Polymer Construction Techniques for Statement Necklaces

Course Description

About this course

Create a fantastically original necklace with individual components that have been composed to both please the eye and move comfortably on the body. In this course students will focus on a necklace construction method that can be used with basic polymer skills or the most complex of canes. Create a variety of effects using metal wire as an armature and linking system that will work with unusually shaped components. Students will learn how to use a dress form or neck form, to mock-up designs and fit them to the complex curves of the body, how to create individual components with polymer marquetry techniques, as well as how to carve, add textures, arrange, and connect these components in a way that functions well on the body.

This class will examine cohesive design, balance and repetition, choosing materials for longevity, clean crisp aesthetic, and original hand-made closures. Basic skills in polymer will be required. No previous metal experience is necessary. Soldering is not required.

Onsite reopening will follow all necessary safety policies and state mandates. Please click here to read current and up-to-date information regarding Metalwerx health and safety protocols. 

Meet the Instructor

Bonnie Bishoff

Bonnie Bishoff has worked collaboratively with her artistic partner and husband J. M. Syron since 1987. Starting as furniture makers, they made work that incorporated large panels of polymer veneers for 28 years. Gradually they shifted their focus to explore jewelry and mixed media pieces.They tend to work in series and on several fronts at once. The focus of their jewelry has been creating metal armatures, textured and oxidized metal surfaces, and polymer marquetry surface designs. In addition they have been exploring a series of wall panels or "paintings" in polymer veneers and wire armatured sculptures. 

They have exhibited widely in galleries and fine craft shows including the Smithsonian and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Museum exhibitions include the Peabody Essex, The Museum of Art and Design, NY and the permanent collection of the Racine Art Museum. Their materials include veneers of polymer clay, silver, bronze, copper, and wood. They aim to create work that projects an expansive notion of art and creative pursuit to be shared by the wearer with the world.

Materials & Tools 

There is a $25 materials fee for this workshop that is payable upon registration. The materials kit covers artist oil thickening medium, liquid translucent sculpey, x-acto knife, brush, sterling silver wire, nickel silver wire, and other miscellaneous items needed for course objectives. 

Students should bring 
  • pasta machine - required (Fire Mountain)
  • steel polyblade (Fire Mountain)
  • acrylic roller (Polymer Clay Super Store)
  • cutting mat or cutting board (Container Store)
  • additional x-acto knife with #11 blade - if you have one
  • 5-10 simple or complex canes
  • 3-4 x 2oz blocks of solid colors to coordinate with canes
  • 6oz x extra polymer clay or scrap for unseen filler layers

If you have no canes, then you will want a variety of Premo or Fimo Soft from Polymer Clay Super StoreJoann Fabrics, or Sculpey Products:

  • 10 x 2oz pack - variety of colors 

Other optional items: 

  • small shape cutters
  • small carving tools
  • acrylic paints
  • soft phone wire or artistic wire



Materials Cost



Bonnie Bishoff


July 30 -August 1, 2021


10:00 AM -5:00 PM


3 days

Basic and above
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