Monday, December 17, 2007

Instant Gratification!

My faux cloisonné tutorial for polymer clay is now available for an immediate download from my site:

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Ruby Lane – My New Shop

I spent last week setting up a shop at Ruby Lane. It is an on-line gallery of virtual boutiques selling collectables, jewelry, and fine arts. The site exists since 1998 and has good reputation both with customers and shop owners. They have very strict regulations about which items can be sold through their shops and how they can or cannot be described. It took me extra time and effort to have all the pictures and descriptions done exactly to these specs, but I like the accuracy required by the site. I also like how fast and professionally the site organizers communicated with me so far and all the great tips and advice they shared as soon as I began working on my shop. I am looking forward to having my work displayed through Ruby Lane and hope to reach some new customers through this venue. Wish me luck!

Below is one of my necklaces listed on Ruby Lane and my new shop address:

Monday, November 26, 2007

A “No” from Lark Books.

Lark Books returned the slides that I submitted earlier this year to be considered for their new book “500 Resin Objects”. Bummer! Even more – they enclosed a standard letter that does not explain the reason for rejection. I imagine they had lots of jewelry pieces submitted, and mine are not exactly “resin” – they are made using sort of resin in addition to polymer clay, wire, beads, and findings… Still, I really liked the three pieces I suggested for this publication. No wonder two of them were sold very quickly. The third one, a fairy pendant, is still available (hint, hint!).

O well, I will just have to send my pictures to another book, right?

polymer clay cloisonne moth pendant
polymer clay cloisonne orchid pendant
polymer clay cloisonne fairy pendant

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Oak Vase - Finished

Here is the promised picture of my finished oak vase. The vase has been antiqued and re-baked again. I applied some patina to make all the little sculpted details to pop against the darker background. If you want to learn more about this finish (or about lots of other techniques available for polymer clay), please check out my Polymer Clay Glossary:

On a side note. I need to get my time organized! Right now, I have no idea how I was able to work full time (and even travel quite often on a job) and still have some jewelry made, photographed, and displayed on my web site. Not to mention all kinds of other projects and activities I had been doing... I thought as soon as I have all this time free from my scientific work, I would make an enormous progress in my sculpting. It has been three weeks since I returned from my trip, but I hardly see any progress at all. True, I cleaned a few places around the house that were allowed to get messy over the last year or two (I knew I would get to them when I quit my job, see), I finished a few sewing and knitting projects... I also made a bunch of new 3D-sculpted pendants with flowers, but it does not show on my web site, does it? I officially promise myself to make regular listing of the new items on my web site my #1 priority. No, actually, #2 priority - after listing both new and existing items in my Etsy shop. I am going to gradually re-stock my shop on over the next month, so please come and visit. I will have some bargains there!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Almost Done!

My sculpted vase is almost finished. The last step is to "antique" it. I shall have the final picture tomorrow.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Sculpted Vase, Oak Tree (continued)

Here is picture #2. The sculpting phase is almost finished. I say “almost” because I may still decide to add or move around a couple of details here and there.

When I started working on it, I thought of big roots to give the vase more support and balance, and the idea of an actual oak tree came later. I think I was influenced by my son re-citing Pushkin’s poem (we teach him Russian):

An oaktree greening by the ocean;
A golden chain about it wound:
Whereon a learned cat, in motion
Both day and night, will walk around;
On walking right, he sings a ditty;
On walking left, he tells a lay.

(English translation by Walter Arndt)

Now I am thinking about adding an actual “golden chain” to make this vase look like the oak tree from the poem… No, I am not going to make a cat to go with it. Viewers will have to use their imagination.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

An Oak Tree Vase

A few of my friends asked me what I am working on right now. I decided it is easier to show my work than to describe it with words. Besides, I think it is interesting to see something like this in progress, right?

So, here is my new sculpted vase. Obviously, it is still unfinished. I had been working on it on and off for about a week. It turned out to be more complex and time-consuming than I expected. It is in a shape of an old oak tree, with huge roots and lots of acorns. The roots are climbing over rocks (pieces of Baltic amber) and the acorns are made of fresh-water pearls. I still need to shape and attach the rest of the leaves and acorns, than cure the clay, apply patina, and re-bake the vase. I will show you more pictures of this vase as it progresses.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I am back!

