IMO… Not all Polymer Clay Beads Are Meant To Be Perfect

Ghost Cane Polymer Clay Bead

What’s Your Opinion? Let Me Know Below:

Looking over some archived photos, I came across this close-up of a ghost cane bead that I had used in a chunky handmade jewelry bracelet, which also included some unique flower petal beads.

What I wanted to show about this bead in particular, is how it is NOT perfectly round. Also, the size if the bead does not exactly match all of the other beads in the bracelet. This is because they were all lovingly created by hand. Each one has a unique organic feel that makes them truly one-of-a-kind.

This handmade aspect is why I rarely use a bead roller. Beads that come from those bead rolling devices end up looking too perfect for most of my jewelry making projects.

I think some imperfection adds appeal to handmade polymer clay beads, as compared to commercially manufactured beads.

When you include handmade beads in your jewelry projects, especially if you make them yourself, you are saying to your customers that each piece is unique. A part of you. A true piece of art.

Imperfection… what could be more perfect than that? Do you agree? Or perhaps you have a different opinion.

You should realize by now that it’s OK to (nicely) disagree here at my blog. Every one has their own opinion and I’m happy to hear yours. Since we can’t all chat with each other in person, it’s fun to at least be able to yak back and forth in the comments section below.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Maureen, 20 July, 2009

    I love the handmade look. It’s how most of my jewelry looks, whether I wanted it to or not! But it is always unique and I end up liking it. Can I make a suggestion Cindy? I realize you do close-ups of the bead you are talking about, so we can get a good look at what you are saying, but could you also post a second picture of the finished piece that the bead is on? Every time I see a PC bead that you made and I can see it is part of a piece of jewelry, I am always hungering to see the finished piece. I’d say some of the other readers woud like that also. Thanks!

  2. Ken H., 20 July, 2009

    I can’t disagree with what you’ve said, but… in defense of the bead rollers there are a few shapes that you just can’t get by hand, like the 3in1 round bead in I believe set 3 from AMACO or the one that looks like a bi-cone but has a grove in the middle around it’s circumference. I’ve not achieved the talent yet to roll round beads in my hands, and I would think that as you get smaller they get harder to roll, which is why I just ordered the roller that makes the 5 different sizes of round beads ( 4,5,6,7,8 MM). Some designs do look better with a little uniformity, and trust me as being a devote of the amaco bead rollers that they don’t all look alike as if a machine, there are little oddities in them, you see them after you’ve rolled a few. I am looking forward to finishing the back videos with the 30+ part set and aquiring the secrets of rolling round beads by hand, but i’ll still use my rollers even after.

  3. Kim C., 20 July, 2009

    I think it’s perfectly OK not to have perfect beads. I do both ways depending on the project.

  4. Cindy Graveline, 20 July, 2009

    I have a bead roller but I used it only once or twice. I rather roll the beads by hands.

  5. nancy reddick, 20 July, 2009

    I do both, to be honest,it depends actually if I am lazy that day or not. If I have the bead roller handy, then I use it, but if I have to go and retrieve it then, I will probably roll by hand. I like the smoothness of the bead roller with various beads, but even then I don’t think you always get a perfect bead. To many variables to change the look of the bead. I really like the bead that you have shown for your idea.

  6. Jocelyn, 20 July, 2009

    Cindy this reminds me so much of the sliding knot bead I made for my Doctor to adjust his camera equipment. The color and patterns are almost identical.

    My bead was bigger and a bit more oblong. Here’s the link to the “sliding knot” tut:

    Couple more examples out there if you google it. Got my instructions originally from the Boy Scout Manual.

  7. Cindy Lietz, 20 July, 2009

    Hi all – I wanted to pop in real quick to address Maureen’s comment at the top of this thread.

    @Maureen: “…hungering to see the finished piece.” I love your enthusiasm! Whenever there are pics available of the finished jewelry items, I do make sure to provide a link to them. If you did not know, the underlined words in the body of the articles are “hot-links” which usually lead to other relevant photos.

    For example, the “handmade jewelry” link in the article above takes you to a photo of the finished bracelet you are “hungering” to see. And the “flower petal Beads” link takes you to a video of it [smiles].

