Upcycled ornaments

Rosanna Cappelino rescues ornaments and gives them new, whimsical life on PolymerClayDaily.com

I’m stuck on the sculpture and holiday ornaments that I could, should, might be creating. Full disclosure: I have a lovely poinsettia plant on the hearth. That’s it in the decorating department.

Today’s ornaments that fall into the “I could try that” category are from New York’s Rosanna Cappellno.

She transforms old ornaments into jesters, Humpty Dumpty, pigs….you name it. Dead lightbulbs become elves! They’re quirky, whimsical, and recycled. Perfect for the tree. Oh wait, no tree.

Just because I’m not making ornaments doesn’t mean that I’m not enjoying, remembering, savoring them. I have made a few new pretties just in case the grandchildren can get vaccinated in time for a visit.

In the meantime, I’m taking vicarious pleasure in Rosanna’s site. Sumptuous!


Semi-precious polymer

Pennsylvania’s Genevieve Williamson considers polymer a semi-precious material in her Redeemed show of all-recycled jewelry in Ohio. “Plastic has been vilified,” she says. “It’s not the material that’s the problem, it’s our one-use, throwaway attitude toward plastic that has caused the problem.”

Genevieve makes a case that could change your whole approach. She gives us new talking points that elevate our art in this conversation recorded for last week’s StudioMojo.

Polymer tell-all

Mishly on PCDaily

Israel’s Iris Mishly has been on the computer for months learning to give her website a makeover. She’s a do-it-yourself, recycle kinda gal.

You may have guessed that the secret ingredient in her trendy DiscChic line involves a recycled computer part.

Today she’s posted a tell-all video that will have you scouring through the cords and adapters in your computer junk drawer in search of these parts that turn into easy bezels for polymer.

Mishly on PCDaily

Iris’ 30 free tutorials are easy to find on the updated site along with tools and scads of other tutorials by category.

You can find her in the usual places too…Flickr, Facebook, YouTube, Etsy. She’s covered all the bases.

Polymer gifts

Petrocoin on PCDaily

From this angle you’d never guess that Beth Petrocoin’s polymer Christmas tree is built on a recycled beater from a discarded hand mixer. It’s easier to see the shape of the original below.

When the Etsy guild announced Recycled as their January design theme, Beth was all over it. She covered the beater with a thin layer of liquid polymer and applied strips of green polymer in a quilling style. Dots on the base are mirrored by red dots on the branches.

Petrocoin on PCDaily

Recycling is one of Beth’s passions as you’ll see on her Flickr page and her Etsy shops here and here.

Malta for Christmas?

Registration is open for EuroSynergy in Malta this spring. Now wouldn’t that be a lovely present? No shopping, no wrapping, no assembly required for this dream gift that will allow you to meet up with a few hundred of the world’s most passionate artists who speak your language – polymer! Give this link to your favorite Santa. There’s even a payment plan.

Secret Santa Giveaway

Want to be a Secret Santa? Send the name of someone you know who’d love a Beyond Belief or Cutting Edge book from Dan Cormier and Tracy Holmes. For a chance to win, Email or Facebook (by private message) the name of your entry now.

Scroll down to the bottom of their latest newsletter or check Facebook for all the details of their Way2Give marathon. The entry deadline has been pushed back to midnight Tuesday…that’s tonight.

Enlivened lockets

While the idea of covering lockets with polymer has been around for a while, Sydney, Australia’s Rocky Antonio turns the idea on its head!

The necks on Rocky’s charming Matryoshka dolls are made from lockets turned sideways. Jumprings baked into their heads allow them to be suspended from chains as pendants or charms. Study more pictures here and start your engines this week with a updated, upcycled twist on an old idea.

Upcycled polymer

In the hands of Barbara Briggs discarded guitar strings, a bit of textured polymer, some wire and a few trinkets are upcycled into a chic bangle.

Barbara talks about her first-of-the-year penchant for order in recent blog posts. She’s been beautifying her tools and straightening her mixed media studio which is home to some cool new tools. Her progress makes me believe it’s possible to get organized.

Polymer for warmth

The wintry chill has me looking at polymer that helps keep your neck warm.

Russian polymer artist Galina Grebennikova from Dublin, Ireland recycles men’s silk ties into her necklaces. Clever and useful.

Italy’s Ilenia Moreni finishes off a luscious yellow silk scarf with polymer finial cones for an ancient and exotic bit of warmth.

Both artists’ sites will heat up your imagination.

McMillan’s polymer bobbins

Californian Dotty McMillan (here’s her latest book) showed me these bobbin beads she developed using a stash of old sewing machine parts from her fabric store manager daughter. Dotty was pleased to see a photo of Cynthia Toops’ bobbin necklace in Polymer Clay Color Inspirations. “We don’t do them the same, but it was good to see someone else had thought about using them and I wasn’t nuts,” says Dottie.

Here are links to four more examples (1, 2, 3, 4). She’s written a how-to article on the beads for a spring edition of Bead and Button magazine.

Dotty reminded me about our original online polymer group on the ancient Prodigy network. What year was that? Does anyone remember?

Segal’s small set designs


Thyrza Segal of Vancouver arrived at polymer clay after ten years in set design and costuming. Now she works on much smaller sets. Her plantscapes combine terrariums, vintage glassware and polymer clay sculptures into miniature organic dioramas.

Thyrza gathers glassware and ceramics from local thrift stores and fills them with succulents, minature tropicals, mosses and air plants. What brings the plantscapes to life are the sculptures – alien figurines and fantasy plants sculpted from polymer clay.

This combination of green-conscious, recycled, fantasy and sculpture is one terrific example of the future of crafts that experts envisioned at the conference I attended last week.

Blackford’s hands on synergy

If, like me, you overlooked the hands-on classes that have been added to the Synergy2 lineup, be sure to look again. There are some gems being offered before and after the Baltimore conference.

The trick is that you have to contact the instructor directly (or his/her website) to get in on the deal.

Check out these whimisical narrative sculptures from Leslie Blackford’s “Off With Your Head!” class on the Tuesday before the conference. Their heads are built over small lightbulbs and you can change their head/body combinations to suit your mood.

If you’ve never seen Leslie conjure up creatures from a heap of polymer clay scraps, you’re in for a treat. Her spontaneous, direct way of bringing an idea to life will light your imagination. Here’s her Deviant site and here’s her email.

It’s rare to have access to this many top-notch teachers. The rest of the hands-on class roster includes: Seth Savarick, Tracy Holmes, Bettina Welker, Dan Cormier, Robert Dancik. Add to that the Cabin Fever Clay Fest workshops and their long list of experts. Take a class and your head will be spinning like the ones on Leslie’s sculptures!