Category Archives: Podcasts

Polymer Clay TV How to Create Tiny Polymer clay flowers for jewelry and mixed media art

Watch as Ilysa demonstrates how easy it is to make little flowers using Kemper cutters. These even have designs on them from using Magic Transfer Paper to create the images. There are so many possibilities to using these cutters they are always in our tool box. You can find a variety of shapes and sizes and they last forever.

polymer clay TV Kemper cutters

polymer clay TV Kemper cutters




Polymer Clay Tutorial Art Journal Cover Winged Heart

polymer clay tutorial, art journal cover

polymer clay tutorial, art journal cover

Do you want a new way to add embellishments to your projects? Learn how to use polymer clay and create a fabulous art journal cover or adapt to your favorite project.

Wondrous Wednesday Podcast how to clean up your hands after polymer clay play

Polymer Clay TV update, Christi Friesen Flourish Book review and create-a-long, Keira Chapman shows you how to make a fabulous simple hand scrub to clean clay off your hands after a claying session! How to clean up polymer clay.

Here’s the awesome book we discussed- get yours now, because very soon we will be hosting a create-a-long with prizes and fun!

All about Synergy- the National Polymer Clay Guild conference in February, 2008. Four interviews with artists.

We have been blessed with the opportunity to speak with four talented polymer clay artists about their thoughts and plans for the Synergy Conference. It takes place next February in Baltimore, Maryland, on the East Coast of the US. It will be an exciting opportunity to get together with all the “famous” poly-clayers, and a chance to listen to them speak about three specific topics- Craftsmanship, Business, and Inspiration. The three days are each dedicated to a topic. Seminars will be 90 minutes long, and panel discussions and lunchtime roundtable talks are planned as well. Deemed a “pasta-machine-free” zone, this conference aims to close the gap between presenters and attendees, by creating an environment where more people can attend and the cost is a bit more affordable than the usual clay-play retreat. A networking, social, and learning opportunity for all. We can’t wait to attend. Yes, we will be there- with our cameras rolling. Of course we will not be able to film the whole three days, but we hope to interview some more artists, and show some key moments. We hope many of you will be able to attend and if you do, please be sure to drop us a line, we’ll have lunch!

Enjoy- our interviewees are Seth Lee Savarick, Sarah Shriver, Maggie Maggio, and Maureen Carlson. This is a long podcast- an hour. It may take a few minutes to download and play.

Be sure to come back next week- we will be airing a video on making pendants using rubber stamps. Thanks for joining us!

Polymer Clay Podcast Episode 8 – how to work with dye or alcohol inks

Click right below to listen to the podcast here on our site. If it’s too busy, try coming back slightly later in the day- we’ve been hearing that Friday mornings it can take a while to download the show. Thank you everyone who enjoy it so much! You can also try using the button on the sidebar (get podcast and videocast here) or subscribe in itunes and it will automatically download onto your itunes account.

Dye or alcohol inks are just that- an ink that is made with alcohol as the solvent, and this type of ink does not lie on top of the clay- rather, it sinks in and actually transforms the color of whatever it touches. A great tool for creating faux stone or seaglass, for mixing into translucent clay to make really nice colors that light will shine through, and other special effects when you would want the dying effect. One little thing we forgot to say- sometimes, especially if you want to avoid making a huge mess, you might want to put some ink on your project and let the alcohol evaporate for a couple of minutes. We demonstrate this in our video next week. If you don’t choose to do this, you will get ink all over your hands and it does temporarily dye your skin. This also produces more waste than if you let it dry for a minute or two. This is NOT the type of ink you would use to stamp with or create an image, because this ink bleeds or seeps away from where you put it.

You would use pigment ink, which we talked about last time (episode 4) for stamping or creating images on the clay.

Pinata and Ranger are two brands we have used. The Pinata inks tend to be bright bold colors, while Ranger carries inks in earthy muted tones (the Adirondack series is what I’m referring to.) Both are great to work with, it just depends on what colors and effects you are looking for.

For News today, we want you to know that in our next podcast on August 24th, we will have 4 interviews with members of the National Polymer Clay Guild, who will be discussing their involvement in the NPCG’s conference, called Synergy, next February in Baltimore MD. So far we have talked to Seth Lee and Sarah Shriver, and they have had some wonderful things to say, so you won’t want to miss it.

We also received a book from Kalmbach Publishing at the CHA show, and we want to tell you about it. It is called Polymer Pizzazz, and it has the Best of Bead & Button magazine’s articles on working with polymer clay in jewelry projects. It is a very nicely done book with step-by-step instructions. If you are good at following written directions, you will enjoy this book very much. If you need a little more direction, or are very new to polymer clay, some of the projects might be a little challenging. However the great thing is that we have a forum set up especially for our listeners, so if you get into a bind while trying a new technique or can’t figure out written directions, you can always ask in the forum and someone, either Ilysa or Kira, or one of our experienced forum moderators, will give you some guidance.

