The easy/hard parts

Sturdy on PolymerClayDaily.com

Today our eyes gravitate to surface designs from UK’s Veronika Sturdy who claims to have a new addiction to silkscreens and imitative wood looks. She’ll be teaching her methods May 20 in a class in Czech Republic.

Silkscreens are another easy/hard part of polymer art. While silkscreens can feature delicate lines and magnificent patterns, the trick is to fiddle with the designs to make them yours – or to make your own patterns, of course.

Here Veronika combines wood textures with distressed patterns enhanced with luscious mottled colors. Look at them large on Flickr to appreciate the details. Then hop over to Pinterest to get the full behind-the-scenes treatment.

Polymer envy

Wiggins on PolymerClayDaily.com

When you can’t get into the studio, looking at what others are producing is especially inspiring. “Yes, that’s what I’d be doing if I had my taxes done,” I tell myself.

Look at how Angie Wiggins layers silkscreens over a juicy blend of colors. But Angie can’t stop there. Her inner embroiderer has to add a few bits that look stitched on. Oh, I’d much rather look over Angie’s shoulder than add up columns of numbers.

NadVal on PolymerClayDaily

Or maybe I’d rather follow Nadia (NadVals) lead and whip up some imitative turquoise. Those strands of tiny faux beads embedded in the middle of the pendant give the stone a more arty and authentic edge.

You go look, I’m pretending I’m a bookkeeper today (sigh). Some days are like that.

Magic carpet polymer

Fernandez on PCDaily

Madrid’s Elena Fernandez has a wandering eye and she uses polymer to explore and recreate ethnic designs in contemporary jewelry. For this mixed media necklace, she reinterprets an African design adding seed beads on felt that hang from a deeply inscribed and weathered focal bar and dark simulated stones.

Ethnic designs have long appealed to Elena and you can follow along with her collections of tribal works on Flickr and see her collection of inspirations on her Pinterest page.

Polymer’s ability to imitate other materials lets us explore cultures and imagine travels from the comfort of our studios. Where would you like polymer to take you?

Polymer stash jar

Blank on PCDaily.com

Who doesn’t need a Stash Jar like this one by California’s Brandee Blank?

She’s covered a lidded glass jar with imitative succulents in polymer. The wide lip of the pot camouflages the top of the jar and makes it a perfect hiding place for whatever small treasures you’d like to hide.

Blank on PCDaily.com

Brandee started making them for her friends who admired her live succulents but couldn’t seem to make the real ones survive. What a terrific holiday gift for garden-challenged friends.

See more of Brandee’s hiding spaces on her blog, Etsy, and Flickr.

New ceramics

Uliczny on PCDaily

Pan pastels, improved crackle techniques and better glazes are making it harder and harder to tell polymer from ceramics.

This square pendant from Michigan’s Christi Uliczny proves my point. The only clue that this pendant is polymer might be its vibrant colors.

Christi credits Iris Mishly and Hilla Bushari’s imitative ceramic tutorials with teaching her the basics. See how Christi brings her own color sensibility to the pieces on her Etsy, Flickr and Facebook pages.

Love the depth and warmth of ceramic glazes? You can mimic them in polymer. No kiln required.

Floating bullseyes

Hall on PCDaily

Black and white bullseye bubbles float in imitative wood polymer to create lightweight earrings that have a retro, vaguely scientific and quirky appeal.

They’re from Virginia’s Liz Hall (lizardsjewelry) whose gem-like mosaic and silver bangles and brooches are well known.

Hall on PCDaily

“My work combines precious metals, polymer clay, stones, plastics, glass or whatever shiny object catches my eye,” says Liz.

She ventures into non-jewelry items as well. Here’s a polymer-covered flask from her Etsy site. See all of her signature moves on Facebook and Pinterest. Don’t you love the way she embeds ball chain in polymer for an eye-catching detail?

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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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