Tips and Tricks

One cane wonder

One translucent polymer clay cane is all that was used to make this spacey, retro earring by Marla Frankenberg. Reduced to several sizes and overlaid on a Skinner blend base, the cane gives the bead a spacey, retro look.

Many of Marla’s beads remind me of batik and other luscious fabrics. She’ll be teaching at Bead and Button this weekend. Here are some pictures from an earlier class and she’ll be teaching her marlafiori at Arrowmont in October. We’ve got scouts out taking pictures at Bead and Button and I hope they snag some treats.

Babyish

They look like polymer clay rosebuds but on closer examination you’ll see that this is a tin covered with babies, a wish box, wanna-be-grandma’s hope chest that I created at Shrine Mont.

What it seems to be filled with these days is my babyish whining about where the time goes. I’m off schedule today. Enjoy this little treat (here’s where I bought the baby face/fairy molds) while I burp and soothe myself into a better humor.

To the Rescue

It’s late and I’m in a mad dash to bring you some mid-week polymer clay inspiration. Who can I count on? Indiana’s Ponsawan Sila!

If you want a bit of Thai culture and family history served with great quick photo tutorials, her site won’t disappoint. I’m loving the ice cream salt beads on this page. She does lovely, unusual things with texture plates and rubber stamps.

Ponsawan saves the day. Read her text and you’ll see the delightful personality that comes through in her art and her web site.

Loose Ends

It’s Wednesday and time for some tidbit tidying. The Philadelphia polymer clay guild has pictures of new works (like these by Ellen Marshall) and a tube bead extruder tool I hadn’t seen before. You might want to pop in on the new Maine guild site too.

Maggie Maggio interviewed me and her article has been posted on the NPCG web site. I’ll be speaking at Synergy (with the ACC show in Baltimore) about the future of polymer clay. Between now and then I’ll be crystal ball gazing, mulling and conjecturing. If you have thoughts on the subject, write me.

Two more events for your calendar. The next Clay Carnival will be held from November 30 – December 2, 2007, in Las Vegas. The details are on Donna Kato’s site. Or check out the ultimate polymer clay experience, Jeff Dever’s master class in France at Gwen Gibson’s La Cascade.

I won the Debby Brams earrings in the Shrine Mont silent auction and discovered her elegant earwire trick. The earwire is made of a headpin that runs through and over the clay in one easy piece. If you click on the image, you’ll get the larger version and see what I mean. Very simple, totally cool.

Debriefing

Ohio’s Laurie Prophater has developed a transfer technique that’s more foolproof and inexpensive than any I’ve seen. I watched as she refined it all week long at Shrine Mont.

Read more about it on her blog and be sure to catch her tutorial in the fall issue of Polymer Cafe magazine.

Laurie is thrifty and makes her own perfume from essential oils and vodka. What you learn at a conference can be amazing! It’s back to the office Monday. Come back tomorrow for more Shrine Mont debriefing.

Crayons

Perhaps today’s inclusions will suit you better. These polymer clay pieces (from Hollie’s collection) by Lindly Haunani are made from translucent clay. When baked, crayon shavings mixed into the plain clay leave their color and hollow spaces behind. Generally, 1⁄2 tsp. of chopped crayon per ounce of translucent clay is a good ratio.

Lindly published a great tutorial about inclusions long ago (1999) in Bead & Button. It’s very inspiring and luckily she keeps the information on her web site for everyone to enjoy.

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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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