How Brewing Beer Led To Mags Bonham’s Love Affair With Curio [Silhouette Spotlight]

How Brewing Beer Led To Mags Bonham’s Love Affair With Curio [Silhouette Spotlight]

My name is Mags Bonham, and my husband and I have lived in Vermont, outside Burlington, for nineteen years. My husband is a craft beer home brewer, so we spend a lot of time enjoying his beer, and all the other great beer being made in Vermont. We love to travel and spend time with our golden retriever, Barley.

Many years ago, I made some hop jewelry to wear at beer festivals and the jewelry really caught on. (Hops are the ingredients in beer that give it the most flavor.) With the help of some local breweries and Etsy, the line has grown and is now the majority of my business. Its growth is what got me involved with digital cutters. There was no other way to keep up with the demand.

Hopping From Brewing To Crafting

When I’m not making hops jewelry, I like to come up with teachable projects using the machines and sharing them with both the polymer community and Silhouette users. I love my job as a polymer clay artist! Whether I’m working or playing, I usually have clay in my hands. I mostly make jewelry and decorative functional items. I accent my pieces with beads, pearls, and crystals.

I LOVE color. I like classic designs that are ageless. I wouldn’t say that I am one that gets into short-lived fads. Oh, and I’m a bit of a magpie—I really like shiny things like rhinestones and metallics. I get my inspiration from many places. I have always loved the aesthetics of Asian art & design, which influenced the Art Deco period, another era I look to for design inspiration.

Using Curio To Craft With Polymer Clay

Polymer clay is my choice of material 99.9% of the time because it is so versatile. There are tons of ways to use polymer clay so here is always something new to try. It is a fairly inexpensive medium to work with so you can experiment and make mistakes.

I have been using Silhouette machines for over three years now.  Curio is my favorite machine for polymer clay. It works so well with polymer clay. With Curio, I can cut thicker sheets of clay than with the CAMEO.

Sharing With The Silhouette Community

I have so much fun learning and experimenting with the CAMEO and Curio machines. I have gotten a lot of support from the folks at Silhouette to help me share what I’ve learned, both with crafters who want to add a new material to their Silhouette arsenal and with polymer clay users who are looking for a new tool to add to their studio/craft space.

Quick Facts About Mags

Night owl or early riser?

Absolutely a night owl! Working from home gives me the leeway to work whenever I feel like it. I stay up late coloring while watching the TV shows my early-riser hubby doesn’t like.

Ice cream or frozen yogurt?

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, of course. We live not far from the original factory.

Bagels or donuts?

Totally depends on the availability and quality. But can’t I have both?

Cake or pie?

Hands down—no contest—cake, with lots of icing. Now that I think about it, I don’t even need the cake. Just the icing!

Are you interested in learning more about Mags or in learning how to craft with polymer clay? Visit www.MagsBonham.com and view her online classes at CraftCast.com.


Silhouette Spotlight is a new series that shines a light on creative Silhouette users all over the world. Do you know someone who uses their Silhouette in an exciting, new, or unique way? Contact us—one day we might get to shine the spotlight on you!

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6 comments

  1. I’m so happy they spotlighted you here, Mags! I’m looking forward to the next conference in Peachtree City where hopefully our classes don’t overlap and I can attend one of yours! 🙂

  2. Do you have an online tutorial on how to do this with polymer clay?

  3. Wow! Who would have thought that one could cut polymer clay with their Silhouette! That is so cool!

    I’m glad you were featured on the blog, Mags!

  4. Great feature article on you Mags! I am so hoping to take one of your classes in June or at least pick your brain on what you can do with a Cameo or 3 and what a really needs to be done on the Curio. See you soon!

  5. Thanks everyone for all of the kind comments! I look forward to sharing more of my experience here in the future.

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