    I’d also like to say, you bring up an excellent point about having more photos of finished pieces. And that is one of the main reasons I am now publishing the new “Spotlight Feature” articles. Have a look at this recent one with a mini gallery of pictures submitted be Arlene Harrison: Hammered Copper Wire Hookmark

    I really want you guys to be sending in your photos, descriptions and stories of the jewelry pieces you’re making with the beads and techniques being taught here at the blog, and in the Polymer Clay Library.

    Sharing your jewelry photos will show a broad range of styles and ideas that will be an inspiration for everyone, at all skill levels.


    Sorry for that little interruption guys. Please carry on with bead roller comments / opinions (and sliding knot ideas). I’m lov’n it.

  8. aims, 20 July, 2009

    The whole look of ‘handmade beads’ is what attracted me to polymer clay in the first place. For me it is the same with yarn – sure I can buy perfectly spun yarn but I prefer to spin my own when I can because of the ‘look’. I appreciate hand made over machine made. I know the value of the time put into the work and the mind behind the whole thing.

    I like seeing imperfections. Then I know it is truly hand made by a person – not a machine. In this day and age that means so much more to me.

    (btw Cindy – you can come rafting with us anytime!)

  9. Ken H., 20 July, 2009

    @ aims

    I agree, but it depends on what you’re trying to accomplish, if you’re making something that has a more formal/classical look, then I feel the ease of making almost spherical beads and lots of them is more important, but on the flipside if your going for a more casual feel then by all means hand roll the beads. and on my previous post, I meant, finish my collection of videos with the 30+ video course. (sometimes the brain goes faster than the fingers type)

  10. Arlene Harrison, 20 July, 2009

    I agree with Ken. I LOVE my bead rollers. I like having uniformity in some things. Then on other things, I use the bead roller to start with, then do my own thing with it. I rolled some Jupiter Beads (from old cane scraps) this past weekend and they were the first beads I actually rolled in my hands that I liked. But I rolled them round, then threaded them on a tiny knitting needle, flattened and sort of squared them. They look really organic. But I plan to use each one with accent beads on the copper hookmarks that I made this weekend too. Got to get them put together so I can list them in my Etsy shop. Ken, you will love that bead roller with all the different sizes.

  11. Silverleaf, 20 July, 2009

    I do like my bead roller, especially for oval beads. That said, I almost always roll round ones by hand.

    I like the way I can make swirly patterns on oval beads in the roller, which my hands just won’t do!

    I think the reason why I do round ones by hand is that for some reason my roller doesn’t make them perfect. I can get better results with my hands.

  12. Adrienne lindsey, 20 July, 2009

    You know Cindy I have to say for myself, it depends on what I am making as to whether I want the beads to look perfect or to show imperfections. Either way, they all look good to me> :-)

  13. Polyanya, 20 July, 2009

    I like to see handmade jewellery and am even turning my nose up at all the machine pressed findings – but I’d love to be able to roll the big oval beads by hand and make the swirls like Silverleaf mentioned. Having just bought a dremel (sigh) I really can’t spend anymore for the time being.

  14. cara letho, 20 July, 2009

    I bought the bead rollers- several of them and no matter how I try , I cannot get the right amount of clay to make the bead. Ken, I have the same bead roller as well, but mine always gets smashed from too much or too little clay. It’s quite frustrating- i think i am measurement impaired. Also I get confused because all equipment is in imperial measurements and in Australia we use metric. I would love to know how in tutorials you get just the right amount of clay. I love the look of freeform beads, but a few perfect ones mixed in would be good also. The tri roller also has bicone and triple beads which look interesting.

  15. Maureen, 20 July, 2009

    Ah! I had seen that finished bracelet but did not realize it was the same bead you posted about today until I just looked closer at it. The color looked different in the 2 pics so I didn’t catch that it was the same bead. Now I see why you post the closeup of the bead. The detail did not show up as good in the finished piece pic. Thanks!

  16. Silverleaf, 20 July, 2009

    @cara My bead roller came with a little measuring device. Looks kind of like a little top hat with the top cut off. You roll a log of clay that will fit into it, and use a blade to trim the clay, so the “hat” is full of clay but none is sticking out. Then push out that clay (I use the end of a pencil), and it’s exactly the right size for the roller.