I just came back from my trip to Russia and Ukraine. After being away from my polymer clay for more than a month, I am so full of ideas and cannot wait to start working! Give me a week or two to catch up with a few things, and I will start posting new pictures of my creations. I am also planning to work on the new tutorials. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I will be on vacation and out of country until October 26, 2007. During this time I will not be able to fill out the orders. My Internet access may also be limited. I apologize for any inconvenience it may cause. Please check back in early November. I am planning to add many new items at that time. Thank you.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Sculpted Vases

Next week I am going to Russia and later to Ukraine to visit my sister and parents. Here are a few presents I made for my relatives. To make these vases, I covered glass bases with polymer clay, added hand-sculpted polymer clay leaves and other patterns, antiqued, and adorned with fresh-water pearls, glass beads, amber, and semi-precious stones. These works were inspired by Christi Friesen from

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Caribbean Night – Polymer Clay Tile

What a wonderful idea! The Satin Cord people moved to a new studio and decided to embellish one of their tables with polymer clay tiles. Instead of making the tiles themselves, they invited other polymer clay artists to participate. They will be collecting the tiles until the end of the month. Click here to see the details.

And here is my contribution:

Monday, September 17, 2007

Polymer Clay - 100% Now!

So I did it! I am officially a freelance artist now. It is Monday, but I am sitting in my studio and actually working with clay – what can be better?!

Actually quitting my job was really difficult for some reason. It is the step I wanted to take for a long time, I planned for it, and yet closing my company’s door for the last time was almost a torture… I think it is the fear of the unknown. The change is just too drastic for me. Everything I did for the last 25 years was related to chemistry one way or another – I studied it in school, then at the university, I changed specializations, I switched from lab to teaching and back to the lab again, I progressed from a bench worker through a few levels of management, I worked for three different companies over the years, doing different projects – from sleeping aids to cancer drugs to military antidotes… But all of it was within the same field, and every next task was somehow related to my previous professional experience and knowledge. Now I suddenly abandon all of it and jump sideways, into a filed almost completely un-related to anything I have done before.

I think only a few (if any?) people in my office could understand and appreciate this step. I was told lots of good words at my last day, wished luck, etc., but I could see this question in people’s eyes. Why? Why am I leaving a well-paid job with full health benefits, good bonuses, and not too much travel? Some people have clearly decided that I’ve found one of those get-rich-quickly schemes and am planning to make big bucks with my jewelry and teaching activities (which is not true). Others decided that I must have hated my previous job (which is even further from truth). I think those who actually have creative hobbies themselves came closest to understanding my move. Truth is that I have a few notebooks full of sketches and ideas for my jewelry and sculptures, and never enough time to implement at least one tenths of them. Every time I read or hear about new business idea for my jewelry, I get excited much more then when I hear about new projects at work. I even caught myself looking at my co-worker’s tie at a meeting one day and thinking how to re-create this design in polymer clay…

I do not know, maybe I will indeed get tired of polymer clay in a year or two, as some people predict. For now, I just want to give it a try and see what happens…

Monday, September 10, 2007

Fire Mountain Catalog

A picture of my necklace with sculpted polymer clay orchids had been published in the recent edition of Fire Mountain Gems Catalog. I participated in their beading contest last year, and this necklace was a finalist. My other necklace, "Wild Rose", won the first place in the polymer clay category, but I have not seen its picture anywhere yet. I told my kids, the picture may appear either in one of the FMG catalogs, or on the back of beading- and jewelry-related magazines. Every time we come to a book or a craft store, the kids had been checking the backs of all these magazines for a few months now. It became a treasure hunt of sorts... They are still looking...

A bigger picture and description of the necklace is here:

Friday, September 07, 2007

This Time For Sure!

I am leaving my scientific job to become a full-time artist after all – this time for sure! I was not able to do it this summer, but now all things are under control, and I am free to go! I have already turned in my resignation letter and know my last day – September, 13.

And here is some eye candy. This is my latest set, a combination of polymer clay faux cloisonné and Swarovsky crystals. It still needs a name, so any ideas are welcome.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Pleasant Surprise

I was pleasantly surprised yesterday when I received the October 2007 issue of Bead and Button magazine by mail. Although I love this magazine, I am not a subscriber. “Why did I get a contributor’s copy?”- I wandered. Here is why: this issue has a supplement with pictures from Bead Dreams 2007 contest, and my faux cloisonne necklace is one of them!

