Sunday, January 31, 2010

Polymer Clay Chameleon:

These cleverly-constructed interchangable polymer clay rings caught my attention at Flickr this week. The author is Bettina Welker (, a German polymer clay artist, whose works I've seen and admired before. Her jewelry usually has a certain modern flare, great colors, and clean lines. Bettina recently published her first book, which is available in German (with project translation in English, French, and Spanish).

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My Interview at

I joined the polymer clay guild of Art Fire, where I have my newest on-line shop. The guild has a nice blog, in which (among other things) every member in turn is featured. Head there to see the works of some wonderful polymer clay enthusiasts and to read their stories. Here is the link to mine:

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Sunshine Award

Samantha of Amadora Designs UK nominated me for the Sunshine Blog Award. The Sunshine Award is awarded to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspires others in the blog world.

I accept this award with a great pleasure and pride. I know for sure that maintaining optimism and positive attitude is the best thing that a person can do both for herself and for the people around her. Here is of my favorite quotes by Dale Carnegie: “ Happiness doesn't depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude. “

The twelve blogs I would like to nominate for this award are all from my new group of Etsy Bloggers. There is a wonderful, creative woman behind each of this blogs, who loves what she is doing and who shares her love with other people through her blog and through her creations:

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Polymer Clay Chameleon:

I am pretty sure that Christi Friesen is a household name in any polymer clay artist family by now, and it is difficult to find somebody, who is interested in polymer clay, but has not heard about Christi.

Like many others, I admire Christi's works. They are so intricate and graceful, yet often humorous and funny, and somehow she manages to keep her style recognizable through all the variations. Just like Barbara Sperling is my millefiori guru, Christi Friesen is my source of inspiration for sculpting. Refraining from the urge to copy her is difficult, but I am trying to maintain my own style.

I've met Christi in person a couple of times. She has a sunny personality and it is a pleasure to be with. I think, this is one of the reasons why she is such a wonderful teacher and why her books are so popular. Speaking of Christi's books, I am very happy and proud to have one of my works included in her most recent book, Steampunkery.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Eugena's Creations at La Boutique De Mon Amie

I am happy to report that some of my jewelry may now be seen in a brick and mortar store in the beautiful historic part of Elicott City, MD. This store is called La Boutique De Mon Amie, and it is owned by two elegant women, Debbie Kehoe and Kimberly Kepnes.

I went there this Wednesday, on my friend's recommendation, and was absolutely charmed by the place. The shop is located in an old French-style cottage, and has its own charm a certain European aura. There is Little French Market Cafe right next door to this shop. While I was talking to Debbie, a girl from this cafe brought her some most deliciously-looking coffee. I did not have time to check out the cafe, but I will definitely do it next time.

The boutique sells various accessories, purses, and jewelry. It has three floors, with a nice cozy room at each floor. Visitors are greeted at the first floor, the second floor is dominated by a huge wall mirror in a wrought-iron frame and a few glass cases hosting black velvet jewelry displays, and the third floor (the attic, as they call it) is all sunny and colorful. Everything is presented with a great taste and in a very friendly atmosphere.

There are only a few of my pieces there right now, but I shall bring some more in a couple of weeks. We are also talking about me creating an exclusive Mon Amie collection to be carried in this shop only.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Featured at!

My Steampunk butterfly necklace was featured in the Customer Gallery of Designs at

I buy a lot of supplies from this company.  They have reasonable prices and offer free shipping within US.  I like that!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Polymer Clay Chameleon:

The works of this artist is the reason why I got interested in millefiori technique, and, as a result of it, in selling my own works.

The name of this artist is Barbara Sperling. I came across her web site when I just started working with polymer clay, and was mesmerized by the beauty and complexity of her canes. I must have spent hours studying her designs!  Barbara's works always have a very polished, high-end look.  I especially like how she constructs her pendants using one central cane surrounded by borders and other decorative elements made of smaller canes complementing the main design. I never had a pleasure of conversing with Barbara, but I respect her as one of my virtual teachers in the art of polymer clay.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Polymer Clay Tips and Tricks:
How to Choose the Right Brand

There are so many types (or brands) of polymer clay available on the market today, that novice clayers are sometimes confused and are not sure which brand to choose.

Read more

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Polymer Clay Chameleon:

I want to show you absolutely amazing works of Marina Bychkova. This artist makes the most beautiful art dolls I've ever seen.

Marina uses Super Sculpey to make the initial sculpts, then she creates molds, and the final doll is made out of porcelain. She makes ball-jointed, anatomically correct, fully posable dolls. All joints are lined with leather, so the doll may be placed in any pose, and keep it. The hair is made out of soft mohair or natural silk, so it may be styled in any way you want it. Marina also makes costumes for her dolls, adorned with tiny jewels, elaborate embroidery, real furs, and more. She casts many of the metal accessories, such as the sterling silver corset, hair piece, and slippers for her Cinderella (below). Oh, and I forgot to say – her dolls are usually quite small, only 13.5” in height, so all the costumes are even more amazing when you think that all of this is created on a miniature level.

These are only a few examples of Marina's work. You can see more at her web site, (WARNING: some nudity and mature content).

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Student Work:
Faux Cloisonne

I received an e-mail today from Sabine Spiesser, who bought my Faux Cloisonne tutorial some time ago and wanted to share the results of her experiments with this technique. She wrote: "...Here are my first rather chunky attempts at the process. I absolutely love it and am totally addicted to nursing these pieces along. I've only photographed a few."

I think her pieces are beautiful. I love everything about them: the designs, the colors, and especially the texture.

I always enjoy seeing the works of people who follow my tutorials. Thank you for sharing!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Polymer Clay Tips and Tricks:

How to Bake Polymer Clay Items?

