Tips and Tricks

Faux Drusy

Marie’s faux drusy
Natural drusy

Marie Segal started it at Shrinemont this year. She credits/blames Judith Skinner for starting the faux drusy craze.

Druse refers to a rock surface covered with tiny crystals such as are found inside geodes. Drusy has become popular in the gem world of late.

Drusy materials slowly appeared in the work of noted gem carvers and jewelry designers and, as a result, gained space in gem and jewelry publications.

Marie’s necklace pictured here is made by extruding cord and then making lanyards…like in girl scouts. The end pieces were made separately and baked and then glittered. The lanyard is then attached to the end pieces. The clasp in the center of the flowers is made from 20 gauge wire. Marie recommends glitter from Art Glitter.

Kato Explanation

In my stash of photos I found this one of a necklace by Donna Kato. It reminded me of Sue Smith’s earring holders I found on the New Zealand site yesterday.

Donna has developed a quick way of making these ikat-like canes. Her simplified version has very good pictures and clear instructions on the HGTV site. (The HGTV link no longer works. Try here.) Naturally there are many ways to achieve this effect but Donna’s is the easiest I’ve found.

Read the instructions carefully. It took my brain several readings before the concept registered. By putting a thin contrasting layer between the layers of Skinner blend (this isn’t shown in the tutorial), you’d achieve the striped cane effect.

Tantalizing Tools

I try to add sparingly to my toolbox but sometimes I just can’t resist. If you’re trying to cut down on your purchases, don’t take a look at the supplies at Ten Seconds Studio. There are some sweet texturing tools. My favorite is the roller pictured above. It’s great for small spaces. You may find the texture wheels useful too. There’s a list of suppliers on their web site.

Debbie Jackson ([email protected]) carries the tools as well as the blue texturing tool pictured below. This gem, designed for traditional ceramics, is perfect for roughing up hard-to-reach surfaces. I used it on my new picture beads bracelet to achieve leather-like feel. Contact Debbie for more info.

Ranger Inks

These inks were all the rage at the last conference I went to. I should have paid more attention but I try very hard not to get thrown off course by the lastest sparkle and flash. The word is that Hobby Lobby carries these Ranger Inks.

I can’t tell you much about these Adirondack Alcohol Inks other than that they gave the clay a watercolor/metallic effect that was quite pleasant. You should have seen the user’s hands though…completely and permanently dyed. Rubber gloves are highly recommended.

Here’s a bead made by Donna Kato using the inks.



  • 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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