Meet Polymer Clay Doll Artist Bonnie Jones

Polymer Clay Doll Artist

Her clay art dolls are absolutely stunning:

Along my journeys through the wild wild web, I often come across interesting things and interesting people. I would like to share one of those interesting people with you today.

Bonnie Jones is a talented polymer clay doll artist who uses mixed medias to create stunning fairies, mermaids, Santas and witches. I came across her in a recent Google search. One of her blog posts talked about a cool stand she was making for her latest fairy witch masterpiece. After leaving a comment asking about the type of clay used for the stand, this is what she emailed back to me:

Hi Cindy:

So glad you liked the stand I am creating for my Fairy Witch. Apoxie Clay can be found at the url I have listed below at Aves Studio. This is a two part clay when mixed together provides you with a clay that has about an hour or so working time and when it is dry it is hard as a rock. I use it to strength my armatures and for my mosaic stands, some people actually sculpt with it. This particular stand has a wooden base with a wire and foil armature; the apoxie was applied to the armature and it is very strong. The moss is string that was dipped into Paverpol and when that dried, I dripped 3-D  crystal lacquer onto the string.

Alot of different mediums were used in this piece. I see you tutor polymer clay; do you have any recommendations for polymer books that show how to sculpt flowers?


Isn’t that cool!? I’m going to have to get me some of that Apoxie clay. When I get a chance to play around with it, I promise to report back here with some more info.

In her email, Bonnie asked for book recommendations about how to sculpt polymer clay flowers. Since I mostly make beads with polymer clay and do very little sculpting… thought I’d a put a call out here. Can anyone help her by providing some good book title suggestions? Use the comments section below to respond. Thanks so much.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor


  1. Bonnie Jones, 24 May, 2008

    Cindy, I am so honored to have a talented artist such as yourself take the time to write about my art dolls. Making the bases for my dolls is as much fun as sculpting the dolls and I am glad I could offer some tips to other artists. There are so many wonderful mediums out there for us all to experiment with; it definitely keeps our art exciting and certainly not boring.
    Thanks again and so glad we met.
    Bonnie Jones

  2. Cindy Lietz, 26 May, 2008

    I’m glad we met too Bonnie! Your work is so beautiful. I love how dainty and pretty your doll’s faces are. When I try to make faces, they always look quite Neandrathol!

    Cindy Lietz’s last blog post..Polymer Clay Finishes – Which One Is Best?

  3. Nycteris, 27 May, 2008

    I’ve been wanting apoxie for a long time. So many people use it to such stunning effect.

  4. Cindy Lietz, 27 May, 2008

    I had never heard of it before but now I want some too, Nycteris! If you do try it, tell us all about it OK?

    Cindy’s last blog post..Polymer Clay Cane Designs Inspired by Dainty Spring Flowers

  5. Pamela Reader, 15 August, 2008

    Ah, good grief . . . more different products to try! Can’t wait. Need to get a second job before my husband has an attack!

  6. Cindy Lietz, 15 August, 2008

    Maybe you’ll be able to start selling some of your beads and jewelry so you won’t need a second job! If you were able to offset the cost a little your husband would be able to relax a little.

    Pst… if your husband is involved a little with the process he might get excited about it too! Get him to invent you a new way of sanding… or if he fishes, get him to learn how to make fishing lures with polymer clay… whatever works to make him happy will make you happy too!

    Cindy Lietz’s last blog post..Fimo Clay, Premo, Sculpey – Which is Best for Cane Making + Sculpting

  7. Hanne, 28 September, 2009

    Bonnie, you have an amazing imagination! Such diversity! Thank you for the inspiration!

  8. John C, 02 June, 2011

    I am using Original Sculpey oven bake clay to try and do life size heads, but the clay gets too heavy and falls apart. I am using an armature, but sections keep falling apart overnight, chin, full front face, etc Is this the wrong clay for this type of sculpting. I am a beginner?


  9. Bonnie Jones, 03 June, 2011

    John, it has been years since I used anything Sculpey to sculpt. But, if I remember right, the Original Sculpey is probably not as strong as Super Sculpey. I would be interested to know what you are using as an armature. When you sculpt something as large as a life size head, you should be sculpting in layers and baking between layers so the layers will bake all the way through. You don’t want unbaked clay in your project or in the future it will eat into the baked clay and you work will fall apart. I am not sure I have helped much, but answer me back and maybe I can give you more tips.

  10. Cindy Lietz, 11 June, 2011

    @Bonnie Jones: Bonnie, how nice to see you pop in again! I’ve missed you! Thank you so much for helping out John like that! Sculpting larger objects like heads and dolls is really your expertise and not mine, so having you come to help like that is a real pleasure for me and a lifesaver for others. So thanks again! What have you been up to lately? Making any beautiful dolls?