    I’m pretty sure I didn’t explain that very well. ;)

  17. cara letho, 20 July, 2009

    thank you for that- i must see if i have that device in my sets of rollers- it would make it a whole lot easier

  18. Chris, 20 July, 2009

    I never got the hang of the bead rollers either. I just roll/shape everything by hand.

  19. Ken H., 20 July, 2009

    I think that little “top hat” thingie only came in the tri-bead roller, I don’t think it is in any others but most of the others have pin paths designed into the roller to make piercing the bead easier which the tri-bead does not. Like any tool though it takes time to master, the tri-bead was one of the first tools I brought, even before I discovered Cindy’s blog, so I’ve been using it the longest of anything, that and the large oval bead.

  20. Ken H., 20 July, 2009

    @ Cara

    sorry that we’re still backwards here in the states and haven’t joined the rest of the world (we’re a stubborn lot), but there are sites on the web that can do conversions for you. I just recently discovered that the round in the tri-bead roller is an 11mm round. So when my new roller comes from Amaco I’ll have rollers for a 4,5,6,7,8,9,& 11mm round, oh what a graduated necklace I can design with them. :)

  21. Arlene Harrison, 20 July, 2009

    Cara asked how to get the right amount of clay. Here’s how I do it. I have a short piece of pipe that I got in one of those bags of miscellaneous pipe pieces. It’s about 1/2 inch across but the measurement is not really that important. It’s just what I use for a consistent measurement. I always run my clay through on the thickest setting of my pasta machine. Then I cut out a dozen or so circles with my little piece of pipe. I know that with my tri-bead roller (that’s the one that gets the most use in my studio!) the correct measurement is two and a half circles of clay. If for some reason it doesn’t work right, I adjust slightly up or down. Once I know what my measurement is, I cut as many circles as I need for that set of beads and go to rolling. I know that it takes five circles to make the second size round bead in the multi round set. The main thing is to pick one cutter to use for your beads and figure out how many whole circle/pieces are needed for each size. You may have to adjust slightly, but you’ve got a good starting point.

  22. cara letho, 21 July, 2009

    thank you to all who addressed my measurement dilemma- i am grateful for your help and will use all advice given- cheers-cara

  23. Freda, 21 July, 2009

    I’m so glad to read about round beads not being perfect. I see so many that are perfectly round and I can’t get mine that way. Even when I use the bead roller, by the time I poke a hole in it, it isn’t perfectly round. I love the bead roller and do about the same as Arlene. Didn’t know there was a multiple size roller. Will have to look into that. I always like having different sizes in a piece.

  24. Ken H., 21 July, 2009

    @ Freda

    If you drill your rounds after they’re baked, it removes any chance of them being mishaped by piercing (although it is difficult to get the hole correctly straight through the axis of the bead)

  25. nancy reddick, 22 July, 2009

    I have not seen the different size bead rollers either. I have never had any luck drilling holes after the bead is cured. Mine always seem to fall apart or chip, ruining the bead. Is there a trick to drilling? I was putting my hole in from one direction causing distortion, but after seeing Cindy come from both sides, this has helped.My problem is just remembering to come from both sides

  26. Arlene Harrison, 22 July, 2009

    I use the smallest knitting needle that I have — it’s smaller than my needle tool and just the tiniest bit bigger than the piercing pins that come with the bead roller. I roll my beads in the roller, then sit them to the side for a while. When they’ve had time to “rest” and firm up, I use that tiny knitting needle to piece top to bottom lining it up as best I can by eye with the bead sitting on my ceramic tile work surface. I then flip it over and repierce from the bottom to the top. This way I avoid those little sticky-outy things that you get when you only pierce one way. When I get off center or mess up, I just re-roll the bead. But once you’ve done enough of them, you just get a “feel” for it. I rarely have to redo a bead these days.

    I bake on a relatively small knitting needle and have four sizes of small clay covered drill bits that I use to make the holes larger when I need to. A picture of what I’m talking about can be seen at

    I make ID badge reels and hang them on 2mm silk cord so I have to go larger for some of my beads but I don’t want them all with big holes because I use some of the beads for other stuff – like earrings or bracelets. So by baking them on the small knitting needle, I have a hole already established for the drill bit to follow. I can go progressively larger without damaging my beads.

