From veneer to bead

Dan Cormier shows how to turn veneers into finely finished pieces in his June-July online class

Here’s a first look at one of Dan Cormier’s newest beads from his initial Matrix Canes online canework master class. But what does one do with beautiful veneers?

The sequel to the story is lodged in his second online adventure, Building Better Beads which runs from June 14 to July 14.

In this next step, Dan shows you how to turn a flat veneer into a finely finished piece. Registration closes Wednesday, June 5. Hop on over to the class site to read up on the details and register.

Long-running projects

Watch Cristina Garcia Alvarez challenge herself for 100 days on PolymerClayDaily.com

Spain’s Cristina García Alvarez (espiralarte) gives us a window into her journey through a 100-day project on Instagram.

On day 20 she took a turn that you may like when she paired Skinner blends with Bettina Welker-like retro canes. She added quirky textures and sped along with variations on the days that followed. Cristina gives us a window into her world as she continues to explore these designs. Click through her days and watch her progress.

We’ll be looking at how artists grow and change in the StudioMojo weekend newsletter this Saturday. Instead of sulking about how I haven’t participated in 100-day efforts like Cristina’s, I’ve decided to celebrate that StudioMojo has been perking along for 408 weeks. Yikes! It’s my own kind of long-running project that you can join at any time!

The attraction of ease

Barbara Baatz brings spontaneity to her beads on PolymerClayDaily.com

These beads from New Jersey’s Barbara Baatz (baatzbeads) are unpretentious and relaxed. They’re full of heart and devil-may-care attitude. They match but they’re not matchy-matchy.

It’s sometimes wise to step back, ease up and let that inner wild thing have some fun. Maybe it was taking yesterday off that has me appreciating simplicity.

Perfection is overrated and aiming for it sometimes sucks the energy out of our work. Do you need more spontaneity? See more on Instagram.

Blossoming beads

Juliya Laukhina's beads blossom with color on PolymerClayDaily

Moscow’s Juliya Laukhina covers her dark round beads with dense delicate dots of pastel colors. Is she using mokume gane off-cuts? Or has she taken another path?

It doesn’t matter, of course. She mostly uses round beads of this size as her canvas and every time I check, she’s trying another method to decorate them.

Juliya must have a science background since she’s methodical in her experimenting, only changing one variable at a time. These tight dots look like spring blossoms. She’s on Instagram and Etsy.

Playing during a party

Loretta Lam test drives a new idea at Clayathon on PolymerClayDaily

It’s not easy to be productive at a busy event like Clayathon where you are bombarded with ideas and opportunities to socialize.

Loretta Lam bravely used her time to play, trying out an idea that had been rattling around in her brain. She envisions a long chain of these 3″ tubes covered with mix and match patterns. The neutral palette keeps her focus on shape and design.

Passersby help her with a thumbs up or down. The patterns are all Loretta and the shapes allow us to see them in a new way.

After the show, new ideas

Genevieve Williamson's tubes pop with color and other surprises on PolymerClayDaily.com

The pop of spring colors against the black background gives an element of surprise to Genevieve Williamson’s extruded tube necklace. (I’d extrude but maybe she rolled them by hand.)

Genevieve says she’s home from the ACC Baltimore show and ready to jump back in and refine this design. The tangle of loops on one side adds to the surprise. Let’s watch and see how her idea develops.

Join us tonight for the 15th I LOVE TOOLS on Craftcast

Speaking of new developments, you’ll want to be sure to attend tonight’s free I Love Tools podcast on Craftcast at 7:30 ET. I’ll be there covering some of the hot tools for polymer artists. Mags Bonham will cover the latest developments from the Silhouette side of things.

It’s free and fun and available later if you’re too many time zones away. Bring a beverage and party with us tonight!

Hints of spring

Loretta Lam's colors and shapes hint at spring on PolymerClayDaily.com

Patterns and colors skip around this necklace from Loretta Lam. A dark oval focal bead anchors the piece.

No dramatic shapes or crazy textures but a subtle mix of earthy colors that draw your eyes in with hints of spring.

 

Serene beads

Eriko Page launches the week with the calming effect of her patterned beads on PolymerClayDaily.com

There’s a serenity in these beads from California’s Eriko Page on Instagram and on Facebook.

Her dark, limited palette beads on a single leather cord calm us on a Monday morning. You may want to drink in the feeling emanating from Eriko’s cane-covered black rounds before you head into your week.

Polymer terrazzo

Kathy Koontz shows how to make faux terrazzo polymer on PolymerClayDaily.com

All the trends point to a resurgence of terrazzo (the chips of colors you see embedded in commercial flooring and old linoleum).

South Carolina’s Kathy Koontz (flowertown_originals) shows her way of bringing the trend to polymer. She grinds and grates baked scraps then rolls the small grated pieces into a solid color of unbaked clay. Voila! Terrazzo polymer style.

She shows her process on Instagram. Who says polymer can’t be trendy?

A polymer bird in the hand

Ukraine’s Darya Podorozhna (sofoxyclay) gathers a flock of polymer birds on a delicate chain for bird lovers to wear and admire.

While these little beads don’t require much clay, they do demand a keen eye and attention to detail. Birders know their birds. You can catch them on Etsy and here she is on Instagram.

The first week after vacation has rushed by and already I could be back in the holiday frenzy. Over at StudioMojo, we’ll try to slow it down and move into the holidays with grace, a smile, and gifts from our hearts. Join us.

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