One of the things I love about polymer clay is that there is no fancy equipment needed to create beautiful work. Aside from a pasta machine, tissue blade and toaster oven here are some low-tech tools I can’t live without.
1. Mini Drill – I picked it up for a song from Harbor Freight and have to say I don’t know how I got along without it. I like things low-tech, this is easy to use and gets the job done for my smaller beads.
2. Knitting needles – I love these for poking larger holes and as a sculpting tool. (Look for the double pointed in the thinner sizes.)
3. Old playing cards – I used these as disposable palettes to mix up small batches of liquid Sculpey.
4. Rubber gloves – I roll all my beads one last time with rubber gloves to get rid of any finger prints, seriously cuts down on the sanding.
5. Handmade bead mandrels – I cut 6″ lengths of thick gauge copper wire as larger bead mandrels.
5. Wet-dry sandpaper and my blue jeans – I give my beads a quick once over with the sand paper and buff them on my jeans.
6. Cardstock -it’s my work surface of choice.
7. Acrylic rod – great for shaping canes and rolling out thicker slices of clay.
8. Two little mirrors – used for making lentils and flattening beads.
That’s it, my whole beadmaking studio in a nutshell. What tool can’t you live without?