It’s been a bit quiet in the studio lately as hubby and I have just got back from an awesome trip to the UK.  I was lucky enough to teach at Polymania this year and have to say what an exceptional event this one was (more about that in an upcoming blog post).

During the event I spoke about my studio recording process and how I feel it’s incredibly important to me to keep track of things as I go.  It takes some time and effort but I have to say it’s worth it in the long run (for me that is).  I keep track of things I want to explore further and it’s also a great way to see how products stand the test of time.  I’ve been doing this for about 10 years or so and I can tell you, it’s great to know (for  example) composition metal leaf (not the real stuff) blackens over time under liquid clay.  If I didn’t keep any sample beads, there’s no way I would ever know this.

I used to work with display files but I have been slowly transferring all my info over to lever arch files.  Display files limit the amount of information and it’s more difficult to slot things into certain places.  Lever arch files allow me to do this.

I keep track of things that work and things that don’t work.  It’s important for me to keep track of everything and if I go to do a certain technique in two years time I have notes to follow of what to do and what not to do.  As my knowledge of polymer clay and various products increase, I can update as I go.

So files are great for recording and for keeping “flat samples” but what about beads?  How is it best to keep track of these?  I’ve simply strung my beads with cord and named them according to the technique (ie image transfer, chalk pastel etc).  The beads are numbered and relate to the numbers in the notes.  This system works well for me and has been a huge benefit lately as I’ve needed to refer back to beads with liquid clay coatings.

If I’m creating veneers, I normally work on a piece of scrap paper and everything I do to that sheet of clay gets recorded on the paper.  I then have my notes I can either cut out and stick in my file or re-write a little neater!

Some of my beads have notes written on small tags which are then strung onto the cord the beads are strung on.  I find this is another great way of recording for me.


Thanks for your time today guys and hope you have fun getting creative.

See you all soon.

Love Deb

Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
4 years ago

Dear Debbie, thank you for sharing your tips! I love your tutorials and your manner of teaching!))
And your way of organizing all your results is great! For me as a beginner it is of great value! The only thing I would like to clear up is how you store the beads in order they didn’t get entangled , and how you find then those you need in that ocean of beads. Are they grouped somehow?

5 years ago

Oh my goodness this speaks to me on various levels. I love it. It documents your artistic journey. Has as much room for notes as you want. Is flexible enough that you can add updates to previous entries or even re-organise at a later date as your work evolves and develops ( if you need to ) . Everything is protected and it’s sooooo organised ❤️ that it’s a work or art in itself.