Mora’s polymer birds & Bead Dreams winners

Elsa Mora is a Cuban born California artist most recently known for her intricate evocative papercuts. Lucky for us, she’s picked up polymer clay again, sculpting and carving it and mixing it with recycled findings. Her bird brooches look very old…and completely new.

She explains that, “There is something about pins that make me really happy. They are like a little miracles. I often plan my outfits around them. In my collection the most important themes are flowers, birds, bugs, cameos, fruits but I also have elephants, cats, dogs, snakes.” She promises to share pictures of her pin collection soon.

Elsa’s clean quiet website is not only a treasure trove of resources, it’s an oasis of calm. Once you read her story, you begin to understand the calm and the intensity that radiates through all that Elsa does.

Bead Dreams Winners

And speaking of treasure, Bead and Button attendee Libby Mills has posted snapshots of the 2009 Bead Dreams polymer clay winners on her website. First place winner is this “Chinese Cinnabar Big Bead” from Diane Villano.

Official photos will soon be posted but in the meanwhile enjoy the scoop and pictures from Libby.

Craynor’s faux African beads

Utah’s Cody Craynor sent me a link to his meticulously constructed polymer clay faux African chevron beads. Cody is refreshingly clear that his interest is only in the beads, not in making jewelry. He claims that his passion for beads began when he was transfixed by the color and clatter of a bead curtain in his parents’ 1970s bathroom. Take a look at his new site and work.

The mention of African beads derailed my daily research as I remembered earlier faux ancients. Here’s where the wayback machine took me:

• Jamey Allen’s folded beads (as seen on the Polymer Art Archive)
Desiree McCrory‘s faux chevrons
Klew‘s folded beads

Play-Doh video

I didn’t quite get the concept of last week’s Play-Doh/shaped cane breakthrough. I missed the part about Play-Doh only being used for a barrier layer with filler polymer layered on top. This video from ArtbyYonat answered all my questions. All reports are that the technique works.

Breil’s stamp tricks

Ontario’s Helen Breil does wonders with polymer clay and stamps. She combines unusual shapes, adds surprising dimension, and plays with color to build on her line of dramatic patterns. She markets her stamps and offers handy tutorials with lots of clever tricks through Shades of Clay.

“Exploration of design and developing new surface techniques fuel my continued passion with polymer clay,” she says. Prowl through Helen’s new web site to see what she’s been up to.

Modern polymer charms on silver cores

The build-your-own-bracelet system from Pandora is a hit with both teenagers and their grandmothers here in the USA. Libby Mills posted about how to create polymer clay beads on the silver cores made to be used with the Pandora line. She created the ones shown here for her daughters.

Customers line up to buy this modern version of the charm bracelet. Perhaps polymer clay artists can give collectors more interesting and unusual choices. (Lindly Haunani put me on to this trend.)

If you’re looking for even more unusual choices, look at the polymer clay earrings from Arkansas’ Giovanna Coraggio (via Eugena Topina). In her Etsy shop she offers a selection of tendril-like plugs, earrings and hair sticks.

The ear gauges that Giovanna and her fashionable friends use look like slightly larger versions of the cores Pandora uses for bracelets!

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  • I'm Cynthia Tinapple, an artist, curator, and leader in the polymer clay community for over 20 years.

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