Layl McDill digs in

Layl McDill follows her own path to polymer success on PolymerClayDaily.com

Minnesota’s Layl McDill makes large canes that she reduces from the middle, making the two halves look like large Hershey’s kisses.

It works and she ends up with very little waste. Here it is in a time-lapse video.

Layl works in unorthodox ways with off-brand clays and homegrown techniques. She teaches without a pasta machine and doesn’t feel the need for many tools.

The stories on her blog and her dream-come-true studio will make you a believer in the value of persisting and marching to the beat of your own drummer.

So put down your tools and check in on StudioMojo for the rest of this story about the class Layl taught in Ohio this week. It’s refreshing and a little disorienting to forego our tool addictions and let our hands dig in.

Sending happy out

Pamela Carman sends happy out for your Monday on PolymerClayDaily.com

“It’s the joy of riotous color and pattern that drives me to create my work. It is my way of sending happy out into the world,” says Florida’s Pamela Carmen.

Nothing better than a bird of happiness to fly into your Monday. Can you picture the supply of canes Pamela must have on hand to feather her large menagerie? See her creations on Flickr. 

Her entry in a recent show called Woof, Meow, Chirp, and Slither: Artists interpret the world of pets earned a top award from Florida CraftArt. When you send happy out, some of it returns to you.

Chasing the rainbow

Caroline Casswell chases the rainbow with her big links on PolymerClayDaily

Patterned links chase each other around in this necklace by the UK’s Caroline Casswell. Rainbow colors blend into each other.

This necklace is part of Caroline’s display at Wave 7 Gallery in Wadebridge Cornwall.

The links are sturdy and there’s something fun about this play of color and pattern. But of course, it takes planning and skill to make the blends flow so smoothly. See more in this series on her website.

Mix and match playful bangle


Valérie Bodino-Nazet builds a wonky, fun bangle on PolymerClayDaily.com

France’s Valérie Bodino-Nazet hits the spot with this mix-and-match segmented bangle to wrap up the week.

Black and white stripes are a no-fail pattern to break up the tiny flowered pattern, the black and white leaf-like section, and the graphic black and white piece with just a splash of florals. Here on Instagram.

It’s hard to tell if this is one solid bangle or if the bracelet is in three sections of tubes that stretch apart at the stripes. No matter, it’s a playful and slightly wobbly Friday treat.

If you’re in the mood for more treats, join us over at StudioMojo where the value of a playful approach to polymer art is one of the big keys to success. Come join us. 

How color controls the composition

Rocky Antonio small ring dish contains big colors and textures on PolymerClayDaily.com

Watching Australia’s Rocky Antonio (RockyBeads) assemble her compositions with little bits of clays and canes is soothing and deeply relaxing. She works on small objects (this ring dish is one of her larger items).

With judicious use of color and attention to placement, she keeps her small items from becoming too sweet or insignificant.

The muted purple background of this shallow dish holds all the bright colors together and the dimension adds interest. Watch her paint on polymer on Facebook or work with a needle tool on Instagram.

Rocky’s Matryoshka dolls from 2012  on PCD still tickle me (she built them on lockets).

Summertime catch-up

Diana Crialesi spruces up her shop for summer on PolymerClayDaily.com

Rome’s Diana Crialesi (Archidee) has uploaded photos of her latest summer polymer jewelry.

She was so engrossed with making work, shooting tutorials and teaching that she fell behind in stocking her online store. Now she’s caught up and has added photos of the backlog to her shop and Instagram.

One look at her YouTube channel and you’ll understand what distracted her.

In the video, Diana assembles this bright piece (skip ahead to 11:00) with its t-bar closure and square opening on a turquoise silk cord. Simple and summery.

A nudge for swap items

Lynn Yuhr's leaves for a swap raise the bar on PolymerClayDaily.com

I’m smitten with these modern collaged leaves from Florida’s Lynn Yuhr. The gradations, the canes, the painted details on her slightly cupped leaves can’t be missed.

These are some of Lynn’s swap items for an upcoming retreat and they raise the bar for the rest of the participants who are still mulling over what to make.

We try to stay away from competitiveness but it creeps in whether we like it or not. A nudge like this one from Lynn makes for an exciting swap.

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!

When pigs…

What is Alice Stroppel telling us with her flying pigs on PolymerClayDaily.com?

Sometimes it’s clear what message polymer artists want to tell us.

What could Florida’s Alice Stroppel possibly be communicating with her latest edition of flower-covered pigs with wings?

Alice hints that “Serious fun happens when pigs fly.”  There’s no holding Alice back. Her pigs will happily fly whenever she wants them to. There’s a lot we could learn from the spunky, irreverent Alice.

Speaking of unexpected fun, come on over to this week’s StudioMojo where we follow Into the Forest exhibit creators Laura Tabakman, Julie Eakes and Emily Squires Levine. Teaching their polymer methods to incarcerated women was a more joyful experience than they ever anticipated. Come find out why. 

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