Tips and Tricks

No-fail knitting

Leila Bidler gives imitative knitting a new twist on PolymerClayDaily.com

Even if you never learned to knit, Italy’s Leila Bidler demonstrates how you can simulate the look. She extrudes strings of polymer in shades of blue, twists them and lines them up…without dropping a stitch!

A second layer of stitching every inch or so gives the swatch the look of a fancier pattern and more complex knitting.

On Leila’s Instagram page she turns these faux knits into cozy cuffs and finishes them with a faux wood button for a wintry accessory.

A snowy day is a perfect time to check out this season’s crop of faux knit ideas. Every year there’s some new twist. PCD’s all-time favorites are still Juliya Laukhina’s from 2010.

If you’re looking for more fun behind-the-scenes tidbits, come on over to StudioMojo where we indulge in deep polymer chats every Saturday morning. 

Polymer takes wing

Karina Formanova's birdy brooches take wing on PolymerClayDaily

Russia’s Karina Formanova has created flocks of small bird brooches in a huge variety of colors. You can see from her Instagram focus that Karina has studied her birds.

She distills their colors and shapes down to combinations of subtle Skinner blends and delicate canes that make her birds seem to flutter on the wearer’s collar. 

Follow her works in progress on her Facebook and see the range of colors in her shop. The brooches are nicely packaged in nests of matching papers.

Mean mason jar

Pamela Carmen's big florals cover a jar in a hurry on PolymerClayDaily.com

Florida’s Pamela Carman makes a mean Mason jar. This big floral one has actually been upcycled with one of those fancy liquid soap pumps.

The background for her flowers is textured white clay. Pamela’s big blooms allow her to create a quick composition without having to cover every inch of the glass jar with pattern.

She shows a bunch of them on Instagram if you’re in a handmade gifty mood.

If your mood has gotten grinchy and fed up with the pressures of the season already, join us over at StudioMojo where we help you keep your priorities balanced and your mojo bopping along. 

Olive green with jealousy

Sliced stripes from Sandra Trachsel on PolymerClayDaily.com

Switzerland’s Sandra Trachsel says of her bracelet inspired by an Irish Quilt pattern, “It is actually not a cane, but striped patterns cut and burnished together.”

I was certainly fooled. You’ll have to read the descriptions on each of her photos on Flickr to be sure you’ve guessed the technique correctly.

Her olive green diamonds pendant may stump you too. She created the basic color pattern, positioned a silk screen over the color shapes and added paint in perfect register. Impressive, eh?

When my studio gets messy, you may note that PCD posts gravitate to neatniks and perfectionists who control the clay so well. The reason for my change in focus contains equal parts jealousy and admiration.

Applique meditation

Applique is meditation for Magdalena Pavlovic on PolymerClayDaily.com

“Making jewelry is the only thing that calms me down,” says Serbian sports coach Magdalena Pavlovic (storiesmadebyhands).Lena patiently adds minuscule pieces of indigo polymer in patterns that mimic porcelain.

Lena’s work doesn’t require much clay or many tools and there’s no waste. But it takes a very steady hand and lots of patience.

For these rectangular earrings, she prepares bits of many shades of blue and applies small pieces to the white base with a fine needle. See her results on Instagram, Etsy, and Facebook.

For most of us, this sort of intensity raises the blood pressure, but for others, it’s a calming meditation. You could try this applique technique and see how it makes you feel.

 

Thanksgiving house tour

Take Lindsay Black's tour of homes on PolymerClayDaily.com

Happy Thanksgiving! Nashville’s Lindsay Black (oddlyandcompany) will finish this season’s orders before December 1. Isn’t that impressive?

Her custom home ornaments, small replicas of houses are highly sought after and she limited her production this year to have more family time. Give her a hand for making a plan and sticking to it.

If you’re like me, you’re telling yourself that you’ll make yourself one of these someday. I think we’d all be surprised at the skill and dexterity required. But it is tempting to try.

On a lazy Thanksgiving afternoon, take the tour through Lindsay’s houses on her Instagram.

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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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