And… Who Do You Turn To When Questions Come Up?
I love spending time immersed in the pages of all kinds of beads, beading and jewelry magazines or books. They are great for inspiration and for keeping up to date with current events and new product information.
However, I have also seen many beginners and even intermediate clayers, experience frustration after trying to learn new techniques from written tutorials in magazines and books. The problem is that important steps are often left out.
For example, one tutorial that I read recently, took the reader from opening a package of package of clay to wearing a finished piece of jewelry, in less than 2 nicely laid out pages of information. Now the project was fine for an experienced clayer. But for a beginner it was disastrous.
Why, you may ask? Every step seemed to be explained well enough. And the overall project didn’t really look all that difficult. So why wouldn’t a beginner have good luck making the project?
Well, let me see. What if one package of your packages of clay is all crumbly and the other is mushy? Is there something wrong with the clay? Or is it something you did… or didn’t do? The instructions said the clay needed to be conditioned. But how do you know how long to condition polymer clay? Is it the same for every brand?
The tutorial said to bake according to the instructions on the clay packaging. But your piece was smoking before the time was up. And the room smelled terrible! Did you put the clay in too long? Was the temperature too hot? Or did it have something to do with that metal pan? Many projects get wrecked because of confusion about the finer points on how to bake polymer clay.
Then there’s the sanding… with all the grits. And polishing with your high speed, table mounted buffing machine. But what if you don’t have one of those? Making the bracelet is starting to look more and more complicated, even though the pictures made it look so easy. Maybe you aren’t as handy as you thought and you should go back to buying beads!
Now don’t get me wrong, its usually not the fault of the person writing the tutorial. They are trying their best to give you the best possible information in the limited space they have available to them. But far too often, they are also trying to teach too much at once. As a result, the step by step plan is not nearly as detailed as it should be for someone just starting out.
The reason I’m writing this, is that if you have ever bought a magazine with the intention of doing a polymer clay project you saw, and then got frustrated by all the mistakes you made, you are not alone! It’s not your fault and there is a solution!
As most of you know by now, my solution to this problem is video. Well thought out, and well produced multimedia tutorials… taught in a way that shows you both what TO do… as well as what NOT to do.
And then just as important is the follow up support that is provided when issues come up along the way.
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