Polymer Clay Inspiration is Everywhere – Clouds Raindrop Earrings

Raindrop Polymer Clay Earrings “I am constantly seeing colors and patterns that I am eager to reproduce in polymer clay.”~Maria-C

There are so many wonderful mini conversations that happen in the daily comment threads of this blog. And I know that many of you don’t get a chance to enjoy all of them, because… well, you also have lives outside of polymer clay too. Hard to believe, I know, but it’s true <she says with a mischievous little twinkle in her eye>.

Today I want to highlight one of those delightful exchanges that recently put a smile on my face. Hopefully some of you will be able to relate as well… and add your own thoughts in the comments section of this post.

It all started with an insightful quote from Jocelyn-C…

For inspiration, I like to walk around and see stuff nearby, like the first spring sun coming through the first greenery of the season, layering through the canopy, and I think to myself, dang, how could I make something that captures that moment out of polymer clay. ~Jocelyn-C

Then Anna (Silverleaf) piped up…

I love Jocelyn’s quote about capturing things in clay – I saw Avatar in 3D the other night and I had so many moments in the film where I was thinking, “Wow, look at the colours/textures there, how can I recreate that idea in polymer clay?” Sounds like the start of one of those lists, “You know you’re obsessed with polymer clay when…” ;) ~Silverleaf

And Maria-C added…

How funny Silverleaf! I was thinking the same thing during the movie too! We are all obsessed with this stuff, aren’t we? I am constantly seeing colors and patterns that I am eager to reproduce in polymer clay. My family knows that half-glazed look in my eyes by now and just roll their eyes… “there goes Mom again!” ~Maria-C

I know exactly what you gals are talking about! Though I haven’t seen the Avatar movie yet (kids saw it with their grandparents), I am constantly being inspired by my surroundings.

In fact, the pouring rain that I was complaining about in my Thoughts of Spring article, actually ended up inspiring me to make the Rain Drops Keep Falling on My Head earrings pictured above in today’s photo at the top of this page.

So what makes you think of polymer clay? I would love to hear your stories. They are so fun to read!

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  1. carolyn, 24 January, 2010

    I looked at a leaf pattern on a box of Kleenex this morning before church and thought, I wonder if I could make a cane to capture that 3 dimensional look. I think you already did it, Cindy. I have to go through my back issues to see if I can find it.

    And I keep looking at all the various frogs in my collection and wonder when I am going to get up the nerve to try and make a frog. I even made a mold of a frog button, but I haven’t tried using it yet.

  2. Silverleaf, 25 January, 2010

    It’s so cool that polymer clay is versatile enough that we can use it to recreate so many different things. I love the earrings Cindy, I would totally wear something like that. You could make something similar with a snowflake – they remind me of the little symbols you see on the weather reports.

  3. Linda K., 25 January, 2010

    I totally agree that you just need to really “see” what you’re looking at and you’ll find inspiration everywhere. I’m currently working on making beads with the colors that are in my friend’s fleece jacket.

    I’ve been a decorative painter for many years and often saw things that I’d like to paint, but didn’t think I could pull it off. With clay, you have so much more creative freedom! You can pick up on colors and shapes and experiment with them. You don’t have to reproduce things exactly how you see them. And sometimes there are exciting results to those experiments!

  4. Linda K., 25 January, 2010

    Cindy, I really like the look of the blue wire with the blue clay you used on these earring. Are there any specific colored wires that you know will withstand hammering?

    I’ve used some colored copper craft wire that didn’t even survive my roundnose pliers. The color chipped off as I was coiling the wire.

  5. Cindy Lietz, 25 January, 2010

    Thank you everyone for your comments! Inspiration is always hiding in places you may not expect.

    The beads in the earrings are actually what I call ‘puffy beads’. They are hollow and rounded out on the fronts. I’ll show you guys how to make them sometime.

    Linda, the blue wire I used was enamel coated copper. This is a higher quality than the craft wire you speak of. It can handle the pliers but it still cannot handle being hammered. As far as I know, none of the colored wires can handle much hammering. I have been able to carefully hammer some anodized Niobium but it does scratch if you’re not super careful since the color seems to be just on the outside.

    @Carolyn – if you have any ideas about hammering colored wire, do let us know. That would be very fun if there was a product that would allow for this.

  6. carolyn, 25 January, 2010

    I do wrap color coated wire on dowels and cut it with my jewelers saw and then use pliers to form the rings into jewelry. I also use colored wire to wire wrap gemstones and shells. The wire I get from Parawire.com is really good. I also use Artistic Wire. Blue wire is not as forgiving as others – don’t know why. But I can manipulate the other colored wires without a problem. Check out my website to see all the things I do with colored wire – key in color coated in the search field and you’ll see hundreds of pieces.

