Tips and Tricks

Forced blooms

Nancy Nearing forces spring blooms on PolymerClayDaily.com

Rather than wait for real blooms in her Connecticut yard, Nancy Nearing grabbed a 36″ branch lying in the melting snow and created some polymer blooms.

She reinforced the stick with Apoxie sculpt and wired on caned leaves and delicate translucent blue blooms. Lights may be next. She has just the spot above a corner window in her studio for her touch of spring.


PCD is getting ready for spring too and will post only two or three times each week. I’m cutting back and clearing my schedule to make time for more art and adventure. If you need additional inspiration, please sign up for the weekly StudioMojo newsletter that arrives every Saturday full of tips, talks, tools, and other juicy bits.

Build-a-bug

Watch Wanda Shum build a bug in 3 minutes on PolymerClayDaily.com

Sometimes watching an artist’s hands is so instructive and calming.

That’s what Canada’s (BC) Wanda Shum does in this 3-minute bug-building video. She’s in control, she knows what she’s doing. Sigh! Relax and watch.

Wow, that bug’s got a lot of wings! Who knew?

Wanda uses the littlest bits of canes to build an extravagant creature. Lots of wild variations crawl around on her site.

Hearts in tatters

Anita Kennerly's hearts are in charming tatters on PolymerClayDaily.com

Georgia’s Anita Kennerly creates tattered heart earrings for the season. The frayed dark polymer edges frame her earthy cutouts and make a bold outline. The cutouts hang from a baked-in wire loop.

Anita’s hearts have a childlike charm that overrides the tatters and makes us see love and beauty.

Meme mittens

Glass artist Terrill Waldman does a quick polymer trick for a meme on PolymerClayDaily.com

One more last minute, seat-of-my-pants, meme-themed post. Maine glass artist Terrill Waldman (TandemGlass) found the immediacy of polymer irrestistba for making a quick pair of mitten earrings.

I don’t know the whole story but I sense that Terrill has picked up a trick or two from fellow Maine artist, Bonnie Bishoff. Her quick tutorial was too cute to pass up.

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.

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