For my objects and jewelry, I use a plethora of materials and basic elements. Over the years I collected a sizable stock of glass bottles, boxes, jewelry findings, beads, and mirrors. I bought stock lots of yarn and fabrics and I built up a diverse collection of tools and instruments so I can tackle any assembly challenge imaginable.
Every bit and piece has, of course, a story connected to it. But that’s not what this post is about. Here I will try to give some insight into the typical do’s and don’ts that come with some of the most important materials I work with, or which may be best suited for the job you have in mind.
Polymer clay holds a special place in my collection. Not so much for the characteristics of the material, but for more sentimental reasons. It was the medium that first set me off in my creative journey and which made me discover all those other things I could create just by my hands, other than knitting, crocheting, or sewing.
One great and typical trait of polymer clay is its versatility. You can (re)create basically any object or texture you could possibly have in mind. And you can imitate an endless variety of stuff, whether it’s ivory, sea glass, aged metallic or natural stone like jade or turquoise, in a much less costly manner, and sometimes also more environmental-friendly.
Beware, however, to keep your clay out of direct sunlight and excessive heat. It may dry out and lose its nice softness. A cool, dark, and dry place and placing each package in resealable bags will be the ideal way to store it.
Everyone uses glass bottles. Even the Romans used them (although less frequent I guess). And you may not be aware of the enormous variety they come in until you decide to do something more with them than to thrash them or bring them in for recycling.
When you look for small bottles with a particular shape, sauces and (olive) oils appear to be a rich hunting ground. Something is there for everyone’s taste. Cleaning some of them can be a nuisance but no quick and dirty jobs here; the smell can spoil all the fun.
Beads are one of those items you never can have enough of. I especially have a weak spot for glass beads. More specifically even, Czech glass beads. They are the product of an old craft that dates back to the earliest days of European glassmaking in Bohemia and they come in an unbelievably rich variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. And no, most of these beauties you can’t imitate in polymer clay.
When it comes to holding things together, we start talking about the soft stuff, the ribbons, and yarn that give an extra nice touch and feel to the skin, for example for bracelets. I discovered reused silk, made from old sari’s, that both provides the deep and rich colors of the orient, combined with the softness that makes you wish to wear a piece forever.
To complete the nature-friendly set of favorite indispensables for my jewelry-making there is the banana yarn, a unique chunky hand-spun fiber, which provides both the natural structure, the elegant softness, pearly sheen as well as the strength that is needed to hold a set of decorative elements together in a necklace or bracelet.
Of course, these are but a few of the many resources I collected and which are precious to me. However, all of them contribute both to my pleasure to create, and hopefully to yours to wear Yohari jewelry.