Library of Tips

Usually the Carol Duval show aims at the polymer clay beginner and hence the tips are too elementary to be interesting. Sometimes you find something simple and elegant, however. Browse through the list of "how-to’s" in the HGTV library. Their online tips are usually well photographed and documented (click on the tip photos for larger versions).

Donna Kato’s tips are far and away the best. Donna relies on her hands and her design skill rather than gadgets. And Donna’s genius comes from her ability to synthesize a technique, boil it down to its simplest steps. Here are some of my favorites.

Tip 1 | Tip 2 | Tip 3 (you’ll never find a simpler ikat technique).

Donna has a new segment coming up November 4.

Future Me

Since I’m completely grown and my parents are gone, there’s no one to nag me, coax me and support me except myself. Oh yes, I have a husband and children but those are different sorts of relationships.

Sometimes I need someone who understands me on a really basic level, who is in tune with my creative urges and artistic temperament. Who knows better what I need than me?

Hence I was glad to stumble upon this "Future Me" link which allows me to send emails to my future self. "Remember, you said you wanted to have this done by today," is a great way to keep myself on track. Today I can send the email to myself and it will be delivered when I need that prodding in another month.

There are other "to do" lists and reminder programs but none quite as clever (and free) as this. Take a look. (The heart is by Karyn Kozak.)

Who knew?

It tickled me to come across this site about polymer clay lures. Who knew? I acquired a strange looking neon-colored lure at the national retreat a few years ago. I thought it was primitive and interesting…sorry that I’ve forgotten the artist’s name. I never dreamed that it was a serious instrument.

My fishing-freak father-in-law spied the lure and loved it, begged for it for Christmas. I obliged.

You never know what this polymer clay stuff can be used for. Keep an open mind. The lure site looks a bit out of date, however.

It’s that time of year

The trees have hardly lost their leaves here in Ohio and we’re already gearing up for Christmas. Polymer artists like Sharon Sahl hold their annual sales this time of year. Sharon, like so many other fine artists, has no website and rarely enters juried shows. Instead she holds one open house and exhibits at three Ohio shows in October and November. Her works are collected and sought after. I’ll feature more of her works in the coming months. Her craftsmanship and attention to detail are remarkable.

If you know of other artists who, like Sharon, prefer to work out of the mainstream and the glare of the internet, let me know. They deserve some recognition and I’d like to give it to them.

Looking Elsewhere

For the past few days I haven’t wanted to look at polymer. I’ve turned my attention to rugs, jewelry, ceramics…art of other persuasions. There’s so much out there to inspire polymer artists. Take a look at some of these ideas and envision how polymer could transform them into something else.

I’m also priming myself for some quality color time with Lindly and Maggie. I’m thinking of this as homework but actually it’s just fun to immerse myself in new ideas as I surf the web. Join me at some of my latest finds.

Lentils

I’ve run across Ronna Sarvas Weltman in several magazines and articles. I’m attracted to her wavy lentil disks. She uses them both by themselves and with other, round beads.

Ronna lives in Bellevue, Washington. She works in silver, precious metal clay, polymer clay, glass beads, and other materials. Visit her site.

Crystals

I’m always browsing for designs and ideas. Check out the jewelry in the Ona catalog. It looks an awfully lot like rhinestones in polymer. Nice merging of crystals and mosaics. The description reads "…hand-molded from a patented clay and incrusted with swarovski crystals."

The Ona catalog has inspiring designs in other categories as well. It’s fun to mouse through.

Lorie Follett gets her fabulous rhinestones from rhinestoneguy.com. She says the selection is great and the prices are good. She recommends ordering the sample card to get ideas for sizes and colors.

Sci-Fi

I’ve been running into lots of organic, other-worldly shapes in polymer clay recently. The beads above are from Grant Diffendaffer.

Ford and Forlano have ventured into this realm. They explain their new aesthetic in an essay. The writer describes it their new work as having a "sci-fi quality." An interesting read.

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