See through polymer

Neumeier on PCDaily

We can’t talk about translucent clay without checking to see what Kathrin Neumeier is up to, teasing us with another series of her glass-like earrings. She uses Pardo clay with inks to create patterns and achieve light catching effects.

If I’m not mistaken, the red earrings in her recent photos have burn spots on them. While it’s a controlled burn and the effects look purposeful, Kathrin is obviously testing the limits of translucent polymer. She’s on the edge and way ahead of most of us.

Mother lode of polymer

Pero on PCDaily

Texas’ Nora Pero likes to bead around her polymer creations, using them as focal pieces. She hit the motherlode of imitation stone beads when she tried Lynda Moseley’s new tutorial. Nora says she’s obsessed. See more of her beaded results on Etsy.

Nora can make her cabochons any shape and color she wants, imitating natural stone or creating her own reality. Just look at the supply she made for herself as soon as she read the instructions.

Pero on PCDaily

Here are Lynda’s samples. She often turns her versions into turquoise-like mosaics.

If you’re a rock hound like me this tutorial could save you time. Let’s enjoy some experimenting this weekend.

Deadline reminder

Remember this awards competition you thought about entering? You have a few days left to fill out the online application, submit your photos and feel good about checking off another goal on your 2014 list.

Crocheted polymer

Ajates on PCDaily

Cut out and texture a polymer slab, pierce the clay with a few small evenly-spaced circles. Consider adding a second layer and more holes. Fire the design. Sew contrasting threads in and out of the holes, wrapping the edges and adding colorful touches.

Madrid’s Fabiola Perez Ajates developed this simple decorative mixed media technique that simulates popular crocheted fashions.

See how quickly her students added their own touches to Fabi’s concept and include this idea in your holiday project stash. Fabi is featured in the Polymer Clay Global Persepctives and her projects are inviting and ingenious.

Going too far with polymer

Neumaier on PCDaily

Kathrin Neumaier tantalizes us one more time with her translucent polymer tricks. In this experiment her faux amber Honigtropfen (Honey Drops) beads are made from uncolored Pardo clay.

Kathrin pushes the boundaries as she takes the material beyond it’s recommended baking temperature. In the comments she hints that she baked the colorless clay, “…too long and too hot” to achieve the golden color. The black dots indicate that she nearly went too far.

What would happen if you pushed your work too far this week?

Polymer time management

Udell on PCDaily

Luann Udell explains her pre-show jitters and invites visitors to her booth at the NH Craftsman's Annual Fair at Mt. Sunapee later this week.

"It’s where I’ll struggle to put up my booth on a ski slope, stand for nine days in 95 degree weather, and wonder if I’ll make enough money to get me through to next year’s show," she says cheerily.

She'll show you her newest polymer artifacts from lost cultures and imagined prehistories and let you see the awesome scar on her knee which explains her absence last year.

Luann's blog post about her display research is a good read and you can find out even more on FaceBook.

Ann Dillon, Sandra McCaw, Marcia Herson, Kathleen Dustin (did I miss anyone?) are also regulars at this terrific show now in its 80th year.

It's in the mail!

You may have been wondering when my book would appear (me too). Pre-ordered copies of Polymer Clay Global Perspectives have shipped and I'm sending virtual hugs with each one. Now you can order it online and snap it up in bookstores. See what all the buzz is about.

Faux collection

Moseley on PCDaily

Luxuriate in the colors and patterns on Lynda Moseley's newest group of faux turquoise polymer pieces. She's sampled a variety of colors and experimented with all kinds of cracks and crevices. This sampler pendant combines snippets from lots of test pieces.

"What I had originally planned as a faux turquoise tutorial has morphed into a range of faux finishes using the same technique," she reports. It looks like her Faux Master Collection will be ready for prime time at the end of the month.

Lynda has a reputation for researching and refining her techniques into deceptively simple steps that make you wonder why you didn't think of that. See more of her work on Flickr, on Facebook, and watch her Etsy site for the new info.

Fruit polymer

Leitman on

The weekend farmers markets are bustling this time of year and these wearable translucent polymer raspberries look as juicy as the real ones.

Moscow’s Natalia Leitman (Madlen) specializes in small fruits, berries and flowers to wear.

What looked like a single J-shaped earring confused me until I saw this photo and realized it’s not an earring, it’s a belly ring for wearing on your pierced navel! Google body jewelry findings to locate the hardware.

Leitman on PCDaily

Her garden delights make great bracelets, brooches and hair adornments as well. See all her creations on Natalia’s blog and her instagram. Should you consider some fruit this week?

Updated ethnic

I was captivated by Svetlana’s faux ethnic beads two years ago when I posted this and her methods still excite me. Luckily her tutorial is still there for you to study.

Svetlana Gracheva from Donetsk, Ukraine embeds what look to be jump rings into her faux ethnic polymer beads with a stunningly realistic effect. The jump rings become bezels for small imitation turquoise and coral pieces.

Other metal is sandwiched in the middle of faux amber and turquoise beads. You can see examples of the techniques in her Lhasa and Nagrang Tibetan-style necklaces.

On her Tibetan bead class description page, Svetlana offers pictures (scroll down her page) that show how she performs her sleight of hand. In that class she finishes the beads with mosaic inlays. What a treat for those of us searching for new faux fun.

Vacation post from the archives

Indigo polymer

Larose on PCDaily

These test squares from France’s Isabelle Larose/Atelierlilaroz were the results of her playing with Pavla Cepelikova’s batik tutorial. Yummy! The indigo colors had me drooling. These are my favorites from her samples here. It won’t surprise you that Anne is also interested in watercolors.

Can I squeeze experimenting with batik into my play at the conference next week? This is where Pinterest comes in handy. By skimming through my favorite board (Be Still My Heart), I’ll remind myself of the patterns, colors and emotions that ring my chimes. That will keep me on track and help me integrate these batik finishes into the work I love. Don’t worry, you’re coming along and we’ll play together. Lots of photos and tidbits.

Spring crop of tutorials

Cepelikova on PCDaily

Spring is the season for growing and there’s a promising crop of polymer tutorials popping up. Here are three that could broaden your options and save you lots of trial and error time.

Otrzan on PCDaily

Finishes are all the rage – ceramic, enamel, raku, crackle, batik. No new equipment is required, just pull out the inks, powders and tools that you probably already have on hand. These surface treatments could give your designs added oomph.

The tutorials’ authors are not the first to try these processes but each teacher has each come up with new twists and clever tricks that may make the information helpful for you. All are delivered electronically and some have videos. While they each offer projects that you can follow, applying these finishes to your own signature work is what will make the information valuable.

Test samples from one student caught my eye and have me itching to play in the studio. Come back tomorrow to see. If you’ve found other interesting tutorials, let me know. The ones that I like to feature on PCD are those that offer new and/or easier ways to work with polymer.

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