One of the most frequently asked questions is how to bake (or cure) polymer clay items. Here are a few tips and tricks to get you started.

To bake your polymer clay (PC) creation, you will need an oven that can be accurately programmed to generate temperatures between 215ºF (102ºC) to 325ºF (163ºC). This range is sufficient to bake any polymer clay creation. I will tell you more about baking temperature requirements for various brands of PC later, but right now let's concentrate on choosing the right oven.

You can use a regular oven, a toaster, a convection oven, or a special oven for polymer clay (the later one is now available in most craft stores in PC section).

It is OK to use a regular oven if you are not baking PC too often or if you have a tall item to bake (a vase, for example). However, if you are going to make a lot of PC items, consider buying a dedicated oven for your polymer clay items.

Polymer clay is rated non-toxic for people; however it smells a little bit even during the normal baking. Some brands of clay (such as Kato) smell stronger than others, and some people are more sensitive to this smell than the others. The walls of your oven adsorb PC fumes, and after baking PC (in your regular oven, for example), you may notice the PC smell next time when you use the oven for something else. That is why it is better to have a dedicated PC oven. Definitely, never bake polymer clay items and food in the same oven at the same time.

Also keep in mind that there are warnings about PC fumes being dangerous to birds. It is also a good idea to limit exposure of small children and pets to PC fumes during baking.

If you are concerned about the smell while baking PC items, consider these suggestions:

- place your oven in a well-ventilated area or in an isolated room;

- cover your PC item with foil or place it between two disposable aluminum pans clipped together;

- after baking, leave your PC item in the oven to cool down, if possible (This does not work for translucent clay, since the finished item has to be immersed into an iced-water bath immediately after baking to enhance the translucency).

As I said earlier, ideally, the oven has to be accurate. This means that when you set it up to a certain temperature, the oven shall produce this particular temperature. In reality, however, most ovens are slightly off. For example, in order to have 300ºF in my oven, I have to set it up to 315ºF. That is why, before using your oven to bake a PC object for the first time, you have to check its actual temperature against the set temperature (and plan to adjust it accordingly, if necessary). Do not trust the built-in thermometer, use a separate one, such as a candy thermometer or a stand-alone oven thermometer. You may also use a special thermometer for PC baking (available in craft stores in PC sections, on the Internet).

Also keep in mind that different sections of the oven usually reach slightly different temperatures during baking. The middle section is usually the best place. Spots close to the heating elements get hotter, while those close to the front door, are usually colder than the middle section. Plan to use the middle part of the oven for baking your PC items, and place your stand-alone thermometer in this part of your oven as well.

To properly check the oven temperature, first wait until the oven indicates that it has reached the set temperature. At this point, you may read your stand-alone thermometer and compare it to the oven setting. Leave the thermometer in the oven and read it a few more times over the next 30 minutes to check for any temperature spikes. If the fluctuations are too wide, you need to find another oven. If the average temperature differs from the set temperature, by a few degrees, simply adjust it as needed.

Now let's talk about the temperature and duration of baking.

Different brands of polymer clay require different temperatures for baking. Also, some brands have changed their formulations over time, resulting in changes to their recommended baking temperature. Luckily, there is an easy way to find out the baking temperature: it is printed on every polymer clay package. Always keep your polymer clay packaging and check it before setting up your oven.

Here are a few examples of the recommended baking temperatures for different brands (the purpose of this table is to demonstrate the importance of verifying the baking temperature for every package of clay, and not to give you a complete and accurate reference):

Baking temperature is 230ºF for the new Fimo, and 265ºF for an old version of this brand;

- 215ºF to 270ºF for Cernit,

- 275ºF for Premo, Sculpey, Pardo, and old Kato,

- 285ºF for Bake & Blend,

- 300ºF for new Kato.

It is better to avoid combining different brands of clay until you are comfortable with baking. Later on, you may actually want to combine two or more different types of clay with different baking temperatures in your creation. In this case, bake the mixture at the lowest temperature required for its components.

Recommended minimum baking time is 30 minutes per 1/4” of thickness at the appropriate temperature. You may bake a 1/4” thick piece longer if you wish, but keep in mind that, for some brands, light colors may darken with prolonged baking. The thicker your PC piece, the longer you will need to bake it (for example, a set of round beads 1/2” in diameter will require about 60 minutes of baking). Always calculate your baking time based on the thickest part of your creation. Keep in mind that a complex sculpted piece may be baked a few times in between the sculpting sessions, if necessary.

The last question I wanted to address is what to bake your PC items on.

For flat objects, use glass or ceramic tiles. To prevent thin flat sheets of PC from warping during the baking process, sandwich them between two ceramic tiles and keep them in this position not only during baking, but also while the PC is cooling down after baking.

Shiny spots may develop on the surface of your PC items coming in contact with ceramic tiles during baking. If you want to avoid this, cover your tile with a sheet of paper.

Dimensional pieces (such as round beads or small sculptures) may be baked on polyester stuffing or batting, on a pile of cornstarch or baking soda, or on various holders made out of cardboard, paper towels, crumpled aluminum foil, and other materials. Keep in mind that PC softens up a little bit during baking, so any protruding parts have to be secured and propped during this process.

In a nut shell:

- know your oven,

- always set it up carefully,

- read the temperature instructions on the PC package to figure out the optimal baking temperature,

- measure the thickness of your items to calculate the minimal baking time,

- use proper materials to position your PC item on during the baking process.

Happy baking!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Polymer Clay Chameleon:

Happy New Year!

Let me start my Polymer Clay Chameleon section here with the works of Marcia Palmer ( I wrote about her before (, and I am happy to see all the new and exciting designs she added to her line since then.

Marcia's works have some exotic tribal feeling about them, as well as grace, elegance, and class. Here are a few examples.

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