Polymer clay beads, Interview with artist Pippa Chandler with give-away

Polymer clay heart by Pippa Chandler

In my series of interviews with bead and jewelry artists, my next artist should be included.
Pippa Chandler is a very talented polymer clay artist and she makes gorgeous polymer clay beads, pendants and components, inspired by nature. Every time she surprises us with yet another new design.
By now you know I’m a bit of a bead collector (addict or hoarder my hubby would say) and a tiny amount of her beads (only a tiny amount) have found their way into my collection. Needless to say I love to know more about the woman behind the beads and I’m sure you will too.

Interview

Q: As I understood you have been working with polymer clay since 1990. What did you do
before you became a bead artist and what made you decide to become one? Was this
transition difficult?

A: I used to work in the Finance Sector for a large Bank, but I was lucky enough to be able to give up working when I had my Daughter, Katie. I very much wanted to be a stay at home Mum and look after her.
Later after I had my Son Logan, I knew that I needed a bit more to occupy me and started attending local craft fairs with Christmas Decorations made from Polymer. I absolutely loved being at the craft fairs and chatting with other maker/designers, but knew that I had to come up with a unique product. Knowing that polymer was a fantastic medium for beads made me decide to try making jewellery. I knew nothing about jewellery making at all! But I learnt. I bought books and scoured the internet for tutorials and anything I could find about it. I never looked back!!

Handmade Polymer clay heart pendants by Pippa Chandler

Q: Are you a full time designer?
A: Yes! And consider myself so lucky to be able to do this wonderful job full time.

Q: Are you self-taught?
A: Oh yes, I have only taken one course. I learn mainly from experimenting and from online tutorials.

Polymer clay bead by Pippa Chandler

Q: Why did you choose the medium polymer clay? Are you planning to explore other
materials as well in the future, like ceramic, glass or metal?

A: I stumbled upon Polymer Clay in a little Art Shop in Bristol back in the 1980’s. It was
almost unheard of then, but I loved using it, although at that time it was just for fun, for
making little figures and silly things as presents for friends and family. Little did I know then what it would eventually lead to!
I would really love to experience making beads from ceramic clay. I adore the look of them and the different effects you can achieve with glazes. I have been considering getting a kiln for quite a long time but have never quite taken the plunge. I have a little problem, you see,……….I really don't like the feel of unglazed clay…….it sets my teeth on edge!!! So I really think I need to do a weekend course perhaps, just to see if I could do it, or if that unglazed touch would send me up the wall! Probably better not to invest in a kiln until then!!!

Polymer Clay Poppy Beads Pippa Chandler

Q: Can you tell a bit about the early days of Pipsjewellery?
A: When I look back at my very first beads that I made, they make me cringe a little. They were very amateurish and not well finished. But, oh I did love making them. I experimented and learnt and experimented some more. I bought every book I could lay my hands on regarding polymer and learnt some more.
I then stumbled on Polymer Clay Daily, the wonderful Blog by Cynthia Tinapple and saw the amazing creations and art being made all over the world. I was so inspired. There were very few of us working with Polymer here in the UK at that time, but this site just made me realise what a fantastic community was out there.
I learnt about Etsy and decided to open a shop on the site. It took me ages from actually acquiring the shop to getting it open. I knew nothing about making banners, or taking decent photos then, but slowly I got it how I wanted it to look and then actually opened it. I can remember nervously waiting to see if anyone would even look at my shop, let alone buy a piece of jewellery, and then I got my first sale the very day I opened my shop…I couldn’t believe it! The happy dance was performed all over the house!

Polymer Clay heart pendant bay Pippa Chandler

Q: What inspires you in your work?
A: That has to be nature.
I know everyone says this to some extent, but really, when I walk my mad dog in the mornings, I am always looking for leaves, berries, nuts, twigs, stones, shells…anything interesting, different or just beautiful. Colours are everywhere and I am constantly looking for lovely combinations that nature supplies. Sometimes they can be really unexpected. Oranges and reds or pinks, colours that you wouldn't normally think of putting together, but in nature they work!

Polymer Clay leaf by Pippa Chandler

Q: Can you tell me a bit about the design process of a new bead? How do you start?
A: Most times, it starts with me simply sitting at my desk with a lump of clay and playing
around with it. It is funny how just playing can lead to something. Othertimes I may have a specific idea and then have to work out how to do it.
My beach hut beads developed from a lovely mosaic wall hanging that a good friend and maker gave to me. I just thought that a beach hut would make a lovely and unusual bead and so decided to try to make some. They have been a continual best seller since I started making them. They are happy little beads and make people smile!