  27. nancy reddick, 22 July, 2009

    Thanks Arlene for the tips, I love the drills and their handles, I guess I am going to have to rob my sweetie’s tool box… heheheh. I also like the type of bead cap for the end of your necklace.

  28. Ken H., 23 July, 2009

    @ Nancy Reddick

    I use a dremel type tool,I set the bead on my drilling surface line up the drill as straight as I can, turn on the drill and sort of let the weight of the tool do the drilling into the bead, my hand on the tool is there to guide it, not add any extra push to the drill, and the other hand just holds the bead.

  29. Claycass, 24 July, 2009

    My summer goal is to push my polymer clay skills. A few months ago I saw a large bead in the shape of a sea urchin. I have some shells from the beach, and now I am trying to figure it out. I tried making a mold of the shell but I can not take the clay of the mold without distroying the design. Do you have any suggestions?

  30. Ken H., 24 July, 2009

    @ Claycass

    With the chance of asking a stupid question, did you use a mold release like spritzing with water or dusting with corn starch?

  31. Laurel, 24 July, 2009

    I had only used the bead rollers until recently. I measure my clay the same way as Arlene but I use a poly cut out thing. You can use most anything and experiment and you will figure out how much you need to leave or take off for any certain bead size.

    On some beads, I use the bead roller to get a uniform core bead and then add my cane bits and then roll by hand. When cutting bits and adding to core beads I think it almost impossible to cut every slice exactly the same so then when you hand roll it at the end, it is going to vary somewhat in size but be close.

    As far as making holes, for the most part I like big ‘ole holes. :) I use a fat straight needle and then hang them on the needle things that came with my baking rack. If I want smaller holes, I just put the backing rack needles through them.

    I used to think every bead had to be perfect and I was always disappointed. I agree with Cindy now though, the “less then perfect” ones look great and it is really all in the finishing of the final piece. You can have great bead but if you do a poor job of finishing your string or your wire wrap, the piece will look bad. On the other hand, do great finish work and the little inconsistencies of bead size or shape just add to the charm and individuality of the piece.

  32. Sue Werner, 24 July, 2009

    Thank you so much for giving us your link for the sliding knot. A friend requested I make a necklace like this for her, and I couldn’t find out how to make it! (It’s great when people share their techniques like this)

  33. Claycass, 24 July, 2009

    @ Ken H. I didn’t use a release agent. I used a two part mold compound. Magic Mold? I don’t have the label anymore. The shell came out of the mold because it was flexable. Because the impression is inside the mold how do I make the bead. If I am successful I would have a hollow urchin bead.

  34. Ken H., 26 July, 2009

    Sorry, the only two part (or more) molds I’ve ever used were for ceramics (pour the liquid clay in) when you emptied the mold you usually had some sort of opening in the bottom that you could gain access to the inside. I’ve no ideas for you with this. I thought you were having trouble getting it out of the mold.

  35. Cindy Lietz, 26 July, 2009

    Thank you to everyone who has been sharing their comments and tips. This is just excellent! A special thanks to Ken for trying to help out so many others. Your help is very much appreciated!

    @Claycass: By two part mold compound, you mean taking compound A and mixing it with compound B then using that mixture to make a mold, right? Is it a silicone based molding product that can handle going into the oven? Cause if it is, you could form your bead inside your mold, bake it and pull your hardened bead out of the mold. Let me know what kind of mold material you are working with and we’ll see what it can do.

  36. Claycass, 26 July, 2009

    Cindy – yes it is a two part silicone based molding product. Because I am trying to duplicate a round shape that has a distinct texture on the outside – it poses a unique dilemma. Thanks, everyone has been helpful.

  37. Claycass, 26 July, 2009

    I think I am going to settle for half of the urchin as a bead. I can make a half mold similar to this necklace.

  38. Jocelyn, 30 July, 2009

    Sue, you are welcome. These proved pretty popular with his family and birding club too. Was able to find some nice leather strapping to use over at on sale a few years ago and still have some left. Held up with the cameras for lots of years now, whew.

