She explains how she carves baked striped beads with linoleum cutters and backfills the carved designs with acrylic paint. She sometimes embellishes the base beads with canes as in this Spring Snowflake necklace.
Seattle’s Cynthia Toops takes you through the process of making polymer clay beads in this quick and wonderful video. It’s sure to give you breathtaking inspiration and overwhelming studio envy to start your week.
I’m scouting out polymer clay in Chapel Hill, NC today and send my thanks to Carol Simmons for sending me today’s link.
Carol Blackburn’s “Möebius Strips” polymer clay necklace fools the eye. You’ll have to look closely to see how Carol cleverly combines strips of Skinner-blended clay to look like undulating, interconnected beads. My science guy husband was impressed with the engineering of the piece.
Read more about Carol in this article in the March/April Craftsman magazine.
I first came upon the Möebius necklace on the British guild’s site. The necklace made its debut at last year’s EuroClay Carnival. This year’s event sold out quickly as polymer clay expertise and enthusiasm grow in Europe.
Repeated painting and buffings give her beads a patina and hints of past lives. These faux fossils are particularly alluring and the use of links instead of holes in the beads makes them even more unusual. Her Etsy shop shows a great selection.
Ohio’s Michele Gesing (GabrielStudios) creates polymer clay curiosities – flowers that open, birds in cages, slightly twisted mosaics, little niches, painted pendants, molded beads and more. She paints on polymer to achieve her highly personal, mysterious, soft, moody artworks.
Lynda Moseley (DesignDiva1) gives a delicate, Victorian feel to her polymer clay beads by transferring her vintage bird illustrations to a taupe base that has been mixed with embossing powders. The results are reminiscent of speckled bird eggs.
At the local guild meeting Debbie Jackson brought this great polymer clay necklace she’d made. The mottled beads are done with a sprayed alcohol ink technique that she teaches (she calls them quail eggs). The other faux turquoise and scarab beads are so convincingly done that the entire effect is ancient and artful.
She has a knack for the imitative and the cultural artifact. Her book, Polymer Clay Jewelry, contains many of her best recipes.
I wish I’d taken a picture of Debbie who is growing a new crop of silky hair that looks quite trendy. Thanks to Jeanette Kandray who loaned me her camera at the meeting.
Note: I’m on the road (San Diego). Saw some lovely rocks on our long beach walk today. Great ideas for my polymer versions.
Polymer clay artists love the science and the process of making lentil beads (here’s Desiree McCrorey’s how-to). I see plenty of examples and no one makes a finer, more consistent lentil than Wisconsin’s Laura Timmins.
Combined with color-coordinated handmade cording and soothing designs, her pieces captivate wearers. Have a captivating weekend.
Two Finnish polymer clay artists, Petteri Leppikallio and Pörrö Sahlberg (Hiidet), have launched monthly challenges for themselves that they’re posting on their site. Their blog posts (this is just a small sampling) are becoming an online sketchbook and a visual glossary that they hope will inspire others.
This month Pörrö has been using two colors which she shapes into basic shapes using basic techniques. Petteri, a woodworker, has been exploring textures.
The ground rules for the year-long project specify that the ideas are more important than results.
“I need to study simplicity. There are tons of techniques available in the literature and the net, however I feel the simplest things and themes are somewhat unstudied. There must be lots of new ways to do old things and probably some new ideas rise from repeating the old ones,” says Pörrö.
With their studious and structured approach, their collaboration will be a fascinating one to follow.
I’d love to sit down and try some of the beads that Belinda (birnco) has been working on during her first year with polymer clay. The technique looks simple (an extrusion/mokume gane combination) and the effect is stunning.
She’s got a great sense of color that makes the end result luminous, improving as she’s progressed through the year. This riot of color is a good way to start the week.
My daughter’s here to visit and help with Thanksgiving festivities. Maybe we can sneak a couple of hours off to play in the studio like we used to.
Note: Carol Simmons gives a few more clues about reducing her cane with help from the microwave. Scroll way down in the comments on her post and you’ll see her response.