Making five easy pieces

McNall on PCDaily

Page McNall added a free 2-page photo tutorial on Flickr for her segmented polymer bead necklaces last month. Now that the holiday hubbub is over, let’s give her instructions a whirl. She shows how on page 1 and page 2.

She blends color gradients into short thick plugs which she threads onto on a knitting needle. She nurses and shapes the plug, removes it from the needle and cuts it into five segments.  She gently refines the shape of the cut pieces and places them back on the needle to bake.

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After they’re baked Page distresses the beads and adds color accents with shoe polish. Mounted onto short lengths of wire, the segmented beads are then arranged into necklaces. Her pictures make it all quite clear. Follow Page on Facebook and see her influences on Pinterest. (PCD follower Patrice Pfeiffer thought you’d want to see this and I agreed.)

Bowled over

Holt on PCDaily

Sometimes it’s good to get nervous about trades among friends and, guess what, we all do it. That mixture of fear and competition can motivate us to try harder.

Even longtime artist and Sculpey brand ambassador Syndee Holt admits that this was her second attempt at making little 2 1/2″ diameter polymer bowls for an upcoming swap. She wanted to get her new design just right so she scrapped the first batch and kept going until she felt comfortable. Let the guessing begin about how she achieved this multi-color stone-like effect.

Kim Arden’s tell-all

In the September/October issue of Polymer Cafe magazine, Kim Arden reveals how she creates her summer flower pendants. Along with a profile written by Trina Williams, Kim includes a complete tutorial.

Arden on PCDaily.com

She shows how to stack bright and translucent cane slices over a scrap background to build pendants that have color, depth and attitude. Here’s PCD’s first look at Kim’s design from last year.

Read more about Kim on Facebook and her site. See what Syndee’s experimenting with on her blog and on the Sculpey site.

Graffiti trends

Nemravova on PCDaily

Graffiti is all the rage and Petra Nemravova gives us some terrific tips on how she makes these trendy scribbled earrings in a free tutorial. The translation’s a bit wonky but it’s easy enough to figure out from the photos.

Her background rubber stamp (from IOS stamps she says) is very cool and it wouldn’t be too hard to carve one of your own. Need more? Here’s another of her freebies. Check Petra’s Facebook page and website.

And if you’re on Facebook, take a look at what Petra and the Ubersee gang were up to at their June retreat.

Rejuvenated scrap

Barenholtz on PCDaily

Angela Barenholtz brings us another scrap trick in her newest woven fabric tutorial. If you’re a textile lover who has some patience with geometry and a pile of clay that needs rejuvenating, you may have found your answer.

The strips of pattern can be joined to make flat veneers as on the Hamsa below (it’s a symbol of protection). Or the thinner individual strips can be joined end to end and wrapped around base beads as shown at the left.

This technique may reduce your guilt about that abandoned project or those long ignored canes. Angela is a whiz at replicating the look of fabric and her tweed tutorial is still one of my very favorites.

Barenholtz on PCDaily

Her series of cuts and stacks can be confusing. I know because I don’t follow instructions particularly well myself. But if you follow the pictures you’ll soon catch the logic and start cutting and stacking every scrap in sight. (That’s what I’ve been doing for days.)

Angela’s from Israel and it can take a few hours for her to send you the download link. See more of her samples on Flickr and in her Etsy shop.

Hypnotic polymer

Jeanclaude on PCDaily

You may need coffee to steady your nerves before you start on this optically challenging polymer cane from Helene Jeanclaude (Les ethiopiques).

Her free video tutorial makes this Checkered Hypnotic (Damier hypnotique) cane pattern deceptively simple and her step-by-step photos are clear enough that you do not need to speak French to follow along. (I know because I tried it.) She gathers soft edged hollow pillow beads made from the patterns into the necklace and ring shown below.

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You’ll find much more on her blog (she offers a whole library of tutorials), Facebook, Pinterest, and on Flickr. Helene offers this new instruction as a bright spot in the dark days they’re experiencing in France. Merci!

Yesterday’s lucky earrings are available for anyone who needs them. Go Bucks!

 

Coming to blows with polymer

Tayler on PCDaily

Vancouver’s Joan Tayler is offering an early holiday treat. Gift yourself her 9-page polymer whistle tutorial and you’ll be able to create your own presents – useful zipper pulls, clever pendants or noisy kids’ toys.

“In spite of the simplicity of this design it has taken me years of small changes to come up with an efficient way to make a polymer clay whistle,” Joan admits.

Joan taught me her method this summer. I had success on my first try and I’ve been bugging her to publish a tutorial ever since. My nagging paid off! The tutorial spells out the steps every which way – in photos, in words, and with drawings.

Tayler on PCDaily

Joan turns her whistles into lovely birds and hides them under gently draped leaves. StudioMojo subscribers will hear me toot my whistles in tomorrow’s edition. I don’t often gush but making whistles is a special skill that Joan has made available for the rest of us.

Twofer Friday

Leonini on PCDaily

It’s a twofer Friday to tide you through the weekend.

Cecelia Leonini’s Surreal necklace stands on its own even as it contains echoes from Iris Mishly, Nikolina Otrzan and other artists working with textures and inks. (Cecelia credits Nikolina’s and Iris’ tutorials.)

Note how the three main pieces were cut from one image. This painterly approach is being played with widely and moves polymer in new directions. Cecelia’s progress is documented on Flickr and Facebook.

Krichevskaya on PCDaily

If you’re looking for some warmth this weekend, let Russia’s Anna Krichevskaya bundle you up in a tweedy blue bangle. The heathered colors of her extruded faux knit resemble the big bulky sweaters sure to beat the chill. There’s more on Flickr. Stay warm.

Meeting your quota

Lehocky on PCDaily

To meet his quota of 10-12 polymer heart pins each day, Ron Lehocky has to get up early (we shot this video at 7:00 a.m.) and take advantage of every spare moment.

Funny how that daily quota has added up to 27,000 hearts in 9 years! All the proceeds support the Kentucky Kids Center where he is also a physician.

Used to the routine, Ron’s hands moved gracefully and effortlessly as we chatted. He’s refined his process to 3 steps which he shows in this demo. A few hundred hearts are always waiting for sanding and finishing which he does as he watches TV or listens to music. To purchase hearts, contact Ron on Facebook or via email. Watch the video here.

In this weekend’s StudioMojo, Ron continues talking about his studio habits, his motivation, and his own designs. Join us on StudioMojo if you’d like more.

Bonham on PCDaily

Sunday school

Those of us who love both technology and polymer are ecstatic that Mags Bonham will teach an online Craftcast class that explains how to cut polymer using the computer and a Silhouette Cameo printer/cutter. That’s on Sunday at 12:00 noon (EST). I plan to be in the front row (virtually) with the rest of you artist/nerds.

More scrap tweaks

Bonnay on PCDaily

Building on yesterday’s tutorial, we look at how France’s Anne-Sophie Bonnay tweaks her scrap stripes, gouging across them to create a woven pattern.

She enhances the effect by impressing the polymer with a fabric texture.

Bonnay on PCDaily

Anne-Sophie offers more items made from the scrap sheet on her web site.

She even uses the curly gouged out strings, pressing them onto a solid colored sheet to create an abstract pattern. Her imitation tiger’s eye pattern is another riff on this scrap stripe theme.