Tips and Tricks

Monday illusion

Lindsey Hansen swirls black and white into a 3D cane on PolymerClayDaily.com

Lindsey Hansen (Vivid Clay) lures us into the week with a tempting cane design that fools the eye with its 3D illusion. She covered a straight-sided jar with the slices and replaced the lid with a cork top.

Using black and white, she layers and stacks blends strips of blended clay into a square cane. 

Lindsey Hansen swirls black and white into a 3D cane on PolymerClayDaily.com

Lindsey shared her step-by-step how-to photos on the Hooked On Polymer page on Facebook. Several HOP members tried it with success and Ron Lehocky sent us the link.

If cane-building seems too much for your Monday brain, you can purchase Lindsey’s raw versions on Etsy.

More with less

Barb Fajardo embraces matte finish on PolymerClayDaily

Albuquerque’s Barb Fajardo has tweaked and tried every variation of her mokume gane. Her color choices are striking and her compositions are amazing. Now she’s trying to do less.

“I’m loving making earrings these days since I’ve recently forgone sanding. I’ve gotten lots of great feedback on the matte finish,” Barb says.

Is there a step in your work that you need to rethink and dial back?

Join us at StudioMojo Saturday where we look at lots of alternative approaches to work. Bigger? Brighter? Simpler? Crazier? Sure! Why not? Pop on over for a walk on the sometimes wilder side. 

Benzon branches out

Jana Roberts Benzon branches out in her Nature Walk class on PolymerClayDaily.com

Why a branch on PCD today? Because it’s polymer and over the past year Jana Roberts Benzon has refined and refined her tools and technique for shaving polymer until it looks spiky. It’s remarkably durable.

Like yesterday’s Julie Picarello and her hardware store appropriations, Jana grabbed tools from a nail tech’s drawer for her new trick.

This is just one of the goodies from Jana’s Nature Walk workshop scheduled for March 17 and 18 in Texas. Taking classes from artists who have already done the laborious research saves you oodles of time and allows you to daydream about how you could integrate their research into your own style.

The allure of layered translucent clays

Lisa Gauthier looks into translucent possibilities on PolymerClayDaily

These samples come from Connecticut’s Lisa Gauthier, a student in Marie Segal’s Cernit Translucent 2017 class. Glass-like layers that reveal more color below remind us of the possibilities of the clay and may make you want to try your hand at it.

The flower and butterfly cane slices appliqued on came from another student, Seana Bettencourt.

Study these and other samples from Lisa on Facebook. “Thanks to Marie Segal and Cernit I can create colorful, bright things in these cold dark winter days,” says Lisa.

Secrets from the hardware store

Julie Picarello's secrets come from the hardware store on PolymerClayDaily.com

California’s Julie Picarello has a new batch of focals ready for the annual Tucson bead show next week. She’ll be buying, selling, and teaching her new Lunar Feather Beads.

She prowls through hardware stores and walks the long aisles of the big box stores looking for pieces she can stamp into or otherwise incorporate into her mokume gane designs.

In her Tucson classes, students will learn how to use new tools she appropriated from the HVAC department!

In the group pictured here, Julie gives a nod to textiles but look closely and you’ll see washers and traces of metal. This new series is done in her signature color palettes and sprinkled with painted and torched do-dads. She’s on Facebook here.

Layered and assembled elements

Mari O'Dell's assembled extruded pendants on PolymerClayDaily.com
Mari O'Dell's assembled extruded pendants on PolymerClayDaily.com

Mari O’Dell has been dreaming up Japanese-inspired pendants in her Annapolis, Maryland studio/treehouse.

She begins with castings made from segments of antique Japanese kashigata molds. Translucent polymer tinted to look like jadeite is pressed into the molds and cured. The elements are set aside to be assembled into finished pendants.

Mari uses a distinctive way layering on extruded Japanese design elements. Though she has limited strength in her hands, she’s devised clever extruder workarounds.

The piece is then surrounded by a bezel made of thin strips of clay and the entire work is mounted on clay backing. The final touches involve alcohol inks, heat set stamp inks and a final curing.

Follow along with more of her designs and experiments on her Instagram site.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  • 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.


  • Here are 4 ways to get daily posts


  • Download your FREE eBook
    7 Great Ways to Teach Yourself Polymer Clay.
    Contains 62 free resources for learning polymer clay online.

    Click here to download.