    Claycass, I love sea urchins and have quite the collection from beach combing. A couple of folks have tackled this over at etsy, and some of the linked sites offer wonderful tuts, etc. Here’s a link to the work:

    Hope this helps. They are so fragile when I get them, I only use them on display boards.

  39. Claycass, 30 July, 2009

    @ Jocelyn – thanks, I stubbed on a tut on and I have learned the errors of my way. LOL! Now I have to try what I have learned.

  40. Jackie Mello, 06 August, 2009

    I love the handmade look as well, but I also use a roller somtimes. There are certain “looks” that I feel need a uniform bead shape/size to pull off. Oddly enough, I never make round beads with my roller – only oval or bicone. I always prefer to do round beads by hand. One of the big reasons I got into polymer clay is the tactile aspect of the medium – rolling and shaping by hand is always cathartic and for me is usually the way to go.

  41. Melanie, 09 August, 2009

    Hi! Does Ken H. have any tips or tricks for working with hole-less 4 mm beads?

    I would like to buff them out and make them shiney (hopefully without gloss) but it seems that most of the tools are meant for larger scale beads. It’s been a little difficult for me to find the right advice for me!

    I’m also having problems making round beads with the set 8 roller. The measurement is always off, either too much or too little!

  42. Jocelyn, 09 August, 2009

    Ken’s one of the experts so I am eagerly waiting for his response. Arlene also has good information and instruction on drilling at her blog, click on her link above.

    For the really fine micro drill bits, the tiny vises that hold them securely, and all that other good stuff, check out Fabulous tools and products for the miniaturist, train enthusiast, and micro workers. Of course, us too! LOL!

  43. Melanie, 09 August, 2009

    I found some articles on rock tumbling. I think this is the best option so far.. But I would still like to hear some tips from Ken. :-)

  44. Claycass, 09 August, 2009

    Melanie do you want to share.

  45. Melanie, 10 August, 2009

    The articles were on this site. :-) I put in “Rock Tumbler” in the search and a few articles came up..

  46. Ken H., 10 August, 2009

    I don’t quite know what you need. Ideas for drilling? sanding and polishing. If it’s drilling I don’t have an answer yet, I put the dremel bit into my finger when trying to drill the 4 & 5mm beads. On sanding I would use a tumbler, I have one but I’ve been so busy trying to get this jade information together (I feel I’m cursed on this project my digital camera is dying and I have to go back to film and then get the images directly to CD from the processer).

    On the matter of the rollers, I had an A HA moment, I thought I’d go back and red the directions again, and it finally clicked what they were saying, (Now this is for the Amaco set 8-4,5,6,7 & 8mm beads not sure if this is how it works for the others).

    1. roll a snake of clay
    2. take the snake and press it into the groove for the size bead your making. (make sure it’s level with the groove, its hard to explain you’ll feel it)
    3. take the clay out of the groove.
    4. Look at the acutal roller, on the side there are raised ruler marks press these marks into the “snake of clay.
    5. on the paper insert with the directions there is a picture(s) of the beads that each set rolls, with each picture is the MM size and another measurement. Cut this amount of clay off the snake you pushed into the groove, this should be fairly close to what you need for the given bead. If not just trim a litte off of one side and reroll. You’ll start to recognize when you have the right amount after a few beads.

  47. Cindy Lietz, 10 August, 2009

    Hi guys! Just so you know, there are tons of articles here on this blog for sanding, drilling and finishing. There are even videos and articles on using bead rollers.

    Pretty much ever topic on making polymer clay beads have been covered at least once. If there is anything missing let me know and I’ll add info on it.

    To find what you need on this site, you need to either use the Tags at the side of the page, the Search Box at the top of the page or click on the Home button at the top so you can scroll through post titles and pictures.

    In most cases you will not need to go anywhere else on the web. There are over 530 Blog articles and 6531 comments with lots of polymer clay bead information for you.

    If you need info on piercing beads, click the link by my name to take you directly to an article that will be helpful. At the end of that post is a link to another bead drilling article.

    Hope that helps everyone. Thank you all so much for the excellent comments. You guys are making this site a fabulous resource!