Thanks for listening! We have put together a great full length tutorial video on using dye inks. Here is a link to purchase our full length project tutorial video showing how to use dye inks and translucent clay to make two votive candle holders- two whole projects in one full length video, and lessons on simple caning too! A great value! Or check out our subscriptions. The Companion Kit to make the projects will be available in our shop this weekend.


Here’s a link to the book we talked about today:

And here are a few other good ones:

Polymer Clay Podcast Episode 6 – working with pigment inks

You can click the links directly below to listen to the podcast right here. Or you can use the link on the right to get our podcast from many different places, like yahoo, or itunes.

There are two general types of inks that you can use, referred to as Pigment inks, which we talk about today, and Alcohal or Dye inks, which we saved for our next podcast in two weeks.

The main difference between the two is that pigment inks stay where you put them, and dye inks “bleed” and tend to dye whatever clay is around them a new color.

Pigment inks are created with ground pigments, much like the pigment powder we discussed last week, and a wetting agent or “binder.” The simplest binder is water, but the company creating the ink decides what else to put in the ink to create it’s many properties- such as how long it stays wet, how flexible it is, how opaque it is, and whether or not you need to heat set it. Most pigment inks need to be heat set on polymer clay so they won’t smear. That makes using them with clay very convenient, since you have to bake it anyway!

You can use pigment inks on top of uncured clay, you can mix it in to change the color of the clay, you can partially mix it in- which creates a marbled effect, you can use a stamp to make an image, you can use the stamp pad, your finger, or a brush to put ink exactly where you want it. You can put it on the raised areas of a design, or you can paint it into the cracks of a textured design. You can even use it as a mold release instead of water or cornstarch. You can stamp onto a baked piece of clay if you want to see the stamped image clearly. You can brush or smear it onto baked clay to create antiqued effects or to highlight a portion of a design. Pigment ink is so versatile with polymer clay you will never run out of ways to use it. Be sure to come back and watch Polymer Clay TV next week, when we will demonstrate everything we discussed in our podcast.

Special thanks to Tsukineko- they sent us a box of goodies to try out and we selected DewDrop inks in metallic and pearlescent colors to feature in this episode, and also in Polymer Clay Classroom- our downloadable full length project tutorial where you can watch, learn, and create along with us as we make two different light switch covers using polymer clay and DewDrop inkpads.

Next weekend, Ilysa and I will be at the CHA conference in Chicago. We are very excited to announce a couple of things- we are going to take a little class with Donna Dewberry- she is introducing a new clay, called Sculpey Studio. There has been a lot of controversy about this, because Donna D. is best known for starting the One-Stroke painting craze, and she is not known for working with clay, at all. The established claying community is full of wonderful talented artists who have been working with polymer clay for many years, so there has been a lot of buzz about this. We hope to talk to Donna and we will definately take the class and tell you all about the new clay. We have also been invited by Amaco to cover a reception they are having, and we have confirmation from several polymer clay artists for interviews. So we will be coming back with lots of extras for our listeners and viewers!

I’m publishing early tonight- Harry Potter 5 is calling and I must answer the call! I will never grow up…

Polymer Clay Podcast Episode #4- how to work with powdered pigments including metallics and mica

Click right here, below this line, to play the podcast. Or you can choose the link on the sidebar to download it in itunes or your other favorite podcast aggregators.

So, you’ve seen powdered pigments at the craft stores, packaged under names like Perfect Pearls and Pearl-ex, and even online manufacturers of beads and scrapbooking supplies have gotten into the idea of selling pigments. What are they and how do you use them? That’s what we are talking about today, and will be showing next week in our videocast. You must come back next Friday to watch the show, because that’s how you will really understand what we are talking about.

Pigments have been used since art was born. Cave dwellers used natural materials such as plant parts and iron ores to leave marks on cave walls…now kids have the same idea when they use manufactured chalks on the sidewalk. A powdered pigment is by nature, dry. You can try anything with polymer clay- eye makeup, shavings from pastels, fine glitters…but you will really want to try using finely ground powdered pigments made especially for the task. We have our own line, and in the future you will see many more carefully crafted colors.

Here’s the book we talked about today, The Polymer Clay Techniques Book. An excellent source of info, especially for newbies, and it has so many techniques even old-timers will find something to spark their creativity.

Powdered pigments work great with clay because the clay is tacky before baking, and anything (everything!!! Including lint and cat hair!!!) will stick to it easily. So for this technique, you will be exploiting the tacky nature of the clay. Powdered pigments go a long way. You do not need a lot to cover a piece, in fact when you get really excited and work with it a lot, you will probably lose/waste as much as you put onto the clay. Don’t use it on a windy day…it will blow away. In fact, don’t sneeze in it’s presence- same result. You can apply it with your fingers or a brush. Ilysa likes to use her fingers, Kira has a special soft brush that was actually made for watercolor painting. You can use one color, or a few, on the same piece. As long as you have bare clay showing, you can get pigment stuck to it.

