How to build a design

One of the satisfactions of attending a workshop for polymer artists is watching how others work.

The black marks that Loretta Lam sketched across these beads gave me a clue as to where she was headed with her design. The baked gray base beads are made from blended scrap clay (ultralight and polymer) which she covered with veneers, adding a few sculptural elements and textures.

This week Loretta posted a picture of the final necklace with the juxtaposed lines, patterns and shapes all in place. The mixture of elements forces your eye around the piece and offers something interesting no matter where your focus lands.

You can read more about Loretta’s art and business in this recent interview and on her Facebook fan page. Does this make you rethink your process?

 

Press-on polymer nails

Wallis press-on nails

Claire Wallis‘ polymer nail veneers provide a clever solution to those who aren’t adept at nail decor. She bakes thin shaped slices on curved foil forms and glues the baked slices onto press-on nails. “I wanted to create polymer clay fake nails but in order to be strong enough they ended up too thick so these are paper thin slices stuck onto fake nails,” she says.

Note: I ran right out and bought some drugstore nails which melted in the oven. Then I made a mold of each size nail which allowed me to make perfectly shaped veneers.

Can you go overboard with this impractical but fun idea? If your earrings match your coffee mug and your nails, your friends may plan an intervention.

See more of Claire’s work on Facebook and on her site here.

Chalks and inks

Virginia dentist, Page McNall rolled out a sheet of ecru polymer and added a few scrap clay pieces made using Maggie Maggio’s watercolor technique.

Then she colored the flat surface with alcohol inks and liquid chalks, textured it and embedded Mykonos ceramic beads for accent. She calls the resulting polymer assemblage Currents.

From this flat sheet, Page cut out pleasing shapes that became brooches and pendants. These two she calls Faux Stone Dentates (tooth-like, of course).

Her soft painterly chalks and inks are deftly applied. Page’s beautiful results may have you heading back to your inks to try again.

Egg Hunt

Carol Simmons has been hunting for the best technique for covering eggs with veneers of polymer cane slices.

Now that she’s perfected her system and created a machine that will cut consistently thin slices, she’s pondering applying cane slices to other shapes and items.

Read about her pattern-choosing, color-selecting method here. Here’s an earlier PCD post with more information. Have a Happy Easter!

The secrets of good eggs

These polymer covered eggs are remarkable not just for cheery seasonal fun but because they were created by students using an ingenious, no-fail method developed by Carol Simmons.

On the groups’ Facebook page, you can examine these eggs and other objects created last weekend at the Buckeye Bash in Dayton. Using kaleidoscope-patterned canes, Carol’s students created consistently successful veneers.

Her egg formula involves four strips of cane slices, some math calculations and a template. Unfortunately I left before all the secrets were revealed. The Ohio class was Carol’s dry run for her new class called “Intricate Cane Veneers.”

Shriver’s big beads

Sarah Shriver has added big polymer shapes, a bit of metal and new palettes (her Frida colors) to her repertoire. She calls the series pictured here her acorn beads. She’ll be teaching how to make these new big beads, veneer beads built over ultra-light clay, at CFCF in February.

Clicking across the images on her site’s front page makes me want more, more and bigger pictures. And it makes me wish I were on the west coast in December when she sells and parties up and down the coast. If you’re in the area, put one of her events on your calendar.

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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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