A renewed love for polymer clay...

Because I've been exposed to crafts almost every day of my life since infancy, I remember when polymer clay entered my life and became an obsession. Almost weekly, I asked my mom to take me to Total Crafts in Chantilly to scan the shelves for the hottest new color of Sculpey and the latest tool to create innovative and interesting accessories. I can't remember when I stopped fiddling with polymer clay. I imagine it coincided with becoming a teenager, and spending more time fashioning an intricate social life instead of imitation millefiori beads. The Sculpey and tools were discarded or put away for another day, and I moved on. And then I felt like polymer clay became obsolete - that it was both out of fashion and unappealing to crafters. The only things I saw made from the stuff were woefully outdated or just plain ugly.

To my shock and delight, polymer clay has made a resurgence over the years, especially thanks to the indie craft movement and inspiration on websites like Etsy. When you do a search at Etsy for polymer clay, the search yields over 54,000 results! I couldn't possibly share every seller and their lovely wares with you here in this post, but I have selected four of my absolute favorites. All four have unique and expertly honed techniques that manage to create astonishingly beautiful collections.

[From top left, clockwise]

JooJooLand - combining an almost anime-inspired aesthetic (for some pieces) with a stunning spectrum of colors, JooJooLand has cultivated a collection of accessories and functional decorative elements. Brooches, earrings, figurines and even terrarium accents all make you squeal with delight. I can't help but love the teeny tiny worm on a limb magnet. JooJooLand has managed to inject buckets of personality in her simply stunning pieces.

Block Party Press - this Baltimore-based crafter has pulled together a line of accessories no doubt inspired by the world around her. Touches of urban starkness meld with natural beauty in her pieces - everything from pendants to earrings to magnets for your fridge. My favorite collections offered by Block Party Press are the Out on a Limb series and those inspired by city life. She creates all the stamps for her pieces by hand and texturizes them using acrylic paint and distressing techniques. Many new pieces even have a Seussian quality to them, which warms my book-loving heart. Brilliant!

momochas - Hailing from a tiny peninsula at the tippy-top of Spain, I fell in love with momochas designs not only because of the rich and indulgent color choices, but because of the intense intricacy of the pieces. Whether completely constructed from polymer clay, or embellishments on top of existing, vintage-inspired settings and findings, it's hard to imagine the size of the magnifying glass this artist must use. momochas offers a variety of one of a kind pieces in various styles - brooches, pendants, earrings and rings. Something for everyone, indeed.

boltsandbots - For the nerd in your life, or the purveyor of all things incredibly adorable, boltsandbots is a dream come true. I stumbled upon this shop while searching for variations on the theme of abominable snowman (ahem, snowbot!) and I stayed for the wide array of bitty bots. I can imagine a collection of bots lining the top of my computer monitor at work, or in a tiny corner shelf of an office or reading nook. Everything from Princess Leia Bot to Christmas Tree Bot to Harry Botter - oh my!

3 comments:

  1. What a great polymer clay post! I'm honored to be included. It really is an extremely versatile medium annd so fun to work with. It's not jkust for kids anymore! I love Joojoo and even have my own bolts & bots robot magnets which I also love. Thanks for introducing me to momochas.

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  2. Here are two other sites you may want to check out to see some wonderful polymer clay ... polymerclaydaily.com and polymerartarchive.com

    Yes! polymer clay has come a long way in the past twenty years.

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  3. You chose some fantastic polymer clay artists. Block Party Press and JooJoo are some of my favorites for their ability to think outside the polymer clay block! Looks like I'm going to have to add a couple more favorites to my list, with momochas and boltsandbots. Thanks for spreading the polymer clay love!

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All content © Meaghan O'Malley, 2009-2012. Header image by Rebekka Seale.