Want To Become Great At Making Polymer Clay Beads and Jewelry?

Trumpet Flower Bead Mistakes

Lessons Learned From Craft Classes Back in the 90’s:

In order for you to really become good at making polymer clay beads, or any other art form for that matter, it is important that you learn skills that can be applied to many projects…. as opposed to just learning how to do individual projects.

Back in the 90’s when I was teaching a variety of continuing education craft classes, my lessons always followed three basic principles:

1) The projects I taught had to be simple enough so that anyone could do them without too much trouble;
2) There was always room for creativity so students could add their own individual style to each piece; and
3) By the end of the class, my goal was to have everyone feeling proud of their accomplishments.

According to the feedback from surveys handed out at the end of each class, students consistently indicated that they gained confidence to be able to continue with the skills they had learned in my classes. They left with a good working knowledge of the medium, and were much more comfortable with being able to deal with mistakes when they happened.

My approach worked very well even when there was a mix of skill levels. Beginners experienced first time successes quickly, and the more advanced were able to run with or build on their own ideas.

The classes were never intimidating. My theory was that if I could do it, you can too. Even the ladies (and husbands) that had been dragged along to the classes (sometimes against their will, LOL) by their more crafty friends or spouses, were thrilled with what they were able to make in a short period of time. It was common to hear them say, “I didn’t think I had a creative bone in my body, but I think this turned out pretty good!” …which of course made me smile with pride.

I am carrying on this teaching style here at the blog and in the video tutorials at the Polymer Clay Library. I truly want all of you to become great bead makers and jewelry designers. My wish is that these lessons inspire you to create beautiful one-of-a-kinds works of art, you can call your own.

What is the sense of me teaching a project where you have to use exactly this color of clay, in this amount, in this precise order so that there are thousands of you making identical beads? Wouldn’t that be pretty boring? Can you imagine what it would be like to sell your beads on Etsy if you were all making the same stuff?

Instead, I want to teach you the reasons why you would choose one color over another. Why the clay behaves the way it does. How to work with it. And how to tweak the projects to your own personal style and taste.

But it isn’t just theory either. I still teach you specific techniques so you come out at the end of the tutorial with something tangible. And along the way, you will also receive tips, tricks and alternate ideas that will help you to add your own personality to your work.

This is your bead making journey and I am your ‘Bead Sherpa’ so to speak. Your guide and your companion along the way.

You can give a Girl (or Guy) a bead… but teach them to make their own beads and you’ll have a beader for life!

If you would like more information about the Members Library, here are some direct links:


Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. aims, 28 May, 2009

    I for one can say I learned a lot from your beginners tutorial. I even had a ‘WoW’ moment during them and a couple of epiphanies as well!

    I’m so glad I have found such a wonderful teacher.

  2. Bonnie Jones, 29 May, 2009

    You are truly gifted when it comes to teaching..and you are so right….basics are so necessary and everyone has the ability to create…everyone!!!!

  3. Cindy Lietz, 01 June, 2009

    @aims: Thank you sweetie! It is a pleasure having the opportunity to share what I know with you. Thanks for all the great comments!

    @Bonnie:Thank you for your kind words! I agree that everyone has it in them to create. Whether they think they do or not!

  4. Chanel Clinton, 04 June, 2009

    Hi Cindy, I had to be on ‘hiatus’ for a while now I am ready to start my journey. Anyway, to know what to expect–will there be in fumes or bad smells from firing the pieces in my kitchen oven?

  5. Cindy Lietz, 08 June, 2009

    Hi Chanel, glad to see you’re back! There won’t be too much fumes if you are using a thermometer and your temp is at 265F – 275F for Premo or Fimo though there is a bit of a smell.

    If you burn it however, there smell is awful and you will need to air out your house. Kato Polyclay (from what I hear, the stuff I ordered hasn’t arrived yet) does have a bit of an strange odor when baking. But it can’t be that bad since so many people swear by using the clay!

    For a great article on baking polymer clay, click the link by my name.

    Let me know if you have any questions. Be patient though, I can get backlogged sometimes, but I will eventually get to you.

  6. Karon C, 15 February, 2011

    Cindy – I wanted to tell you how grateful I am for the hours that you spend with me in the wee hours of the morning when I am watching your tutorials. You need to branch out into more wire work and chain maile as you are a wonderful teacher. I am intrigued by all aspects of jewelry and need to find someone who is as great as you, to teach other things as well. Glass bead making…LOL. Thanks for all your your help! Karon C

Copyright © Polymer Clay Tutor Bead and Jewelry Making Tutorials