was not to go make something in the same colors that always attract me. That’s the Cool Color Place: blue, green, purple, yada, yada. So, I picked a palette of creamy corals. By the way, the warm hue would have looked great with that shirt I wore to the wedding last Sunday.
The inspiration for my project was a pair of earrings that Cynthia Tinapple made and posted about in 2012 on her always-stimulating Polymer Clay Daily website. The earrings were called “Stacked Polymer Shards,” and they resemble smooth beach glass: Cool Color Place beach glass, which is probably why I’ve been mooning over them for a couple of years.
What kind of clay did I use for my project? Everything. Old Classic Fimo orange, current Classic Fimo red, Kato translucent, Premo translucent, probably even ancient Fimo Art Translucent. The process of making my earrings was not unlike how a thrifty French housewife cooks her winter stew: set the stove’s back burner to Low, and just keep throwing leftover vegetables and meat in the soup over a period of a couple of days.
Once the coral shades were mixed up from the various kinds of clay and the beads shaped, I set them in to cure at 275° in a preheated oven for 22 minutes.
Putting the earrings together was kind of like playing with a Rubik’s cube or going through a corn maze. Initially, I wanted everything to balance and the two earrings to look similar, but there was a reason I made the oval beads in varying sizes and thicknesses with bead holes not always placed dead center. So, the perfectionist in me had to chill out and go with the uneven flow.
Were the earrings successful? Did I forget about Malta for a few minutes? Well, yes I did, and my 24-year-old son, who never has a problem sending a zinger my way, said they looked very good on me. And when I wore them to Starbucks yesterday, the young barista serving me wanted to buy them off my ears. I didn’t sell them, but I did go right back home and assemble a second pair.