The works entered into this contest are unbelievable! I am so honored to see my work in such an amazing company!

And here is a bigger picture of my necklace.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Updated Web Site!

I just finished updating my website. Please take a look:

The updates include new photo collage for the front page, new layout of each page, and new scheme for navigation of the site.

Any comments and suggestions are welcome.

Monday, August 20, 2007


My interview had been published in Buzzy’s Bead Blog. Here is the link:

This blog belongs to Chris and Madonna from Beads and More ( This is a new store, so the choices of beading supplies there are still limited, but I really like what these guys are doing in terms of sales and marketing. In addition to pretty typical things – such as discounts for bulk purchasing or free beads for various reasons – they also started a forum and a blog. Both places allow beading artists advertise their web sites, and I am sure this will work to the mutual benefits of both the on-line store and their customers (the artists).

The interviewing process was fun and easy. Chris and Madonna sent me their questions by E-mail, and I took as much time as I needed to answer them. It turned out, actually, that I needed much more time than I anticipated – some of these questions are not as simple as they may seem at first…

I really enjoyed reading the other interviews on Beads and More site and hope that someone will find mine just as interesting.

Sunday, July 01, 2007


I spent this morning in National Arboretum in D.C.

Here are some pictures from my walk.


Saturday, June 30, 2007

Change of Plans

Well, I tried to make a huge leap by leaving my scientific job and becoming a full-time artist. Unfortunately, family circumstances force me to make a sharp turn right in the middle of this leap. Not only do I have to stay at my job, but I will also have to significantly cut my polymer clay-related activities.

I will continue maintaining my web site and will add new items and tutorials when I have a chance, although it will not be happening with the frequency I was anticipating.

To make this message less disappointing, here is picture of my new set of fairy faux cloisonné beads, “The Violet Moon”. The cylindrical beads in this set were the fist non-flat faux cloisonné beads I made. They were very tricky to make since the glaze I am using to create the glass-like surface takes a few hours to dry, and the only way to distribute it evenly around the bead is to keep rotating the bead until the glaze is set.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Crafts Shows Equipment

I met a few wonderful people in my class in North Carolina, and among them – Marley Beers. Marley and her husband Jetze have lots of experience in doing craft shows and are very generous about sharing it. Marley suggested I post this information in my blog for all interested people.

Thank you, Marley!

Outdoor tent:
Trimline, made by the Flourish Company, Great product, great people to work with, very open and honest. By far superior considering this combination of characteristics.

Indoor frame:
Also Flourish Company, however their indoor frame is quite heavy and not telescoping, thus harder to set up. A lighter (aluminum) indoor frame is made by Georgia Expo. They have 2 different diameter frames (1.5 and 2 inch?) and offer the option of telescoping corner poles. This is easier to transport and to set up. Also, the horizontal tubing for the top of the frame can be made telescoping, which can be important since no shows guarantee exact booth dimensions. And, sometimes one may rent a larger space than just 10 x 10, so just one extra upright and a horizontal extension will do the trick. (To clarify this, come and see our frame.) Georgia Expo web site: In case you decide for a Trimline outdoor tent, you can use that frame also as your indoor frame instead of buying a separate one. It is just a little bit heavy and takes a second person to help with the setup.

Cash register:
Certainly in the beginning not a must. However, if business goes well it is important to have sales and inventory records without having to rely on written notes and/or copies of sales slips. An important issue is the availability of electricity. Indoor shows always offer it for a fee and you need it for lights anyway. But many outdoor shows do not offer it or it is limited to some booth locations. Therefore, a cash register that has a dual mode (110 Volts or battery) is the best choice. Only 2 companies have reliable models, Royal and Swintec. Swintec is our preference. It is a sturdy metal case and has a low profile. It is also simple to operate, however both brands offer limited options in terms of what you can do with the cash register. Nevertheless, we are very much into semi-automated record-keeping and the Swintec has become our base for inventory and sales information. The model is SW20 and the web site is

