Timmins’ perfect polymer lentils

Polymer clay artists love the science and the process of making lentil beads (here’s Desiree McCrorey’s how-to). I see plenty of examples and no one makes a finer, more consistent lentil than Wisconsin’s Laura Timmins.

Here’s her Flickr site with some new examples like her “Ocean Color” versions shown here. She generously shares her process in a visual step-by-step on her web site.

Combined with color-coordinated handmade cording and soothing designs, her pieces captivate wearers. Have a captivating weekend.

Note: Keila commented that I missed Laura’s new Etsy shop. For another twist on lentils, you might want to take a look at Barb Fajardo’s bead gallery.

Finnish artists create visual glossary

Two Finnish polymer clay artists, Petteri Leppikallio and Pörrö Sahlberg (Hiidet), have launched monthly challenges for themselves that they’re posting on their site. Their blog posts (this is just a small sampling) are becoming an online sketchbook and a visual glossary that they hope will inspire others.

This month Pörrö has been using two colors which she shapes into basic shapes using basic techniques. Petteri, a woodworker, has been exploring textures.

The ground rules for the year-long project specify that the ideas are more important than results.

“I need to study simplicity. There are tons of techniques available in the literature and the net, however I feel the simplest things and themes are somewhat unstudied. There must be lots of new ways to do old things and probably some new ideas rise from repeating the old ones,” says Pörrö.

With their studious and structured approach, their collaboration will be a fascinating one to follow.

Birnco’s riot of color

I’d love to sit down and try some of the beads that Belinda (birnco) has been working on during her first year with polymer clay. The technique looks simple (an extrusion/mokume gane combination) and the effect is stunning.

She’s got a great sense of color that makes the end result luminous, improving as she’s progressed through the year. This riot of color is a good way to start the week.

My daughter’s here to visit and help with Thanksgiving festivities. Maybe we can sneak a couple of hours off to play in the studio like we used to.

Note: Carol Simmons gives a few more clues about reducing her cane with help from the microwave. Scroll way down in the comments on her post and you’ll see her response.

Considering new bead shapes

My conditioned polymer clay and tools are packed and I’m thinking about what I want to experiment with on vacation. I’m considering new shapes and these two artists are way ahead of me.

Spain’s “CynsClay” uses open rings of polymer clay to build her Calder-like pendants. The spacer beads add color and a dash of humor.

Austria’s Carina Feichtinger nestles curved leaf shapes within each other to create the appearance of larger overlapping beads.

I’ll add these two to my binder of “possibilities” that you all have provided me with. We’re off to New Mexico.

Lopez del Prado’s polymer clay adventures

Barcelona’s Elvira Lopez Del Prado mixes her media and works with polymer clay in unconstrained ways. Her use of color is refined and her designs are exhuberant. She dabbles with many polymer clay techniques and comes up with some brilliant pieces like the stunning red beads below (transfers? stamps? canes?).

She’s equally adventurous with felt, wire, fabric, paper and resin and her fearless approach is just what I need to start my week in the studio. She shows her work on several sites and you’ll want to visit them all here, here and here.

Wilkes found objects found

Lori Wilkes (Millori) has a knack for integrating found objects with polymer clay. This bracelet includes antique china embedded in polymer. Her transfers are an intriguing mix of old images on backgrounds of bright modern colors and she’s working on an “industrial meets organic” concept.

What amazes me is that I’ve overlook Lori’s work and she lives just a few miles away from me here in Ohio! It was only by thumbing through bead magazines at the library that I ran into her work. It’s great to start the week with a new name and a new website (plus blog, Etsy, Flickr) on our list.

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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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