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    Bishoff.flower shape polymer earrings
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    Bishoff.polymer multi color half and half earrings
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    Bishoff.earring collage
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    Bishoff.kite shape polymer earrring in multi colors

Polymer 4: Earring Construction Techniques for Polymer Clay

Earrings offer endless little engineering feats that can translate to all kinds of other jewelry pieces. In this demo-focused virtual workshop Bonnie will share some of her tried and true methods for designing and building hand fabricated or modified findings paired with polymer clay components. Polymer layering techniques, ear wires, posts, simple wire working, and design considerations will all be explored with live demonstrations and videos. Students will work with their own existing design canes or simple clay patterns with the goal of building several sets of earrings.

Please note that this course will focus on constructing findings for pre-created canes / pieces of polymer. Cane creation is a different class and will not be covered during this workshop.

Meet the instructor

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Bonnie Bishoff has worked collaboratively with her artistic partner and husband J. M. Syron since 1987. Starting as furniture makers, they made work that incorporated large panels of polymer veneers for 28 years. Gradually they shifted their focus to explore jewelry and mixed media pieces.They tend to work in series and on several fronts at once. The focus of their jewelry has been creating metal armatures, textured and oxidized metal surfaces, and polymer marquetry surface designs. In addition they have been exploring a series of wall panels or "paintings" in polymer veneers and wire armatured sculptures. 



They have exhibited widely in galleries and fine craft shows including the Smithsonian and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Museum exhibitions include the Peabody Essex, The Museum of Art and Design, NY and the permanent collection of the Racine Art Museum. Their materials include veneers of polymer clay, silver, bronze, copper, and wood. They aim to create work that projects an expansive notion of art and creative pursuit to be shared by the wearer with the world.



Materials & Tools

The following supplies will be used for course demonstrations and objectives. A suggested item and/or vendor has been provided below for reference. Click the vendor name (in red) to be redirected to a page where you can find the item. The quantities needed for each item are listed first. If ordering, please be aware that some items may come in larger quantities than needed for this class. We recommend not opening an item's packaging until the day of the workshop. Student participation during or in-between class sessions is strongly encouraged but not required - observers are welcome. 


Polymer (choose one of the following):

  • 5-10 simple or complex canes

  • 5-10 coordinating/contrasting colors


If you have no canes, then you will want a variety of Premo, Fimo Soft, or Sculpey III from Polymer Clay Super Store, Joann Fabrics, or Sculpey Products to make some:

  • 10 x 2oz pack - variety of colors 



  • 24" x sterling silver round wire - 20g (Rio Grande)

  • 30' spool x 0.024" dia. nylon/stainless steel 7-strand stringing wire (Fire Mount.)

  • 10 min. x 2mm tube crimps, 1.2-1.4mm ID - any finish (Fire Mount.)

  • 6" min. x sterling silver 4.8mm cable chain (Rio Grande)

  • 8 min. x 8mm jump rings - 20g or similar (Fire Mount.)

  • 2 min. x stainless steel earring post - 6mm pad (Rio Grande)


Hand tools: 


Polymer tools (please ask if substitution will work): 


Other/miscellaneous items: 

  • masking tape

  • ruler

  • waxed paper or "deli sheets" 

  • cleaner for board and blades (rubbing alcohol, windex, etc.)

  • notebook and writing implements 

  • paper towels or soft cloth

  • ceramics needle tool, tiny crochet hook, or tapestry needle


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