Q: Can you tell a bit about the work involved in making beads.
A: The lovely thing about Polymer Clay is that there are so many different techniques you can use.
Millefiori is a technique that glass makers have been using for hundreds of years, where you make a rod of glass with a design running through it, like a stick of rock. This technique transfers to Polymer wonderfully.
I used to use it a lot, but my work has changed recently and I now tend to use texture and paint or ink to colour my beads. I will first form the bead, adding texture, both front and back if possible. The forms are then baked in an oven. Once they have cooled, they are sanded and refined. Then I paint them, by hand, each coat of paint or ink must be dried and then heated to make sure that it sets properly. Sometimes this can be a very long process, especially if there is a lot of detail and several different colours. I usually have beads all over my desk in various stages of being painted or being dried. Next is to seal them, very important with beads, as they will take a fair amount of wear and tear. I use Renaissance Wax mainly but also use an acrylic sealer, depending on the finish that I am looking for. Then the beads are buffed to a lovely shine. I use a dremel tool with a special buffing wheel for this. It took me forever and a lot of experimenting to find the right sort of buffing wheel. It had to be adapted to fit my tool and was intended for something completely different originally, but I couldn't do without it now.

Studio Polymer Clay Artist Pippa Chandler
 
Q: There are a lot of bead and jewelry artists. Is there a particular artist you admire or who
you consider a role model?

A: Kathleen Dunstin is my number one Polymer Clay Artist. Her work is extraordinary. I
still cannot believe the work she produces and the finish she obtains. Her ideas are so original and incredibly beautiful.
Ford and Forlano are pioneers with Polymer Clay. They developed so many techniques with Polymer that paved the way for the rest of us to follow. The beads and jewellery they produce today are cutting edge.
Dan Cormier is one artist that I would dearly love to take a course with. I have been a long time admirer of his work. He and Tracy, his wife, run incredible courses all over the world, but I would want to go to Canada, to one of his retreats there for a week course. I would be in heaven!

Q: You have achieved a lot in the beading world. Is there a next goal you want to accomplish?
A: I still feel that I have a lot to accomplish with my beads, I would love to develop a style that was instantly recognisable. For people to see a bead of mine and say, “Oh yes, that is one of Pips” I still feel I have a long way to go to achieve that.

Polymer Clay beads by Pippa Chandler

Q: If you were not a bead artist, what would you be doing?
A: I honestly have no idea, but I am pretty sure it would be making something, anything!

Q: Do you have a life motto and if so, would you like to share this with us?

A: I don’t really have a motto, but I try to make a conscious effort to be happy. It is so easy to be down about things, to not really appreciate all the good that we have. We all get bogged down with the generally day to day problems and difficulties of life, but, for most of us, there are many, many reasons to just be happy a little every day. I just try to remember that.

Q: Do you have tips and tricks you like to share with us?
A: They only way to avoid getting lint in your clay, especially white clay, is to clay naked!!! Not that I do, ever!

Thank you so much for this lovely interview Pippa!

You can find Pippa Chandler gorgeous beads in her etsy shop Pipsjewellery and you can follow her through her blog
 
And the followers of my interview series know by now that the interview will always be accompanied with a give-away.

The first give-away

Pippa is so very generous and she contributed these gorgeous ceramic bundle of beads and pendants to the give-away. All lovingly handmade by herself. Thank you Pippa!

Polymer Clay beads by Pippa chandler, give away

The second give-away

This necklace is made, using one of Pippa's new art deco pendants and one of her famous cute tiny beach huts. I combined it with Czech glass beads in a matching color blue/green, a vintage lucite bead and red leather ribbon.

Necklace with art beads from Pippa Chandler, made by Esfera Jewelry

 

Necklace with Polymer Clay beads from Pippa Chandler, by Esfera Jewelry

 

Necklace by Esfera Jewelry with polymer clay art beads from Pippa Chandler

All you have to do to enter is comment on this post, to get a change to win one of these give-aways. yes, it is that easy.

Note: if you are not a jewelry designer and you win the gorgeous bead set, if you like, I'm more than happy to make a custom order for you with these. Or you can state that you only like to participate in the necklace give-away.

And if you have absolutely no interest in the necklace (which is possible, although you will of course get no brownie points for that ) please say in your comment you're only like to participate in the give-away of the beadset.
 

There are lots of ways you can increase your chances of winning too...

Do any of the following and leave an additional comment each time and you will get an extra entry for each one (yes you will enhance your changes of winning, so please do):

·    Share this give-away on your own blog
·    Share this give-away on your Facebook pages, Google+, Twitter etc.
·    Subscribe to my newsletter
·    Become a follower of my facebook page
·    Become a follower of the facebook page of Pips
·    Follow me on Pinterest
.    Follow Pippa on Pinterest
.    Follow me on google+
·    Like my Etsy shop
·    Like Pipsjewellery on etsy
.    Follow Pippa's blog
·    Anything else you can think of to spread the word.