  11. John C, 19 June, 2011

    Hi Bonnie & Cindy:

    I have used several armatures, Copper tubing with Paper ball insert, this last time I just used a pipe 10″ high and worked the clay around it, I thought I had the answer then again it fell apart. My feeling is the clay is just so dense and heavy that it does not stick together that well no matter how hard I work it. It may be good for smaller projects with intricate wire armatures but heads I don’t think so!! However, maybe the baking the layers like you mention might also work.


  12. Bonnie Jones, 19 June, 2011

    John: you might try making a head armature from aluminum foil. Look at a picture of a skull and make the indentations in the foil for the eyes, mouth, etc. You can press the foil until it is hard as a rock but light in weight. Smooth it out with your hands and you might try wrapping it with white flora tape which stretches and will stick to the foil. Cover the entire armature with a layer of clay and place your eyes in the sockets and bake. Continue with layers of clay and baking between each layer. You Tube has lots of videos showing how to sculpt a head…which would probably be a big help.

    Have you thought of using Creative paper clay?? It is an air dry clay and you could use it the same as I stated above…it is also very light weight; but, you will have to paint it.

  13. Bonnie Jones, 19 June, 2011

    Hi Cindy:
    Have not visited your site in quite awhile…and I should, because I always learn something.

    Taking life easy and sculpting most of the time. I do it more for my pleasure now rather than worrying about will the public buy what I sculpt, although I still put my figures up for sale. It is in my blood and I am most happy when I am in my studio with good music playiing. I was 75 this past May and my husband and I have been blessed in our retirement. So, I tell everyone, have something you are passionate about when you retire.

    Hope you and your family are well….I must return more often.

  14. Elizabeth K., 24 July, 2011

    Hi Cindy and all,
    well this disscusion on Sculpting is right up my ally so to speak. I havent been here in a while , but am still enjoying the vidoes.
    I love Bonnies work so beautiful.
    A good book for beginners is by Maureen Carlson, “Fairies Gnomes and Trolls”.
    Available at Amazon, I think.
    There are straight forward pics of how toos, including working in aluminium foil as Bonnie says.
    This is the way I do it, plus wire when it is needed.
    I have been doll making for about 8yrs, but am nowhere near the category of Bonnie, but love it just the same.
    I have been to a lot of workshops on this subject, and when we have American Tutors come out to Australia, I have been lucky enough to go to a few. A great person that does the Apoxie Clay
    is Sherry Goshon, and when she was out here about 2006 we all went to her workshops.
    Why I love to be here with Cindy, is because we learn new things all the time, so interesting. As Bonnie says when you retire or any time at all, have something you are passionate about, then there is never enough time in the day, and you always have things in your mind that you are just Gonna do!. At this moment I am quite a bit behind with my Cindy work, as had a holiday in Perth, the other side of Australia in May, came back to 7 weeks of a raging flu that there is is an epidemic of at the moment in our Winter, but am on the right side of it, and well again and will be getting back to speed soon.
    So keep up the good work and , maybe Cindy can find out more to give us her take on sculptures, as I m sure with here great imagination she will. Bye for now
    love to all
    Elizabeth K.

  15. Phaedrakat, 27 July, 2011

    @Elizabeth K.: Nice to see you commenting again…been missing you! I’m sorry that such a raging flu ruined your return from holiday; sure hope you get completely back to your old self soon!
    Take care, Kat (Gianna) :D

  16. Gcepeda G, 28 January, 2014

    Good afternoon,

    First I would like to thank you for all of your educational clay videos the have been very help full.

    I do have a question, how can I (oven) cook a doll’s head without it getting misshaped, as when I place it in the oven it becomes some what flat in the back where it lays on the tray

  17. Cindy Lietz, 30 January, 2014

    Hi Gcepeda, thanks for your kind words! Watch this video, it will help…
    Baking Polymer Clay on Cornstarch or Baking Soda

  18. Sharon C, 15 April, 2018

    I’m new to polymer clay, been using it for a few years. I have been sculpting with various mediums for most of my life it seems. I hope to have my site up soon. I just love that there are these avenues of communication for the like minded. In response of sculpting flowers it may seem odd: take a few real ones apart and mimic the shapes then reconstruct one using clay. Also cake decorating tutorials that use fondant might be of interest. Using paper flower patterns as templates. Hope this is helpful even if it’s late coming. Good Luck and Happy Experimenting.
    p.s. The dolls are amazing! Love the fetal and the wings cause me just ….wow.

