Tips and Tricks

Balanced bowl and a TP trick

Baker on PolymerClayDaily

Boston’s Betsy Baker was pushing hard to get ready for the St. Paul ACC show last week. She gave herself a little diversion from jewelry production to make a series of ring bowls which share the same grunge-meets-elegant aesthetic. The copper colored lining on this one plays nicely against the concrete-like exterior.

If you look at Betsy’s Instagram, you can see how she loads her post earrings into the oven. Wouldn’t you guess that those are toilet paper rolls that have been flattened and pierced with holes for the posts?

Her improvised holder allows her to fire the front of the earrings and hold them upright so that any back details are baked at the same time. When you’re preparing for shows, every time-saving trick helps.

Flowery polymer teapot

Florida’s Pamela Carman makes a flowery pot of tea on a spring Monday.

A visit to her Flickr site shows you the vases, bottles, pots, birdhouses and fish shapes that she covers with polymer.

Usually she uses hundreds of slices of small canes to build her images. Her stash of neatly stored small canes makes us caners envious.

But for today’s teapot on her Instagram she grows a garden out of layers of larger textured circles and leaves.

Is there a bottle in your kitchen that wants to be covered?

A polymer builder

Otrzan on PolymerClayDaily.com

Croatia’s Nikolina Otrzan loads her shapes with rough textures and subtle colors. These square earrings are an outgrowth of her boxes, tubes and cubes series. Short sections of dark tubes line up into squares.

Seems very simple but Nik goes to great lengths to construct her pieces, paying attention every detail. Now that she’s worked out her own tricks for hollow forms, she’s expanding the jewelry she makes from them.

A walk through her Flickr site or Instagram shows you how her designs are evolving. Her tutorials contain scads of photos that explain every step. She offers a handful of instructions on Etsy and classes on CraftArtEdu. Few polymer artists are as meticulous about how their work is built as Nikolina.

Still spinning

Lehmann on PolymerClayDaily.com

Yesterday we spiraled extrusions around an egg. Today we watch Germany’s Jana Lehmann (Feeliz) as she winds around the centers of her series of Spiral brooches.

Lehmann on PolymerClayDaily.com

The colors blend into each other as the layers build. White dots and black and white accents provide a diversion from the strong colors.

Jana’s debuted a series of graphic dolls that are also decorated with spirals made of subtly blended colors.

You can catch Jana on Facebook and Flickr. Don’t miss the pen/pendants before you go spinning off to your weekend.

And if you’d like an even closer look at what happened in polymer clay art this week, join us over at StudioMojo for the inside scoop in the weekend newsletter.

Good eggs

Parshikova's easter egg on PolymerClayDaily.com

 If you’ve been resisting the whole Easter egg thing, the eggs from Russia’s Tatiana Parshikova (SeventhHeaven) may change your mind.

Mix your palette and load up the extruder. Spiral the the strings of extruded clay and let yourself snake around and doodle in the in-between spaces.

Tatiana Parshikova doodles with extruded polymer on an egg on PolymerClayDaily.com

Tatiana knows how to create drama with her striking colors. PCD has featured her before here and here.

Take a closer look at the accents and inclusions on Tatiana’s Instagram.  It’ll be fun and a lot less calories than a chocolate rabbit.

Outdoor polymer

Lessans on PolymerClayDaily.com

Maryland’s Carol Lessans prefers to receive her mail in style. Her first polymer-covered USPS box lasted four years in rain, sleet and snow.

The time for replacement coincided with Carol’s first class with Lynne Ann Schwarzenberg last June. “My first flower morphed into a summer-long study and resulted in a garden of blooms. But where to plant this garden,” Carol wondered. She used slices of her flowers to cover a new box and in the process, she and Lynne Ann became great friends. 

People often ask how long polymer will survive outdoors. The answer is complicated and sort of beside the point. Maybe a better question is, “How many smiles, questions, photographs, friendships and memories does a polymer mailbox produce?”

Consider adding some polymer blooms outdoors this spring. Have a happy weekend.

And join us on StudioMojo for the rest of the week in polymer.

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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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