Here’s a starter list of ways to use powdered pigments:
• highlight the raised areas on a textured piece of clay
• use it on a stamp as a mold release
• mix it into translucent clay to add tint and sparkle
• mix it into liquid clay to add color
• mix it into your sealer as a final splash of color and sparkle
• coat your clay, stamp into it, bake, and then sand off the high parts- see the pigment stuck in the cracks?

You will invent your own ways of using powdered pigments, why not come over to the forum or post on our flickr group to show them off?

Don’t forget to check out the Caning Competitions and Swaps that we talked about- at MaryLExhibit.

Next week we will show you all this and more on Polymer Clay TV…and we are also releasing our second Downloadable tutorial video. This one shows us making mini books using textured clay covers with pigment powders and papers by Basic Grey. They were kind enough to sponsor the show and sent us a selection of papers and fibers to play with. Their paper is so fun we had a really hard time deciding which ones to use! But we have created three fun kits for you, if you purchase the kit you can follow right along with the video to make your own book.

Visit BasicGrey to check out their fabulous line of papers!

Remember to sign up for the newsletter this week! We will be releasing our first one shortly, and also announcing the winner of this month’s contest. All newsletter subscribers are automatically entered. This month you could win one of our kits!

Polymer Clay Podcast Episode 2 – How to work with rubber stamps, texture sheets and other texture tools

Click the links right here to play the podcast on your computer, or go to the sidebar where you can get our podcast from the podcatcher of your choice, or itunes.


Welcome to Episode 2 of Polymer Clay Podcast! We hope you enjoy listening all about how to add texture to your clay pieces using rubber stamps and texture sheets. Make sure to visit us next week when we do a video demonstration of everything we talked about.

Some key points when using stamps- you need to test the compatibility of your clay and your texturing tool of choice. Sometimes the clay will stick and if it does, you will need what’s called a release agent. That’s a fancy way of saying something needs to help the clay not stick. You can try cornstarch baby powder, because it will wash off the baked clay with water. You can also try spritzing the stamp with water before applying the clay. Also try putting the stamp onto the clay and refrigerating the whole thing for a few minutes to firm up the clay, then peel the stamp off (gently!) Another success we’ve had is actually using the powdered pigments that you want as part of the surface design as a release- just powder up your clay before impressing the stamp and the powder gets between the stamp and the clay and helps it peel off easily. One more thing- try putting your stamp and your clay right into the oven. Only try this with unmounted sheet rubber stamps. The 275 F heat won’t hurt the stamp, and this way you can let the whole thing cool down before removing the stamp and there will be less chances for your design to get smushed in the unpeeling process. DO NOT try this with sheet plastic texture sheets or clear “rubber” stamps. Any clear plastic item can not withstand the heat and it will melt, curl, or catch on fire. This tip goes for those of you who want to make clay covered pens- never use the clear kind.

What kind of stamp or texture sheets should you use? You need to find ones that are deeply impressed. That means that the stamp is actually deep, so it will make a good mark in the clay. Try buying unmounted rubber stamps- they are nice and flexible so you can have more control. Plastic texture sheets for embossing paper work well, as do the clear ones by Scratchart that we will be featuring in next week’s video. We love these because they are big, so your design can cover a larger space. They also allow you to get two designs for the price of one- an “inny” and an “outy!” Ok, I’m just being silly- what I mean is, one side impresses the design into the clay, and the other side causes a raised design to be left on the surface of the clay.

While you are working with stamps and texture sheets, you will need to develop the skill to create a good impression. Ilysa puts her clay on her work surface and pushes the texture into the clay, sometimes using her acrylic roller to assist. I, on the other hand, usually put my texture tool down on the table and push my clay into it with my fingers. Practice makes perfect and the great thing about polymer clay is that you can just mush-up your mess-up and try it again. Next week when you watch the video you’ll get to see both techniques in action.

Here are some links to the things we talked about today, enjoy!

Nature patterns


Meet your Hosts, Ilysa Bierer and Kira Slye in Episode #0 of Polymer Clay Podcast

GET PODCAST HERE: click the links right here to play now on your computer.


In this episode, Ilysa Bierer and Kira Slye discuss how they met on, through the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of also known as PCAGOE. Both hosts live in Florida, Ilysa in North Florida and Kira in South Florida. They meet to film their videocast and use the internet to record their podcast about the popular art and craft medium of polymer clay. This includes the oven bake clays you can find at craft stores under the brand names Fimo, Premo, Sculpey and Sculpey III, as well as Cernit (another German brand) and Kato Polyclay. Listen to hear all about their upcoming plans for tutorials, webisodes (videocasts), podcasts, products and book and product reviews.

Make sure to tune in on Firday June 1 right here, when Episode 1 is released. You can also browse the shop and talk in the forum and read much more about your Hosts and polymer clay in general here at Polymer Clay Productions.