  19. Cindy Lietz, 19 April, 2018

    Thank you so much Sharon for sharing your tips on making flowers! I especially love your idea for taking a real flower apart and understanding the shapes of the petals. I have done that myself with those really realistic Silk flowers. The nice thing about them is they don’t rot so you can keep them for reference forever! Thanks for commenting! Let us know how your business goes!

  20. Carol Greenwood, 21 October, 2019

    What type of Polymer Clay is the best for dolls and figurines? I used Sculpey 111 and it wasn’t the best for me. Is Fimo the best or Premo or what do you recommend ? I want to keep the detail and have something that is very strong and durable. Also, I have heard of Porcelain Clay (air dry). That probably would not be hard enough and could break faster but anyway. I bought Sculpey at Michael’s Crafts. But where do you recommend I buy the right clay for the best price ? I paint it and well I would like to seal it too perhaps. Your dolls are wonderful.
    Thank you,
    Carol Greenwood

  21. Cindy Lietz, 25 October, 2019

    Hi Carol, I don’t make a lot of doll, but I have heard very good things about ProSculpt. A lot of the top doll artists use that brand. Another brand that will be new to the marketplace pretty soon and has some wonderful doll clay, is CosClay. I have been beta testing this product and it is amazing. It is perfect for sculpting and is so flexible that it is pretty much impossible for it to break. You can paint it too.

    Don’t use SculpeyIII for anything… it is a very brittle clay and not worth your time or money.

    I also wouldn’t use air dry clay for dolls. Moisture could cause you problems down the road, and since dolls are so much work, you don’t want your pieces getting mushy because of humidity.

    Hope that helps!

  22. Carol Greenwood, 26 October, 2019

    Cindy – Thank you for your response and information. I am not really making dolls. I am making figurines. I am making fairies and mermaids, fish, flowers, etc. So it is very detailed and small.

    What is ProSculpt? Does it air dry? I am trying Epoxy Clay from Aves. But anyway I am open to the ProSculpt too. Do you sell it? I make all kinds of things so probably I will make many different types of figurines. But it could be unicorns, cats, mice, angels. You know.

    Meanwhile, thank you for your time and information.

  23. Cindy Lietz, 28 October, 2019

    Hi Carol, Prosculpt is an oven baked polymer clay in skin tone colors that has a realistic look to it without too much placquing (or moonies). Just Google it and you should be able to find it. If you’re just making small figurines that don’t need a lifelike skin look to them, then use Premo, Souffle, Cernit, Fimo, Kato or coming soon… CosClay (I love it!! It is perfect for sculpting!)

  24. Susan Melvin, 09 July, 2020


    I am trying to sculpt mini baby dolls with Super sculpy Living Doll. I have found your videos extremely helpful. I think I may have got through the issue of cracking but after baking the heads have little white scar type lines – (is this called plaquing?). Can you give me any advice on what I am doing wrong? Can these marks be sanded away? Is the sculpt still sound or will these develop into cracks?

    Thank you

  25. Cindy Lietz, 09 July, 2020

    Hi Susan, yes those little flaws or plaquing are very common with translucent clays. They are too minor to cause any structural issues but they can be a problem for the aesthetics of a doll. They are caused by moisture or air trapped in the clay causing a tiny separation in the clay. Some brands are worse for plaquing than others. There are a couple of things you can try. Keep your hands clean and dry and avoid getting water on/in your raw clay. Wear gloves if you have sweaty hands. Cornstarch on your hands or on the clay might help. Also avoid trapping air in the clay when conditioning or adding new layers of clay to your sculpt. Consider adding some opaque clay to your mix. The more translucent your clay is… the deeper you can see the flaws. Lastly consider trying different brands. One brand that is very popular with professional doll artists is called ProSculpt. A quick Google should help you find a place to buy it. Good luck!

  26. Susan Melvin, 09 July, 2020

    Hi Cindy

    Thank you so much for your time in replying and for the useful tips which I will certainly try. I don’t know what you mean by opaque clay though. Sadly I can’t get prosculpt in the uk and the postage from the USA is so expensive for one bar of clay!

    Your vidoes are so helpful.

    Thank you


  27. Cindy Lietz, 10 July, 2020

    You’re welcome Susan! What I mean by opaque clay is a solid color clay that doesn’t have translucent in it. Like like taking a pinch or two of a solid white or light colored clay from Fimo, Premo, Souffle or whatever brand quality brand you may have available, and mixing that into your Living Doll clay. You may need to play around a bit with a mix that works for you. Good luck!

  28. Susan Melvin, 13 July, 2020

    Thank you for taking the time to give me your helpful advice. It is much appreciated.

    Take care

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