Credit card equipment:
Taking credit cards (mostly Visa, MasterCard and Discover) is a MUST. Here also, don't jump into the more expensive hi-tech situation until your sales volume justifies electronic wireless equipment. A good and inexpensive way to start is with the old-fashioned knuckle buster, the slide in which you place the credit card and a blank paper slip, and then complete the slip manually with all pertinent information. This manner requires after-sales phone transmittal to your service provider and, since it is after the sales, does not give you acceptance authorization before the transaction is complete. This is the risk of a manual system but it is also the cheapest way. You still can do pre-approval over the phone but that takes time and is often awkward in front of the customer. Of course you can still protect yourself a little bit by requiring good identification and record phone numbers and driver license information. A good company to work with this way is TeaMac Inc. in Pennsylvania. They specialize in services to artisans and have an easy application process. Web site is

The other option is to jump high and go for wireless and battery-operated equipment. This has become a highly-competitive market and it is worth shopping around for the best deal. Many companies offer (mostly) free equipment. The trick is to find a provider with low discount percentages and reasonable additional fees and no or low minimum monthly charges. It may worth your while to talk to your regular bank to see what they can offer. In terms of equipment, there are many options ranging in purchase price from $350 to $1250. The most popular machines are made by Nurit and by Way Systems. Our equipment is the Way Systems cell phone based MTT 1510 with a small battery-operated printer. It works just about everywhere and has been almost 100% reliable. The reception and therefore the connection to the wireless network is usually better than that of other equipment. We recommend this system over anything else. Again, you just have to find the best and fairest merchant service provider and get free or almost free equipment without lengthy and expensive contracts. For Way Systems equipment information you may want to visit

Monday, June 25, 2007

Faux Cloisonne Class in Raleigh, NC

I just came back from North Carolina where I taught a faux cloisonné class this weekend. Below are a few pictures from the class (14 total). Sorry I did not catch every participant, nor did I photograph every pendant made in class, but I hope this slideshow will reflect the class atmosphere.

I had 16 people, all with different skills and backgrounds. Teaching a group of people whose level is unknown to you is always a challenge, but I think this class was a great success. Everybody participated, everybody learned, and lots of people told me that now they have lots of new ideas they want to try with my technique. They tried some of those ideas in class, and I absolutely loved it. We all enjoyed seeing various designs that people were coming with.

And as always in my classes, I enjoyed meeting new polymer clay enthusiasts and seeing their works. Linda Douglas shared photos of her sculpted horses and unicorns, Jeanne Rhea brought a few of her amazing colorful ATCs, and Vickie Rhine had one of her whimsical dolls. Lots of people were wearing necklaces or name tags they made out of polymer clay. Every creation was beautiful and unique.

I also loved the store where the class was arranged, Artist Oasis. Renee Fletcher, who owns this store, has a huge collection of stamps, shelf after shelf of various pigments and dyes, and lots of other artistic supplies. I wish I had more time to explore it.

Here is the link to the Raleigh polymer clay guild:

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Wonder Glaze for Polymer Clay

On my quest to find a better substitute for PolyGlaze I stumbled upon an interesting product called Triple Thick (by Krylon). Why didn’t I see it before? I think I am going to like it even better than EnviroTex Lite. For one thing, it does not smell. It does not require any mixing. It dries quickly, does not produce too many bubbles (which are easy to remove), and it is waterproof! It is also much cheaper than PolyGlaze and is available almost everywhere. Here is the list of stores that sell this product:

It looks like the only quality in which EnviroTex and PolyGlaze surpass Triple Thick is clearness. Well, you cannot win in everything…

Triple Thick is actually pretty clear, especially when applyed in thin layers rather than in one thick layer. That is why I say it is a very good dimensional glaze. I am going to recommend it in my class this weekend.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

…and Some More on PolyGlaze

I am ready to report results of my experiments.

Below is the promised photo of the tile with cracked Poly Glaze layer. The glaze was cracked on purpose (see my previous post).

Now the same tile covered with the second layer of Poly Glaze. This glaze is whitish in color when applied and then it becomes clear when it is completely dry. Because the glaze layer is deeper in the cracks, they appear darker in color.

And the final picture. The glaze is completely dry and transparent. The cracks are mostly gone. You can see traces of some of them if you look really close. If this were a real pendant I was trying to save, I would probably apply one more coat of Poly Glaze.