Don't forget to leave a separate comment for each method to maximize your chances though!

Please don't let the captcha scare you off. It is to prevent the spam robots enter this give-away as well.

The draw will close at 10am GMT on Sunday February 16, 2014 and I will randomly select and announce the winners later that day.

The next artist in this series of interviews with Bead Artists will be Caroline Dewison, well known for her beautiful ceramic and porcelain beads which she sells under her brand BlueBerriBeads

Thank you for visiting my blog and I hope to see you next time.

Following blogs......x

Following blogs......x

Following on pinterest......x

Following on pinterest......x

Following on FB....x

Following on FB....x

Loved this

Fantastic interview! Pips you so have your own very distinctive style! Most of us CAN spot 'a Pips' a mile off!

Inspiring

Wonderful interview! And Pips you sooo have your own distinctive style!

Pip's Facebook

Have requested to follow Pip's Facebook page.

Carolyn
Carolynscreations@live.com

facebook

Am following you on Facebook.

Carolyn
Carolynscreations@live.com

newsletter

I subscribed to your newsletter.

Carolyn
Carolynscreations@live.com

giveaway

Would love to win either giveaway.

Thank you for having it.

Carolyn
Carolynscreations@live.com

Pips blog

I follow Pip's blog.

Carolyn
Carolynscreations@live.com

Blog

I follow your blog. I love the artist interviews that you have done.

Carolyn
Carolynscreations@live.com

I follow your blog

I follow your blog

I follow you on Google +

I follow you on Google +

I like pippa's shop on Etsy

I like pippa's shop on Etsy

I like your Etsy shop

I like your Etsy shop

I follow Pippa on Pinterest

I follow Pippa on Pinterest

I follow you on Pinterest

I follow you on Pinterest

Follow Pippa on Facebook

Follow Pippa on Facebook

Giveaway

Follow you on Facebook

Lovely items

Oh, I'd love to win!!!

Lovely interview and gorgeous give-away

What an interesting read! I love the work of Pippa and I love your work very much. I would be so happy to win either of them. Thank you so much for this chance.

Shared on Twitter

Just tweeted about the interview and giveaway!

Pippa's blog

I became a follower of Pippa's blog.

Great interview

Great interview. I love reading about bead artists, their process and background. Thanks also for the chance to win!

I have favorited Pips etsy

I have favorited Pips etsy shop as ByShaiha

I am following you on Google+

I am following you on Google+ as Shaiha

I am following Pips on

I am following Pips on PinInterest as Shaiha

I am following you on

I am following you on PinInterest as Shaiha

I am following Pips on FB as

I am following Pips on FB as Shaiha Williams

I am following you on FB as

I am following you on FB as Shaiha Williams

Shared

I shared this post on twitter.

https://twitter.com/Shaiha_/status/432234854563213312

Gorgeous beads, I love Pippas work!

Pippa is one of my favourite polymer clay artists! I come back to her beads again and again! Would love to win these! Xxx

Blissful and Beautiful !

An amazing array of the most beautiful beads . I have been lucky enough to have used some of Pips beads , but they are so beautiful , I keep them for myself !

I love Pip's beads and would

I love Pip's beads and would be delighted to win one of the giveaways! I think she has a recognizable style - and it is beautiful!

giveaway

Much as I like the necklace you made, I don't wear necklace except from fine silver or gold due to health reasons. But I'd love a chance to win her beads!

giveaway

I have liked Pips' Etsy shop.

giveaway

I have favo rited your Etsy shop

giveaway

I have found and liked Pips' Facebook page.

giveaway

I have liked your Facebook page.

I love this idea of the

I love this idea of the giveaway!

Yes Please!

I loved reading the interview about Pip and I would love to be in with a chance to win the beads. Just off to share on FB

I am an avid follower of your

I am an avid follower of your blog! And totally devoted! And didn't know you had an Etsy shop...which I just made my newest fav! Beautiful work by Pip...I'm just starting out with polymer clay and want to be just like someday! Your necklace is stunning.
Carol

Amazing!!

Amazing and so talented !! Life pips gorgeous goodies and of course your jewellery is amazing and so inspiring!!

Shared on my page, necklace

Shared on my page, necklace again pretty please, as I love both your work so much xx

Happy Dance

Yay for the naked happy dance. I really needed a laugh today and this was it, Pippa you are ace and I am sure most will say that we recognise your style and beads a mile away in other designers creations. You know I am a huge fan of your work but as I have a massive stash waiting to be used and due to my hand can I only be considered for the necklace xx

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