Monday, August 8, 2016

Debbi Simon's Epoxy Clay Artistry Craftsy Class Review & Giveaway

By on Monday, August 08, 2016 35 Comments

Epoxy clay or resin clay is a cousin of the popular epoxy resin.  Although it has been around for decades, it's only been in recent years that the material has been used for jewelry making.  There are two major benefits to using this type of clay.  Firstly, it cures without heat.  Secondly, its inherent adhesive qualities make it a fabulous cold connection material besides wiring and riveting.

I received Debbi Simon's Epoxy Clay Artistry Craftsy Class for review. This artist shows how resin clay can be used by mixed media artists and by those who want to make distinctive creations.  The possibilities with resin clay are endless. As you can see from the above photos, the instructor is highly creative with this medium with a bent for vintage looking pieces. The emphasis is clearly on inspiring students to come up with original ideas rather than to slavishly follow a project down to the last detail.

As with all Craftsy classes, the format is such students can watch the class when and where they want and as many times as necessary to learn a technique. You will be able to ask Debbi any questions.

At 5.6 hours, this is the longest Craftsy jewelry making class I have ever had the privilege of seeing. They generally range from 2-3 hours. Some may find the instructor on the verbose side but it is worth listening as she shares numerous tips throughout. You can also run the class at 1.5x the speed if you are impatient!

Lesson 1
Debbi introduces herself in this video.  She has been using resin clay for some years now and wrote the book, Crystal Chic.

Lesson 2
She covers the different brands of clay, lists what you need and shares a number of tips.  Clay artists like her have found silly putty to be helpful. I also liked her tip about using wipes to keep hands and things clean!

Mixing the 2 part epoxy clay
She mixes the two parts conventionally - making 2 equal sized balls.  But as you know from my own work, measuring by weight with small scales works too.

She uses just a few key colors of pre colored clay (others like me color white clay) as starting blocks to mixing her final shades. Debbi makes one very good comment - like resin, you should be aware of your ambient temperature and conditions as it could affect curing times.

Some may be wondering about whether to wear gloves. There are always individuals who have skin sensitivities to the clay.  Debbi does not, so she just uses balm on her hands which also acts as a barrier. The balm or cooking oil resin clay artists uses helps with the stickiness of the clay.  If you are concerned, I recommend nitrile (non-latex)  gloves. ( I use these myself mainly because I can remove them to take pictures of my work in process!)

Lesson 3
She begins with basic bezel work.  The embedding of crystals for a pavé style is what drew many jewelry artists to this medium.  She demonstrations how to embed not just crystals, but other objects such as shells and even snakeskin!

Lesson 4
Moving on beyond basic bezels is this section on how to work with patterns and how to handle crystals.

She also has a great tip on how to handle making a wide channel bracelet form.  This type of finding needs a lot of clay so you need to be able to stop and start. The clay is most adhesive in the first 30-40 minutes.  It is a race against the clock! This is the reason why you cannot make large batches.

She also demonstrates how to make a bead using metal cores. Resin clay, like polymer clay, is a great way to make custom beads.  Really useful technique to know if you aren't up to glass bead making!

Lesson 5
This lesson is on how to use conventional texture plates and stamps as well as found ones like   stones,  feathers and snakeskin! You can use all kinds of pigments - she only introduced  just a few to inspire.  I like her tips on how to soften Gilder's paste  As she says, the sky is the limit when it comes to coloring resin clay.

Lesson 6
This lesson on how to do image transfers was my favorite. This easy technique takes advantage of the stickiness of the resin clay to hang on to the pigments from printed images. She stresses that you should be using either your own printed designs or photos or copyright free ones.

She uses regular bezels as well as open ones and channel beads, too.

Lesson 7
This section is on mold making and casting. She sure encourages students to use all kinds of found objects - especially vintage buttons and so on.

