Maggie’s missing link

Link to video

When Maggie Maggio quietly fiddles and fusses at a retreat, you know that she’s brewing a new scheme. She generously agreed to share with you her latest development, polymer clay split ring chains. Making this design was a relaxing way to look busy, get rid of scrap and have great looking new jewelry. By the end of the week we had heaps of links. I got out my camera and you can see the resulting video in the right column.

Students of Maggie and Lindly’s color book will probably pounce on the concept and come up with great variations. We only scratched the surface. Many thanks to Maggie for showing us her new method which she’s calling Maggie’s Missing Link.

Download the split ring template sheet and read Maggie’s latest blog post here.

Travel toys and tutorials

The Les Ethiopiques site is full of free tutorials and French polymer fun that will keep you kids busy in the back seat while I travel to Colorado for a week in the mountains. With any luck, I’ll keep posting daily about old friends, new products and moose.

Les Ethiopique’s faux leather ties in nicely with this week’s earlier Biker Chick post. Though her tutorials are in French, the photos say it all and you needn’t translate to get the gist. Just look for “tuto” and click away. Her generosity in creating all these free how-to’s is refreshing.

Thanks to Eva Ménager for the link. Have a refreshing weekend!

Fabi’s fabulous combinations

To polymer artists, there’s nothing more appealing than a neat pile of coordinated canes. Show us the resulting bouquet of flowers and you’ve got our attention. These lovelies are from Madrid’s Fabi (fperezajates).

A few minutes on her Flickr site will reveal how she’s combined polymer with felt, crochet, books and wood. She even shares a mini-tutorial about turning a nail brush into a letter holder.

I admire Fabi’s experimentation with household items and decorative accessories.

Moving beyond bowls and frames, she embellishes drawers and makes sewing tool holders. Keep your eye on Fabi’s work.

Monday lessons from Uliczny and Campbell

Uliczny's mokume earrings

Michigan’s Christi Uliczny (RiverValleyDesign) combines pearlex powders, alcohol inks and gold leaf with two different clays to create these shimmering Rocky Path earrings.

When I saw that her tutorial detailing the process is available I jumped on it. I’m a klutz with powders and inks and need all the help I can get. Her method is straightforward and clearly explained. I’ll start my week with a lesson.

Campbell's ballet sculpture

Sculpture lessons

Heather Campbell shows her work step-by-step in a recent post. Starting with two candlesticks, toe shoes and hat boxes, Heather builds an amazing polymer-covered sculpture for Utah Ballet West’s annual “Shoe In”. This small photo doesn’t do the piece justice. It’s the kind of art that’s best appreciated up close.

Botton transfers fabrics

The textiles from her day job in China have crept into French artist Cecilia Botton’s (Mabcrea) newest work. Cecilia’s obviously comfortable with crossing borders and mixing cultures.

The caption on this new monochromatic necklace says that she’s using a transfer technique and transfers catch my attention these days. She promises to create a tutorial soon.

Her Flickr pages are filled with experiments and exercises. She credits the work and artists who inspire her and lets us watch as she works out her versions. Cecilia also offers a bunch of fun step-by-step visual tutorials which are easy to understand in any language.

Eakes’ polymer gifts

Julie Eakes offers a nifty poinsettia tutorial on her blog. She collages slices from four or five basic canes onto a graduated background for one variation. Then she shows how the same canes can be used for sculptural or dimensional pieces. What a nice gift to readers.

If you’ve caught the generous spirit of the holidays, you may want to:

Thanks to Susan Lomuto at DailyArtMuse and Lindly Haunani for the links.

Polymer with a light touch

I’m feeling clumsy and in a rush. Polymer clay works that exude a light touch and a delicate sensibility inspire me and calm me down.

The bracelet is from Enkhene Tserenbadam from Switzerland. Offsetting the comfortable textured shapes makes them more touchable. The oversized jump rings on her new necklaces add an element of surprise.

The glowing hollow translucent bead is from France’s Céline Charuau (GrisBleu). She has a little tutorial on her site that shows you how she assembles beauties like these.

Austria’s Eva Ehmeier (Hoedlgut) shows her refined elegant Black Meadow Necklace on her Flickr site. Ok, breathe deeply. Back to the studio.

Treasurefield’s fee fi faux

This sunny Rosa Amarilla polymer clay necklace and enamel-look swallow pin from Alisa Treasurefield look sunny and just right for the first post of the week.

Alisa specializes in unusual faux effects – wood, enamel, bakelite, ceramic, metal and more – in the items in her Etsy shop.

It takes a keen eye and a deft hand to use the clay so convincingly. In an earlier post we looked at her faux faceted wood gems and now there’s much more to look at.

Distractions

Here are two tutorials I found this weekend as I tried to distract myself from other chores that were calling me. Both the faux agate cane and the twisted wire/polymer ring look interesting and need little translation. If you experiment with them, I can get back to work.

Davis’ faux fossils

Lynn Davis makes polymer clay faux ceramic beads like no one else. In her recent post she lets us peer over her shoulder as she finishes a batch.

Repeated painting and buffings give her beads a patina and hints of past lives. These faux fossils are particularly alluring and the use of links instead of holes in the beads makes them even more unusual. Her Etsy shop shows a great selection.

If, like me, you want to know how to get started, take a look at this polymerclayweb tutorial. Here’s an earlier post about Lynn.

Hyde’s polymer angels

Discussions about holiday spirit wouldn’t be complete without mentioning another of my polymer clay favorites, Seattle’s Susan Hyde. She sent these two examples of her latest angels dressed in her signature colors with extruded clay slices as accents. Those colors are pure holiday eye candy.

Her fabric tutorial (a Skinner blend with shreds of contrasting color mixed in and stacked into plaids) is one of the best for polymer clay color lovers.