Tips and Tricks

See-through polymer

Hyde on PCDaily

Just look at those translucent patterns layered over each other by Susan Hyde as she played with Cernit. Susan sent her experiments to Marie Segal who posted them to tempt the rest of us.

Bannister on PCDaily

Then Patti Bannister’s gradations of color upped the ante. Her lovely watery blues and greens melt into each other.

What is it about translucent that’s so seductive? Patti and Susan make it look easy. My first effort wasn’t as successful. Seems that thin, thin, thin layers are key. Are you as captivated by the possibilities as the rest of us?

Floating bullseyes

Hall on PCDaily

Black and white bullseye bubbles float in imitative wood polymer to create lightweight earrings that have a retro, vaguely scientific and quirky appeal.

They’re from Virginia’s Liz Hall (lizardsjewelry) whose gem-like mosaic and silver bangles and brooches are well known.

Hall on PCDaily

“My work combines precious metals, polymer clay, stones, plastics, glass or whatever shiny object catches my eye,” says Liz.

She ventures into non-jewelry items as well. Here’s a polymer-covered flask from her Etsy site. See all of her signature moves on Facebook and Pinterest. Don’t you love the way she embeds ball chain in polymer for an eye-catching detail?

Polymer soundwaves

Petricoin on PCDaily

Pennsylvania’s Beth Petricoin (CreateMyWorldDesigns) says that her lip is out of shape but she still enjoys playing her flute. For several years she’d been thinking decorating one of her instruments and an Etsy guild challenge was just what she needed to put her idea to the test.

She was too sentimental about her own instruments to use them so instead she found a deal on Ebay. A local music store disassembled the instrument and Beth was ready to roll.

Petricoin on PCDaily

The keys are topped with soundwave cane patterns and the body is covered with polymer finished to a high shine using Debbie Crothers’ liquid polymer method.

Yes, the flute is playable. Don’t you wonder if the big grin on Beth’s face hampers her playing? Read all about Beth’s adventure and ponder what you could cover with polymer.

Computed polymer



Sila on PCDaily

Ponsawan Sila’s many experiments spilled out of her boxes and bags at the Indiana French Lick Atelier. She’s still in process with these pieces which rely on scavenged computer parts for creating mokume gane over Skinner blends.

Sila on PCDaily

The finishes are layered and lustrous. On the black and white version she sews through the holes to add a dash of color with thread.

Ponsawan encourages her students to ask “what if” and if we are lucky and she finds enough parts to upcycle, she’ll explain these clever methods.

She offers a few pictures from the weekend on Facebook here and here and more work on Flickr. Sort through her tutorials and the results of her endless experiments on Pinterest. She shares her ideas freely.

Calming colors

Tajvidi on PCDaily

Afsaneh Tajvidi (JooJoo) is a Toronto illustrator/designer but sometimes she can’t resist making polymer miniatures. This is her first go at adding color gradation to polymer. Is it a blend or paint?

You’ll find tutorials for five of her little cacti featured in the spring 2016 issue (#65) of the British magazine, Mollie Makes. Or you can bask in the sweetness of her creations on her Instagram, Flickr, and blog.

Something about Afi’s colors and delicate shapes transmit a calming warmth. Her illustrations send the same vibe. How does she do that?

Enhancements for silkscreen on polymer

Breil on PCDaily

If you’re a silkscreen novice like me you’ll find the tips that Helen Breil offers in her new free tutorial particularly helpful.

Use pastels? Mix colors in one quick pass? Who knew? She demos the basics in a quick video and then moves to some clever enhancements.

Helen only started experimenting with these processes on polymer rather recently. Following her lead can save you lots of time and frustration.

What better way to start the week than with timesaving tips? There’s more on her site, Pinterest, Flickr and Instagram.

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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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