Tips and Tricks

Glittering polymer

Alisa Levy's party necklace sparkles at Synergy4

Alisa Levy’s jaunty necklace caught my eye at Synergy. The jumble of circles and stripes looked a little Hundertwasser-ish as it sparkled brightly at the opening Synergy4 reception. I snapped a picture.

I’ve learned that the patterns are from a design transferred onto glitter clay. Alisa then colored it cleverly and the effect was perfect fun for the party.

The simplest shapes and techniques dazzle the eye and help make a party festive. I’ll tantalize you with a few more goodies from Synergy as the week progresses. I have to corner Alisa to learn more about her other business called Embrace Your Space.

Heishi how-to

Marina Rios gives you a heishi how-to on PolymerClayDaily

Who doesn’t like to start the week with a free tutorial? You showed such interest in the mid-July PCD post that featured chunky heishi beads by Marina Rios that she responded with a 1-minute video on Instagram.

Watch carefully! She bakes the round tubes before she cuts the facets. She paints them and then splatters the surfaces with alcohol inks. A second batch she covers with several colors of stained glass paints.

She cuts the tubes into disks when they’re baked and off the rods. Thanks for the tricks, Marina!

If cutting cooled clay into disks becomes difficult, you can pop them back into the oven to warm again. They cut like butter when warm.

Tabletop polymer

Bridget Derc's step-by-step tabletop on PolymerClayDaily.com

Why is it that when you can’t actually get your hands on polymer for one reason or another, watching someone else complete a project is especially engrossing?

Bridget Derc's step-by-step tabletop on PolymerClayDaily.com

We’re all on the sidelines shouting, “You go, girl” to the UK’s Bridget Derc and her complex mandala tabletop.

She took photos of every cane, every measurement, every step of the way and uploaded them to Flickr for you to enjoy vicariously.

A flock of beads

Rebecca Watkins' flock of bird beads on PolymerClayDaily.com

Rebecca Watkins turns bright beads into cheery birds. They’re 2-inches long from beak to tail and she whitewashed the newest batch to give them more flutter.

Rebecca is an experimenter and you can easily spend more time than you intended reading about the methods she’s come up with for embossing and metallics and etching and more.

Rebecca Watkins' flock of bird beads on PolymerClayDaily.com

She shares all the details (lots of videos) of her late night adventures in polymer. Track her down on her blog and Facebook and Etsy.

Weaving a mystery

Eliska Koliosova weave extruded strips into beads on PolymerClayDaily.com

A number of woven polymer beads have popped up online.  Eliska Koliosova weaves extruded strips in this light summery choker. She alternates the colors under and over each other, perhaps creating a flat sheet that’s then cut up and rolled into a bead.

Or maybe Eliska is using the Mummy Bead technique that Emma Ralph outlines on her site. She starts by winding a base color on a wooden skewer and then layering on additional colors.

My brain doesn’t decode weaving very readily so rather than ponder this any longer, I’ll show you and hope that some enterprising PCD reader can unravel the mystery.

Whatever the method, the effect is eye-catching.

Thanks to Carrie Harvey for leading me to Emma’s tutorial.

Nurturing tangents

Lynn Yuhr let herself go off on a tangent on PolymerClayDaily

Lynn Yuhr (theFlyingSquirrelStudio) went off on a tangent and developed a new line of spontaneous jewelry.

“Tangents,” Lynn explains, “a completely different line of thought or action. When you least expect them, when you can’t afford the time for them, knowing you can’t control them, they happen anyway.”

This lovely gradient topped with succulent petals Lynn named Hazel. Read about how Lynn decided to nurture her tangents and follow wherever they led.

Do you allow yourself to go off on a tangent from time to time?

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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.

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