Conclusion: PolyGlaze forms cracks if cured at lower temperature. The cracks may be fixed by applying a layer or two of Poly Glaze on top of them. However, I would recommend avoiding this problem rather then trying to fix it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

More on PolyGlaze

I am getting ready for my faux cloisonné class I will be teaching in NC later this month.

A new thing I am adding this time is a demonstration of clear surface finishes that may be obtained with PolyGlaze (which I normally use in my work) and materials other than PolyGlaze. I am also going to show possible problems that may occur with each of these materials and how to avoid or fix them.

By the way, making mistakes on purpose is more difficult than I thought!

One of the problems with PolyGlaze that I was told about is its occasional cracking. The person who had this problem lives in Maine, and she told me about it this winter. I suspected the cracking was a result of lower temperature she may had in her house during that time. This had never happened to me, so the entire idea was a pure speculation.

This time I decided to re-create the problem. Since it is now hot a humid in Maryland, the only cold spot in my house is a fridge. So, that is where I cured two samples covered with PolyGlaze tonight. I understand it is overkill, and I seriously doubt that my friend in Maine had such a low temperature in her house, but I had to start somewhere.

I am happy to report that by morning both of my samples were dry and both of them developed a few cracks! I will take this fact as the proof of my theory – PolyGlaze does crack at lower temperatures.

Although this is not quite scientific and I cannot tell you the critical temperature when this occurs, I think we have enough information to work with. The lowest temperature in my house (in winter) is about 65F. It is safe to say that PolyGlaze dries nicely at 65F and above. Any lower temperature may be risky.

My next step is to see if the cracks could be fixed. I will work on it tonight and report the results in a day or two.

I also promise to have pictures by that time.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

I am Quitting My Job!

Yes, that is right – I am quitting my job – I gave my boss a four-week notice yesterday. I feel like such a coward leaving him with all the projects we have on hand, but I have to follow my heart.

I have so many ideas (all related to polymer clay) that it became impossible to continue cutting them short.

I had a nice balance between work and play for a while. I am a senior development chemist at a pharmaceutical company, and so I was happy doing science by day and art by night. Then art began prevailing. First it started cutting into my family life. With two kids in elementary school and our busy schedule (we are swimming together a few times a week), I never had much time left for clay, so there was not enough room for expanding. I found myself staying up late at night, doing less cocking and cleaning (thank goodness for the help of my husband and kids), and spending weekends in my studio… After awhile, that was not enough.

I tried to collect my ideas for some distant indefinite future, filling up one notebook after another with my sketches. But just capturing the ideas for my sculpted jewelry is not all. I want to teach more, I want to write more articles about polymer clay and more tutorials for my site, I want to do a lot with the site itself, I want to do shows…

So now I am taking the next step. July 6 will be my last day at work, and then I will be free to see how far I can take my interest in polymer clay and teaching.

Although this is something I was dreaming about for a long time, actually doing it is scary. I am all numb inside. I am welcoming this change and afraid of it at the same time…

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Custom Order

I just finished these two sets of beads - hand-sculpted polymer clay calla lilies and orchids on black background. I am told that the bigger beads will become pendants and the smaller ones will adorn hair sticks. That is why the design on the smaller beads goes all the way around them...

Thank you, Linda!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Polymer Clay Tutorials

I received this E-mail from a fellow polymer clay enthusiast, Heather:

I love your work and love the tutorials you have on your web site. …Are you planning to publish any more tutorials in the near future?”

I already answered Heather in a private E-mail, and then I decided it would be nice to let other interested people know about my plans as well.

Currently I have a few general polymer clay tutorials and a glossary that would be the most beneficial for those who are just starting to work with polymer clay. I also have one technique-specific tutorial, which explains my faux cloisonné technique using a heart-shaped pendant as an example. This tutorial is intended primarily for people who have tried their hand in polymer clay already (although I know at least a couple of people who have successfully completed their very first polymer clay project following this tutorial).

I am working on a few more tutorials that will teach how to sculpt different leaves and orchid flowers out of polymer clay. Since most of the leaves and flowers use Skinner blend, I am planning to post the Skinner blend tutorial(s) first. I want to show how to obtain a sheet of polymer clay with color gradation (starting with two and with three colors) and also how to transfer those sheets into logs with different patterns.

The Skinner blend tutorials will be followed by at least two or thee tutorials for different leaf designs and for different orchid flowers.

