Tips and Tricks

First Effort

Even though this is a first effort and not my finest work, I had to show you my first YouTube video. My children have been bugging me to get moving on YouTube and I’ve spent hours teaching myself how to edit and record. Whew!

This jigsaw puzzle face cane is a simple and fun technique I learned in a class with Australia’s Michele Fanner. I used the Picasso black and white image for simplicity sake. It works on more colorful and complex designs as well. (I wish I’d spent as much time on the cane as I did on the editing.)

The looped blade tool was an idea from a Mike Buesseler class. I have several that my husband created for me. I’m off to a conference next week and plan to use my newfound skills to capture more snippets for your viewing pleasure.

Small World

It was like old home week except that I’d only met Todd Popp and Doug Motz online. Local gallery owner Sherrie Hawk threw a glitzy party for Motz and Popp (PoMo). Their polymer clay jewelry personalized to local and personal themes has developed quite a following.

Illustrator Jeanette Canyon was there (she’s got a new book) and we were surrounded by the works of Ford and Forlano which were on exhibit. Pretty heady, small world stuff.

Todd and Doug recently did a segment on HGTV’s That’s Clever about their bracelets that was playing in the gallery. They use hot glue to attach their photos to the glass pebbles and their process, which they generously share, is terrifically smart and easy. Be sure to take a look…and have an easy weekend.

String and Software

Ponsawan Silas’ necklace stringing slide show is worth a bit of clicking. (It first appeared as a very small image but if you click around or wait a bit it turns into a workable viewing version.)

Not only does Ponsawan string polymer clay beads in fanciful ways, but she makes very clever use of the slideshow software (and it’s free). No need for a video camera, just add your step-by-step pictures to a slideshow. Genius!

Make sure you scroll down her page and see the rest of her "wild things" necklaces.

Temptation

Oregon’s Marcella Brooks is tempting us with a new liquid polymer transfer technique. The pictures on her photo site are intriguing and you can see a sample in this week’s slide show. Marcella’s liquid polymer expertise was also recognized in one of Polymer Clay Central’s challenges.

Says Marcella, "I’m still refining techniques and finding new applications. I’m able to coax sturdy but flexible design elements out of liquid polymer clay which normally wouldn’t be interested in doing much more than spreading out into colorful puddles. I wake up wondering what else I can do with it! For PolymerCafe’s upcoming Big Bead challenge, I submitted images of a 4" hollow bead featuring panels of liquid lace suspended on tulle netting."

This looks like a lovely new twist with great possibilities. Keep Marcella on your "must watch" list.

Trendspotting Monday


Washington artist Pam Sanders signed the guestbook with an intriguing polymer clay piece so naturally I went exploring. Her loose and playful approach is very appealing with a nice sense of balance and color. I wish I could see more of her work.

And Pam gives us another example of that jewelry/sculpture pairing in her "Dream Temple" piece shown here which incorporates a wearable pin into a 5 x 7 collage meant to hang on the wall.

I’m spotting a trend.

Swimming Pool Palette


Polymer clay extrusions are so much fun the first few times you do them. Soon, however, the shapes and color combinations that seemed so magical become boring. It takes a keen and curious mind to push the technique into something fun again.

These extrusions from Germany’s Kerstin Rupprecht reignited my interest. Kerstin’s friend, Ulrike, supplied the tip and says that Kerstin fills the clay gun with varying tints of translucent blues interspersed with thin slices of white. Perhaps it’s her swimming pool colors on this hot summer day that make me ready to dive into extrusions again.

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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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