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Posted on July 9, 2013 in Hints, Tips, & Tricks by Katie
Helping each of you with polymer clay tips is one of those things that I really love! Why? Because I love helping people. I love helping you succeed and I love helping you on your creative journeys. Today’s polymer clay tip isn’t just a tip, it’s more of a way of helping you achieve your goals in an orderly fashion in your studios. So, without any further ado, let’s get on with it, shall we?
There are lots of things that I can tell you as far as polymer clay tips and working with clay. However, today I wanted to tell you about some things that I do in my studio to help with my productivity, work flow, and time.
I recently had a wonderful lady on the PCETeam (Polymer Clay Enthusiasts of Etsy Team, a team strictly for those who make & sell polymer clay items) write me a conversation and asked me how I “estimated” the time spent on each of my pieces. I’ll admit that at first I was a little surprised by the question. I think it was because of the word “estimated…” Like you, the time I spend on each of my creations is valuable. That being said, because I sell my creations, like many of you, the last thing I want to do is not to make a “fair” pricing system. Because I build my time into my pricing (see this article on how to price your items) it would be unfair to estimate my time, as that would vastly change the price of my items. My solution, which I learned from another clay several years ago, is to use a stopwatch when I create my items. In this way, it ensures that I never have to “guess-timate” how much time I actually put into my pieces. So, if you are just estimating the amount of time it takes you to create something, perhaps next time, use a stopwatch … you might be surprised how much time it actually did take for you to create something.
My next polymer clay tip comes from something I do often. Do you ever have an idea block? I do. But my solution has always been a fun and easy one: use a color palette! When you just don’t know what to create, by using a color palette, it allows your mind to “let go” of any preconceived notions of what you are intending to make and grasp onto something that’s inspired solely by color. It’s a lot of fun too! On days when I go into the studio with ZERO ideas and begin with a pleasing color palette, I almost always can make 2-6 things based solely on ideas that came from that palette. So in order to stop the “meandering” in your studio, give this polymer clay tip a try.
For newer polymer clay artists, they face a project or challenge and are so afraid to “mess up” that they do not try. What I tell to those who are new to claying is do NOT be afraid. After all, nothing is permanent until it is baked. So go ahead, do not be afraid and try that new technique. Do not expect to master it on the first try – you won’t. But if you like the technique, the more you try and the more you do, the more you will love it.
Thanks for joining me today,