Senior creates clay charms, expresses herself

Lenz+runs+a+piece+of+clay+through+a+machine+used+to+flatten+it.+She+is+making+a+key+cover+for+the+first+time+as+an+experiment+and+plans+to+sell+them+in+her+mom%27s+store%2C+Frankie+and+Fletcher+Mercantile.+Photo+by+Samantha+Baltzell.+
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Senior creates clay charms, expresses herself

Lenz runs a piece of clay through a machine used to flatten it. She is making a key cover for the first time as an experiment and plans to sell them in her mom's store, Frankie and Fletcher Mercantile. Photo by Samantha Baltzell.

Lenz runs a piece of clay through a machine used to flatten it. She is making a key cover for the first time as an experiment and plans to sell them in her mom's store, Frankie and Fletcher Mercantile. Photo by Samantha Baltzell.

Lenz runs a piece of clay through a machine used to flatten it. She is making a key cover for the first time as an experiment and plans to sell them in her mom's store, Frankie and Fletcher Mercantile. Photo by Samantha Baltzell.

Lenz runs a piece of clay through a machine used to flatten it. She is making a key cover for the first time as an experiment and plans to sell them in her mom's store, Frankie and Fletcher Mercantile. Photo by Samantha Baltzell.

Samantha Baltzell, Editor

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High school is all about being yourself. Students express themselves through so many different ways, especially through being creative.

  Mackenzie Lentz, Senior at D.C. Everest Senior High, expresses herself through creating charms and keychains out of clay.

  Lentz heard about other people who were creating new things out of clay when she was ending her eighth grade year, but started becoming more involved during her freshman and sophomore year of high school.

  “It’s appealing to me because it’s something that helps me calm down and it’s something I really like,” said Lentz. “Sometimes I get so focused on my work that I’ll be working until midnight finishing things and exploring new ideas.”

  While a majority of her ideas are just off the top of her head, Lentz also turns to the internet for inspiration.

  “I usually have to look up ideas for things like pens. The first pen I ever made for my mom’s store fell over in the oven and burned on the bottom of the oven,” said Lentz. “That pen was a definite reject. Most of the things that don’t turn out well end up in a box that I never look at again.”

  Lentz has made BFF charms, decorations for paper clips, charms for iPhones, creative coverings for pens, and is starting to create key covers along with bracelets and necklaces. The key chains and iPhone charms that Lentz creates are her most popular items. Her goal is to sell them at her mom’s shop, Frankie and Fletcher Mercantile, where she is planning to work over the summer.

  In order to make her charms, Lentz uses a polymer clay that helps her blend colors together and make sure that all of the small details are accurate.

  “When I start, I try to figure out an idea or I mess around with a color to see what pops out at me. Sometimes I use my hands and other times I use a mold to make things,” said Lentz. “When they’re done I bake them at 275 degrees, but I put them in the oven when it’s not preheated so it takes a while. Finally, I dip them in a glaze and let them dry.”

  Even though her charms typically turn out okay, Lentz struggles a little bit with trying to avoid accidentally gluing her fingers together or having the tools slip and poke her fingers.

  “Sometimes I’m just not fast enough to get the glue off my hands,” said Lentz. “I love doing this though because I can throw my own twist on everything, and I really enjoy the fact that people like it.”

  Mr. Christopher Hansen, social studies teacher, has bought three custom made charms from Lentz in the past. He put all three in Christmas stockings for his children.

  “I think it’s awesome that students like Mackenzie take their passions and ideas and turn it into ways to make money,” said Mr. Hansen.

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