Tips and Tricks

When ideas crystalize

Kilgast on PCDaily

Stephanie Kilgast didn’t intially reveal where she was headed with her collection of polymer crystals. She offered a great little YouTube video of how she made these other-worldly minerals. She usually creates incredibly realistic miniature foods. Crystals pointed to change.

Her clusters of cave growths reappeared mounted to a dimensional canvas trailing a blue wash of color. Stephanie explains her sculptural painting and talks about her burst of creativity on her site. She hints at more changes to come.

See what other big steps Stephanie is taking on Patreon and Instagram. They’re brave and inspirational steps!

Add drama with paint

Atwood on PCDaily

Polymer artists like Texas’ Shelley Atwood continue to show us what you can do with textures and paints. Shelley bends the textured ribbons of polymer for additional movement on these dangling earrings.

The red of the bottom medallions is a surprise. Gold paint unifies the look which is topped off with the big loops of the earwires.

Look at her Flickr pages to see how Shelley pumps up the drama of her work.

Complex simplicity

Niese on PCDaily

Michigan’s Sandra Niese (DandyBeads) eases us into Monday with a simple pendant. On its own, the spiral would have been too simple.

By embedding those metal pins into the edge of the design, Sandra makes us stop and take in the texture and the metallic finish and ponder the piece.

The dance between complexity and simplicity is a tricky one. See more of Sandra’s organic and slightly grungy works on Facebook, Pinterest and Etsy.

Cutting loose with scraps

Beal on PCDaily

Is it the reminder of another way to use scrap clay that attracts us to Carol Beal’s (BeadUnsupervised) newest marbled domes? Or is it Carol’s unsupervised, no-holds-barred approach to jewelry-making that pulls us in?

No matter. It’s inspiring to see how she turns bits of fall colored scrap into stripes and then drags a stylus in zigs and zags across the surface to marble it. Carol’s good at messing things up in delightful ways and this is a great example of how effective cutting loose can be.

See more of Carol on Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest and Etsy.

Cut loose with me in a class at Creative Journey Studios in Georgia, October 7-9.

About face

Renner on PCDaily

Lisa Renner’s sculpted busts have wistful, pensive looks with lovely touches of fashion and mystery. Lisa avoids the telltale ways of working that scream “plastic”.  Her strong expressions and ceramic-like fabrics pull you right past the material and into the art.

It’s an enviable trick that Lisa teaches in her 2-day About Face class (the next one’s in September in Albuquerque). See if you can figure how how she performs this sleight of hand by flipping through the work on her website.  Check out her class schedule and friend her on Facebook.

New ceramics

Uliczny on PCDaily

Pan pastels, improved crackle techniques and better glazes are making it harder and harder to tell polymer from ceramics.

This square pendant from Michigan’s Christi Uliczny proves my point. The only clue that this pendant is polymer might be its vibrant colors.

Christi credits Iris Mishly and Hilla Bushari’s imitative ceramic tutorials with teaching her the basics. See how Christi brings her own color sensibility to the pieces on her Etsy, Flickr and Facebook pages.

Love the depth and warmth of ceramic glazes? You can mimic them in polymer. No kiln required.

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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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