Mudpile Mokume Gane

If you read the “Polymer Resurrection Workshop” article in the last issue of The Polymer Arts, you saw how easy it is to make successful mokume gane from scrap. I’ve been hearing from a lot of people who have been taking this scrap approach so when I ran across this tutorial by Elizabeth Campbell,, I thought I really ought to share. Here’s a resulting piece from the technique:


This is a a fun variation on the mokume gane challenge that does not require sorting the clay at all. You just use your “mud pile.”  It’s perfect for leftover canes pieces and the little bits of clay you have at the bottom of your scrap bin.

If you are getting into the Bargello technique from that same article, Elizabeth has a quick overview on creating a Skinner blend Bargello sheet as well.

Outside Inspiration: Soutache in the Extreme


Olimpia Corvino Designs FB_n

A couple weeks ago, Cynthia posted a piece on Polymer Clay Daily about faux soutache done in polymer clay by Olimpia Corvino.I had just been perusing an actually soutache artist’s site a couple days before but couldn’t find it at the time. Well, it was an Etsy store and here is the piece that drew me in and had me investigating.




This piece by Miriam Shimon is titled “Once Upon a Time” and is a Bead Dreams 2012 Finalist piece. Obviously! Well, I didn’t see the rest of the competition but this just blew me away. If you are unfamiliar with soutache, it is simply a narrow and flat decorative type of trim used with drapery or clothing, usually to hide a seam. Not dissimilar from flattened ropes of polymer (hint, hint!) As demonstrated by Olimpia, there are such possibilities in terms of borrowing form, flow, and detail, for a polymer artist to borrow from this bead and fiber art form.

And, besides,  it’s just so darn pretty to look at.

Brightening Your Morning

Coffee in the morning is such an entrenched tradition in America and elsewhere that even those of us who can’t drink caffeine anymore will still get up and make a pot of decaf for some psychological pick-me-up.

Now, what if you have that coffee (caffeinated or not) in a cup like this …



Eleni Tsaliki has a thing for bring colors and fun imagery. Using Angeli Del Rosario’s suggestions for renewing old items from the “Polymer to the Rescue” article in our present issue of The Polymer Arts magazine,  you could help save the earth and brighten your morning by repairing old mugs with cheery polymer additions.

Eleni has a whole series of pick me up mugs on her Flickr page along with other things to brighten up your Thursday.



Real Women in Polymer

I thought I knew all the really amazing polymer clay doll artists but as usual, there are more!  Eneida Rosa makes the most amazing sculptures – not just because of their realism and her obvious skill with the material – but because these are real women with the small ‘imperfections’ that certain industries would like us to think don’t exist.


This piece, “Alisha,” has to be my favorite. This woman is no waif. She has healthy curves and all the things that make a woman truly sexy (so says a survey of my male friends). She’s still looking to be in better shape than me (I so need to cut down on eating out!) but how wonderfully refreshing to see a not-so-flat belly and a little unevenness across the thigh.

There is now a backlash in the fashion industry against those emaciated looks and unhealthy demands made on fashion models that too many woman try to compete with. We should keep this in mind in our artwork as well.

Although one of the advantages – as well as a draw for making art – is creating whatever we think beauty is, even when it’s unrealistic. How much more helpful can we be to society and the female self-image if we portray the beautiful women of polymer sculpture as gorgeous emulations of real, healthy-looking women that we could realistically all aspire to be?

So hat’s off to Eneida for her wonderful and realistic work.

A River Runs Through It

Maybe it’s the heat but the river-like element in these earrings by Karen Park draws me in.

Mokume gane polymer clay


The graduated blues and earth tones bring up images of a river bank and the scattered gold on brown looks like the eddies where one might go gold panning.

Wouldn’t you like to be in a place like this right now?

I thought today – as a heat wave continues to cross much of the country – that something refreshing like this would be a welcome image for all you readers.

Become a Better Artist: Eight Month Course on Voila!

Starting July 1, will be running an eight-month course on “How to Become a Better Artist.” There’s a short post about it on their homepage:

How To Become a Better Artist: An 8-month journey

If you are asking yourself these questions:

  • Are my ideas good enough to spend more time on them?
  • Why are some pieces “wow” and others “blah”?
  • How is my work perceived?

Then this course will help you:

  • Identify worthwhile ideas and mature them,
  • Ensure that you effectively capture your good ideas,
  • Understand how to learn from and accept criticism.


Starting July 1, 2012, the course will build on the wealth of experience and images from the last two years of Polymeristas of the Month competitions.

The course is free and available to all. Only members will have access to the archives.

Sign up on to become a member and join in on this great opportunity! You can read more on Voila in the Summer Issue of The Polymer Arts magazine.

A Little Sunday McCaw

You have probably seen Sandra McCaw’s work, if not on the internet somewhere, then in a polymer clay book or two. Sandra does amazing cane work and applies her canes to beautifully constructed jewelry usually combined with precious metals. This brooch is a great example of her use of line and color.

McCaw brooch


In her own words:

“My inspiration derives from a fascination with the interplay of color, line and form. In working with polymer clay, I am able to create complex patterns where lines seem to lose their distinction and blend, and where colors bloom and merge. Polymer clay, with its richness of color and flexibility, allows me to create the intricate patterns that I love.”


‘Nuf said.


Hope you all had a beautiful weekend.

Other Sources of Inspiration: Translating Paintings




As craft artists, we are more commonly drawn to three-dimensional arts and crafts because the construction and formation of a piece is something we know so well ourselves. But inspiration can be found in many of the two-dimensional arts as well.

This painting by Laura Zollar has a wealth of color and visual impact that could be easily translated into polymer illustration.

I would love to walk into a room and see something like this on a wall but built up with sculptural polymer which would then give it the added dimension of change … the shifting of shadows as light changes in the room and the alteration of view as you move around it.



Just Right on the Bling

Adding a bit of sparkle and shine can be just what’s needed to enliven a piece. But in most cases, use of the bling-y stuff is best done in small doses, using crystals and bright gems as accents to catch the light and a potential viewer’s eye. But for every rule there is an exception and here is a case where the nearly over the top use of crystals is actually quite appealing.



I thought this was polymer at first – and this certainly could be done with polymer – but it is actually a colored epoxy called Gemoglue, which is sold in Europe.

The crystals are embedded into balls of this sculptable epoxy with gems that reflect the color of the mixed epoxy. The restrained use of color keeps this from becoming garish. The randomness of the placement and the varied size keeps it from becoming predictable.


This piece was found on Gemoglue’s Flickr page which is full of sparkle and shine but all very tastefully done. We’ll be exploring the use of “Shimmer and Shine” in the Winter issue of The Polymer Arts towards the end of the year.


Want to try some colored epoxy but aren’t in Europe? Try Apoxie Sculpt’s colored resin clays.


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