Tips and Tricks

Cold cut flowers

Jenny Patterson slices extruded flower canes after they are fired on PolymerClayDaily

Maintaining the shape of extruded polymer clay flower canes as you reduce them is nearly impossible. At a recent gathering, Minnesota’s Jenny Patterson reminded me of a clever workaround.

She extrudes her canes and slices them after they’re cured!

Jenny sells at big shows (she’ll be at the Balloon show in Albuquerque) so her production skills are well honed.

She cuts the cured extrusions once they’re cool or slightly re-warms them to make them pliable depending on the brand of clay. Try it both ways to see what your clay prefers. She punches a hole in each thin slice with hole punch pliers.

Her flowers are made using extruded stacks of disks of clay colors (a la Bettina Welker) with her own extruder disk designs.


We’ll be talking about several newly learned lessons (and cool new tools that make them happen) in this week’s StudioMojo. A week off the grid did my heart and my brain good. Come see why.

Readers on the loose

Iryna Osinchuk-Chajka (Eteniren) helps you organize and help on PolymerClayDaily.com

Do your “readers” and other specialized spectacles scatter themselves around and end up in all the wrong places?

Polymer to the rescue via Ukraine’s Iryna Osinchuk-Chajka (Eteniren) and her clever sunglass stands and wall mounts.

A notch on the top of each big polymer nose creates a secure resting place for spare glasses. No more rummaging around the house at the last minute. Iryna is a clever artist making her way through tough times. Art for organizing and for a cause.

Dancing in the dark

Sara's glow-in-the-dark earrings light up the dance floor on PolymerClayDaily.com

Seattle’s Sara (g.oo.d.ee) works in a digital environment. “I don’t get the chance to craft and build physical objects with my hands as I used to,” she says.

Enter polymer clay. Her hands are now happily sketching, rolling, cutting in their off-duty moments.

Check out how this free-flowing pattern that includes glow-in-the-dark clay lights up the dance floor. Sara’s only been at this since December. Look out!


In the weekend StudioMojo newsletter, we love to suss out artists like Sara who are new to clay and take to it like ducks to water. This week’s edition looks at head-turning new designs that are commanding high prices and showing up in the most fashionable places. 

Off-kilter polymer

Who doesn’t feel a shiver of delight as a Skinner blend drops down from between the rollers of a pasta machine?

I know there are millions of ways to layer, scratch, pound, and twist clay into intricate patterns. Yes, you can add bling, paints, inks, and sparkles. But for my money, nothing compares to the thrill of color.

These circles are from a blend (teal/fuschia/zinc) that I rolled endlessly today. The jaunty disks were inspired by a friend’s thrift store find. Her necklace was made of wooden disks. “Wouldn’t that look great in polymer?” I thought.

An off-center hole sideways through each of the smaller disks keeps the flat rounds bumping against each other in the most energetic way. It was so simple and it pleases me. What could be better than that?


Join us on Saturday mornings when StudioMojo brings a week’s worth of new ideas and inspiration to your inbox. Try it! You’ll see.

Fashionable fall polymer

Amanda rakes leaves for her fall designs on PolymerClayDaily.com

If it’s August (how did that happen) you know that autumn leaves won’t be far behind. Let’s get an early start with these dangling lovelies from Montana’s Amanda (speckled_designs).

Amanda gives you a leg up with a look at last year’s favorites plus in-process shots of her earring assembly. The designs are elegant and simple in a fall palette updated for today’s fashion.

Waste not polymer

Linda Loew turns dabs of leftover pan pastels into wearables on PolymerClayDaily.com
Linda Loew turns dabs of leftover pan pastels into wearables on PolymerClayDaily.com

Maryland’s Linda Loew cleaned the pan pastel residue from her sponges directly onto a slab of light clay.

Here’s the result of her abstract clean-up paired with other extraneous bits and turned into painterly earrings and pendant.

Sometimes our scraps scream to be saved.

Polymer/laser combo

Cynthia Gougian-Fisher adds polymer to her laser-cut frames on PolymerClayDaily.com

Georgia’s Cynthia Gougian-Fisher can’t resist new technology. That doesn’t mean she’s leaving polymer behind.

She cut these wooden earring frames on a laser cutter and then gave them pattern, color, and shine by inlaying polymer. Lots more on Instagram.


In this week’s StudioMojo you’ll watch Texas’ Paula Kennedy hand sand her bowls to a smooth, satiny finish. And you’ll learn how shoe paste wax and face cream are part of her brilliant process. 

A bouquet of sticks

Linda Velas-Helton begins a decorative bouquet of sticks on PolymerClayDaily.com

I’ve been gaga for polymer-covered sticks for years. Mine are more slapdash than these carefully covered twigs from Detroit’s Linda-Velas-Helton.

Scraps, a schmear of liquid clay as glue, tiny cane bits, lots of this and that add up to a glorious trip down memory lane. The wood will tolerate the heat but you may have to use a big oven.

Before you know it, you have a bouquet of past projects to display and decorate your home. Isn’t it amazing how a theme, a palette, an aesthetic emerge from all those diverse projects?

Scratching out and idea

Belinda Broughton cuts her pastel painting into earrings on PolymerClayDaily.com

Australia’s Belinda Broughton (polymerbelinda) could have stopped right here. She applied pan pastels to a sheet of polymer. Then she scratched through the top layer of jagged triangles (technically sgraffito) to make an even more dynamic design.

Pop that baby in the oven and hang it on the wall!

I saw a painting but Belinda had earrings in mind. Either way, it was fun to watch and may make you reconsider pastel possibilities.