Tips and Tricks

Pursuing primitive polymer

First, let me say that Chicago’s Marina Rios (FancifulDevices) is not a child. Or a chipmunk. She sped up the video to give us super fast look.

Marina Rios show us how to go primitive on PolymerClayDaily.com

Marina gets messy and there’s not a liquid or powder that she won’t try in pursuit of the grungy, primitive, gypsy look that she loves to give her polymer. In this one minute session she pulls out paint, alcohol inks, crackle, eye shadow, and more in pursuit of just the right vibe.

We benefit from her experimenting without having to stain our fingers or clean up after her. Thanks, Marina.

What’s shakin’ for 2021?

Lisa of MakeSmallTalk folds and layers as she moved into 2021 on PolymerClayDaily.com

As we step over the threshold of 2021, what will greet us on the other side?

I’m scanning through 2020 posts, putting my ear to the ground and my finger to the wind (an uncomfortable position but you do what you have to).

What’s popping up that will take hold in our community as we move forward?

One thing that might stick is wrinkled, folded, draped polymer like these earrings from Dallas’ Lisa (Makesmalltalk). Polymer begins to look like billowing fabric.

Messy, unpredictable, mismatched? Sounds like it could fit our attitude in the new year. Join us this weekend as I climb out on a limb and predict what’s ahead.

Follow instructions

Toni Street pulls out of a funk with a Meg Newberg cane on PolymerClayDaily.com

Toni Street was in a polymer funk. You know the feeling, right? She decided to plow right through the doldrums by following instructions.

Meg Newberg offered a ribbon cane in this month’s Polymer Clay Workshop tutorial. Meg has a way of simplifying the most complex cane. When you’re fresh out of ideas and ready to throw in the towel, Meg’s step-by-steps are just the thing.

It wasn’t long before Toni had her ah-ha moment and was unstuck. Her tiny canes for pens are masterful. Here’s Toni on Instagram.

Sometimes it’s just a matter of getting your hands moving. Let your fingers get busy and walk you over the 2020 finish line.

Tassels with a light touch

The tassel on Bonnie Bishoff's Birch pendant flutters on steel wire on PolymerClayDaily.com

Maine’s Bonnie Bishoff adds a flutter to her Birch Tassel pendants. But her method doesn’t rely on cumbersome links or laborious wireworking.

The steel cable she bakes into polymer is lightweight and the dangles move like leaves in the breeze.

The polymer pattern here is Bonnie’s modern interpretation of birch. The tassel ends in circles of translucent clay mixed with metallic leaf.

Shop Bonnie’s page and see all the ways she incorporates cable into her jewelry.

Reverse mosaics from Maine educator Diane Manzi

Teacher Diane Manzi teases us with a basket of reverse mosaic ornaments on PolymerClayDaily

It’s Monday and I really didn’t feel much like trolling through Instagram and Facebook. Maine’s Diane Manzi must have sensed my overload.

She emailed me photos of her reverse mosaic ornaments and switchplates which set off a series of alarm bells that chimed gaily, “We have a winner!” Her ornaments and switchplates have a woven, scrappy, graphic, contemporary look.

What in the world is “reverse mosaic” and will she share her magic? She claims to be a doodler. Tell us more!

Teacher Diane Manzi teases us with a basket of reverse mosaic ornaments on PolymerClayDaily

Photos of the ornaments and switchplates show off her style much better than the little photos on her website. She’s an art educator. Lucky kids to have such a teacher. I’m jealous.

Bravo for Diane bravely sending her work to PCD. Now we want more, more from her. Here she is on Facebook. Let’s coax her out of her shell.

Take time to ponder this trick

Lynn Yuhr makes us believe in magic on PolymerClayDaily.com

My head knows that if you put light to dark next to dark to light you’ll get the sensation of curving dimensional color.

So why does the trick surprise me every time?

Lynn Yuhr shows us how it’s done with her ornaments. Flipped alternating Skinner blends produce the magic.

German artist, Philip Wiegard takes this concept even further and his free tutorials will wow you.

Too much for your brain on a Monday? So sorry. Pour yourself another cuppa.

Out of clay, full of imagination

Kathy Koontz turns scrap into not-so-ugly Christmas sweater ornaments on PolymerClayDaily

Soulth Carolina’s Kathy Koontz (FlowertownOriginals) thanks the pandemic for one of her best sellers this season. Yes, Covid slowed the manufacture and shipping of clay but she didn’t let that stop her as she saw her supplies running low.

Kathy Koontz turns scrap into not-so-ugly Christmas sweater ornaments on PolymerClayDaily

Kathy got creative with her scraps. “Whether it’s old canes being reimagined or unsuccessful veneers that I somehow knew to keep, they both found a place in these Christmas sweater ornaments. So thanks corona virus!” There are a few left on Etsy.