Three years ago I moved to a smaller community with no polymer clay guild.  I decided the next best thing was to join the local bead society.  I knew nothing about peyote stitch or making wrapped loops but hoped I would learn some new techniques that would enhance my polymer pieces.

Conversely the beaders were unfamiliar with polymer and I felt like I was an ambassador for the medium.

In the past two years I’ve conducted several beginner workshops to the growing number of beaders and metal clayers interested in trying it out.  I love how the exchange has worked both ways.

While those that know my work are aware I’ve had an interest in buttons and incorporate them in my work but now my stash of beads has grown exponentially.  These two pieces from my Flickr site show the influence of my beading friends.

guest post by Helen Breil

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  • reply Norma ,

    Wonderful pieces! Very elegant! Isn’t polymer clay amazing? Of course if it’s in great hands.

    • reply Dawna Sharp ,

      I’m always fascinated by Helen’s designs. Extremely talented artist.

      • reply Anita Brandon ,

        How fortunate that the beading and PC techniques were shared and the marriage of melded ideas in such talented hands is obviously such a happy one. I also enjoyed seeing the Creative Bails series.

        • reply Kit Pallesen ,

          These designs are gorgeous… I’ve been getting into both beading and polymer clay, but have been struggling to combine the two! This post has given me a few ideas to play with 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration!

          • reply Carole M ,

            Helen thanks for the great idea about a beading group.
            There are no polymer guilds near me now. I have taken several basic bead classes and I got great feedback on my polymer pieces i was stuggling to string.

            I love all your work but the coleus is by far my FAVORITE

            • reply Cassy Muronaka ,

              Now I get to compliment YOU on your post, Helen. Beautiful work and great balance. The pendant on the left looks like pounded metal.

              • reply susan c whelan ,

                Helen, so nice to see your post here. I love your work and have drooled over many photos of your beautiful jewellery. I’ve also purchased from your great on-line shop, Shades of Clay. Your work is original and always interesting.

                • reply Alice Stroppel ,

                  Helen, I have been working with the texture sheets I purchased from you and have been delighted with the results. These neclaces are both fabulous, thank you for sharing. Alice

                  • reply Helen Breil ,

                    Thanks so much for all the wonderful comments left here, as well as on Flickr and Facebook. I really appreciate you taking the time to let me know your thoughts and your favorites. Good luck Kit & Carole and any others with your beading efforts! Alice glad to hear the textures are working for you.

                    • reply suzanne ,

                      these necklaces and the ones i saw on flickr are just so beautiful as is
                      the color and texture!

                      • reply Sandra ,

                        Helen your work is out of this world. I do not know to much about polymer clay but I’m learning
                        because Polymer clay daily is giving me good ideas. Thank you

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                        • I'm Cynthia Tinapple, an artist, curator, and leader in the polymer clay community for over 20 years.

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