Tips and Tricks

Tie-dyed polymer canes

Newberg on PCDaily

If you’ve been around polymer for a while you may, like me, think you’ve seen every cane possible. But then a cane brain like Meg Newberg shows her newest ways to make an imitative indigo dye cane and you shake your head in wonder. That soft-edged tie-dye look is challenging in polymer.

Her monthly cane subscription is one of the best deals out there. Each month she emails subscribers cane tutorials that baffle and delight.

Newberg on PCDaily

I’m off to the studio to try this. Here’s a sampling of my first efforts. It took me several tries to get the hang of it.

You can sign up with Meg or buy back issues on her Etsy site and follow her on Facebook.

Polymer palette planning

Watkins on PCDaily

Pittsburgh’s Rebecca Watkins was inspired by a friend’s Spring in the Smokies photograph. Armed with new color skills from a Carol Simmons’ class, Rebecca mixed matching hues in polymer.

She carved and colored the beads in her signature style and accented them by brushing liquid black polymer into the lines and hollows. Her work-in-progress shots show how well Rebecca learned her color lessons.

She plans to wear her creation on an eggplant colored t-shirt with a black skirt. See more of Rebecca’s beads on Etsy.

Watkins on PCDaily

If you’re itching to mix and match your own colors, browse through Carol Simmons’ Pinterest color boards (she has 12 of them). It’s overflowing with mouthwatering palettes that she’s unearthed and sorted.

Polymer persistence

Hoiles on PCDaily

France’s Irene Hoiles keeps a low profile online. The snippets and clues she leaves on Facebook and Pinterest point to someone who knows how to persist until she finds a solution.

About the earrings at the left Irene says, “When you’re not Julie Picarello and your mokume gane doesn’t go quite as you planned…dot it.”

Hoiles on PCDaily

Consider how those dots salvage the pattern and take it in a new direction. Sort of aboriginal.

Fine extruded strings wind around to make dramatic caps for Irene’s mokume gane beads at right. They needed another element for drama.

What a good way to start the week. Let’s channel Irene’s no-fail approach to her polymer designs. What’s on your work surface that needs a little TLC to make it sing?

Graffiti trends

Nemravova on PCDaily

Graffiti is all the rage and Petra Nemravova gives us some terrific tips on how she makes these trendy scribbled earrings in a free tutorial. The translation’s a bit wonky but it’s easy enough to figure out from the photos.

Her background rubber stamp (from IOS stamps she says) is very cool and it wouldn’t be too hard to carve one of your own. Need more? Here’s another of her freebies. Check Petra’s Facebook page and website.

And if you’re on Facebook, take a look at what Petra and the Ubersee gang were up to at their June retreat.

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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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