Tips and Tricks

Kato and Eakes – Polymer clay music

“A little of this and a little of that,” is how Donna Kato describes her gallery of polymer clay work. Recently she added these music pieces. They were titled that by her mother who said simply, “They look like music.”

The making of a president

You must go and see Julie Eakes’ Obama cane. His poster begged to be translated into polymer and Julie did it beautifully. (Here’s an earlier post about Julie.)

Have a harmonious weekend.

Feldman’s Iphones

One more thing…as long as we’re examining canes, take a look at Barb Feldman’s Iphone polymer clay cane earrings which were featured in a CNET post. The editors don’t know whether to love or hate them but they sure are intrigued and the link to her Etsy site is an online merchant’s dream.

Ponsawan’s polymer mosaic

Another blast of polymer clay color and energy from Ponsawan Silapiruti (Silastones) finishes this otherwise white week. You must click on the image to get the full effect of this 6″x12″ wall piece made from cane slices.

Ponsawan explains that this technique is “…perfect for me who get bored easily and hate repetition, and can’t sit still very long.” Her Flicker site shows that even while she looks after her daughter she continues to produce work that reflects her heritage and her indomitable spirit.

For earlier posts featuring Ponsawan’s work, click here, here, and here. Have a colorful weekend.

PCD’s mission and Friesen’s hearts

You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been crazy for hearts and steampunk lately. Christi Friesen has combined those two themes into one free tutorial on her site. I couldn’t resist bringing it to your attention.

I’ve spent the day watching the snow and fretting about Noblesse Oblige Award that Valerie Aharoni bestowed on me. Rather than be embarrassed and shy (my aw shucks mode), I’ll share with you what this blog is about and give you some tips for getting your work noticed online.

The Award

Over 15 years ago in a seminar, I off-handedly came up with my personal mission statement which is, “Find beauty, share beauty.” Since a mission statement is supposed to consist of seven words, someone suggested that I add, “and accessorize well.”

There you have it. My simple blog intent was composed on a whim before blogs were invented. All sorts of plans were set in motion with that mission statement. Finding and sharing beauty is my bottom line. Read more about the award…

French polymer clay connections

Poking through the polymer clay on the French PerleRouge site launched me into an afternoon at the computer. (I’ve streamlined the trip for you.)

I surfed from there to Crea’Sofimo (pendant at the left) who credits Mathilde Colas (the green necklace to the right) as her teacher and inspiration. Somehow I landed on the site of Cecilia Mabcrea, a French artist working in Xiamen, China.

This whirlwind web surfing made me marvel at how fast concepts travel and at the polymer clay community with its connections that span the globe.

Wallace shares new tutorial

Since my studio’s closed for construction, I’m hungry for some hands-on polymer clay activity and Amy Wallace was kind enough to share a brand new tutorial with us.

Her “stacker” beads are a riot of color and pattern that combine into a patchwork quilt effect. If you like the surprise of “natasha” beads, you’ll love Amy’s simple tutorial. Amy’s instructions contain few words, just pictures (I think steps 6 and 7 are reversed). Amy’s tweaked it and added a few more instructions. Write her for clarification if you need it.

The technique is called Damascus Ladder by metal workers and you can find similar tutorials on Polymer Clay Central and other sites. What sets Amy’s version apart is her spiraling the cane into a disk/bead which adds interest by exposing two variations on the pattern, the flat side is a stripe and the edge is a figure.

See more on her etsy site and her blog. Thanks for sharing, Amy.


I may have to make this cake to keep my caning skills sharp since I’m out of the studio for another day.

Tips from Klew

I resurrected this video shot last year to remind myself to take better care of my best polymer clay tools – my hands. We’re lucky to have many talented masseuses like Klew in our ranks to keep us healthier.

For the life of me, I can’t make my thumb joint pop like Klew does on Sarah Shriver. The instruction is good anyway and I’m paying better attention. (Grasshoppers were making that annoying background noise.) Here’s the full-size version.

On a sillier note, I made myself a very attractive (and much younger) avatar/manga at this Italian site. Perhaps I should make a cane of it. The site’s in Italian but with a little clicking around, it’s easy to get the hang of it and email the results to yourself. I found it on Samyii’s Flickr site.


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  • I'm Cynthia Tinapple, an artist, curator, and leader in the polymer clay community for over 20 years.

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