Cold cut flowers

Jenny Patterson slices extruded flower canes after they are fired on PolymerClayDaily

Maintaining the shape of extruded polymer clay flower canes as you reduce them is nearly impossible. At a recent gathering, Minnesota’s Jenny Patterson reminded me of a clever workaround.

She extrudes her canes and slices them after they’re cured!

Jenny sells at big shows (she’ll be at the Balloon show in Albuquerque) so her production skills are well honed.

She cuts the cured extrusions once they’re cool or slightly re-warms them to make them pliable depending on the brand of clay. Try it both ways to see what your clay prefers. She punches a hole in each thin slice with hole punch pliers.

Her flowers are made using extruded stacks of disks of clay colors (a la Bettina Welker) with her own extruder disk designs.


We’ll be talking about several newly learned lessons (and cool new tools that make them happen) in this week’s StudioMojo. A week off the grid did my heart and my brain good. Come see why.

Back to school

Gael Keyes can't escape schools on PolymerClayDaily.com

New Mexico teacher Gael Keyes says she can’t get away from schools, even on vacation.

Gael has developed her own method of book-matching bits of scraps. Even small remnants of canes make elaborate and unique patterns. They dive under and around a found branch, happy to be back in school.

 

Let your fingers do the talking

Ron Lehocky's takeaway from Lindly Haunani's class on PolymerClayDaily.com

Ron Lehocky made this bevy of bowls after Lindly’s recent class in Kentucky. It’s comforting to know that even after he’s made 50,000 hearts, he still needs to practice just like the rest of us. Amazing!

Do your fingers need to wrestle the clay before you can you’re certain that a concept has lodged itself securely in your noggin?

No matter how many pages of instructions I have, my fingers insist on fumbling through the twists and turns.

Ron’s an overachiever, as you can see. I’ll consider myself a star if I can come away from Lindly’s Columbus class in October with a fraction of that. We have a few seats left! Come play with us.


See what outrageousness and oddities we’ve scooped up for this Saturday’s StudioMojo. Keeping up with our art medium is always surprising and fun. 

When you’re red hot

Pat Stirniman makes red hot dishes on PolymerClayDaily.com

What do you do with yourself when the news makes you red hot? You could take a cue from Illinois’ Pat Stirniman and pound your cadmium red.

Pat uses polymer like ceramic clay, building all sorts of dishes and vases and objects to brighten the house or just to let off steam. She adds balls, stripes, dots, and other bit players. Here’s Pat on Facebook.

Polymer makeovers

Ginny Parrish gives containers a second life on PolymerClayDaily.com

I’m stuck on vessels this week. These bumpy, tall, short, lidded, and open containers are from North Carolina’s Ginny Parrish (bluefrogclay) who’s embarked on a vessel tour of her own.

Her in-progress shots show how she gives an olive can a makeover for her spring show.

Need a change of pace? Update a lowly jar to a keepsake.

Simplifying the complicated

Meg Newberg simplifies cane-building on PolymerClayDaily

Arizona’s Meg Newbert (polymerclayworkshop) thinks canes. She likes nothing better than to take designs that look impossibly complex and make them doable for both beginners and experienced caners. She’s done this every month for years!

It’s like mental gymnastics for those who’ve been at this a while. Lots of us may not make the cane she suggests but following along still gives us a thrill. Did I mention that at $5/month, she’s the best deal around for those who never tire of the thrill of slicing into a snake of clay for the big reveal?

What do you suppose Meg’s stash of canes looks like by now?


New products are coming off the production line, clay is climbing back on the shelves and shows are starting up. It’s a crazy world but in some corners, we’re trying to stay sane and creative. See what’s blooming this spring in Saturday’s StudioMojo

Dots with a twist

Wiwat Kamolpornwijit gives his dots an unexpected twist on PolymerClayDaily.com

Wiwat Kamolpornwijit started his show season with a twist in Florida last weekend. Dots are a hot item and Wiwat gives his a twist that plays with geometry.

He backs dotted veneers with silver clay that he cuts into circles. Sliced across the middle, half the circle heads east and the other flips west as they are mounted on round silver links.

Sometimes we like the unexpected.

Heartwarming blends

Lindsey of VividClay wraps blends in heartwarming ways on PolymerClayDaily

Make three small curvy blends (white to orangy pink, orangy pink to darker pink, pink to nearly purple) then wrap them in thin black and pinch them so they bend around each other. There’s something special about these conjoined hearts from Lindsey of VividClay.

If you’ve seen Lindsey’s paradox cane tutorial on YouTube you know that she has a knack for manipulating blends in eye-catching ways. These hearts entwine in similar mesmerizing ways.

When someone gives you potatoes…

Barbara Nalepa mirrors how we feel the day before Thanksgiving on PolymerClayDaily.com

Barbara Nalepa (Barmisal) pretty much captures how we feel here in the US on the day before Thanksgiving.

How to shove working, shopping, and cooking into one short day?

A few scraps of black and white canes express our potato-mashing, turkey-basting, table-setting exasperation.

Eventually, we’ll take a breath, sit down and remember how thankful we are for this wild and crazy life. Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m sinking!

Robyn (Kaori) will suck you into her clever cane vortex. Be careful on PolymerClayDaily.com

This cane from Australia’s Robyn (shop.Kaori) sucked me in like quicksand in a B grade adventure movie. It’s pulled me in repeatedly.

What’s going on here? The neon colors, the black background, the over/under! How does it work? I’m lost in the jungle. Robyn’s been working with polymer for nearly 30 years so she knows her way around.

I give up. Looks like I’m going to have to grab Patreon to save myself.