Air Dry Clay Jewelry: Answers and Confidence Needed

by Char.
(USA)

Air Dry Clay Jewelry: Answers and Confidence Needed

I have been haunting this website for over a year now and was hopeful someone could help me out.

I make jewelry (mainly earrings) from cold porcelain clay which is a type of air dry clay. I have been doing this for over a year now. I have had many ups and downs while learning to sculpt in air dry clay. I sculpt my pieces, let them dry, paint them with acrylic paints, then varnish them. While my skills have progressed my confidence has not.

How do you decide when your pieces are durable/strong enough to sell confidently? I am constantly second guessing my pieces (sorry I could not include a photo due to technical difficulties). I have made many pieces and only had three break, one due to an accident with a tree branch, the other piece was too thin, and the other had a bubble in its paint job. Some would probably tell me that is great, but I still worry over every piece. I have only sold a few and have not had any of those come back broken. How “durable” is durable??

I have had some recent issues I hoped for help with as well:

1. Does anyone on here do air dry clay jewelry and how do you deal with cracks? This hadn’t been an issue for me until recently, so maybe it is the weather, bad clay batch, I don’t know.

2. Does anyone on here varnish their jewelry? If so, could they recommend a matte varnish suitable for air dry clay? I had to throw out about fifteen pairs of earrings simply due to discovering that the matte varnish I was using was bad.

3. Is there a varnish for making paper suitable for being part of a jewelry piece?

4. I have not started “officially” selling my jewelry due to my confidence issues and trying to build up my inventory. Can anyone give me a round about guess how many pairs of earrings would be “enough” for a craft show or fair booth? I simply have no clue because I don’t have anyone else that can give me experienced advice on this.

Thank you, guys, I love the website and you all are so helpful.

Char

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