Carving tools and tricks

McNall carves

All your resistance to carving polymer will vanish once you thumb through Page McNall’s latest examples of her work and pictures of her tools.

McNall cityscape

Page shows how she often makes silicone molds of her carvings which simplifies creating subsequent similar pieces.

It helps that as a dentist, Page has plenty of access to drills, sharp tools and mold-making materials. She has a painterly way with color that’s stifled at her day job.

  • reply Mary Anne Loveless ,

    One of my best finds as a polymer artist was an odd lot bag of brass tubing at Hobby Lobby. It’s interesting to see her very unique effects from the same set of tools. Very pleasing designs!

    • reply Selma ,

      Really great and unique design from the same set of tools. Beautiful pieces of polymer clay jewelry!

      • reply Melanie West ,

        Nifty use of molds! Page is definitely a fellow tool nut. (Makes me want to surf my Suppliers bookmarks. lol) Some of her pieces remind me of Rebecca Watkin’s carved “scrap” (

        Thanks, Cynthia, for a nice pick-me-up starter for the week!

        • reply Loretta ,

          oh I love the textures. Makes me want to try mold making myself!!!
          Thanks for the inspiration, Page.

          • reply Trina Williams ,

            Some of my favorite tools were given to me by my dentist. There is one particularly shaped one that I can use to remove built up clay from my pasta machine without scratching the rollers. (It helps that all of mine have fenders removed). Love Page’s work.

            • reply Roseanna Smith ,

              Really lovely work! And her texture plates are almost as interesting and good-looking as the resulting pieces.

              • reply sandra ,

                the carving tools are fantastic to use on polymer clay Page ‘s work is out of this world. I also love carving.

                • reply Peggy Barnes ,

                  I love these pictures. I have never tried carving but am so intrigued by it. I have some dockyard tools I recently purchased but sure would like to find some of this tubing. Does anyone know where I could find it. I have checked our hardware store with no luck. Live in small town. Maybe someone knows of internet site or has some extra for sale 🙂 ?????
                  Gret work now I am inspired to try some of my own.
                  Thanks for sharing.

                  • reply Cynthia Tinapple ,

                    The hobby stores for model builders and railroad collectors carry them. If you google “model builders supplies” you’ll get a slew of sources.

                  • reply Jessica Metcalf ,

                    • reply Page McNall ,

                      Check out Polymer Clay Express for Brass Trash:
                      Ann Hoover wrote: I did buy the “Brass Trash” from Polymer Clay Express. It’s worth every single cent plus!! It has tons of great shapes and sizes and you get a LOT of “trash” which are really treasures for people like us. Especially if you don’t have someone to cut them for or a saw. RUN to polymer clay’s online but don’t know what heading it’s under. At the hardware store, you have to buy long lengths of the stuff most of the time.

                      Happy creating, Page

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