I also want to write a few tutorials for projects based on faux cloisonné technique.

As for the time frame, expect to see the first tutorials in mid July with a new tutorial every two or three weeks after that. I cannot give out any details yet, but I expect to have much more time for this kind of activities starting the beginning of July.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Another Class!

I was invited to teach my faux cloisonné technique in Raleigh, NC. After a few days of negotiation we settled on June, 23. I am so excited! Being a professional teacher, I love sharing what I know, especially with an audience that is eager to learn.

To this class, I am going to bring results of my experiments with different surface finishes. I made series of small polymer clay tiles covered with various materials I have been playing with recently. Seeing them together, one next to the other is a great way of comparing their clarity and hardiness. I also managed to make a few tiles with some typical mistakes. I am planning to show how to correct those mistakes in class.

I am also looking forward to meeting people from North Carolina polymer clay guild and seeing their works.

It is going to be fun!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Look What I Found!

Sandee from Philadelphia Polymer Clay Guild shared a few of her creations with the other guild members back in March, but I found this picture just now. I absolutely love Sandee’s interpretation of faux cloisonné I taught in PA last February. I am talking about her pendant (or is it a bead?) with the white flower. The contour outlined with wire looks amazing even against such a light background. Beautiful! I love her other flower as well (the red spotted one). Nice details and simply stunning colors!

More here:

Sunday, May 06, 2007

My Necklaces Are Back!

My necklaces had finally came back yesterday after being photographed by Fire Mountain Gems. “Wild Rose” won the first place in the polymer clay category in the last year’s contest, and “White Orchids” was a finalist in the necklaces section.

“Wild Rose” is made in my faux cloisonné technique, and is one of the first necklaces I made featuring more than one focal bead. There are three of them in this necklace, with one design continuing across all three beads. Other materials include black onyx, red jasper, and seed beads. The necklace also has a custom-made faux cloisonné clasp in a leaf shape.

The second one, “White Orchids” is suitable for a bride. Hand-sculpted white phalaenopsis orchids are permanently attached to the mosaic base. Other materials used to make this necklace are mother-of-pearl beads and chops, fresh-water pearls, and seed beads.

The pictures of these necklaces shall appear in the next FMG catalog and in FMG ads on the backs of various beading magazines. I cannot wait to see it. Not only it is exciting to see my work in print, but I also wander how my jewelry is going to look like on the professional photographs. My pieces are extremely difficult to photograph, especially the faux cloisonné ones. Or maybe they are not so difficult for the professional photographers?

These necklaces will be available on my website as soon as I have time to photograph them myself.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

More on Glazes and Finishes for Polymer Clay

Over the last couple of days I exchanged E-mails with a few people interested in glazes and finishes for polymer clay. One of them is Jeanne Rhea from Heart of Clay. Jeanne did an impressive study of different glazes for her sister’s non-profit shop in Toledo called Scrap4Art. Below are the links to Jeanne’s results:

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Bead Dreams

Yesterday I received a notification that one of my pieces was accepted for the Bead Dreams exhibit at Bead and Button Show this year. It is a huge honor and I am very happy.
I submitted two necklaces. It is interesting though, that I like the rejected necklace way more that the one that was accepted… Well, tastes are different, right?

Here is more info about the contest and the show:

Monday, April 30, 2007

What Happened?

I just received an E-mail from a friend of mine, Barb, who is asking what happened to me and why did I stop working with polymer clay. I have already answered Barb privately, but I want to post here as well in case anybody else wants to know the answers to these questions.

Well, I did not stop working with polymer clay (I would probably die if did!), in fact, I have been working with it more than ever, but all behind the scenes so to speak.

I decided to participate in a few contests this spring, all with deadlines around April. Of course, I could not just submit something I already had – no, I just had to implement at least some of my new ideas… And you know what happens with the new ideas? Sometimes they do not work right away! I ended up with a bunch of prototypes in various stages of completion, but the good news is that I did finish each and every contest piece I planned, and the last ones were mailed out this Saturday.

My husband made me swear not to do any contests for at least a couple of months. I promised.

Now I am anxiously awaiting the results. Wish me luck!