    Hammering colored wire does not work – I’ve tried, using a nylon hammer as well as a brass one. The wires are coated with enamel and when you hammer them the coating cracks. Not all the coating comes off, but the under copper shows in spots. It is kind of like doing the faux raku crackle. The heaviest color coated copper wire I use is 18 gauge. Knowing that it will ‘crackle’ when hammered, you could end up with some interesting effects.

  7. Cheryl, 25 January, 2010

    I totally agree. There are so many things around us and i specialy love tolook at nature for inspiration. At the moment i am playing around with an idea for snowflake earrings; will have to see what i come up with.

  8. lynn watts, 26 January, 2010

    My family knows what is going thru my mind when I stop by things and run my fingers over stuff to see if it has a texture and how deep it is. And they say we know” Polymer Clay and can I get a mold of this.” They know me so well. I look every where even in the kids aisle where the toys are. There are some neat things that have so much texture in that aisle. I have not got to see the Avatar movie, the previews looked awesome.

  9. Linda K., 29 January, 2010

    @ Cindy: Thanks for the info on the colored wire. I was pretty sure that none of them could hold up to hammering, but I was hoping that you had found a brand that would. :)

    @ Carolyn: I just got lost on your website! You are so talented at wire-wrapping and all the other techniques you use. I do remember you telling me about Parawire.com before. I’m definitely going to order from them in the future. For now, I have quite a bit of copper wire, so I think I’ll practice with that for a while.

  10. carolyn, 29 January, 2010

    @Linda K.: Hope that ‘getting lost’ was a good thing. I do want my site to be as user friendly as possible. Any suggestions would be most welcome. Anyone else who wants to take a gander and what you can do with wire, visit lordstreasures.com.

  11. Linda K., 29 January, 2010

    @ Carolyn: It certainly was a good thing! I couldn’t tear myself away. I can’t think of anything I could tell you that would make it better.

  12. carolyn, 29 January, 2010

    @Linda K.: Linda – I really was not fishing for a compliment, but like Cindy says: It sure feels good! Thanks!

  13. Denise S, 30 January, 2010

    I think that most of my inspiration comes from two areas; 1) not liking to pay for cheap plastic stuff with no real flair except for fad, and 2) everything / anything around me. But recently i am in LOVE with the traditional art of Kanzashi flowers. I found a 5 part video collection on youtube ( youtube.com/watch?v=xWO7vtkbHPM ) that has inspired me to not only try the real thing but the play in clay with it too. I adore the fact that polymer is the medium that it is. My family groans too, when i get that look, break out the purse note pad, and start sketching and jotting away. ^.^ Poor babies.

  14. Linda K., 31 January, 2010

    @ Carolyn: Oh, I didn’t think you were fishing for a compliment. I just didn’t word things very well, and I can see why you would be concerned that your website was hard to navigate. Well, you don’t have to worry about that!

  15. Phaedrakat, 06 February, 2010

    How funny to hear that so many others get “the groans” from family members over what you can do with PC. Back when I first discovered it, I was super enthusiastic and had a list a mile long of the things I wanted to make (and learn.) I’ve always been fairly crafty, so I wanted to make everything out of polymer. My nephew wanted an overpriced, poorly-made accessory for an action figure, and I could see it would be easy to make an even better one with PC. I told his mom, “Oh, I can make that with polymer clay.” I ended up saying those words fairly often, so that it very quickly became the family joke. If a kid lost a toy, it was, “don’t worry, Auntie can make a new one with polymer clay.” Lost cell phones, can’t find your keys? You guessed it–“Don’t worry, she’ll make new ones with polymer. After I boxed it up, the jokes faded away. But now, I have a feeling they’ll be coming back. My poly radar is back up!

  16. Phaedrakat, 06 February, 2010

    Cindy, your raindrops earrings are so pretty! It’s so nice when we get “inspired” and the creation turns out great. (If you’re like me, you’ve had some that DIDN’T work out, as well.)

    I enjoy using colored wire on certain projects, it can add a little flair & color. You really do have to be careful with this wire, though. I used it for some earrings last year with homemade earwires and matching hoops. While I couldn’t hammer them for texture or anything, I was able to gently pound them to work harden the wire a little so they wouldn’t lose their shape. I used my cheap dollar store rubber mallet, and covered the ear findings with a thick washcloth (for added protection of the colored coating.) I tapped ever so gently, just enough to stiffen the wire inside the coated outer wire. It worked well (in fact, one of my sisters calls these her favorite earrings. Go figure, I’ve made her lots of sterling silver and more expensive metal jewelry & she wears the “craft wire” earrings the most!)

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