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Topic: Before I fork out a whole lot of money....  (Read 1971 times)
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« on: July 30, 2010 02:03:35 PM »

Knitting/crocheting (and typing/gaming  Embarrassed) seem to have caused some RSI in my elbows/a little bit in the wrists.
I've already been to a physiotherapist but....treatment's not really catching on (I started in February)...and actually last week was my last time there ( as insurance doesn't cover the costs for treatment anymore)...

Anyway...despite my physiotherapist saying it's okay to knit and stuff...
I figured I'd give all that a break ( no more fiber crafts, no gaming.... I'm going to get myself voice recognition software to "do the typing for me" etc.).

I used to love making clay stuff as a kid, so I figured I could give polymer clay a try.
It seems safe enough for my elbows and such and it seems interesting enough to keep me busy and happy.
I'm particularly interested in making (or...more accurate "learning to make) life like figurines and such ^_^

So my questions would be:

1. Am I right in thinking this'll have a lot less impact on my elbows? Have you perhaps experienced any RSI like symptoms from working with clay?

2. What are some "must-have" tools/books for getting started?
So far I think "Creating Lifelike Figures in Polymer Clay - Katherine Dewey" and "How to Make Clay Characters - Maureen Carlson " might help me out....
but if anyone thinks I should check out some other books, please let me know:)

I'm sorry if this comes off as rude but please don't suggest websites, I'm really trying to avoid having to use the computer unless it's for school and am trying to use only books and such where possible:)

Sorry if I don't reply right away.
I'm trying to keep a daily typing maximum and I've already gone wayyyy past it with this post >_<
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2010 03:03:50 PM »

1. I have not had any elbow impact. Or wrist, which is something I was concerned with. Sometimes my fingers get sore from kneading too much.

2. Tools: your fingers are the most important. I really feel a pasta machine is second on that list, or an acrylic roller at first if you want to figure out if this is something you are going to want to continue doing. Also be sure to get a straight clay blade right off the bat. You don't NEED a lot of tools, but since you are more interested in the sculpting aspect, you could get by with some cheapo sculpting tools, and upgrade later.  That will get you started enough to see if it is something you like and can do with your elbow issues.

I'm no help with sculptural books.. sorry!  You could take a peek at stuff by Christie Freisen.  She even has a few free projects on her website so you can get a feel as to how her sculptural process goes, but they are not lifelike.

Hope this was at least some help!

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« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2010 09:37:51 PM »

hi - sorry you have this injury.
as tinfoil said its the fingers that suffer most with polyclay.  i would suggest a chopper and pasta machine to help with the conditioning which is literally a pain Smiley  and the thing i hate about PC.  also don't even attempt using hard clay (which may sometimes be purchased like that)  get some 'mix-quick'  and incorporate that into the clay.

katherine dewey's book is fabulous but for the expert.  i would suggest christi friesen's books cos they are such fun even to read (you can even download free or purchased projects from her website)( http://www.cforiginals.net/downloads.html  )
i've also go maureen carlsons 'clay characters for kids'  which shows all the basic procedures and i have found very useful. she's got several different books for the beginner. then i have her book 'create a fantasy world in polymer clay'  which i love and is  really great to progress to. 
another fun book is dinko and boris tilov's 'sculpting mythical creatures in PC'  their style is more rough and ready and cartoony rather than cute.

it would be nice if you could post your pix if it is possible with your injury.
hope you enjoy claying!!
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« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2010 03:45:20 AM »

i have RSI in my wrist (to much drawing) i found working with the clay itself didnt effect it but sanding pieces did. i found trying to get everything as smooth as possible before baking helps to reduce the amount of sanding required and i wear a support bandage while i sand/ type/draw/knit/paint etc which i find really helps Smiley

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« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2010 11:20:38 AM »

Thank you so much!

It did help me out!

I took a look at Maureen's books and went for "Fairies Gnomes and Trolls: A Fantasy World in Polymer Clay".
Even though I'm not too into fairies and such....
I figured I could learn the basics from there and I could always upgrade to Katherine Dewey's book later on:)
Dinko and Boris Tilov's book looks like tons of fun too...
Who knows... maybe I'll end up liking fairies anyway ^_-

I think tomorrow I'll go take a look at the arts & crafts store to see what they have to offer in polymer clay supplies^_^
Can't wait to get started!
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2010 07:54:37 PM »

glad i could help - maureen carlson's 'fairies' book IS lovely.  it was my first one (and tilov's) 

hope to see you around when you feel you can!!
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« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2010 11:53:30 AM »

I used to cross stitch A LOT and had RSI in my elbow, I can tell you the only thing that helped was stopping the cross stitch. I have had no issues with my elbow from the clay Smiley

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