Applying metallics

Maria Airoldi from Bergamo, Italy transforms bullseye polymer extrusions into fascinating African textiles by applying some sort of tiny metallic dots to the surface. They look like sequins but the same thing could be achieved with a metallic paint pen. You can see how Maria enlivens ho-hum beads with a dash of sparkle as you check out her Flickr pages

After seeing the twinkling mirrored mosaic magic in Philadelphia, I’m on the prowl for ways to incorporate sparkle into my work. Whole new worlds open when you take a stimulating class, don’t they?

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  • reply Anita Brandon ,

    Thanks for a sparkling start to the day. Those first lovely beads remind me of a beautiful paisley shawl from my childhood…..with a bit of added bling!

    • reply Norma ,

      Those beads are gorgeous! I specially like the blue and green. Thanks for sharing.

      • reply Barbara Poland-Waters ,

        I’ve been admiring Maria’s work recently on Flickr. I don’t think you’d get the same effect on beads with a paint pen. Those pieces of glitter, or whatever they are, have a mirror-like shine and are very precisely placed on each bead. I need to find some to add to my work, but I don’t know if I’d have the patience Maria does!

        • reply Jan montarsi ,

          Amazing items on your flickr pages – not just the sparkle , but the patterns that end up in your beads are beautiful !

          • reply Cate van Alphen ,

            • reply Cynthia Tinapple ,

              Cate – Thanks so much for the nail art tip translation. Now we know how add shimmer if we’ve got the patience!

              Cynthia

              • reply Wendy Moore ,

                Hi Cynthia, anyone wanting a bit of shimmer should be seriously considering a trip to Nepal. They really know how to sparkle here. Too much sparkle is simply not enough!

                • reply Wendy Moore ,

                  I guess Maria must use gloss to get that gorgeous shine? I imagine polishing would do something bad to the spangly bits?? They are just beautiful.

                  • reply Jackie ,

                    Love these beads they remind me of India, I do like sparkle and shimmer!

                    • reply Lorrene Baum-Davis ,

                      Cynthia… Love her beads. I like to tell peeps I went to the ‘Big School Of Jewelry Arts’… snort. Love those color combos and her application of canes. Yum.

                      • reply Jainnie ,

                        Wonderful beads! Love the colors and designs. And the applied glitter…wow! I see someone else already translated something, but on this pic: http://www.flickr.com/photos/airmar/4431206875/in/set-72157622083106284 she says, “are applied one by one with a pointed stick” .. “it takes a little ‘patience” :)) and “just put them on the soft clay, are fixed with the heat of cooking.” I’m in love with her technique!! (And I have a lot of glitter laying around here!!…)

                        • reply Pat Wexelblat ,

                          I’ve been to Philadelphia’s Magic Garden several times, each time finding more to look at and see than the time before. It’s truly inspiring, and whenever you’re in town, do try to see it.

                          • reply Faux Shisha ,

                            […] been drawn to Shisha embroidery (you know, those wonderful textiles with mirrors). Seeing how Maria Airoldi applied small nail glitter pieces to her beads gave me big […]

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

                              On this blog I showcase the best polymer clay art online to inspire and encourage you. I also send out weekend extras in the premium newsletter, StudioMojo.

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