  48. Ken H., 10 August, 2009

    Sorry I couldn’t help more. I still like drilling the beads after baking than peircing them before, but on some beads it’s just easier to use the pin path on the roller, like the large oval bead. I’ve not gotten the nack yet for using the peircing pins for the 4 & 5mm beads (thus my sore thumb from the little drill bit, I may try those little rubber finger tips, might be able to hold the bead better). The 6mm & up I can hold while I use the dremel, and my tumbler is sitting on the counter calling me to play. I looked at the “grits” that came with the tumbler and eventually am going to try to use simillar grits to hopefully sand and polish the beads.

  49. Ken H., 10 August, 2009


    And if that doesn’t work, I’ll try the rice that someone suggested.

  50. Melanie, 10 August, 2009

    I found a solution to measuring out clay more precisely for the 4 mm. Following the directions that came with the bead rollers wasn’t working for me. When I pulled the clay out of the groove, it would stretch and break, completely throwing off measurements.

    So what I did (before my clay machine broke), was make really thin sheets of each color I wanted to use. My goal is to use three but I used two, black and green. Then I took a straw and punched out little holes. I had to try out different thicknesses to get a more precise measurement. But this seems to work for me.. plus I can have more control on patterns on such a small scale. I had to use no more than 4 straw circles to make one 4 mm bead. If that makes any sense.

    Another question on the bead roller, do you get little swirls on polar opposites of the bead? It seems as though the edges don’t close completely and clay just keeps sneaking in there and gets all spirally.

    Would using a tumbler sand these spirals down or just emphasize them?

  51. Ken H, 10 August, 2009

    Melanie @

    What kind of straw? Drinking, or the little coffee stirrers (ones i’m thinking of are red) or something else

  52. Ken H, 10 August, 2009

    The only 4mm I’ve tried is with some scraps of my jade clay, so they’re one color, no swirls, nothing, they’re just VERY tiny spheres that are right now, impossible to drill a hole through.

  53. Melanie, 10 August, 2009

    A drinking straw. I bought an entire pack for a dollar at Wal-mart.

    I have yet to come out with a perfect sphere. I think my roller is defective. The profile of the 4 mm section looks more like a bowl with a flat bottom rather than half a circle.

  54. Ken H., 11 August, 2009

    Melanie @

    Try this, use the clay snake to make an impressions of all the grooves, compare them together, and if it is as you say defective bake the evidence, ask AMACO to replace it, if they refuse send them samples of the evidence as proof.

  55. Melanie, 11 August, 2009

    Good idea. They seem to be responsive to me. I sent them a somewhat aggressive complaint about their pasta roller and they seem to be handling my complaints quite well. :-)

    Did you see my statement about little swirls on polar opposites of the 4 mm bead? Do you get the same thing?

  56. Cindy Lietz, 11 August, 2009

    Melanie, those little sticking out swirls usually happen when there is too much clay in the roller and the clay squishes out the ends. Also if you have a roller with the raised edge on one half that goes into the notch on the other half, check to make sure that raised edge is pushed all the way in so the two halves are meeting properly. If there is any gap between the two halves, clay can sneak out of there too.

  57. Ken H., 11 August, 2009

    Melanie @

    No I don’t,but like Cindy said about the long tab on the one side, give it a good press to see if it’s seated all the way down. I check this part on all my rollers before I use them just in case they’ve worked loose a little bit. The first roller I brought I had to insert this part myself, all the other ones seem to have had this part assembled already and sometimes it wasn’t in very well.

  58. Ken H., 11 August, 2009

    Melanie @

    Oh also, sometimes if there is too much clay the bead won’t come together into any shape at all., I’ve had that happen.

  59. kaite, 18 August, 2009

    i love your site. i go on it so much for clay tips and ideas.

  60. Cindy Lietz, 18 August, 2009

    @Ken: Great tips!

    @kaite: Hi! Thank you so much for leaving a comment. It is really nice to have you here! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. :-)

  61. jocelyn, 18 August, 2009

    Melanie, thank you so much for asking that question about the bead maker. This spiraling happened to me, and just put it away thinking production bead making was not in my future, lol. Thanks to the great advice here, I think I see the problem, and am going to dig mine out and try again.

    Cindy, one more reason why your site is invaluable to folks that work with polymer clay….the feedback and great advice.

