Carving tools and tricks

McNall carves

All your resistance to carving polymer will vanish once you thumb through Page McNall’s latest examples of her work and pictures of her tools.

McNall cityscape

Page shows how she often makes silicone molds of her carvings which simplifies creating subsequent similar pieces.

It helps that as a dentist, Page has plenty of access to drills, sharp tools and mold-making materials. She has a painterly way with color that’s stifled at her day job.

Riveting polymer

Riveted bracelet

Calgary’s Susan White has been a jewellery maker for 15 years, transitioning from lampwork and metals to polymer and metals. Her etched copper links are accented with gilders paste.

Riveted earrings

The squares of pearlized polymer are riveted on. Below you can see her earrings with silver tubes riveted in the middle of lentil beads. More links here and here. Have a riveting weekend!

Press-on polymer nails

Wallis press-on nails

Claire Wallis‘ polymer nail veneers provide a clever solution to those who aren’t adept at nail decor. She bakes thin shaped slices on curved foil forms and glues the baked slices onto press-on nails. “I wanted to create polymer clay fake nails but in order to be strong enough they ended up too thick so these are paper thin slices stuck onto fake nails,” she says.

Note: I ran right out and bought some drugstore nails which melted in the oven. Then I made a mold of each size nail which allowed me to make perfectly shaped veneers.

Can you go overboard with this impractical but fun idea? If your earrings match your coffee mug and your nails, your friends may plan an intervention.

See more of Claire’s work on Facebook and on her site here.

Carving a new niche

Smith Sunrise Shields

Oregon’s Roseanna Smith describes herself as “long-time painter; new to polymer clay” and she doesn’t reveal much more about herself on her Flickr site. We’ll have to watch to learn more.

These blue Sunrise Shields are part of her carving exploration and her background as a painter shows through as she layers two opposing Skinner blends together, removing the top layer of polymer to allow the bottom colors to show through.

Her simple shapes harmonize nicely with patterns that like to play hide and seek. She’s going to be fun to follow.

Platypus polymer

Platypus beads

These platypus beads from Lena Fadeeva in Belarus take their shape from the small Australian animal with a distinctive bill.

Such an intriguing shape! Inspiration for new bead shapes can come from unlikely sources.

Lena’s blog is in Russian so you may want to try your own translation (and correct me if I’ve blundered). She’s been sharing her work on Flickr and in her sales gallery for a couple of months and this new direction looks very promising.

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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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