Tips and Tricks

Southwest blends and designs

Deb Hart features Skinner blends in her rainbow designs on PolymerClayDaily.com

The slim profile and clear blended colors on Deb Hart’s twist ballpoint pens put them a cut above others.

These are class samples from her second session in the RainbowBlend series. She turns well mixed Skinner blends into design elements that stand on their own.

Deb Hart uses small Southwest canes to cover her sculpted animals on PolymerClayDaily.com

Her March workshop for the Arizona guild features tips for making cane inlaid sculpted animals with a definite Southwest flavor.

Deb is on a roll! See what she’s up to on Instagram and Etsy.

Budding vase

Phyllis Pollema Cahill's vase moves us to spring on PolymerClayDaily.com

This lily bud from Colorado’s Phyllis Pollema Cahill hints at spring. Dark veins cut through the Skinner blended green and lavender petals.

Phyllis spent years as an illustrator which helps explain her thorough planning and construction of this vase. She’s also been trying out her carving skills on this necklace from her Symmetry/Asymmetry online class with Christine Dumont and Donna Greenberg.

Phyllis carefully documents her technique and product experiments on her blog which contains lots of DIY tips and solutions.

Phyllis shows she’s ready for a new season. Watch her bloom on Facebook and Instagram.

Bowls redux

Angela Pike's retro bowl from Helen Breil's online class on PolymerClayDaily

You may have thought you’d done bowls, You remember all those little round ones we made? Then along comes the UK’s Angela Pike (BeadMeUpButtercup) with her first go at Helen Breil’s bowl tutorial.

Here’s Angela on Facebook and Instagram, The textures highlight the orange and blue glow of this retro bowl. Angela followed Helen’s instructions to the letter for her first try. Use your signature colors and your veneer patterns to put your own spin on them.

Helen is very methodical and her instructions are thorough. Looking for a no-fail fun project? This could be it.

Monday illusion

Lindsey Hansen swirls black and white into a 3D cane on PolymerClayDaily.com

Lindsey Hansen (Vivid Clay) lures us into the week with a tempting cane design that fools the eye with its 3D illusion. She covered a straight-sided jar with the slices and replaced the lid with a cork top.

Using black and white, she layers and stacks blends strips of blended clay into a square cane. 

Lindsey Hansen swirls black and white into a 3D cane on PolymerClayDaily.com

Lindsey shared her step-by-step how-to photos on the Hooked On Polymer page on Facebook. Several HOP members tried it with success and Ron Lehocky sent us the link.

If cane-building seems too much for your Monday brain, you can purchase Lindsey’s raw versions on Etsy.

More with less

Barb Fajardo embraces matte finish on PolymerClayDaily

Albuquerque’s Barb Fajardo has tweaked and tried every variation of her mokume gane. Her color choices are striking and her compositions are amazing. Now she’s trying to do less.

“I’m loving making earrings these days since I’ve recently forgone sanding. I’ve gotten lots of great feedback on the matte finish,” Barb says.

Is there a step in your work that you need to rethink and dial back?

Join us at StudioMojo Saturday where we look at lots of alternative approaches to work. Bigger? Brighter? Simpler? Crazier? Sure! Why not? Pop on over for a walk on the sometimes wilder side. 

Benzon branches out

Jana Roberts Benzon branches out in her Nature Walk class on PolymerClayDaily.com

Why a branch on PCD today? Because it’s polymer and over the past year Jana Roberts Benzon has refined and refined her tools and technique for shaving polymer until it looks spiky. It’s remarkably durable.

Like yesterday’s Julie Picarello and her hardware store appropriations, Jana grabbed tools from a nail tech’s drawer for her new trick.

This is just one of the goodies from Jana’s Nature Walk workshop scheduled for March 17 and 18 in Texas. Taking classes from artists who have already done the laborious research saves you oodles of time and allows you to daydream about how you could integrate their research into your own style.

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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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