The pandemic has given rise to people following their passions and getting creative. One of those creative outlets has been jewelry making using polymer clay.
Polymer clay is a relatively affordable medium that can be manipulated to achieve so many different looks. It can be sanded, drilled, buffed and glossed achieving vastly different finishes. It also comes in numerous colours which can be mixed to create custom colours, opening up to even more variety. This is why I feel even though there are so many polymer clay jewelry artists almost all of them have a completely different style.
What makes polymer clay great as a jewelry material is that it is fairly easy to use, it gets stronger when cured (baked), is flexible and is very lightweight. I love how this medium can create minimal dainty pieces but also more statement and bold pieces. There is literally something for everyone.
Keep reading for my top 5 Toronto-based small business polymer clay jewelry artists in no particular order.
1. Viv Jewelry
Sarah has been ahead of the curve from the get-go. She picked up this medium well before the pandemic which has allowed her immense time to practice and hone in on this skill. I may be biased but she is one artist that I’ve followed pretty much since the beginning and it has been an honour to see the evolution and finesse that she has achieved over the years. She was also the first person I had seen using polymer clay for jewelry.
Now she uses polymer clay to create rainbow coasters, plant and rain themed wall hangings (which are very popular), painted plant pots with her signature line drawings and propagation stands. I’m excited to see what else she creates in the years to come.
Learn more about Sarah’s journey and tips to success in this chat.
In contrast, Sunday Brunch is my most recent discovery in the world of polymer clay jewelry. Carlee uses different techniques to colour the clay with inks and creates patterns using screen printing. I didn’t even know that was possible but watch one of her process videos to see the magic in action.
When the pandemic hit, Carlee but her event planning company on the back burner and shifted her focus like many others. It has been great to see how happy and fulfilling this passion project turned side business is for her. Each collection creates much anticipation and is so well received.
I appreciate that each collection features repeating designs in different styles. One of my favourite collections and the one I own is Sweater Weather. If you love a cable knit cozy sweater, you’ll love this look. But look at her holiday restock for now! The style is created in a couple colourways and in the form of studs and dangles of different lengths, which means hopefully there’s something for everyone.
Indigenous twin sisters Edie and Jacquelyn started Assinewe Jewelry with each sister contributing their skills. Jacquelyn is a self-taught clay artist and produces polymer clay jewelry pieces. While her sister Edie learned how to bead from several community members in Toronto and creates beaded jewelry with Ojibwe styles. Both have a similar colour palette of neutral colours but offer different price points to be attainable for the community.
Although polymer clay is not a material typically used by Indigenous people in the craft, Jacquelyn creates the connection by designing and naming the earrings with reference to nature which is integral in the Indigenous culture.
Keep an eye out for my IG live on December 13th, part of the Artist Spotlight Series, where I chat with one-half of the team about their beautiful designs and the ups and downs of working with siblings.
House and Honey is not new to the world of polymer clay pieces. Yudith and her team first began creating small decor pieces or jewelry dishes. She still creates these detailed works of art but has also included beautiful polymer clay earrings in the mix.
Her pieces are whimsical and fun but nothing too outrageous. Yudith uses different techniques like marbling and colour mixing with the addition of pearls and metals. As polymer clay jewelry has increased in popularity so has the range of tools available. There are so many cute cutters available and makers are also creating their own custom cutters using 3D printing technology. Creating even more possibilities and uniqueness in design.
Yudith has worked and studied tirelessly to craft a niche in this saturated market. She is showcasing for the first time at the One of a Kind Show in Toronto this year. It has been very exciting to see the new air planter wall hangings she has also created using this vastly versatile medium.
Sara’s favourite colour is white, and you can see a lot of it in her aesthetic and designs. Keeping a rather basic colour palette of whites and beiges, she focuses a lot on the shape of her earrings to create bold and modern forms.
Unlike the other polymer clay artists, Sara releases single new designs so you can always shop the classics without fear of selling out. However, she has recently launched limited edition styles “Aftab” and “Noor” with best friend and jewelry artist Mina of Ashti Designs.
Let me know which polymer clay artist’s designs are most representative of your style in the comments.