Thursday, January 15, 2015

I was going to start this post with an apology for not having posted in a while, and now I am laughing because there is a draft of a post I started three years ago, saying the same thing. Hmm! There is a pattern here! We've had a spell of rainy cold weather that has prompted us to work on our websites, blogs and newsletters. It seemed like a good idea until everything went awry. The website wouldn't upload, the blog wouldn't let me sign in, the newsletter form wouldn't post to the blog.....aaarrgghhh!
All this just to say "Hello! We've missed you!"

I have been more diligent about posting on the Creative Journey Studios blog, but this is a good place to feature products we carry in the store. We look for products that work well with polymer clay and experiment with them so we can talk intelligently about them.

One such product is Inka Gold by Viva Decor. This is a paste format paint with a lot of metallic sheen to it. We have used it on both baked and raw clay. We have used it as a substitute for metal leaf and most recently, we have discovered that it will crackle beautifully, both randomly and with a calculated pattern. The paint comes in twenty six gorgeous colors and at $7 a jar, you can afford a nice assortment. We have discovered that the paint resoftens well with hot water. While it is a little thick for silk screening, it would be great to stencil with. It dries quickly and can be buffed to a nice shine.

Here is a piece of raw clay with Inka Gold paint that has been crackled on it. It is ready to be a veneer or cut up into earring shapes. When baked, the paint is firmly attached to the clay. We think it has a lot of possibilities.
Check back for more product reviews!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

New Year....New Store.....

One of the nice things about opening Woman Creative was that Filigree & More now had a mortar and bricks home. We are now doing business as Creative Journey Studios, and Filigree & More is relocating into its own space. Ellen will be happy to have more workspace in her studio. We are expanding what we are offering and making it easier to see what we have. Donna Stephens (sadly has closed On The Rocks) has sold us some of her displays, so we can show more of our filigree, bezels and beads. We’re delighted to be setting up some classes here with Donna, so the bead community will still have this great resource. People that come in for classes here or over at Atlanta Bead Market can find all sorts of goodies to use in their jewelry.  It's nice to be able to see all the things we carry and be able to discuss how to use some of the more esoteric products. We try to have samples that show the end results. Jimmie Boatwright has made some fantastic seed-beaded pieces using our filigree and polymer pieces. She boggles my mind with her designs and with her speed. We also have plans for Jimmie to teach for us. You will  be able to keep track of the new class opportunities on our website ( and on our new blog ( and our facebook page. Who needs sleep!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Road Trip

There is nothing better than a good polymer clay retreat (IMHO). We have been to Connecticut, Ohio, Kentucky, Maryland, Virginia.....any excuse for a road trip! Our next biggie is the International Polymer Clay Association's Biennial Retreat outside of Chicago. It is being held in conjunction with the Metal Clay conference, so we can partake in both with one ride! We're going to play polymer but will be bringing some of our favorite products. Of course, we'll have filigree and brass stampings,but we'll also have gilders paste and Nunn Design bezels (Ellen is doing a demo on our gilders gane technique, showcasing both the gilders paste and bezels. We'll be bringing PYM II, some select Eurotools (like the metal punch pliers), brass keys, silicone mold material, Genesis heat set glue, and other goodies as space and time allow.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

PYM II Fixative

Flower Pendant by Carissa Nichol
PYM II is a product that is being adapted for use with polymer clay. It started its life as a product to coat bullets to give its inventor an edge when target shooting, by making the bullets glide through the barrel with less drag. He discovered that it worked great as a fixative for inkjet photo prints, making them more permanent and impervious to water. We (and others, like Valerie Aharoni) have been experimenting with PYM and polymer. We have an abhorrence of varnish and other coatings on polymer.....we would rather sand and buff to get a beautiful shiny finish. However, there is often a need to seal gold leaf, silk screened paint, alcohol inks and perfect pearl powders. Our good friend and ace heart maker, Ron LeHocky, has discovered the nice semi-matte finish left by PYM II. While at a retreat in Ohio, we introduced Carissa Nichols to the finger pump spray to use on her wonderful flower pendants. She needed a way to seal mica powders to the surfaces of her ultralight polymer creations. I think she is hooked! We also showed Lynda Gilcher that it would help keep her white ultralight flowers white, and it would seal the ink on her colored versions. She is using it on her wonderful new floral pieces quite successfully.We have chosen to sell the finger pump, non-aerosol version, although it is available in an aerosol can. Either one needs to be used stinks(Donna, our friend from PYM II likens it to the smell in natural gas - the odor keeps you from being tempted to use it inside)....but it works like a champ. We have tried using it on Japanese papers to combine with brass filigree for interesting beads, with good success.

Lynda Gilcher's White Necklace

Earrings by Lynda Gilcher

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Nunn Design Bezels

We are always looking for high quality, unique products that we like to use and are a good value. Not long ago we decided to carry a subset of products from Nunn Design ( They make a nice line of American made jewelry findings cast in pewter and plated with .925 silver, 24 kt. gold or copper. We have found that they work quite nicely with polymer clay (although I think they were designed with resin and mixed media art in mind.) They are a good substitute for soldering your own bezels, if you are in a hurry. Ellen has been using them with her mokume gane and gilders gane pendants. We carry a variety of shapes and sizes in pendants and bracelets, adjustable rings, toggles and bars, keepsake bottle pendants, lockets and all the latest offerings from Nunn.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Gilder's Paste

One of our favorite products is Gilder's Paste. It's a wax based product with a high concentration of pigments. It's used by gourd painters and antique restorers, and now by polymer artists. It comes in 28 colors, which can be mixed for a custom palette.
We started using the paste on our raw brass filigree to color the metal, and discovered it could be used on polymer clay. We are busy figuring out different ways to use it. The metallic colors are great for creating faux bezels. It can be used to antique a piece, instead of acrylic paint. It can be drybrushed on, diluted with mineral spirits to use as paint, or rubbed on with a finger or cloth. Our latest experiments are using the paste in place of metallic foil in mokume gane. Whenever we go to a polymer retreat we encourage everyone to experiment. At the Buckeye Bash in Dayton, Ohio, Debbie Jackson spent a happy afternoon playing with our samples and came up with some great pieces. Her textures are amazing, made even better by gilder's paste.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Websites Galore

So just what is Filigree & more? We have a site in progress ( with Yahoo, where, if we live long enough, we will be able to sell from the web. We travel to polymer retreats, and do an occasional bead show. But here is the big news.....we now have a mortar and bricks store, housed in Woman Creative. You can learn more about Woman Creative Art and Jewelry Design Center by checking out the new website ( or the new blog (
Our main product is raw brass filigree, manufactured here in the U.S. from vintage dies by a family run company. It comes in a variety of color shades, depending on the color of the sheet brass being used in a particular run. It will oxidize, but can easily be polished. (you guessed it - we sell a convenient polishing cloth and Quik-brite from Eurotool, as recommended by Ronna Weltman.) We have an amazing selection of filigree, stampings and over 400 pieces. We love combining polymer with filigree. Sometimes the polymer is the star and the filigree is the armature. Other times the filigree is the star of the show and the polymer just embellishes it.