Polymer with magnets

Niche Award winner Melanie West enjoys the challenge of a new design and she’s engineered some clever solutions with her new polymer Ball and Star necklace shown here. A magnet secures the ball next to the star and acts as a clasp on this piece which is strung on buna cord (and check out what looks like buna rings over the cording).

She tried a similar solution using memory wire and found it too bouncy in her test drives. Melanie shares more of her design process along with some of her successes and failures in this post.

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  • reply Nevenka Sabo ,

    Oh, it is really beautiful. And the other one that can be seen on the blog link is breath taking.

    • reply Janice Sears ,

      What a unique and wonderful use of magnets! They are challenging to work with when covered in clay. You have to get the placement right so that too much thickness of clay doesn’t diminish the magnetism between the two pieces. I tried refrigerator magnets last year and had to whittle down the clay backing for just that reason. Can’t wait to read her experiences and insights!

      • reply Alice Stroppel ,

        Melanie is always on the cutting edge, she keeps us all moving forward. It’s a fabulous design in all ways.

        • reply Melanie Muir ,

          Melanie’s work is always pure beauty and just looking at it gives me enormous pleasure. Her technical, creative and design skills are exemplary. What an artist!

          • reply Melanie West ,

            Wow, two Tinapple Bumps in less than a week! Thank you soooo much, Cynthia! (If you aren’t subscribing to Studio Mojo, folks, you really should – it’s a terrific weekly shot in the creative arm.)

            For those wondering about the magnets, I didn’t imbed them into the clay and then baked it… I (rather crudely, I know) drilled a hole (in the finished piece) the size of the magnet, added some super glue, and just stuck them in. As Janice describes, I too have tried shaving off micro thin layers of baked clay from the surface of embedded magnets… Ugh!! It’s been a lot of trial and error, and then some more error, but I think this trick may be the way to go.

            For those looking for really, REALLY strong magnets, try shopping at http://www.kjmagnetics.com/
            They have every kind and size and strength of magnet you could possibly want.

            Thanks, again, Cynthia! xo

            • reply Sherry Bailey ,

              Wow, Melanie, wonderful spin off from your bangles! (I love those, but they are just too big for a 4’9″ being like me!) These I could wear! Plus they are way cool! Brava!!!

            • reply ronna ,

              Well, Ms. West, aren’t you just once again Ms. Smartie McSmartSmart. Along with being a fabulous astonishing artist, of course …

              • reply Lynn Lunger/UnaOdd ,

                Beautiful, beautiful work, clever solution!

                • reply Selma ,

                  Amazing and unique! I saw all the work, she is a genius! :D

                  • reply Anita Brandon ,

                    What a lovely piece and the creative design magnet components are terrific!

                    • reply Iris mishly ,

                      This is wonderful, design and concept :) Melanie is a great artist (and person!)
                      Just a note about magnets, some of them lose their magnetism when placed in the oven in heat. Try cure your magnet first and see if it keeps its special attributes.

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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.

                        You can find my new book, Polymer Clay Global Perspectives, on Amazon.


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