Caning for fall

These autumn leaf polymer clay canes by Dora Arsenault caught my eye. This is someone who likes to cane! Can it be time for fall leaves? Look at her Flickr site for more examples. Her blog shows off some great pictures from a recent Sarah Shriver class.

Cane slice buttons make the perfect finishing touch for these winter hats that Suzy Peabody (I think that’s her real name) is stockpiling for fall and winter craft shows. She makes them from felt, fleece and recycled sweaters. See how she embellished her spice rack with polymer clay too!

My son keeps a sharp eye out for anything fimo/techno for me and spotted these Blackberry polymer cane earrings, quite a complex undertaking, by Barb Feldman featured on the Gizmodo and GeekSugar sites.

There are so many caners in cyberspace that it’s been hard to select just a few this week. Enjoy your late summer weekend.

Canes recycled as extrusions

Cane work got you frustrated? Germany’s Andrea Will “varUni7” suggests that you put leftovers in the extruder and have fun! This dramatic example is the result and she’s shows additional experiments and designs on her Flickr site.

One of the most appealing aspects of our craft is that materials can be used and reused. Even baked items can be salvaged by recovering and rebaking them.

A new look at cane works

Look at the newest commissions that Alev Gozonar has created for a Turkish hotel using polymer clay cane slices. Her 20″ square sculptural pieces create patterns from fields of slices and remind us that those pretty little designs can be used to make bigger, bolder statements.

Gail Froula McIntyre is displaying her cane work on a new website. I’m loving the innovative use of those fancy circular paperclips as a finding (at least that’s what I’m guessing they are). The link to the new site is from Barbara Fajardo who knows her way around canes too.

Hartman’s watermelon canes

How can it be Monday? I’m still in weekend mode and these polymer clay watermelon canes from Pennsylvania’s Linda Hartman suit my end-of-summer mood perfectly. They remind me of those “personal watermelons” that are so popular.

There’s some great caning going on out there like this from Linda (aka papernclay). I’ll do a little study of the trend this week. But for today I have to put the finishing touches on the renovated studio and take some pictures to share with you.

Singapore’s Garie Sim is usually featured for his polymer clay micro figures. Of course he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do a little Olympic tribute. Take a look at his “Snakes in Lion Costume” diorama.

Thanks to Lindly Haunani for the link.

Davis’ faux ceramic amulets

I’ve admired Lynn Davis’ work but never featured her because I wasn’t sure what materials she was using. She mixes glass, stones, found items, metal, ceramic, polymer clay and more in her romantic pieces. Her faux is so pro that I was never sure what was polymer.

She says of her faux-tique amulets, “Some resemble white bisque fired clay, with wear and showing a lot of rustic aging. And others look like marble or limestone chipped off an old building, or parts from ancient grecian architecture.”

Recently Lynn’s been experimenting with faux lithophanes (she’s looking for an easier name) and writing about it on her site. You can add your two cents there.

Note: There’s a nice faux ceramics tutorial on Michael Johansson’s PolymerClayWeb site.


My studio renovation should be finished soon. It’s been a great week. Thanks for all your comments and suggestions. Have an olympic weekend.

Dustin first at Sunapee; new Balombini in SF

Kathleen Dustin’s “Leek Blossom Pod” has won Best in Show at the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen Show (Sunapee Fair, August 2-10). Her “Moss and Pods” neckpiece also won the Best in Mixed Media Jewelry award. Sandra McCaw, Ann Dillon, Marcia Herson, Luann Udell, (and I hope I didn’t miss any others) Barbara Sperling and Susan Samitz are also in this popular show. (Thanks to Ann Dillon and Judy Dunn for the corrections.)

I like the show’s new blog which keeps you up-to-date on the activities.

Laura Balombini sent out a sneak preview of her new work for the ACC San Francisco show August 15-17. This is a mixed media piece 16″x16″x2″ of acrylic paint with polymer sheet (house) on a panel with encaustic wax/collage. There’s show info on her site.

Is gold green?

From a recent ASJRA newsletter:

It is purported that to create one 18k gold ring results in:

  1. 20 tons of mine waste
  2. another 250 tons of mine waste for a 1ct. diamond
  3. cyanide to separate the gold from the ore
  4. smelting to remove gold impurities (Smelters release upwards of 140 million tons of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere annually.)

Thanks to Elise Winters for the info.

Wallace shares new tutorial

Since my studio’s closed for construction, I’m hungry for some hands-on polymer clay activity and Amy Wallace was kind enough to share a brand new tutorial with us.

Her “stacker” beads are a riot of color and pattern that combine into a patchwork quilt effect. If you like the surprise of “natasha” beads, you’ll love Amy’s simple tutorial. Amy’s instructions contain few words, just pictures (I think steps 6 and 7 are reversed). Amy’s tweaked it and added a few more instructions. Write her for clarification if you need it.

The technique is called Damascus Ladder by metal workers and you can find similar tutorials on Polymer Clay Central and other sites. What sets Amy’s version apart is her spiraling the cane into a disk/bead which adds interest by exposing two variations on the pattern, the flat side is a stripe and the edge is a figure.

See more on her etsy site and her blog. Thanks for sharing, Amy.


I may have to make this cake to keep my caning skills sharp since I’m out of the studio for another day.

Ponsawan Sila returns to clay

I’m sure you’re as happy as I am to hear that Ponsawan Sila will be back working in polymer clay and being a stay-at-home mom. Her daughter was seriously injured five months ago and will be coming home soon. Theirs is a story of survival and triumph and nobody says it better than Ponsawan herself.

Read her story and see the strength and spirit that shines through in her polymer clay work. Welcome back, Ponsawan.

I’m in a fix-up, spice-up mood and your comments about PCDaily have been very kind and helpful. Per your suggestions, I’m going to:

  1. find some guest editors
  2. interview some outstanding artists
  3. shoot some video
  4. get a gallery going
  5. and I may even show some of my own work

Not to worry, PCDaily is my habit and my baby. I’ve got new ideas and I’m over myself. Keep those comments coming.

I picked out a paint color for my studio based entirely on gut feeling. Living large…read more here.