Tutorial--Polymer Clay Boot Camp: all the basics

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How do I get started in Polymer Clay?!!

Every day I get questions about some of the most basic issues in polymer clay—
What do you do when your clay won’t condition? And why the heck does it need conditioning in the first place? What is reducing? How do I store the stuff? How long will it stay useable? which clays should I buy, and which should I avoid?
In response to all the questions, some from clayers who have been working with the stuff for years now—I’ve gone back to basics and created a tutorial for polymer clay 101:

In this tutorial, you will learn polymer clay from the ground up—how to properly choose and condition your clay: What clay is best for jewelry? What’s the fastest way to condition the clay, and how do I know when it’s done? What's the difference between piercing and drilling? What happens if I have problems?!!

How to create a gradient blend (a modification of the Skinner Blend): How do I seamlessly blend several colors?

How to form and reduce a basic cane: How do I avoid waste? And how do I know I’ve reduced enough?

Along with shaping and piercing beads, curing and finishing your work for years of wear; a bonus bibliography points the newbie to several online and print resources—the most reliable ones I’ve found. Also included are a wealth of tips and shortcuts to help you navigate the wonderful world of color. (Wasn’t that a TV show..?)

This 32 page tutorial is lavishly illustrated with 60 full color in-depth illustrations; plus a glossary of basic polymer terms which explain all the tips and tricks you need to know. Like all my tutorials, It comes with full online support.

This pdf.format file will be emailed to your Paypal designated address within 24 hours of payment-you will need adobe acrobat to open it, and you may download the program free anywhere on the web (If you don't see the email, check your spam folder). Like all electronic files, tutorials are not refundable once shipped, and of course they are copyright protected; all rights reserved. Purchaser is welcome to make commercial use of any work produced using this tutorial, but please do not copy, lend, teach, forward or otherwise re-transmit the information contained herein in any form-- It's illegal and it's just wrong. . You don't need that kind of bad karma. Please respect my hard work in developing and publishing this concept---thank you! Available in English only.

If you find you have fun with this, please check out my newly published book, "Polymer Clay Gemstones, The Art of Deception", a tongue-in-cheek mystery spoof that incorporates 20 sophisticated polymer clay techniques and projects, now available on Amazon! At over 200 pages, the full scale tutorials contained within are less than $1.50 each.

Chapters include instructions on how to create:

Black Opal
Petoskey Stone
Bog Oak
Tiger Claw
Faux metal settings
Favrile Glass
Blue Lace agate

    Average review
    Dec 13, 2016 by gaby gerstner

Shipping & policies
Ships next business day
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All items are shipped USPS ground, first class. As of October 2010, everything is shipped insured, due to quirks with the postal system in Texas:(. If you desire confirmation or expedited delivery, please let me know.

International buyers, please contact me with the destination, so that I may quote you accurately on the shipping/customs costs. Most items will be shipped within 24-36 hours of payment clearance. All items will be very carefully packed, using recycled materials wherever possible.


I accept all major credit cards through through Paypal. Payment is USD$ unless otherwise indicated. Payment in full for all orders is expected within 7 business days; unless other arrangements have been worked out, the order will be cancelled by me if payment has not been received by that time. Texas residents, ya'll please add 8% sales tax.

All digital downloads (tutorials) are in English only; If you purchase a tutorial and do not receive a confirmation email from Etsy with the link to your download, please check your spam folder; The confirmation email will go to the email address you used to purchase through payal--if you have several emails, please check them all.

Once downloaded, tutorials are NOT refundable under most circumstances, for obvious reasons--nor are the 'bonus' tutorials (mini-tutorials that accompany the main tutorial as a gift) refundable under any circumstances--if you do not wish to use your freebie, then you may decline to download it, but you will not be issued a refund for a free item--the published price is for the main tutorial only. (Forgive me for belaboring the point but I have actually had issues with a client over this very matter, incredible as it seems).

Returns & exchanges

If, alas, an item arrives damaged, please convo me (that's the 'contact' button) at once! I will replace or refund at your discretion. I do understand that every now and again, something which looks wonderful in a shop is just..well...not so wonderful in the mirror; if this should prove the case, just notify me and return the item in its original condition within 20 days of receipt, and I will cheerfully refund your money, less shipping costs; I have no vested interest in unhappy clients; I prefer good Karma to bad.

Additional policies

(in my case, this is 'frequently answered questions')

Yes, I do custom orders--love them , in fact, because they are such lively challenges. Challenge me.

No, custom orders can't be returned under most circumstances. I will send you detailed photos of custom pieces for approval before shipping.

Yes, I am open to wholesale orders, bulk and consignments. Let's talk.

Yes, I donate to charities, Talk to me.

Yes, I gift wrap on request--no charge.

Yes, I will ship directly to a giftee, so long as payment is received and their address can be verified.

Yes, I upgrade components on request; for example, 14k gold earwires instead of sterling; convo me and we'll work out the particulars.

If you have a desperate emergency, email me with your phone number and I will contact you as soon as humanly possible.

Yes, I have a site that showcases my work;

Yes, all of my work is guaranteed against defects in workmanship or materials.

No, tutorials are not refundable under most circumstances--you wouldn't try to return an opened box of chocolates, right?!

And heck yes, all my work is copyright-protected!