Thursday, August 2, 2007

All the things that can go wrong

I thought this would make an interesting post perhaps someone else can relate to.

There are about 7 steps to making a stamped/embossed polymer pendant.

7 opportunities for something to go wrong.

1. & 2.) Mixing and rolling the clay - lint, dust, unconditioned clay creates unsightly marks and bubbles in an otherwise perfect pendant. Sometimes I don't catch these little pests until I'm varnishing.

3.) Stamping - stamp pad going dry, impartial stamp image, smears and uneven stamping.
I have such a hard time letting go of the messed up pieces I bake them anyway and use the back side for experimenting.

4.) Baking - incomplete baking can leave the clay brittle and easily broken, and of course I burn quite a few because I'm usually doing about 3 things at the same time and forget to set the timer.

5. & 6.) Buffing and drilling - the dremel is a power tool and must be respected. It took a while to learn how to use it, the biggest problem is the drilling of the holes and not pulling out all the way and the pendant being whipped around 100 miles an hour and being launched into your eyeball.

7.) Varnishing - seems easy enough, doesn't it? Well, I think this was a learning process also.
Too little of varnish leaves streaks you can never really fill in and they show up really well in photos. Too much varnish leaves you with a bubbly, gooey mess that shows up from 10 feet away.

I now have 2 - 2 lb bags that I keep under my work desk. They represent hard work and perseverance. A certain fearlessness and ability to move on, away from mistakes and obstacles.
An area I need to work on in my day to day life.


  1. I make mistakes too(don`t we all?). I can be only lucky to have an "undo" possibility by pulling stitched threads out and start again. I rather start over than try to fix and hide occurred mistakes. If I can spot these, anyone can, and I cannot allow myself poor quality.
    I think, making good or even great work, is actually showing respect to yourself (first) and to others (buyers)too.
    Thank You for this issue, I think it is important to make mistakes, to knowledge them and use these as stepping stones.

  2. Oh my goodness!!!! I can relate perfectly to this post!!!!!! Mistakes!!! But, believe it or not, I sell the salvageable things on Ebay as Imperfect Art. It is suprising how many people don't mind "imperfect"!!! Carol in England....enjoying life and art!!!

  3. Yep, I can relate. While I don't do clay, I have seriously screwed up some jewelry...big time. It's good that we can all learn from our mistakes. It's just a shame that some really good materials have to be trashed when we 'learn' like this!


Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my blog, it means a lot to me.