Welcoming the familiar

Cynthia Tinapple finds comfort in a bright striped inlaid bowl on PolymerClayDaily.com

I hesitate to feature my own work but when I run out of research time, it’s the best option. Here’s the 11″ diameter bowl I inlaid last week.

I was happy to get back to my easy stripes at the Virginia conference. Rather than fight against doing the “same old, same old” I welcomed the ease of the familiar. And I had Lindly Haunani nearby to give me color guidance.

I laid narrow strips of veneer into a shallow groove in the spalted maple bowl turned by my husband, Blair Davis. There’s something comforting in knowing that the bowl is made from the tree across the street. “Spalted” is a fancy word for rotted and the tree had to go. You can see a few in-process shots on my Instagram.

Now I can get to composing this week’s Saturday newsletter and gathering up the last tidbits that surfaced at the end of Shrine Mont. Just as we were packing up, people were sharing their “one-last-thing.” And there was a sudden spring crop of tutorials online this week. Join us over at StudioMojo for the scoop. 

Modern minimalist

Syndee Holt gives her grid/circles combination three tries on PolymerClayDaily.com

California’s Syndee Holt is happily going rogue with this modern pendant made of distressed circles captured by a loose black grid.

Syndee works in threes so you’ll find two more examples of this dot/grid combination on her Instagram.

She has worked for Polyform Products for years developing designs, mixing colors, and trying out products. A good gig, eh? She shares some of her own tutorials and experiments on her blog and there’s a cool extruded coiled bowl post there now if you’re looking for a playful way to start your week.

Bowls redux

Angela Pike's retro bowl from Helen Breil's online class on PolymerClayDaily

You may have thought you’d done bowls, You remember all those little round ones we made? Then along comes the UK’s Angela Pike (BeadMeUpButtercup) with her first go at Helen Breil’s bowl tutorial.

Here’s Angela on Facebook and Instagram, The textures highlight the orange and blue glow of this retro bowl. Angela followed Helen’s instructions to the letter for her first try. Use your signature colors and your veneer patterns to put your own spin on them.

Helen is very methodical and her instructions are thorough. Looking for a no-fail fun project? This could be it.

Alphabet soup

Wujick's alphabet bowl on PolymerClayDaily.com

Virginia’s Tina Wujick cuts thick letters from polymer blends and connects them over a glass form. Sometimes she strengthens the joins with some Genesis thick medium (or other polymer glue).

There’s no rhyme or reason, you can’t read any message here but it’s a great teacher’s gift or just fun to enjoy. This photo of ingredients fills in the blanks.

Tina’s project should keep you busy while I play in Virginia. Look for fun photos all week.

Visible projects

Wood on PolymerClayDaily.com

Elizabeth Wood chose the word “visible” for 2017 as she committed to completing 10 larger pieces during the year.

She describes April’s bowl as Deconstructed Polymer. It’s a macrame mix of polymer and waxed cord that she had fun making even though it took more time than she anticipated.

Hundreds of slices of clay with striped edges sprout from the sides of the bowl. You can see her progress this year on Instagram. You can also see the changes she went through during her journey through making 365 beads.

Her project is indeed making Elizabeth more visible!

Balanced bowl and a TP trick

Baker on PolymerClayDaily

Boston’s Betsy Baker was pushing hard to get ready for the St. Paul ACC show last week. She gave herself a little diversion from jewelry production to make a series of ring bowls which share the same grunge-meets-elegant aesthetic. The copper colored lining on this one plays nicely against the concrete-like exterior.

If you look at Betsy’s Instagram, you can see how she loads her post earrings into the oven. Wouldn’t you guess that those are toilet paper rolls that have been flattened and pierced with holes for the posts?

Her improvised holder allows her to fire the front of the earrings and hold them upright so that any back details are baked at the same time. When you’re preparing for shows, every time-saving trick helps.

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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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