Yesterday, I took the exciting step of making my first polymer clay pens. This was a creative decision prefaced by much research. I love the look of clay pens, but choosing the appropriate base for the pen is rather tricky. Most commercially available pens will melt in the oven, meaning they can’t be covered in clay and therefore can’t be used to make clay pens. I checked out lots of blogs listing oven-safe pens (including this site), but because pen manufacturers are constantly tweaking the materials in their pens to lower their costs, it’s hard to know for sure whether or not the pens will really stand up to the oven.
After a trip to Staples, I raced home to test the pens in the oven prior to covering, just to make sure they worked so I wouldn’t waste clay. And ….. they melted. I have a small polymer clay oven, just slightly larger than a toaster oven, that’s perfect for most small clay projects, and the pens both melted most assuredly in it.
However, I happened to notice that the pens both melted only where they were directly over the heating element in my little oven. So, I decided to try them in my conventional oven, and this time it worked! Victory. 🙂 As a result, I now have almost 20 beautiful clay pens ready to sell at this weekend’s Granville Art Affair.
The pen experience reinforced in my mind the importance of experimentation in any creative endeavor. Had I simply accepted the melting of the pens in my clay oven, I would have counted all the pens I’d bought as wasted investment, and I now wouldn’t have a new product for my art fair booth and online store. As the old saying goes, if at first you don’t succeed, try try again!
I don’t have any photos of my pens yet, but I certainly will for tomorrow’s project of the week, as well as photos of my other work from this past week. It’s been a busy time of creating and testing new designs, and I’ll have lots to share tomorrow.
Have a wonderful Thursday!