Her filigree designs with molded resin clay do not require wiring or soldering!!  She had a wonderful idea  on how to use resin clay scroll work onto a large crystal as shown below.  With the right coloring, the piece looks like it was adorned with metal!

Lesson 8
The free form shapes section will be familiar to anyone who works with polymer clay or metal clay. Cutting out shapes and doming is pretty much the same.

Lesson 9
Here is where she covers in more detail how to build and construct with filigree and resin clay as the "mortar".  Building and construction with filigree.

Lesson 10
One excellent tip is using other materials as the core for resin projects.  Using an armature of sorts saves on clay and makes the piece lighter.  Debbi used things like aluminum foil and open bezels. (As as alternative, you can check out my past post How to Make Faux Metal Beads where the armature were wooden balls.

Lesson 11
Here she covers finishing techniques such as sanding to smooth out rough edges and shaping especially of irregular shapes.  She also demonstrates drilling and riveting - the latter gives a more finished look.  She does not create the holes in bezel-less pieces before curing like I do. It is another option to consider.

As a painter, she clearly enjoys the finishing process where she can make her pieces look antique.

The wonderful design below shows off her creativity.  She deliberately did not transfer the entire image onto the resin clay.  Instead, she filled the "halo" of the Madonna with rhinestones. Her dab hand with paint pigments at the edges nicely completed this piece.

Lesson 12
This was the bonus project which shows the idea behind the making of a shadowbox.  Scaled smaller, it could be a wonderful focal pendant with enclosed objects inside. Some may be disappointed as there is no picture of the final project. But this way, students are guaranteed to come up with their own unique designs based on her concept.

As Debbi said many times during the class, epoxy resin clay is a medium that you have to play with. And when you do, you will not be disappointed as you will be able to create your own distinctive style. Her inspirational class serves to get you started. The medium is still relatively young in the jewelry making world - what else can you do with resin clay?

If you want a chance to win a free access to Debbi Simon's Epoxy Clay Artistry class (and ask her any question about resin clay),  please make a comment below. Make sure you leave contact info below if you do not have an online shop or blog.  The class is currently on sale too.

Email subscribers need to scroll down the post they receive, click on Share Comment and enter your comment. Pick Name/URL. If you don't have a store or blog, leave the URL blank.

This giveaway is international.

Extra entries if you become or are a blog subscriber or follower etc. If you also do shout outs about this giveaway, those will count as additional entries too! Please say so in the comments. (The exception is Facebook - just like/comment on the giveaway status there!!)

It ends in a week's time at 6 pm EST Monday, August 15, 2016. I will pick the winner randomly and announce the results as soon as possible after. So be sure to leave a contact email if you don't have an online link or make sure you come back and check! Otherwise I will redraw in a week. Good luck!


I do receive a small fee for any products purchased through affiliate links. This goes towards the support of this blog and to provide resource information to readers. The opinions expressed are solely my own. They would be the same whether or not I receive any compensation.

Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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  1. Oooh! I have a couple of big tubs of Apoxie Sculpt to use, so this would be great! Throw my name in the hat, please!!

  2. I would love to win this giveaway. I have worked a little with epoxy clay and would love to learn more about this fabulous technique.

  3. I have tried my hand at resin clay but this looks like a really good class. I have taken Craftsy classes years ago. The nice thing is you can always go back & review.

  4. Not only do I want this, I NEED this. My resin clay is still sitting on my workbench.....I'm just clueless!!! Help.
    Thanks, Pearl.
    Carol (blog, twitter, FB follower)

  5. I have just gotten into jewelry making and am exited about learning about the many ways of making jewelry. Love Craftsy and would love to win this class!
    Donna J

  6. Now this, this I really need to do one way or another! Got myself some crystal clay that I need to learn how to use properly and do it justice! Blog follower and subscriber I can be reached at

  7. I love on line classes due to review factor. I never really thought about working in epoxy resin so I would love winning this class to learn the techniques and broaden my artistic abilities. Thank you
    Linda C

  8. This looks really interesting. As usual you do a spot-on job of reviewing and picking up on interesting details! I have to try this even if i don't win ;)

    1. Thanks so much for saying so. What I do when I write is to sketch in words the essence of a designer, class or book. It is actually harder to write something shorter than it is something longer!

