Tips and Tricks

Jar art for your desk

Renner on PolymerClayDaily.com

Lisa Renner’s 10″ tall Jar Head makes a handy desk item that comes with its own feathered pen. Lisa sculpted this whimsical face over a glass jar and added details with inks and paints.

The feather-topped pen becomes a stunning hairstyle and it’s not likely someone would abscond with that. The container could be used to hold paintbrushes or other tools. 

Renner on PolymerClayDaily.com

See more of Lisa’s pensive polymer people on her site, InstagramFacebook, and newly on Etsy.

Lisa’s teaching in Phoenix at Art Unraveled in August (Laurie Mika will be there too).

Upcoming

There’s nothing like a class or conference to up your game. Registration has opened for this June’s French Lick Atelier in Indiana (featuring Libby Mills, Leslie Blackford, Ponsawan Sila, Tammy Dye and Lynda Gilcher.

The Northwest Polymer Clay Guild is accepting reservations for its May 18-22 Clay Camp in Washington. Synergy4 offers you an even deeper roster of talents and techniques at its August events.

In this weekend’s StudioMojo, readers will get an extra helping of eye candy and tool updates that were shared in Claire Maunsell’s surface class for NEPAG. If you’re needing a weekend boost, join us!

Going around in circles

Corbin on PolymerClayDaily.com

Loose, colorful, happily twirled polymer beads popped into view this week.

Kathryn Corbin’s necklace starts with big textured peach-colored tubes on a thick cord.

In the center, bigger loops of random surface textures in springy colors overlap and crowd against each other. It’s a fresh and spontaneous look that kept catching my eye in Claire Maunsell’s weekend surface techniques class in Boston. What a great use for the samples we were accumulating in class!

Then Jean Rutka posted pictures from a weekend group event in Morrisburg, Ontario.

One photo featured thin extruded polymer strings that Lyn Tremblay twirled into flat round disks and strung into a fabric-like necklace. On her Facebook page Lyn shows a number of other fun designs that come to her when she lets the clay “speak to her”.

Is this fascination with easily twirled bits of clay a trend or just a reflection of the exuberance of spring?

Balanced bowl and a TP trick

Baker on PolymerClayDaily

Boston’s Betsy Baker was pushing hard to get ready for the St. Paul ACC show last week. She gave herself a little diversion from jewelry production to make a series of ring bowls which share the same grunge-meets-elegant aesthetic. The copper colored lining on this one plays nicely against the concrete-like exterior.

If you look at Betsy’s Instagram, you can see how she loads her post earrings into the oven. Wouldn’t you guess that those are toilet paper rolls that have been flattened and pierced with holes for the posts?

Her improvised holder allows her to fire the front of the earrings and hold them upright so that any back details are baked at the same time. When you’re preparing for shows, every time-saving trick helps.

Flowery polymer teapot

Florida’s Pamela Carman makes a flowery pot of tea on a spring Monday.

A visit to her Flickr site shows you the vases, bottles, pots, birdhouses and fish shapes that she covers with polymer.

Usually she uses hundreds of slices of small canes to build her images. Her stash of neatly stored small canes makes us caners envious.

But for today’s teapot on her Instagram she grows a garden out of layers of larger textured circles and leaves.

Is there a bottle in your kitchen that wants to be covered?

A polymer builder

Otrzan on PolymerClayDaily.com

Croatia’s Nikolina Otrzan loads her shapes with rough textures and subtle colors. These square earrings are an outgrowth of her boxes, tubes and cubes series. Short sections of dark tubes line up into squares.

Seems very simple but Nik goes to great lengths to construct her pieces, paying attention every detail. Now that she’s worked out her own tricks for hollow forms, she’s expanding the jewelry she makes from them.

A walk through her Flickr site or Instagram shows you how her designs are evolving. Her tutorials contain scads of photos that explain every step. She offers a handful of instructions on Etsy and classes on CraftArtEdu. Few polymer artists are as meticulous about how their work is built as Nikolina.

Still spinning

Lehmann on PolymerClayDaily.com

Yesterday we spiraled extrusions around an egg. Today we watch Germany’s Jana Lehmann (Feeliz) as she winds around the centers of her series of Spiral brooches.

Lehmann on PolymerClayDaily.com

The colors blend into each other as the layers build. White dots and black and white accents provide a diversion from the strong colors.

Jana’s debuted a series of graphic dolls that are also decorated with spirals made of subtly blended colors.

You can catch Jana on Facebook and Flickr. Don’t miss the pen/pendants before you go spinning off to your weekend.

And if you’d like an even closer look at what happened in polymer clay art this week, join us over at StudioMojo for the inside scoop in the weekend newsletter.

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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.

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


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