Below is the collage of the contest pieces I had recently made.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Faux Cloisonne: Different Materials, Same Effect

Eugena’s Creations…

…proudly presents…

…the new and improved…

…faux cloisonné…

Now, seriously. I have been experimenting with different materials to replace the glaze I am using on my faux cloisonné pieces. Up until recently I have been using Lisa Pavelka’s PolyGlaze. It is a great product, I love it. The only problem is that it is available only on-line, and not all the time. Finally this spring I become tired of chasing it all over the Internet and decided to look into some other products. Below are my results of experimenting with Envirotex. With my usual disrespect for instructions, I figured out how to use it myself before actually learning how the other people are using it, so it is not surprising that my way seems to be quite different. Instead of applying one fat layer of Envirotex and trying to contain it on the surface with some temporary or permanent frame, I apply thinner layers of it and do not use any frames around my pieces. The result is very similar to what I would usually get with PolyGlaze. In fact, the results are so similar, that you would not be able to tell which product I used even by closely examining my creations in person…

Moral: I am considering switching to Envirotex for good. Actually, I have an idea. Being a true scientist, I want to be thorough in my experiments and look at some more products. From what I have seen, Kato liquid polyclay may be a good candidate. I will then compare the results and make my final choice. Sounds like a plan?

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Today is exactly one week since I came back from a vacation, which also lasted a week. Somehow it feels as if my time during our vacation stretched out in some magical way. We saw so many beautiful places – mountains, caverns, the ocean, and even a castle. At work, time just zooms past me, and a week later there is almost nothing to remember…

Sunday, March 25, 2007

NPCG - New Site

The web site of National Polymer Clay Guild has been recently updated. I cannot even imagine how much work such a major update required. The site looks great, runs fast, and has tons of useful information.

Here is the link:

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Trusien's Lily-of-the-valley

Trusien Lowenthal from Netherlands graciously allowed me to share this picture of her new pendant on my blog. The pendant is 2.5 by 0.5 inches and is made using the faux cloisonné technique. I especially like Trusien’s version of the bail for this pendant – it is both practical and pretty.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Emerging from the cocoon...

...of my imagination is another twist on the same technique. I am playing with inclusions here. The butterfly bead (the yellow wire on its sides marks the two horizontal holes) was one of my birthday presents to my friend.

Below is a closer shot of the two overlaying wings.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

More "Student's" Work

Isn’t it amazing how different people can come up with something totally different while using the same tools?

Below is a picture of a few creations by Fenian from Bead and Button Forum. Fenian bought a tutorial for faux cloisonné hearts I offer on my website (, and this is what she made based on the tutorial. She used different pigments from those that I recommend and apparently decided to avoid my favorite black color all together. The resulting palette is bright and happy.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Sarah’s Creations

I received an E-mail from Sarah Fisher from Philadelphia Polymer Clay Guild with pictures of her projects she made after taking my class two weeks ago. The pictures are below. Here is what she wrote: “I love your technique- it is well suited to giving some colorful life to the line drawing doodles I like to make”.

I love Sarah’s designs. She is definitely braver with the bright colors than I am!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Leaf Peeping - Noir (by Jan Lockhart)

I wanted to post this picture for a long time...

This necklace was created by Jan Lockhart using my pendant "Watch Me Now". I especially like how Jan used the two big black leaves on the sides of this necklace. Jan sold this necklace even before it was completed.

She has a more detailed description here:

Monday, February 19, 2007

My Class in Philadelphia, PA

Yesterday I spent most of the day with people from Philadelphia Polymer Guild and had an opportunity to share my faux cloisonné technique with them.

What a wonderful and talented group of people they are! I enjoyed my visit a lot. They have such a nice and relaxed atmosphere in the group, freely sharing ideas with each other, supporting and cheering each other. I especially liked the show-and-tell part of the meeting, when many people brought their creations to the table to share them with others in the group.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Lack of self-discipline or a creativity spike?

I have so many things I should have been working on – my website, new article, tutorials, entries for a couple of contests, my class this weekend… Yet I sat down this Sunday and started sculpting these orchids. I just could not stop!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

My New Article

My new article “Easy Faux Cloisonne” is coming up in Step by Step Beads magazine, in March-April 2007 issue. I received the contributor copies yesterday.

I am very excited to see it published. This article explains how to use the technique to make framed two-sided beads. They are pretty neat and quite un-usual if I may say so myself!

There are a few more beads of this type here:
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