The response to our polymer clay and wood works at the local artfair (a few more pix here) was rewarding beyond our expectations. An article in the local news prompted old friends and neighbors to come see what we were up to.

The debut of my polymer clay rock line (called the Wilma Flintstone collection by my husband) was so enthusiastic that even the little rock cairns I created to enhance the displays ended up being hot items.

They’re not just my rocks, of course. I blame Kim Cavender for first showing me some rock tricks, and Tracy Holmes for her west coast versions. Betsy Baker makes great pebble earrings and Tory Hughes is widely recognized as the creator of the finest faux. Thanks to all of them and many others for their inspiration.

  • reply Pat Bolgar ,

    I was at the same show as Cynthia and was able to view her work and had to buy a bracelet. It is just fabulous and I can understand why she sold out.

    • reply Melanie West ,

      Brava Cynthia!!! Well done! And all I can say about your rocks is… WOW, I love them!! Sooo… when are ya gonna open an Etsy shop so we can all buy some? 😉

      I have a pair of Betsy Baker’s pebble earrings, and they are my favorite!

      I’ve been playing around with pebble buttons, like the one’s on Betsy’s Etsy site (heh, say that 10 times fast)… they are not all that easy to make… Then I see the stones you (Cynthia) made, with the quartz intrusions and stuff… and I realize I have some more practicing to do.

      Thanks for sharing your work with us, Cynthia. I love it when you do!

      • reply Lynda Moseley ,

        Fabulous, and I love the Wilma Flintstone name. You did her proud!

        • reply myra katz ,

          I know you didn’t intend to forget Irene Dean’s comtribution to Faux…I believe her book (Faux Surfaces in Polymer Clay) was one of the first to put all the faux stuff in one place.

          • reply Cynthia Tinapple ,

            Myra – Indeed! There are many others who have cleared the way and Irene is certainly one of them. Thanks for the reminder.


            • reply Camille ,

              How lovely. They look so real!

              • reply Sherry Bailey ,

                Cynthia, I LOVE those!! Really really nice work! (I especially love the beach stones with the coral and driftwood bits included — very beachie!!)

                • reply Tracy Holmes ,

                  Hi Cynthia,

                  What a treat it was to celebrate the arrival of summer reading today’s post. Timely too. Just last night, we took a family walk along one of our local beaches to watch the Solstice sunset. It wasn’t a particularly ‘summer-y’ evening: drizzling, with a chilly wind gusting in off the open Pacific. But there we were on the beach, our almost-five-year-old and two dogs leaping over the logs (with Dan in pursuit), and me, walking as I usually do, plodding but with purpose, head down, looking. Always looking. At the rocks. Despite the cold, I was thinking ahead to the coming season (my favourite), when all these pebbles, now cold and speckled with rain, would bask in the sun, showing off to the throngs of summer shoregoers that would soon be arriving to trod over them. Appropriately, in sync with the solstice, I was once again inspired…

                  Top that with a mention on PCDaily? Just what I needed to remind myself how much I love transforming blocks of white and black ‘play clay’ into so many little one of a kind tributes to where I live. And what a delight to see your work too. I recall the rock-rimmed bowl you made last spring, and am thrilled to see you are still enamoured with the whole pebble thing. It shows. Over this past decade, it’s been fun for me to see how others too are using our ‘great pretender’ medium in similar ways.

                  Yesterday, the earth stood still. Today, it’s shifting back to begin its swing into summer. Maybe this is my call to get back into the studio myself and do a little ‘beachcombing…’

                  Thanks for the tilt.


                  • reply Randee M Ketzel ,

                    Sigh. Just when I think I’m making progress, here comes another tour de force that shows me how little I know….durn. Back to the studio, Claywoman!

                    • reply Lindly ,

                      Cynthia – Thanks for posting this! To me it brought back delightful memories of sitting next to you at several gatherings over the past four years, seaside, high mountain and otherwise, as you worked out the “details” of your personalized “rock-it-out” line of jewelry.

                      After almost fifty mixing experiments while making adjustments to the proportions of the clay body additives (with expert consultation from Leslie Blackford, Kim Cavender and others), diligently re-filling and re-drilling holes to get the hang of the rocks just right, spending hours perfecting the “fossil” spacers, remaking components, trying new combinations and many “oh no’s” and “Oh YESes!” of the matrix conundrum – coupled with your own unique take on polymer clay rocks…You! rock!

                      Congratulations on your new designs and tenacity to take an idea/technique to a new place. Thanks for sharing your progress- looking forward to seeing the next evolution.


                      • reply Judy ,

                        Yay, Cynthia!! Dare I say it….you rock!

                        Don’t forget to add Kathleen Dustin to the list of fine polymer pebble creators. You have added your personal flair to an illustrious crowd. Congratulations on such a terrific response to your work!

                        • reply Kim Cavender ,

                          Cynthia, I’ve been on a bit of a polymer clay and computer hiatus this summer but someone kindly suggested I come and visit your site and I must remember to thank them. These new pieces of yours are beyond beautiful and have my fingers itching to pick up clay again.

                          Thanks for acknowledging my influence in your work. That is such an amazing compliment as you are one of my favorite arty people in the world. Your workmanship, as always, is incredible and these new pieces are so beautifully designed. Congratulations on your well-deserved success! Hard work, talent, and dedication is a combination that always pays off.

                          Hope your summer continues to be a rocking one. Hugs to both you and Blair!

                          • reply Julie Picarello ,

                            Rocks, pebbles, beach glass, driftwood, knobby seaweed twined around delicate shells…the tides wash up offerings like a buffet, just waiting to be gobbled up. I miss being close to the sea, but have found an alternative in the many streams and rivers near my home. Wading around in ice-cold water on a searingly hot day, prospecting for beautifully speckled and striated rocks…who could ask for more?

                            Well, perhaps enjoying the beautifully realistic variations made with polymer clay. Congratulations to you on your successful show, Cynthia…your Wilma Flintstone designs are spectacular and deserve a big “thumbs-up” (or perhaps that should be a “yabba-dabba-doo”)!!

                            • reply Sharon MacLeod ,

                              Cynrhia, what a treat to see your new work! Your faux rocks are exquisite. Hope you will share more with us. An Etsy shop?

                              • reply Lorrene Davis ,

                                Hi, the Robert Dancik link doesn’t work….

                                • reply Hollie Mion ,

                                  Cynthia, I still remember being with you in Santa Fe several years ago when you acquired your first rock earrings, which were made by Kathleen. Then I watched your attraction to creating polymer rocks grow. It has been a fun journey to watch. Congrats on getting it out there and on your success!!!

                                  • reply high5 polymer clay: cynthia tinapple | Daily Art Muse ,

                                    […] of Tinapple’s polymer clay stones here and here (love that […]

                                    • reply Rebecca ,

                                      Thanks for sharing. These really look real!

                                      • reply Karen ,

                                        The TIm Holtz embossing has been discontinued. IS there a substitute available?

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