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5 Questions with Julie Malcolm

Golden Sunset
Julette Malcolm
Julie Malcolm of London, England, worked in polymer clay to bring out the bling in her piece, GOLDEN SUNSET. The necklace is one of the winners of BLING IT UP!, Facet's Design Challenge for July.

She tells us, "I made some shimmery, shiny polymer-clay beads, and decided to bling them up with glass pearls and fire-polished beads." The color and shine that she achieved is remarkable!

Julie started working with polymer clay about 30 years ago, mostly making regular round beads and other non-jewelry items. Then, she took a break from it to explore other creative crafts, but has been pursuing it again in recent years. Jewelry making is a hobby for her, but she hopes to turn it into a part-time business in the future with an Etsy shop and selling at local craft shows.
Julette Malcolm green and gold necklace
Julette Malcolm gold earrings
Julette Malcolm red necklace
Julette Malcolm orange earrings
Julette Malcolm supplies

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR YOUR WORK?

I like to create jewelry to go with a specific outfit. My GOLDEN SUNSET necklace was a birthday present created for a friend who wanted something to go with a lovely, deep coral caftan. She has always encouraged me in my creative endeavours and, in fact, gave me my first pair of round nose pliers many years ago.

WHAT STYLE OF JEWELRY DO YOU MAKE? HAVE YOU EVER WORKED IN DIFFERENT STYLES/MEDIUMS?

I mostly make polymer clay jewelry, but I have done a bit of bead weaving and taken silversmithing and wirework courses. I’m starting to experiment with pairing polymer clay with wirework and silversmithing. If I had the space for a kiln, I’d love to try working with metal clay, too.

WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE THAT YOU EVER GOT FROM A TEACHER OR A MENTOR?

I can't remember the advice exactly, but in an online class with Helen Breil she said that even if you only learn one new thing in a class it's worth doing. I've found that to be very true. When you put all the individual bits of learning together, you can create something that’s more specific to you.

WHAT’S THE GOOFIEST/MOST EMBARRASSING MISTAKE THAT YOU EVER MADE? 

I packed my jewelry-making tools in my hand luggage when flying, so of course, they got confiscated when I went through security. (I did manage to get them back though.)

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE MATERIALS TO USE IN YOUR WORK?

I love colour and texture so I love working with my chalk pastels, alcohol inks and texture stamps.

See more of Julie's work in her Flickr gallery.
FIND MORE: polymer clay

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