    So appreciated.

  62. Cheryl Hodges, 09 April, 2010

    I want to make some large oval beads. I have the Amaco roller for smaller sizes but would like to be able to make large beads and roll them by hand.

  63. Cindy Lietz, 13 April, 2010

    Hi Cheryl – Just wanted to let you know there is an active discussion happening in another thread that will provide you with some helpful info about how to use the Amaco rollers. The link by my name will take you there. If you have additional follow up questions, it would be good to post them over at the other thread, since there are currently a lot of members watching and participating in that newer thread.

  64. Cassie C, 16 July, 2011

    Hi. I revived this old thread because of it’s title. Also because of the amazing information it contains.
    But the title interested me most because I work with this concept every day. I have worked with special needs kids for the last 30 years.
    Many of these kiddos are quite physically challenged. My job is to help make things easier, get them stronger etc.. I frequently use polyclay as part of their therapy.
    One of the hardest parts of recovery for these children is the need to make everything look “perfect”. They have 1 picture in their mind, but their body creates something else. It can be very hard for them. In this age of perfection, where everything is smooth and symmetrical, it can be so challenging for them to accept and love what they have created.
    And believe me, what they have made is AWESOME! Because their bodies and minds are learning to work differently, more efficiently. And because this little bead that they have make is a part of that child.
    Beauty and art is truly in the eyes, and hands of the beholder. Cassie

  65. Jocelyn, 16 July, 2011

    @Cassie C: Bless you Cassie for your long and dedicated work with a population desperately in need of the “feel good” that they get when they create something themselves.

    My Mom was a smoker for part of my childhood, and boy do I remember some of the “ashtrays” we made her, too funny.

    Gifted children often have “running mind” syndrome, and need to quiet and chill, and found polymer clay to be a wonderful relaxant with them. Those challenged with non verbal disorders also need the ability to create, as it gives them a way to express their feelings.

  66. Cassie C, 16 July, 2011

    Thanks for your kind words Jocelyn. I bet your mother loved those ashtrays!! Polymer clay does seem to offer something to a large variety of people.

  67. Jocelyn, 16 July, 2011

    @Cassie C: Probably because it’s a multi-sensory experience.

  68. Cassie C, 16 July, 2011

    @Jocelyn. lol, multisensory? That sounds familiar. Are you an Occupational Therapist too?
    That is very true. It’s also possible to tailor it to most levels. So almost anybody can do something successful in polycaly.
    And it’s so much fun.

  69. Jocelyn, 17 July, 2011

    @Cassie C: “Outed” LOL! Trained to be a speech pathologist and worked with the 0-14 year population in a private school for severe to profoundly communicatively challenged kids. I was fearless with crafts…..spilling was allowed.

  70. Cassie C, 17 July, 2011

    @Jocelyn. LOL!!! You can run but you can’t hide from life as a therapist. I love Speech Therapists, especially the ones who use crafts.

  71. Jocelyn, 17 July, 2011

    Sometimes, especially with the hearing impaired kids, they learned more actual language and tense when engaged thoroughly in an activity they enjoyed.

  72. Cassie C, 17 July, 2011

    @Jocelyn. I don’t doubt that at all. Brains are amazing. with the right input incredible things can happen.

  73. Cindy Lietz, 18 July, 2011

    Cassie and Joceyln: I just wanted to let you both know how much I appreciate your comments here.

    Creating art of any kind, has such therapeutic value, that many people just do not understand. There is something about being able to create something for the sheer pleasure of it, that makes us different than the other animals in the kingdom.

    The PROCESS of creating is the real thing of beauty rather than the THING created. You guys clearly understand that. It is a great thing for the world, that you are/were able to share that with others as Therapists!

  74. Jocelyn, 21 July, 2011

    Amen Cindy. Now home disabled, polymer clay is the joy in my day. As are you, your family, and all the wonderful folks here.

  75. Cassie C, 22 July, 2011

    Hi Jocelyn. I’m so glad you have polyclay in your life. It is pure joy. From my end, I feel like the more I learn, the less I know. But it sure is fun.

Copyright © Polymer Clay Tutor Bead and Jewelry Making Tutorials