Understanding Russian polymer

These watermelons from polymer artist Natakorneeva are from a Russian site that translates incomprehensibly and muddles my brain. All I know is, “Me likee.” What more can I say?

Some days sorting out the best, the most interesting or the cleverest polymer clay art from around the world feels like trying to drink from a fire hose.  Try me tomorrow and enjoy Natakorneeva’s summer fruits in the meanwhile.

Craynor’s faux African beads

Utah’s Cody Craynor sent me a link to his meticulously constructed polymer clay faux African chevron beads. Cody is refreshingly clear that his interest is only in the beads, not in making jewelry. He claims that his passion for beads began when he was transfixed by the color and clatter of a bead curtain in his parents’ 1970s bathroom. Take a look at his new site and work.

The mention of African beads derailed my daily research as I remembered earlier faux ancients. Here’s where the wayback machine took me:

• Jamey Allen’s folded beads (as seen on the Polymer Art Archive)
Desiree McCrory‘s faux chevrons
Klew‘s folded beads

Play-Doh video

I didn’t quite get the concept of last week’s Play-Doh/shaped cane breakthrough. I missed the part about Play-Doh only being used for a barrier layer with filler polymer layered on top. This video from ArtbyYonat answered all my questions. All reports are that the technique works.

Modern polymer charms on silver cores

The build-your-own-bracelet system from Pandora is a hit with both teenagers and their grandmothers here in the USA. Libby Mills posted about how to create polymer clay beads on the silver cores made to be used with the Pandora line. She created the ones shown here for her daughters.

Customers line up to buy this modern version of the charm bracelet. Perhaps polymer clay artists can give collectors more interesting and unusual choices. (Lindly Haunani put me on to this trend.)

If you’re looking for even more unusual choices, look at the polymer clay earrings from Arkansas’ Giovanna Coraggio (via Eugena Topina). In her Etsy shop she offers a selection of tendril-like plugs, earrings and hair sticks.

The ear gauges that Giovanna and her fashionable friends use look like slightly larger versions of the cores Pandora uses for bracelets!

Charuau carves and backfills

France’s Céline Charuau (GrisBleu) has taken her polymer clay beachball bead (see last week’s post) a few steps further and again shared her methods.

She explains how she carves baked striped beads with linoleum cutters and backfills the carved designs with acrylic paint. She sometimes embellishes the base beads with canes as in this Spring Snowflake necklace.

Celine uses polymer and wire in unexpected ways and with dazzling results. Her galleries and Flickr pages provide great inspiration to start your week. Here are earlier features about her.

Toops bead video

Seattle’s Cynthia Toops takes you through the process of making polymer clay beads in this quick and wonderful video. It’s sure to give you breathtaking inspiration and overwhelming studio envy to start your week.

Toops’ jewelry is featured in the installation, A Bead Quiz, on view now at the Seattle Art Museum. Her husband, Dan Adams, has a companion video here.

You might want to look at Cynthia and Dan’s self-published book and her Facere Gallery listings too.

I’m scouting out polymer clay in Chapel Hill, NC today and send my thanks to Carol Simmons for sending me today’s link.

Blackburn’s polymer clay Möebius Strips

Carol Blackburn’s “Möebius Strips” polymer clay necklace fools the eye. You’ll have to look closely to see how Carol cleverly combines strips of Skinner-blended clay to look like undulating, interconnected beads. My science guy husband was impressed with the engineering of the piece.

Read more about Carol in this article in the March/April Craftsman magazine.

I first came upon the Möebius necklace on the British guild’s site. The necklace made its debut at last year’s EuroClay Carnival. This year’s event sold out quickly as polymer clay expertise and enthusiasm grow in Europe.

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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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