Tips and Tricks

Hot hands for custom clay

Karen Lewis (Klew) mixes a custom clay for this cane on PolymerClayDaily.com
Karen Lewis (Klew) mixes a custom clay for this cane on PolymerClayDaily.com

California’s Karen Lewis, (Klew) spent a day planning and mixing colors for this stylized horse. The cane is made of a custom blend Klew calls Fremo.

“My Fimo was quite aged – 15 years or more – and my Premo was fresh. My hands are very hot so creating my own brand is just right for me,” she says. Here are some of her hand tips.

This design by Klew pays tribute to the style of Laurel Birch with a combination of strongly defined areas and painterly backgrounds.

Customers were standing in line on Facebook, waiting to see how she’d use the figure in her distinctly southwestern pairing of stones and beads and spirited images.

Tomorrow’s StudioMojo contains an impromptu session with Carol Blackburn as she assembles one of her impossibly neat and graphic canes. She makes her methods look so simple. Join us. 

Making a difference with polymer

Angie Wiggins lends a hand on Polymer Clay Daily.com

One of the extraordinary things about our medium is how and easy it is to make a statement, raise some funds or lend a hand.

Angie Wiggins quickly created these Lone Star pins to raise funds for Texas storm victims. “I hope to have 20 Lone Star pins for the Virginia show on September 16. 100% will go to the Cajun Navy,” she says. See these and other show stoppers on Angie’s Instagram.

As a polymer artist, you have a super power. Your challenge is to claim it and use it for good whenever you can.

Hollow polymer vessels

Cynthia Tinapple builds her own hollow forms with an ancient air on PolymerClayDaily.com

This hollow 5″ tall raku-looking vessel is completely polymer. This is one of my new organic forms that don’t need glass or metal or even paper to hold a shape.

I didn’t quite like the pan pastel colors that I applied before baking so I kept adding surface treatments.

Crackle medium added a tactile surface and oil paint gave it an aged finish. A dash of gilders paste made this lumpy, organic shape glow.

You will laugh at the form that this pot was built on. Let’s just say that you shouldn’t throw your pantyhose away just yet. More pictures on this weekend’s StudioMojo.

We’re thinking of PCD readers affected by Hurricane Harvey, hoping that you’re safe.

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.

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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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