Updating Updating!!

Today we tried to put up some more info on our classes and what we sell,

Here are the two links to our ….

CLASSES:

What when where who etc is here:

https://jennjulieclay.wordpress.com/posts-from-jenn/

Details of the individual classes are here:

https://jennjulieclay.wordpress.com/scheduled-classes/

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What we SELL:

Is here:

https://jennjulieclay.wordpress.com/for-sale/

So for all those of you who have been asking what the pictures are of and what we do with them, what we teach and so on, hopefully these pages will help to explain it all!!

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Why Filani

Every now and then we will give a detailed post about the products that we use and why … so this one is about Filani which is the brand of clay that we use:

Why Filani
When ever people see us making things with clay, the first thing they ask is “it is that Fimo stuff?”

The short answer is yes it is Polymer Clay, but no the brand we use is not Fimo. We have nothing against Fimo and in fact their clay can be created into some pretty sharp lines that we find impressive, but we choose to use Filani. That sounds a little like a paid advertisement, but the truth is that we use it completely of our own choice, and for many reasons! So in case you are wondering, here they are:

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1. There are sooo many good things about them!

We love Filani because we genuinely think that overall, they are the best. We love Sculpey III and Premo as well, and have been using them for nearly twenty years now, and had we not stumbled across Filani we would still be using them. But we decided to try Filani when we found it because of all the reasons below and many of those reasons are enough to make the change all on their own, never mind that there are so many!!

2. The Research…

Once we started trying a little Filani and liked it, we decided to see what the “big wigs” around the world think of them.. and were pleasantly surprised to see how they have been tested and here is what we found:

http://claypolymer.blogspot.com/2013/10/testing-polymer-clay-flexibility-at-60.html

Here they tested all the major brands on flexibility (in the context of it not breaking!!! which is important!!) and Filani beat them all!! If you enjoy this site then look around at as they did other tests on cooking times, colours, all sorts of things … we learnt a lot here alone!

http://www.bloglovin.com/viewer?post=1687704755&group=0&frame_type=b&blog=9551767&frame=1&click=0&user=0

Again Filani was up there in the winnings.

Not everyone has heard of Filani yet, they are only about 5 years old at the time of printing this (early 2014), and so considering that and that they are a non US company, they have done extremely well to be up there being known and tested by some of the big guys. From our research we found that for those big wigs who have tested it, they came first or second on most things tested which is pretty impressive! So from a third party research point of view, we were pretty impressed!

3. Our own experience!

We don’t believe in ONLY doing research, nor in ONLY using our own experience, we think that a combination of both is important when making big decisions like changing brands in a business!! So this is not as scientific as the tests below, and we didn’t do comparison tests as such, but we use our hands and our ovens and clay almost every day and we know our products well, and so just simply using Filani in every day use is a different kind of testing! So we simply used it as we do in real life over many colours and many months and we really like it 🙂

I particularly LOVE the colours!! There is something earthy about them even the bright ones, and the range is really good and growing all the time!

It is also really import to us and our integrity, for you to know that we chose Filani of our own free will. No one has paid or given us ANY incentives to try or use them, and our own trials of over 6 months were done on our own coin! We have come to our OWN conclusions, that we REALLY like their products! We still love Premo especially and will continue to use up our rather large stashes and even add to it from time to time, with both Sculpey III and Premo, but in all our classes we only use Filani and we only sell Filani brands where possible (not all products in the clay world belong to any one brand, but our clays do!)

4. They are LOCAL!!! woohoo!!

We love Filani because it is local. Buying South African products to support local manufacturers and create local jobs is ALWAYS a good thing!! We are proud to be South African and proud of our rainbow nation, and we LOVE that we produce so many incredible products here!! But we wouldn’t use most of them simply for being local! They need to be good enough to stand in their own right and Filani are standing up to the big brands all over the world and are only getting bigger!! We are soooo proud of this and we cannot think of a better company to get behind!

Being local also means that we can get supplies in not only fast but that they are actually almost always available! Many of the other brands can be hard to source in certain colours, never mind that for us they are hard to get. So access is consistent, fast, and reliable!

