Watkins on PCDaily

Carol Simmons and Rebecca Watkins are sharing the fruits of their recent collaborative work with you!

Carol wanted to experiment with big polymer beads and Rebecca wanted them lightweight and textured. Rebecca came up with an ingenious solution to make them hollow. Paper!

Since paper’s burning point is 451° Fahrenheit, it works as an armature for polymer. Rebecca researched and redrew various shape templates, printed them onto cardstock, cut them out, and taped each shape together. The constructed forms were covered with a thin layer of polymer (see the black forms in this picture) and baked.

Watkins on PCDaily

Carol and Rebecca covered the baked forms with slices of kaleidoscope canes. Rebecca incised deep lines into Carol’s densely patterned canes. They tried a variety of methods – deeply or lightly textured, highlighted with dark powder (see Rebecca’s project in Polymer Clay Global Perspectives) or not, covered in sheets of pattern or with small sections. Each test bead was then rebaked.

Simmons and Watkins on PCDaily

Here are her shape files for you to download free, print and play with. “They are free because I did not invent geometry!” says Rebecca. Still, it was generous of the duo to share their secrets. Thanks to them we have another great way to create hollow forms with polymer.

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  • reply Cara Jane ,

    Genius idea!

    • reply Mary Anne Loveless ,

      So generous. So clever. Thanks to you!

      • reply Alice Stroppel ,

        The minute I saw Rebecca cutting them out, I knew they would be a global sensation. Now the fun begins as we watch them spin around the world. A genius idea Rebecca, thanks for sharing.

        • reply Cara Jane ,

          Isn’t it just great the way good ideas spread like wildfire :)

      • reply Kristie Foss ,

        This is one of those “light bulb” moments that will spark hundreds of spin-offs. How lovely of Rebecca and Carol to share their collaboration with us all. Thank you!

        • reply Jan Montarsi ,

          Fantastic Idea !!!! Thanks for sharing, can’t wait to try it !!!!!

          • reply Randee M Ketzel ,

            See what happens when two geniuses get together? I love the polymer world!!

            • reply Ginger Davis Allman ,

              Now that’s brilliant. And I can’t wait to play with this! Thank you so much for sharing, Cynthia.

              • reply Kathy ,

                Fabulous! Thanks for your generosity and creativity.

                • reply Loretta ,

                  And they’re strong too!

                  • reply Sherry Bailey ,

                    Well HECK! I have made boxes with that design for years to hold pens and other things for gifts. Never thought about them as armatures before! SOME people are SO Smart!!!
                    ;^)

                    • reply Francie Owens ,

                      What a great idea!

                      Thanks for putting your geometry ideas on paper and sharing them with us. I’ve printed mine and am ready to play!

                      • reply Terry Noxel ,

                        How do we get the paper form out? I’m trying to visualize that step in the process. Thank you.

                        • reply Cynthia Tinapple ,

                          Good question. You don’t! You leave it in.

                        • reply Patt Word ,

                          Thanks for saving all of us time and brain cells!!!lol Appreciate your generosity and skill…………….grin/ Definitely will play with these……….

                          • reply laurie ,

                            This idea is GENIUS!!! I cannot wait to try it. Thank you to Carol & Rebecca for sharing this technique.

                            • reply Debbie G ,

                              Oh, this is going to be SO much fun! Thanks so much for sharing the brilliance.

                              • reply Lynda Moseley ,

                                Yowzer, how Ingenious! I can’t wait to play with the long bead form in particular. Thank you, ladies. Rebecca, how many have been downloaded today, a gajillion? LOL Are you taking requests for other shapes? :)

                                • reply Dawn-Marie deLara ,

                                  Not sure if I’ll make the beads, but it never clicked that I could use card stock as an armature. Takes out the weight, opens up the inside…cogs are spinning! Why do these things come along when I have the absolute least time to play with them? Thanks for the inspir-straction!!!

                                  • reply Rebecca Watkins ,

                                    who you just invented my new favorite word…inspir-straction!

                                    • reply Dawn-Marie deLara ,

                                      Yes, because there just aren’t enough words already. Glad to have put a name to it. :)

                                  • reply Dede Leupold ,

                                    So cool! I’m going to play with this. Thanks for sharing!

                                    • reply Dede Leupold ,

                                      Oh, and may I add that the beads that came from this collaboration are absolutely amazing! Beautiful work Carol and Rebecca!

                                    • reply Miren ,

                                      So ingenious!! Thanks for sharing. The geometry is discovered already but nobody has thought about this possibility before you!

                                      • reply delphine ,

                                        Great idea !
                                        I tried yesterday and made a “long bead” and covered it with slices of my favorite canes. The result is light and elegant…. Thank you for sharing this simple and efficient idea !

                                        • reply Polymer Clay Moravian Star Ornament | Polymer Clay Workshop ,

                                          […] Friday I woke up and stopped into Polymer Clay Daily as I do most week days. Cynthia had featured a hollow bead trick using a paper armature.  Oh no!  I had to change my plans for the whole day!  This was amazing. […]

                                          • reply Créa'Sofimo ,

                                            Fabulous and efficient idea !
                                            Thanks so much for sharing
                                            I’m very excited to try as soon as possible

                                            • reply Deb Hart ,

                                              Fabulous idea! And i was just thinking anout making some big beads@ Can’t wait to try it!

                                              • reply rosbudski ,

                                                lost my job last year of 20+ years no severance or unemployment. am trying to survive by making jewelry. i am grateful for your FREE tips. helps my mind go towards creativity when i see little genius bits like this, gets the creative juices flowing. Thank You Very Much-God Bless!

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