Tips and Tricks

Butterflies are free

Into the Forest submission on PolymerClayDaily

This butterfly bush (more pix here) is a group project from the polymer clay students at the Ohio Reformatory for Women for the Into the Forest exhibit.

The clay came from generous artists who were destashing. (The ORW students are happy to condition old polymer. Let me know if you’re cleaning out and have extra clay.)

They created 27′ of big hole beads that were slipped onto brass rods and inserted into a wooden base made by my husband. The brass rods couldn’t be taken into the facility so we had to visualize the piece and assemble it at home. I’ll take the whole shebang apart to ship it off to Pittsburgh.

Will you be part of this international exhibit? The deadline has been extended to May 1.

You have plenty of time to make your mark on the fanciful forest that Laura Tabakman, Julie Eakes, Emily Squires Levine, Libby Mills and Nancy Travers concoct from your submissions.

The event opens in Pittsburgh in November with a teaser preview on view at Synergy4 in August. Are you tempted to make some beads to cheer up your own garden?

Cruising creatively

Friesen on PolymerClayDaily.com

We gotta have a chat with Christi Friesen and find out what’s going so right in her life. She’s been churning out new ideas, following her bliss and coloring outside the lines for months.

Take these freeform bowls, for instance. Forget symmetrical half dome bowls. Christi stretches her polymer into shallow elongated irregular ovals. She draws her images of branches, leaves, and flowers and adds color with pastels or paints or whatever strikes her fancy.

Christi’s preparing samples for her upcoming Aloha Creative Hawaiian cruise. That would definitely improve your mood, wouldn’t it? She’s planning another one in 2019 so save your pennies.

You can see more of her brainstorms and samples on Instagram and Facebook.

Tubular polymer

Nowak on PolymerClayDaily.com

Two artists have gone tubular for spring. Same thinking with very different outcomes from Austria’s Izabela Nowak and Pennsylvania’s Genevieve Williamson.

Izabela uses slim tubes in graduated purples formed into a 3D necklace. She has been experimenting for months with what she calls her Straw Technique.

Williamson on PolymerClayDaily.com

Genevieve takes a more minimalist approach with long slender polymer tubes strung into a bright multi-color strand. “Is it too light?” she wonders on Instagram.

PCD will look at several new stringing, assembling, designing developments that have emerged recently. Looks are changing for spring!

Polymer surprises

Ajates on PolymerClayDaily.com

Even if you won’t be traveling to the Czech Republic for Polymer Week 2017, July 2-8, you’ll want to take a closer look what the 15 teachers will be presenting. (Scroll to the bottom of their page.)

For example, these brooches from Spain’s Fabiola Perez Ajates pull you in with their layers, colors, patterns, textures, cutouts. So neatly and cleverly done!

Just when you think that your eyes have taken in all the details, you find another point of interest. Shapes that look easy and geometric turn out to be slightly askew. These visual surprise packages will be part of Fabi’s classes. She shares glimpses of her patterns and palettes on the group’s Facebook page as well as on her own blog and FB page.

Could your work benefit from another helping of surprise?

Spring breaks

Vogel on PolymerClayDaily.com

Florida’s Lorraine Vogel (WiredOrchid) brings us a springy look with her combination of layered surface techniques. If lightly layered beach motifs speak to you, Lorraine’s tutorials let you in on her methods

Whether it’s batiks, transfers or a mix of media and methods, Lorraine builds over a light clay, adding and subtracting until she reaches a tropical mix of color and shape.

Here’s her freebie tutorial on StencilGirl to experiment with. Lots of examples of her sun and sand on Etsy, FacebookFlickr and Instagram.

Mystery polymer mosaic

Hannorova on PolymerClayDaily.com

Does it bug you when you can’t quite figure out how a piece was constructed? I am stumped by this pendant/bar/bead from Jana Honnerova and the Czech translation doesn’t help.

Blended and stamped veneer? Extruded interlocking patterns? Faux mosaic? Silkscreen?

What you can clearly understand is that Jana put a lot of time and skill into developing this brain-teaser pattern. She has a masters in biology/genetics and was a skateboard champion too.

Here’s her work on FB, Flickr and Etsy. Oh look, Jana will teach in Dallas in March!

In the meanwhile, let her design tease your polymer brain.

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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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