Tips and Tricks

Backfilling


I saw pictures from a Carol Blackburn demo given at the San Diego guild’s 2005 Sandy Camp and I couldn’t figure out how this technique was being accomplished.

(To see the demo pix, go to the Sandy Camp pictures and scroll down to her demo.)

Carol’s secret is backfilling. She cuts into raw clay with cutters or blades, bakes and then backfills into the baked clay. Or she makes impressions in the raw clay, bakes and backfills. It’s a simple technique that Carol has taken to a whole new level.

A British guild member, Carol first arrived at Sandy Camp in 2004 when she couldn’t return her airline tickets purchased for the canceled national show that year. She’s been coming back ever since. Carol makes great tassels as well…but that’s for another day.

Spring on Glass

Klew has come up with luscious spring colors in polymer clay cane slices that she applies over glass beads. She also adds polymer embellishments to resin base beads (like these). Check out the ideas in her photo gallery.

Ronna Sarvas Weltman sent me a huge list of links and I think that’s where I found both today’s post and yesterday’s. If I’ve attributed this to the wrong person, let me know. Those photo gallery sites are such huge reservoirs of work that I’d never find these gems without you viewers. Thanks.

Pastel extrusions

It was a tip from Chel Micheline that led me to Tina Voyak. Tina’s simple designs in fresh colors are very appealing.

Taking a cue from our glass bead friends, polymer artists have been using extruded polymer in interesting ways…coiled and cut, sliced and applied…often reminiscent of lampworked beads.

Heart and Soul

All the store merchandise tells us that we’re approaching Valentine’s Day. If you’re in the mood to get your valentines ready, here’s a simple heart from Diane Villano. You can even find a “how-to” on the Polymer Cafe site. Sometimes simple is best.

.

.

.

.

Lost Wax


Here’s a trick that’s new to me. Desiree McCory explains her neat bead-in-bead process. I’ve always avoided this process because it sounded too complicated. Wrapping the first bead in wax sounds doable as her tutorial explains it…and her tutorials are all well-written. Let me know if you’ve had success.

Smaller Portions

I suppose you can guess why I’m looking at miniature food today. My meal portions need to be resized more in line with these miniature versions by Angie Scarr. It’s post-holidays and I’m trying to shrink my appetite and scale down.

Miniatures are where I started in polymer…furnishing a dollhouse with my daughter. It seemed that Fimo should have other applications and when I saw CityZenClay’s pins in the Museum of Modern Art’s shop, I caught a glimmer of the possibilities.

That was nearly 15 years ago and I still have a soft spot for miniatures. Angie has some clever tutorials on her site. The sweet corn is particularly good…and not too filling.

.

Polymer Cloisonné

Tennessee’s Jai Johnson has developed an interesting twist on cloisonne which she plans to pursue in 2006. She talks about her plans and has the best pictures on her blog.

Jai first created the setting with genuine gold leaf on the edges. Then she built a network of "cloisons" (cells or compartments) by forming 14K gold filled bezel wire into a pattern for the center of the pendant. Each "cell" was then painted using tinted polymer, filled gradually until she obtained the shading and coloring she wanted, with multiple firings between layers.