Tiled tea tables

Bridget Derc builds complex tiles for her tables on PolymerClayDaily

The UK’s Bridget Derc has two 27 1/2″ square patio tables to cover with polymer tiles. She calculated how much clay she’d need and got busy.

Bridget shares many of her work in progress shots on Flickr. No two of the 18 tiles (each about 9″ square) are alike. Her meticulous arranging of the kaleidoscopic pieces is amazing.

Bridget Derc builds complex tiles for her tables on PolymerClayDaily

She makes assembling hundreds of pieces look so effortless that we think, “Yeah, I could totally do that.” What is it about watching someone else work so diligently that allows us to forget the herculean effort involved?

Lots of clay, lots of math, lots of patience. Then lots of satisfaction having tea on your beautiful new tables.

Last year PCD watched her work on this smaller table.

Spring palette, stacked flowers

California’s Meisha Barbee took Carol Simmons flower class when Carol came to San Diego in early April. You can spot Carol’s refined kaleidoscopic methods in a heartbeat.

Meisha carried out the project in her own distinctive palette and with a quirky stripe here and a peppy dot there.

Her palette of colors mixed with Carol’s instructions look perfect on PCD on a colorful spring day.

See Meisha’s interesting history on PCDaily.

Egg-stremely difficult

Carol Simmons can arrange one cane in many ways for an Easter treat on PolymerClayDaily

Egg-stremely difficult is how the UK’s Wentworth Puzzle catalog describes the wooden puzzle made from a photo of a grouping of polymer-covered eggs by Colorado’s Carol Simmons.

All the puzzle pieces are the identical shape which elevates the level of difficulty.

Using her rich and complex kaleidoscope patterns Carol is able to arrange a dizzying array of designs from the same cane.

Read about Carol’s egg-sperience in arranging cane slices on eggshells in this post from the archives.

Happy Easter!

Join us at StudioMojo on Saturday when we cover more polymer art, events, and ideas that you won’t want to miss out on. Sorry, no chocolate bunnies.

Playtime polymer

Simmons on PCDaily

When Carol Simmons gave herself time to play, she found some new ways to make use of her kaleidoscope cane pieces. “The lack of perfection adds a primitive charm to the necklace. To me it looks tribal,” she says. Read her post about how playtime helped her.

If you need some partytime/playtime, sign up for Wednesday’s live online Craftcast class with Tejae Floyde. Tejae’s romantic polymer Spinner Hearts combine elements of a wheel of fortune game with a pocket-sized memento. Sit down at your computer and join the group watching Tejae explain her methods live. You can download the video and review it again when you’re ready to play on your own.

Tejae is one of the 13 featured artists in the Polymer Clay Global Perspectives book coming to bookstores soon.

Fabric inspirations, software samples

Carol Simmons shares a kaleidoscope software program that she uses to sample colors and try out designs. (Kaleider is for PCs only and offers a free trial.) Carol rotates and recombines student Nettonya Ryane’s polymer slice for amazing effect.

These colors are taken from Nettonya’s favorite fabric. Carol talks about the value of looking at fabrics for color inspiration. Many of us don’t sew and feel guilty about collecting fabrics for the simple pleasure of looking at them. No more guilt.

Carol swears she’ll work only in earthtones in Colorado. Maybe she’s cleansing her palette! Pictures from Colorado as soon as the network is more stable (apparently our group crashed it).

The secrets of good eggs

These polymer covered eggs are remarkable not just for cheery seasonal fun but because they were created by students using an ingenious, no-fail method developed by Carol Simmons.

On the groups’ Facebook page, you can examine these eggs and other objects created last weekend at the Buckeye Bash in Dayton. Using kaleidoscope-patterned canes, Carol’s students created consistently successful veneers.

Her egg formula involves four strips of cane slices, some math calculations and a template. Unfortunately I left before all the secrets were revealed. The Ohio class was Carol’s dry run for her new class called “Intricate Cane Veneers.”

Leupold’s polymer process

Dede Leupold gives me a vicarious thrill on a day when I can’t get to my own studio. She posted pictures from her process in creating a masterful kaleidoscope cane on Facebook.

It takes thought and planning to achieve such delicate shading and color combinations that sing. Here are earlier looks (1 and 2) at Dede’s work and the jewelry made from her canes on her Esty site.

Simmons’ winning pendants

Using a color palette derived from Korean embroideries, Carol Simmons created this series of kaleidoscope pendants. She assembled five graduated-sized beads from the series into a necklace which won first prize in the Bead Dreams polymer clay contest.

What you can’t appreciate from photos is the silky smooth finish of these pieces. They beg to be worn and fondled. And I can attest to the careful research, planning, testing and retesting that has gone into every step of Carol’s long development and refinement of her signature work. Click on each pendant to get a closer look. Have a winning weekend.

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