Tips and Tricks

Scrap zeitgeist

Ron Lehocky uses Laurie Prophater's scrap to make sense of our world on PolymerClayDaily.com

What is it about these scrap collaborations that seem so au courant? Ron Lehocky uses Laurie Prophater’s scrap veneers to make controlled, comprehensible patterns. Ron makes order out of what looks like colorful chaos.

That’s what we’re hungry for.  Wouldn’t we all like to know how to make beauty and sense of what swirls around us?

Ron Lehocky uses Laurie Prophater's scrap to make sense of our world on PolymerClayDaily.com

Enough with the philosophy. How does Ron tap into fashion and zeitgeist at the same time? It has to do with his special brand of Ronnie Gane and the long threaded rod you see in this photo.

I’m hoping that he’ll jump in here to explain the mystery. Here’s the back story.

Ron is mighty close to reaching his goal of 50,000 hearts sold to benefit the Kids’ Project in Kentucky.

Back in a booth again


Rebecca Thickbroom makes the most of simple earring shapes on PolymerClayDaily.com

There are all sorts of “wowser” weekend posts out there but I’m stuck on the earring explorations from UK’s Rebecca Thickbroom.

She takes the football shape (or is a leaf shape a more accurate description) and combines with squares, circles, rectangles to arrive at a whole collection of earrings.

The finishes are scuffed and scratched. The colors are muted. Rebecca’s playing around makes me realize how I miss doing that.

Those of us stuck in isolation are wistful about how she enjoyed a weekend in-person, socially-distanced show (oldspitalfieldsmarket). It looks almost unreal. Here’s hoping that we can all experience that again soon.

The right touch

Ann Dillon's textures from surprising sources on PolymerClayDaily.com

New Hampshire’s Ann Dillon creates textures and shimmer that beg you to touch them.

Ann Dillon's textures from surprising sources on PolymerClayDaily.com

I asked her how she created the impossibly fine lines on one pair of lovely earrings and she replied, “Corn husks.”

She has an eye for natural textures and slight bends combined with a fall palette that gives her leaf shapes a “just fallen” look.

As you wander through her new website and Instagram, notice the textures.

Garden inspirations

Pavla Cepelikova creates Columbines on PolymerClayDaily.com

Czech Republic’s Pavla Cepelikova (SaffronAddict) has taken liberties with her version of the Columbine flowers (at the top right of the photo).

The long tubes drape down and flare to reveal secret colors as they open at the bottom. Pavla likes these bell shapes in her garden and polymer will allow her to wear them on her ears.

What inspiration is blooming in your garden?

From the berry patch

Monika Busch picks her colors from the berry patch on PolymerClayDaily

Germany’s Monika Busch (Efmoni) consistently creates stunning colors in her striped polymer beads and buttons. “The luminosity of the colors and strong contrasts fascinate me,” she says.

The raspberry colors on these big-hole (7mm) beads are combined with reds, greens, pinks, and deep browns.

Monika makes what she calls dread jewelry for beards and hair and dreadlocks.

Don’t you want to try her juicy palette?

Dots with a twist

Gail Garbe takes dotted tube steps forward on PolymerClayDaily.com

I flinched when this necklace from Ontario’s Gail Garbe popped up on my screen. “That looks remarkably familiar,” I thought.

Then I had to laugh at myself when I realized that Gail took my Saturday Craftcast class and stayed up late coming up with her own twist on the concept. I must have done something right! Gail extruded the tubes and added the dots perfectly.

Then she added her own off-kilter gaily colored spacer beads. It all works!

This is what teachers hope to see – students who take their concepts to the next level. Gail has taught me a thing or two!

Going dotty

Cynthia Tinapple's all-polymer dot necklace on PolymerClayDaily.com

My dotted necklaces are all-polymer and fun to make. They’re so simple that I felt I needed to “up my game” for my Craftcast class this Saturday so I quickly (last night) made a Rex Ray, mid-century modern inspired version with colors I had on hand.

Cynthia Tinapple's all-polymer dot necklace on PolymerClayDaily.com

The design had been rolling around in my head. Do you have a design that needs to be brought to life?

Join us on Craftcast to learn my tricks and create your own look. For 30% off use the code: summer2020

You’ll note that I’m claiming a new hair color thanks to quarantine and mother nature. And I’ve adjusted cynthiatinapple.com to reflect my mentoring and class projects.

For more behind-the-scenes chatter, join us at StudioMojo for a weekly update each Saturday. 

Toying with polymer

Belinda Ashton makes easy, cheery links on PolymerClayDaily.com

UK’s Belinda Ashton appeals to the toddler in us with this necklace of multi-colored circles.

The tag should probably include a warning about not chewing on the luscious links. The big links are certainly something a wearer would twirl and play with.

What surprised me was how Belinda created this. My brain went directly to extruded clay. But I was wrong. Its construction was super simple.

In these complicated times, innocent, straightforward, cheery designs are important.

Desert visions in progress

John and Corliss Rose are grateful for their quarantine creating on PolymerClayDaily.com

John and Corliss Rose are grateful to be creating in their quarantine corral, otherwise called their California studio.

This Mojave Bouquet was a product of an “In Progress” box of odds and sods that they’re giving new life.

John and Corliss Rose are grateful for their quarantine creating on PolymerClayDaily.com

The brooch is 3″ x 2.25″ with a fabricated sterling silver back and mechanism which you can see in these front and back photos.

Do you have odds and sods waiting to be turned into something remarkable? What better time than now to use what you have?

Monday head scratcher

Melanie West joins fabric and polymer in new ways on PolymerClayDaily.com

Maine’s Melanie West posts daily on Facebook about an astonishing array of artists that she’s discovered.

She rarely reveals what she’s working on.  But in a July feature, she shows a new series brooches that she calls Fabric Rocks. Polymer is involved but she’s done a sleight of hand so that it’s difficult to tell what’s fabric, what’s textured polymer, and how the pattern is created.

She’s probably proudly smirking at having stumped us with her new tricks on a Monday. What’s your guess?