One of the best things about my eighteen months in Newcastle is all the lovely and interesting people I’ve met. As someone who long ago lost hope at ever being able to live creatively I have been granted a refreshed outlook; there are plenty of people here making decent livings through creative pursuits.
My friend Emily is one of those people. She runs (well, she is) Supremily Jewellery where she makes intricate and unique jewellery using the polymer clay Fimo. A little while ago Emily ran a fundraiser to stock up on Fimo to build her business and I donated an amount that meant I got a two hour lesson on how to do what she does. On Friday night we gathered at a friend’s house with beautiful food cooking in the background and ample amounts of wine and cider to make the evening even more entertaining.
The first task was to pick out some colours. This was the most difficult part actually since Emily loves bright colours just as I do so she has some wonderful shades available. In the end I picked purple, gold, black, and white (the latter two being to outline the others). Emily showed me how to make the clay usable with the exciting pasta machine contraption and I have to admit, that was very therapeutic.
The next bit was learning how to roll the thin layers of Fimo into an increasing bullseye shape. I realised about halfway through the first one (for which I hadn’t used the gold yet) that I had picked exactly the same colours as the Hawkeye comics currently being published. Considering the whole bullseye thing, this entertained me greatly. Such a geek.
At this point in the evening we’re both still on our first drink so neither of us are completely tipsy but as you’ll see, the pictures get slowly more blurry as the night goes on. Alcohol, guys. It doesn’t make for excellent blog photography but it’s a hell of a lot of fun.
Anyway, Emily proceeded showed her skill as a teacher because it seemed all simple and understandable when previously that was definitely not the case. Looking at Emily’s jewellery before that just made me think she had to be some kind of magician or possibly in control of some alternate universe where she could pluck these crazy intricate creations out of mid-air but nope, turns out she just knows what she’s doing. I imagine that’s what new knitters feel when they look at Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.
This is my favourite bit about the millefiori technique Emily was showing me. You finish a cane and then you can roll it out into all sorts of different sizes or you can squish them together and roll that. There are just so many possibilities!
These are my canes. Note the purple and white ones, hello Hawkeye. I’m quite fond of the middle gold one; it’s big and bold which pleases me. It’s really fun to chop these up with the super thin blades and I did a lot of that, not always when needed.
Yes, this photo was taken after a certain amount of wine.
At one point we stopped to eat dinner which was absolutely delicious. We are very fortunate to have Lucy, my dear friend who can make simple meals into absolute feasts. I’m surrounded by freaks. Glorious, talented freaks. Two cakes were whipped out afterwards so by the time Emily and I sat down to finish off the pendant I’d decided upon, we were both feeling a little bloated and I was getting more than a little tipsy.
Emily’s thoughts in this photo: “I’m not sure I should be letting this blurry drunk lady wield my blade.”
I didn’t cut anything though. Except the Fimo canes but that was kind of the point.
Silly mode: activated. Just take a look over Emily’s shoulder.
At this point things got super ridiculous and with the help of another friend Cinzia we all started taking photos of ourselves in the most unattractive manners. I’m not posting those here but they were quite a shock when I downloaded the photos from my camera, let me tell you! For four reasonably attractive ladies we can sure pull some shocking faces.
It got late really fast and I was working in the morning so we had to hurry things along. Emily showed me how to make an intricate pattern and how to then place it on a pebble-shaped pendant. You cook polymer clay in the oven for a while to finish it but I baled out before we got to the triumphant finish. The finished pendant will be coming in a second post which I’ll be publishing tomorrow.
Don’t forget to check back. Hopefully the anticipation doesn’t kill you!