  9. Thank you for this giveaway !

    1. I wish would love to win access to Debbie Simobs class. Just had a mini lesson with resin clay and would like to learn more.

  10. Snakeskin? Snakeskin?? Eeeeek!!!!

    There's a bit of a magical world in jewelry making isn't there! Being able to use different mediums is what is so appealing to me. Taking a medium as far as it will go with simple techniques that you use continually in another medium, and discovering where it will go with what you are playing with - is the epitome of a dream job!
    I always admire people who study something and come up with different ways to use it that you would never imagine. Writing a book about it? That has me in awe!
    Chuck my name in there Pearl. I'm more than happy to listen to someone talk about their passion for hours on end!

    1. What's wrong with snakeskin?? I have several pieces. I collect it every time a black snake sheds his skin in the barn.

    2. Nothing except that it is unusual to use it in jewelry designs. Debbi is incredibly creative and could see possibilities in many things. But for the record, I am not fond of snakes!

  11. BTW Pearl - I'm with Gillian. You do an excellent review job every single time! And yes - you always pick up on interesting details and throw in quite a few hints of your own each time as well!
    You've made me raise my eyebrows many a time with an interesting tip or idea. Over here I'm always going - 'Oh! Hmmmm.....' You're always goading me on to try something that you've inspired me to do.
    So thank you from me and I'm sure there have been many you've touched in the same way - including the people you review.

  12. Sounds like an interesting class that I would love to take.
    dragonswing15137 at yahoo dot come

  13. I am a blog follower and would love to take this class.
    dragonswing15137 at yahoo dot com

  14. Have so wanted to try this medium!!!!!!!
    Marlene Strait
    mlsjewel at Yahoo dot com

  15. Hi Pearl,

    Blog and FB follower - thanks for the chance to win!

    victoria_farrell at

  16. I have always been intrigued by resin clay, and this class would be such a fabulous opportunity to learn! Thank you so much for the chance to win!

  17. I haven't worked with resin clay before. It sounds fun.

  18. I have worked with epoxy clay for some time and am always looking to incorporate new techniques. Thanks Pearl for explaining how Debbi uses clay. I'd love to take her classes.

  19. Would love to win this...Thanks for the opportunity!

  20. I have dabbled in the epoxy clay, but have only done things like adding rhinestone/chatons to decorate objects. The image transfer pendants are very interesting and I didn't know that this would be possible. Would love to learn how to use the epoxy clay to its full potential.

  21. What beautiful jewelry! I would love for my 18 yr old granddaughter and I to try to learn.

  22. I have never ever worked with epoxy clay. This would be new. Hope I win. Thanks again.

  23. This seems like an interesting class.

  24. I have taken several Craftsy classes and love them. This looks like another winning class. Sure would be great to win. Learning and developing skills keeps me interested and working on new ideas. Thanks for doing a great job of reviewing classes, books and tutorials Pearl.
    blog subscriber

  25. This class looks amazing. I have used epoxy clay a bit, but never realized how versatile of a medium it is until this post.

    I would love to watch and learn more from this class.

    Thanks for offering this giveaway!

    I am a blog subscriber and look forward to reading your posts.

  26. Have worked a little with epoxy clay and need to expand my knowledge. Thank you Pearl. Blog follower:

  27. Would love to try this medium. Thanks for the giveaway.

  28. I have worked with Epoxy clay just a little bit and found that knowing polymer clay techniques doesn't mean I can work with it easily, there is a lot I need to learn. I have considered purchasing this video
    Class. Thank you for the review Pearl

  29. forgot to add to my comment blog follower (love it), Would love to try this medium. thanks for offering this giveaway.