Tips and Tricks

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. Staci’s friend, Karen McGovern, sent the link along to make sure we wouldn’t miss it.

Spun polymer

Neumaier on PCDaily

See what Kathrin Neumaier has been up to using liquid Fimo and chalks or inks. For this December batch she uses the polymer like spun sugar to achieve a blown glass translucency.

At least that’s what I’m guessing from her cryptic captions. One of these days we’ll find out what Kathrin’s learned but for now, admire her latest experiments.

Neumaier on PCDaily

The “like” numbers and social logos that have littered the PCD pages recently are the results of my own experiments.

Fingers crossed, I think I’ve about got it sorted out. Thank you for your patience with my mess. Experiments are like that.

Coming to blows with polymer

Tayler on PCDaily

Vancouver’s Joan Tayler is offering an early holiday treat. Gift yourself her 9-page polymer whistle tutorial and you’ll be able to create your own presents – useful zipper pulls, clever pendants or noisy kids’ toys.

“In spite of the simplicity of this design it has taken me years of small changes to come up with an efficient way to make a polymer clay whistle,” Joan admits.

Joan taught me her method this summer. I had success on my first try and I’ve been bugging her to publish a tutorial ever since. My nagging paid off! The tutorial spells out the steps every which way – in photos, in words, and with drawings.

Tayler on PCDaily

Joan turns her whistles into lovely birds and hides them under gently draped leaves. StudioMojo subscribers will hear me toot my whistles in tomorrow’s edition. I don’t often gush but making whistles is a special skill that Joan has made available for the rest of us.

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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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