Tips and Tricks


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.


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.

Control to Chaos

Former NPCG president,

Carol Simmons has figured out how to bring control to the chaos of polymer clay kaleidoscope canes. These samples were all generated from one base cane.

Just as Judith Skinner saw polymer clay color gradations as a math problem to be solved, Carol has seen kaleidoscope canes as a system to be reassembled and explained. A scientist and researcher, Carol took a methodical approach to the problem and came up with an elegant solution.

Obviously this is more than science, however. It takes artistry and a fine sense of color to come up with these powerful combinations.

Thanks to her for sharing her new discovery. We’ll have to wait to hear how Carol decides to publish or teach her new technique.

And this seasonal polymer clay treat is from Illinois’ Scott Mizevitz, a multiple winner and now a judge in the "Bottles of Hope Challenge." Enjoy his photos and have a lovely Easter weekend.

3D Cartoons

Virginia polymer clay artist Ann Lukas has been described as a three dimensional cartoonist. For fifteen years she has created humorous custom logos, character and spot illustrations for use in publishing and advertising.

You’ll find Ann’s work on the sites of several artist representatives. Look here for a few more of her illustrations. Thanks to Susan Rose for passing the link along.

Be sure to catch Maggie Maggio’s new color scales video tutorial on her Smashing Color site. It’s a terrific way to learn color mixing.



Bubble Beads

Ponsawan Sila is on the move and she faithfully records her progress on her blog. She includes pictures of her workspace and step-by-step tutorials on this method, a twist on mokume gane.

What this generous artist takes for granted is her color sense and her knack for pattern creation. No muddy colors or uninteresting patterns on her worktable! Take a look at her homemade texture plates. Thanks for letting us look over your shoulder, Ponsawan.


I’ve been on a Buna Binge lately. It started with Donna Kato, then Maggie Maggio took it further. A tutorial at Polymer Clay Express shows how to paint it. Now the French are playing with it.

Buna cord can be such a simple solution to stringing and fastening. Here are a couple more examples from those wild French women (Mathilde Brun, Mariane and others). It’s gray here and they perk me right up. Have a lovely weekend.

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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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