Tips and Tricks

Sweethearts visit

My daughter and her sweetheart are visiting which has thrown me off schedule. I added the rollover link effect (a link preview should pop up) to the site and can't decide if it's helpful or annoying. Please tell me if you have strong feelings.

I've also been reading the Devine Color book (Maggie put me on to her). Try this exercise from author Gretchen Schauffler.

Choose one thing from each room in your home that you absolutely love to look at or that has a deep connection. Make a pile of them in front of you. Name the colors (use rainbow color names only) out loud. These are the colors your eyes love to feel and the colors that have followed you throughout your life changes.

What a terrific exercise. Thanks to Darleen Bellan for the heart image.

Buna Bounty

I love it when humble materials are given new life and utility as they are in these new polymer clay pieces by Maggie Maggio. Maggie repurposes buna cord as earring bails and as stretchy ring bands…a bit of a twist on the technique devised by Donna Kato for her pendants and bracelets.

The rubber o-rings give the treatment uniformity and add to the finished look. 

These are from Maggie's Terrazo series of new designs from resurrected 10-year-old canes

I'm pondering the past year and the one ahead…hence my daliance and dabbling of the past few days. I expect to be hit with some outstanding predictions and revelations at any moment. Ponder these lovely designs as you await enlightenment.

2D/3D

Yesterday's post reminded me of these recent pictures of a slice of a polymer clay face cane that Maureen Carlson gently brought to life. I watched her ease a fresh cane slice made by Klew over a face-shaped dome of clay, transforming it into a much more lifelike piece. I was amazed at the impact of the third dimension and at how simply it was accomplished (in the hands of an expert).

Have a colorful fall weekend.

Magnetism

No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't stay focused on polymer in my web surfing last weekend. I ended up ordering books and CDs and this wonderful ring (actually, two are pictured here) from Dynomighty.com. Magnetic jewelry has always intrigued me and a magnetic ring offered too many possibilities to resist.

I'm hoping I can cover this baby with polymer clay. Think it's possible? My favorite magnet user is Cathy Johnston who closes her perfect miniature books/pins and purses (scroll down her class page to see this wonderful design) with magnetic clasps.

Look to the right on the home page. I've added a select list of recommended blogs in the right hand column. I'll keep the list short so as not to overwhelm you. These blogs are quite special. Happy Monday.

Magnet Magic

I usually stay away from the techniques and products side of polymer clay art but this tip was just too good to miss. The clank of the pasta machine handle hitting the floor is a familiar (and annoying) one.

Thanks to Debbie Woznick of Denver's Mile High Guild you may never hear that sound again. All you need is one of those strong magnets which come in the same diameter as the handle. Put the magnet on the end of the handle and insert it into the machine.

The magnet may fight you a bit as you approach the machine but with a little coaxing, it works. Supergluing the magnet to the handle is probably a good idea. I love a simple, elegant solution. Thanks, Debbie.

New Twist

There's nothing more fascinating to me than seeing a new twist on an old theme. And this technique by Colorado's Karen Sexton has it in spades. Here's a polymer bead based on the old paper roll-up bead (take a long skinny triangle of clay and roll it up).

What Karen's done next is to stamp the bead, flattening it somewhat. The resulting bead has wonderful shape and texture. Karen's an officer of the Denver guild but doesn't have much of a web presence. I'll badger her to get one up so that you can see more of her colorful and finely crafted works.

Kaleidoscopes

Sarah Shriver is directly responsible for many of the kaleidoscope cane freaks out there. Sarah makes it look disceptively easy and few artists reach her level of balance between chaos and control in their work.

As entertainment and practice for those who can't get enough of repeating patterns, I recommend you go to this site and play for a while. Have a great weekend. I'll be on vacation next week and the site will be on auto pilot with some fun posts.

Recycling

Julia Sober recycles. From automotive fuses to computer parts, Julia sees beauty and utility in the most mundane materials and incorporates them into her polymer clay work.

Scrapbooking staples become bails. Grommets embellish bead holes. Julia's shapes are as playful and unexpected as her hardware. Pieces move. Messages appear and disappear.

Combining her talent for color with her ability to assemble Julia Sober comes up with some exciting and winning combinations (including her "best of show" in the recent NPCG show).

Diva Jewelry

Techniques that are such fun to create often become mind-numbingly boring. Take those square extrusions. A professor of fluid dynamics bought a bowl of mine that was inlaid with square extrusions. He excitedly explained the physics of how the colors merged and formed. I was fascinated. After a while, however, they all look the same.

Some artists take these techniques to another level. These "Klimt pins" photos from Donna Kato illustrate the point. She takes a simple technique, renders it in unexpected colors and then pushes it further. In this case, she gave the pieces interesting shapes, added pearls and accented one with a textured layer.

It's that second effort that makes these pieces different from the rest. We must learn to obey that inner voice that says, "Take it farther…keep going"

The Ronna Weltman article in ArtJewelry Magazine was nicely written (I just got my copy) and I loved Steven Ford saying that polymer clay jewelry is "diva jewelry." He's right, of course (his new site is working a bit better today). These colors and styles are not for the shy or faint of heart.

RSS
Follow by Email