Heishi how-to

Marina Rios gives you a heishi how-to on PolymerClayDaily

Who doesn’t like to start the week with a free tutorial? You showed such interest in the mid-July PCD post that featured chunky heishi beads by Marina Rios that she responded with a 1-minute video on Instagram.

Watch carefully! She bakes the round tubes before she cuts the facets. She paints them and then splatters the surfaces with alcohol inks. A second batch she covers with several colors of stained glass paints.

She cuts the tubes into disks when they’re baked and off the rods. Thanks for the tricks, Marina!

If cutting cooled clay into disks becomes difficult, you can pop them back into the oven to warm again. They cut like butter when warm.

Faceted heishes

Chicago’s Marina Rios (fanciful devices) made some very cool heishi beads by covering faceted tubes of polymer with acrylics and enamel paints.

Marina Rios low-fire enamel-painted heishi beads on PolymerClayDaily

“At all hours I find myself crouched over tiny, crusty treasures found in my home country of Uruguay, or in midwestern flea markets, or culled from the brilliant artisans of Etsy” says Marina, “I am madly in love with crafting, altering, assembling little bits of wearable art.”

Look at more of Marina’s rustic, tribal, mixed media assemblages on Instagram.

These beads have already sold on Etsy so we’ll have to make our own versions. I plan to make facets on long extruded tubes, then color them and chunk them up.

Sometimes simple ideas grab me and won’t let go so I post them on PCD as a way to remind myself to try them.

Faux Shisha

These new mirrored beads delight me so I thought I’d share them with you. I’ve always been drawn to Shisha embroidery (you know, those wonderful textiles with mirrors). Seeing how Maria Airoldi applied small nail glitter pieces to her beads gave me big ideas.

All that I learned about working small and intensely in the Cynthia Toops’ class was brought to bear on this project. Thin cane slices were individually applied to a black bead. I felt like I’d hit a new vein of creativity.

The small hexagonal pieces of glitter bake tightly onto the raw clay with no adhesive necessary. Cynthia Toops’ faux heishi beads are cut from thin sheets of baked clay with a paper punch. These beads represent a collaboration of many ideas from artists around the world.

Dayle Doroshow will draw a random number for the book giveaway (see Tuesday’s post) on Friday afternoon. We love all the comments! Thanks.

Tatana’s colors

Spain’s Natalia García de Leániz (Tatana) adds a colorful end to our week with these polymer clay slices sewn onto a braided leather necklace and, below, faux heishi strands.

I’ve banked lots of ideas this week and am anxious to get back into my studio right after I spend the weekend gabbing with my visiting siblings and children.

The Thanksgiving dishes are done, the turkey leftovers are ready for leisurely grazing. Have a great weekend.

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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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