Tips and Tricks

Polymer journals

Kolesnikov on PCDaily

Thinking of making a journal for the new year? London’s Aniko Kolesnikova (MandarinDuck) excels at creating finely textured sculpted polymer tiles. When baked and then glued onto blank book covers, the humble journals speak volumes.

The Indian elephant piece to the left is the early, unpainted version of the tile. Layers later, washes of paint and highlights of color make the image much richer. Nothing Aniko has shown before has captured so much attention she says.

Kolesnikov on PCDaily

You can watch a terrific timelapse of her making a floral journal on YouTube and she hints that a tutorial about the elephant will follow.

Aniko shares her inspirations online on Pinterest and sells on Etsy. See more in process shots of this piece on Flickr.

Doodled polymer ornaments

Thorp on PCDaily

Filigree meets mosaic meets polymer in these ornaments from Jael Thorp. The dark reds and bright accents add richness, hinting at traditional patterns and including canework then veering off into more contemporary doodles in clay. Their meandering intensity winds around to weave a complex story.

Thorp on PCDaily

This style started when Jael was doodling with clay as she made a batch of inchies. Read more about how she got carried away in this post and on her blog, on Flickr and Facebook.

Stencils and polymer

Watching how Laurie Mika applies stencils to polymer is mesmerizing. Even if your style is miles away from Laurie’s layered, collaged, jewel-encrusted shrines, you may find yourself considering how it would be to lavish color and pattern with such abandon. Or maybe just add pattern in a new way.

Truth is, stencils are a departure for Laurie too and she shares her first efforts. She’s a guest artist on Stencil Girl Talk and she shows a little step-by-step on their site. It’s an Indian-inspired mandala with mirrors and recycled glitz. The stencils are rolled into the clay to create an embossed pattern that’s later enhanced with paints.

Laurie used three of Stencil Girl’s patterns and she plans to add her designs to their line in 2015. Here she is on Facebook.

Cheers! Holiday polymer

Smith on PCDaily

Traditionally Staci Louise Smith makes small gifts for lots of friends and family at Christmas. This year, after three days playing in the studio, she had gifts and a new line of polymer wine stoppers.

These will definitely be added to next year’s show inventory she says. Of course, wine stoppers aren’t just for Christmas, in fact, these have a beach air about them.

Smith on PCDaily

Staci shares her method (and lots more pictures) on a blog post and on Facebook.

She joins the two elements by drilling a shallow hole in the top of the cork and the bottom of the bead. Then she inserts a 14g wire, joining bead and cork. She epoxys both ends of the wire.

The intense carving and soft shaping of these beads shows how much thought and effort she’s put into her small gifts. And sharing them with us is generous as well.┬áStaci’s friend, Karen McGovern, sent the link along to make sure we wouldn’t miss it.

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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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