An Expert's Journey with Apoxie® Sculpt

by Tim Cronkhite, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

A couple years ago, I had the opportunity to teach a class on how to use Apoxie Sculpt at the Bead and Button show in Milwaukee, WI. I was thrilled when Bead and Button accepted my pavé-style ring design as the class project. Apoxie Sculpt is one of my favorite jewelry-making products because it doesn't require a lot of tools. You just mix it with your fingers and let it air dry. It's that easy!

For me, this all started a few years ago when I was asked to teach this technique with a similar product that Fire Mountain carried at that time. Five days before having to leave for the show, disaster struck! That other product was suddenly discontinued. Everyone went into high gear to find another product that I could use for the class. Our Product Management group scrambled to find a replacement product, and quickly found a product called Apoxie Sculpt. That was the good news. The bad news was that I had only two days to test the product and make sample jewelry before getting on the plane to Milwaukee. Yes, I was sweating bullets! (That was probably the inspiration for the Apoxie Sculpt bullet pendant that I created just recently, haha.)

I had to pull a couple of all nighters, but was excited to find that Apoxie Sculpt was so easy to use. Simply combine equal parts of part A and part B of the product, knead them together for about 2 minutes until they are completely mixed, and it is ready to use. I was running around my home studio putting Apoxie Sculpt on
An Expert's Journey with Apoxie® Sculpt
anything that didn't move. "What's that, plastic?" BAM! Apoxie Sculpt it! "Wow, is that a mold?" SMASH! Apoxie Sculpt it! "Oh, I have sand paper. Wonder if I can sand it?" and "Here's some paint, so let's paint it!" I'm sure I looked like a crazy person, gluing, sanding and painting any and everything.

The next day it was back to work counting down the days (or day) until I was to leave on my trip. Our Product Management team was working frantically with me to get enough products shipped directly to the Bead and Button show for my class. I also loaded my suitcase with Apoxie Sculpt just in case the shipment didn't make it on time.

Then, it was off to Milwaukee! I got there about the same time that the Apoxie Sculpt shipment arrived! It was a BIG relief, and I was ready to rock my class. We were there a couple days before my actual class date to help Tammy Honaman and Tom Triplett get their classes ready. It was a whirlwind of running here and there, working past midnight setting up and tearing down the class sets, and Tammy's class ended one evening at 10pm and Tom's class started at 8am in a different building. But we got through it.

Then the big day arrived to teach my class. If you're like me, you still get nervous starting to teach a class. And to add to my
nervousness, the class attendance was getting bigger and bigger, until I completely maxed out at 20 students. It's no wonder, though. Fire Mountain Gems and Beads sponsored my class and provided the students all the products they needed to take the class for free! The students only paid for the class fee.

I have to say, I had a dream the night before the class that the electricity in the class room didn't work. So, I went to visit the room during the class that was ahead of mine. Great! The electric was all up and working fine. My day was looking bright, so we all went to the auditorium to set up for the "Meet the Teachers" event, and was I ever tired by then. It's a really big place and there is a LOT of running around.

The time finally arrived to start setting up for my class. The students started flocking into the class room. Tammy and Tom were helping to get the free products for the class passed out to all the students, and I started to explain what Apoxie Sculpt was and talking about its benefits. We used the electric Tweezer Vac™. Fire Mountain was not able to give the Tweezer Vac away, but did offer that the students could purchase them at wholesale price. They had to wait to have them sent from our warehouse in Oregon. It was such a great deal, I even bought one.

I explained to my students that they needed to add the smallest tip to the Tweezer Vac then turn it on. Finally, I turned my Tweezer Vac and it didn't work, so I checked the plug to make sure I plugged it in. It was plugged in, there just wasn't any electricity! AHHHH, Immediately, Jessica from Fire Mountain was on the phone calling the Bead and Button staff for help. They had help there within minutes, and before you knew it, the electric was flowing. WooHoo!!! I was able to finish up the class, and everyone had a wonderful time, plus I met some really great people and made new friends. The best thing about it was that everyone left with a fantastic Apoxie Sculpt ring and pendant. The pavé-style ring we created was so beautiful that everyone fell in love with it, would anyone expect anything less than "stunning"?

Here are a few things I learned from teaching the Apoxie Sculpt in my class. I come from Oregon and we don't have the summer humidity that Milwaukee has. This gives the Apoxie Sculpt a little more working time. I also learned not to handle the Apoxie Sculpt as much after placing it in its settings to keep it from being too sticky. Using Teflon sheets as your beading mat helps to smooth out the Apoxie surface. It also washes off easily; making baby wipes your new best friend. I use them with all my new Apoxie Sculpt projects now.
  • Also adheres to cabochons, crystals, glass, plastic, metal, wood and more.
  • This moldable compound has a long working time, 1 to 3 hours with 0% shrinkage.
  • Mix equal parts A and B of the Apoxie Sculpt for 2 minutes or until thoroughly to a putty-like texture. Then shape, roll, mold, or sculpt into your desired finished form.
  • After 24 hours, Apoxie Sculpt self-hardens and is fully cured for a permanent and waterproof finish with a semi-gloss look.
  • Embellish wet or dry with paint for additional creative styles. Easy cleanup with soap and water.
  • Freeze-thaw stable for extended shelf life. If Apoxie Sculpt hardens prior to use, microwave for 2-3 seconds to soften.
Good luck on using Apoxie Sculpt and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. So, go sand, paint, stamp or mold your new found love.

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Customer Comments

We would like to share some of the customer comments we received in response to the article "An Expert's Journey with Apoxie® Sculpt," as featured in an email newsletter. Please keep in mind that the comments expressed below are those of our customers and do not reflect the views of Fire Mountain Gems and Beads.

"I loved this article. Several years ago I purchased the electric tweezers and a similar product that was being demo'd at Bead and Button. However, I was very disappointed because several of the stones fell out within a month and ruined the project. Do you know if Tim's students had a similar problem with this product?"
- Sallie

"Great article and good tips even if I don't plan to use it. Thanks."
- Mary Ann

"Great Apoxie Sculpt article."
- Mary

"Hi! My name is Michele, I'm a very creative person when it comes to designing beautiful one of kind jewelry creations. I love this new idea and product "Apoxie Sculpt" it'll heighten my creative flow and give me more options in my creative designing process. I'm very excited about this product and looking forward to working with this new concept in my many Designs to come. Thank You so much for all of your wonderful designing products and info you provide to "Enthusiastic Designers" like me. (Smile) Yours Truly"
- Michele