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Jewelry making remains a trend among artists working with polymer clay. And although we have already had the opportunity to see polymer jewelry from many artists, all of them were unique and interesting in their own way. Today's protagonist is Päivi Tyni with a very distinctive style. Looking at her jewelry is like stepping back in time.

Päivi started making polymer clay jewelry by stringing beads. Soon she wanted to put her own mark on her jewelry pieces, by experimenting with different materials on polymer clay. “I saw that surface coloration would get me closer to more organic and textured surfaces than the highly sanded and buffed ones,” she states. Päivi wanted to develop techniques to achieve an old relic-like patina surface texture on clay, making jewelry structures and rustic surfaces entirely out of polymer clay. And she figured it out.

History and nature play a huge role in her work and art history is an endless source of inspiration for her. Päivi studied a lot of prehistoric jewelry and primitive art, which is apparent from her pieces at first sight. Her jewelry has a rough and three-dimensional appearance with a stone or metallic impression on her clay components. She uses old ornamental and geometric shapes. “I also prefer other ancient symbols from Viking pieces of art, old cave paintings, and primitive art. I usually make my pattern molds of polymer clay myself, using old pens, needles, and all kinds of things I have in my household, trying to keep everything very simple.”

She is fascinated, above all, by the endless possibilities of the clay for surface treatment. She experiments with various materials, like structure paste, paper mache, salt, baking soda, and iron oxide pigment, to get a rustic, boho appearance with organic shapes. “I also experiment with different paints on clay surfaces like metallic colors and mica powders, watercolor crayons, pens, alcoholic inks, and soft pastels. Sometimes, I use Swellegant to get patina on clay. Recently, I have combined soft soldering with my jewelry, which gives a new dimension to the use of polymer clay,” she explains. For sealing, Päivi uses matte water-soluble varnish and finishes her pieces with Renaissance wax to get matte results.

“We all know how flexible and versatile polymer clay is, along with its infinite possibilities in color, texture, and form. The only limit to working with clay is our imagination,” Päivi concludes.