5. Back Up!!

We chose Filani not the other way around! Not that they don’t love us we are sure!! But we tested them and worked on their products for months before approaching them to work with them more closely, and it turned out to be at a time when they just happened to be looking for knew facilitators and the timing was just right! We each need each other, and we know it and have built a really professional but honest to goodness relationship which is an incredible bonus!! … and the support and back up since we met has been incredible!! We talk about products, we talk about results, we fiddle with colours and we share our trials and thoughts and ideas. Having a product like this to support our business is a huge bonus! To us Filani is more than a great product, it is part of our business and we are proud of that!!

6.They are one classy company!!

Product is everything! They need to produce the best possible product, and they do! But we have also had the privilege of being able to visit the Filani factory on a number of occasions, and have been super impressed. They are good people who run an INCREDIBLE company, and a factory that is cleaner and better run than most companies that I have seen! They are professional, they care deeply about their people, they actively create jobs where possible and do much by hand for this reason where they could easily have replaced people with machines! They work HARD on their products and are perfectionists which is a great thing for their business!!

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More fun

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I am loving this. So much fun. I have added some more pics to show what I have been up to. Just look at all the fabulous colours in the collection of beads – and I haven’t even started mixing colours yet. Just think you can make a strand of beads to match every outfit in your wardrobe. It is really affordable – so you really could! Then there is my board of tiles. I just love the “sculptability” (is that a word) of it. Playing with textures and adding creatures keeps me absorbed, relaxed and happy for hours. Just look at my little elephant picture. I rolled out some mixed bits of clay and it just happened. What a surprise!! There it was in the middle of the sheet all I added was more definition of the tusk. I have always loved elephants so this was a true gift for me.
Seriously though, this is such a versatile medium, forgiving and affordable and requires minimal additional equipment.

Julie

Packages Packages!!!

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Everyone loves packages right!! Whether in the post, delivered by hand, or arriving in the mail! Well we have been getting lots of packages lately … all three kinds actually … so thank you to my VERY kind package deliverers! (We will ignore the fact that we spent a small fortune in order to get said packages hehe, but packages we have!!!) We have been receiving our metal clays from the US, and our polymer clays and liquid clays and glazes and powders from Filani here in South Africa, and unpacking, sorting, filing and paying is fun at first, but when all you want to do is play with it, it gets a bit tiring after a while! Also we don’t want to be using up the stock for our students and customers, so there has been much to do and still a few packages to come but we are getting there…

I said that I would share with you some of the new things that Filani have come up with and the biggest one for me is that they are now packaging their clay in two sets of thin sheets instead of as one block like everyone else! This will sound a little “whatever” if you don’t use clay much, but whoever thought that clay should come in blocks obviously doesn’t EVER have to condition it!! Filani clay has always come in thinner blocks compared to other brands, which we LOVE, but now that they have halved that thickness again, meaning that the package comes in two “slices” you peel off a layer and get straight to the conditioning!! I LOVE IT!!!

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The roses I threw in for colour 🙂 … (and because they are from my son for Mother’s day!!! 🙂 )…. but today I played with this translucent clay from Filani and opening the pack and it already being in two thin layers was SUCH a pleasure! I peeled one off and was already ahead of where I would normally be!! … AND was conditioning without even using a blade yet! I LOVE it (can you tell?)

I have also being trying to make a couple of sets of sample boards for us, so am making little buttons in both a light and dark clay to show how all the finishes come up… I still have a way to go and can’t finish it until all the last colours arrive which will hopefully be this week. I also of course did some other playing around which one needs to do when one is working and a tangent calls 🙂

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It’s all Starting to Take Shape!

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We spent most of today fiddling, we really need to get more organized with how many years of so many photos tucked into albums of dogs and life and holidays and all lost in together!! We also need to take more! For all the years of being purposeful of taking photos of things we do, we still forget more than we remember, though thankfully only because we are lost in the joy of it all!!!

But we started working on the gallery … we could have explained everything and when and how and who but we need to get moving and one day when we are old maybe we can find the time to go back and add those kinds of details!! But in the meantime check out the Gallery here: https://jennjulieclay.wordpress.com/gallery/ ….. and see a wee snippet of what we have been doing all these years … and we also started on the pages on classes and so on, so enjoy!! 🙂