Display ideas

As I mentioned earlier this week, it’s been more than 4 years since I’ve done a craft show.  The Reiman Gardens show allowed applicants to pick an indoor or an outdoor booth.  I chose indoor!  I won’t have to worry about the weather.  But I am needing to develop some new display ideas.  Here’s one new one I took to the Bead & Button show a couple weeks ago.

IMG_4674I took a fat snake of Sculepy Ultra Light, not tinted or blended or anything and pressed it into a serpentine shape.  I inserted 7 or 8 large gold paperclips (Staples) and textured the whole thing with the medium ball stylus tool.  Easy earring display!  Now to come up with some necklace pieces to match….


Have fun,



At the Bead & Button show, I debuted some new products for clayers.  I am currently offering 8 texture plates hand made from my original low relief sculptures.  There are several leaf or flower designs as well as some art deco ideas inspired by William Morris.  I’ve made them available on my Etsy page.  Here’s one of my favorites and an example of it in use:

IMG_4667This one is called “3 Ring Circles” and here’s a sample using it with white clay and a tinted Liquid Sculpey wash:







Check them all out!  Have fun!


PS.  Coming soon, metal clay bails and earring kits to dress your polymer pieces up…



Garden Art Fair

For the first time in several years, I’m going to do a retail art fair again.  If you are in town, come see me on Sunday July 13 at Reiman Gardens on the Iowa State Campus.


Hope to see you there!!


I made 18 pens yesterday!  One of my galleries let me know they’d sold all their inventory and needed more.  So I figured I’d make plenty to send to several galleries before the holiday season.


These were lots of fun and I was able to make so many in a day as these were using up bits of old canes.  Many were just enough for one pen, or two.  So I accomplished two things; inventory and some housecleaning of the cane drawer!  Recognize any canes?  A few are the leftover bits from the caning book.  Many are leftovers from projects requested by Polyform Products.

My daughter grabbed the one on the left side and pointed out that it didn’t really “fit” with the others…  She’s right.  That one was a leftover chunk of translucent cane I did to simulate watermelon tourmaline.  I layered a translucent flower on top.  It turned out nicely, but it really does have a different aesthetic than most of my work…

Have an awesome weekend.



Telling stories

I’m blogging at Sculpey.com this month, but remembered to repost this here as well today…

At the Bead and Button Show, or in any class I teach, I like to tell stories while I’m demonstrating.  I talk about my experiences, my work and where it comes from, as well as funny things that have happened in my family related to my art over the past 20+ years.

Often when I teach classes using my collection of leaf molds, I tell what kind of leaf it is, where it came from, etc.  One of my favorite leaves are rose leaves like the ones in the two pins shown here. 

When my husband and I were visiting a winery in Greve, Italy on our recent trip to Italy celebrating our 25th anniversary, I noticed a miniature rose bush in the landscaping.  I picked one tiny leaf and tucked it into my wallet to mold it when I got home.  I haven’t had time to make anything with the mold yet, but it will make a great story, don’t you agree?

Stories are important because they connect us to the work, and through the work to each other. I remind my students that if they are developing work for sale, to find ways to tell their stories.  I learned the importance of the story years ago when I taught a series of classes at a nearby Stamp/scrapbook store…

The series was a 3hour class on a different technique at the store once a month over several months.  I did several techniques using my leaf molds.  I pointed out one of the molds that was made from a marigold leaf.  The special leaf came from a plant grown from seed by my son at preschool.  My husband also planted a row of marigolds along our vegetable garden each year, so that year, my son’s plant went on the end of the row.  The hybrids were different, and it just so happened that my son’s plant grew twice as tall as all of daddy’s… of course!  I preserved this story in my leaf mold and remember it each time I used that mold.   (that son is now 16!  time flies, but my mold is still effective–Bake & Bend is so great for making molds!)

Now, for the lesson on the importance of the story:  one of the students in my stamp store class listened to the story and at the end of class, bought one of my samples that was made with the marigold mold.  She was touched by the story and it increased my sales.

AND…the next month, I was teaching a different technique, but again using leaf molds.  That student re-told the story for me to another woman who hadn’t attended the previous class.  And I made another sale of a sample made with that mold!

When you make things for friends and family, share the story with them about making the piece along with the gift.  If you sell some of your work, perhaps at a craft show, tell your stories.  If you sell through a local shop, make sure to get to know the sales personnel so that they can talk about you and your work.  And think about creative ways to include your stories on hang tags or other marketing pieces. 

When you clay with kids, show them how to express a story through their work.  It will open a new world to a child.  Our stories are what make art meaningful and desirable.

Happy Claying!




I love pearls.  I use many colors of dyed pearls in my leaf series of silver earrings and pendants.  But I haven’t used pearls often with polymer.  I have been doing a fun design with pearls set on a post and backed with a concave disc of silver.

I’ve been exploring this design element from several directions.  First came a series of designs using a cane pattern and a contrasting solid.  I’ve done a dozen or so of these and each pattern and shape combination is different.  So they are each one of a kinds.

sheltered pearl 2 color

Then, I wanted to come up with designs that were simpler, smaller, and which could be ordered according to shape or color for my wholesale line.  Here’s an example, and I’ve got sets accordingly in different shapes…


Finally, I wanted to take the design into deeper complexity and pieces with a bigger Presence.  These are each about 2-1/2″ in diameter, so they have presence alright!

sheltered pearl donuts 5

sheltered pearl donuts 2

sheltered pearl donuts close

I started with 4 color mixed sheets that I painted, stamped, sprinkled with glitter, dripped with ink, and even drew on with metallic markers.  Those sheets were covered with a thin sheet of translucent.  Those four sheets were cut up for the major spaces of these donuts, and interspersed with canework patterns.  Finally, I added floating cane slices or carved and back filled.  The pearl is mounted on a wire that is soldered to the portion of the bail that’s hidden inside the layers of clay.

So there you have it.  Same design concept applied in different forms.

Have a great weekend!








playing with resins

A while back, I bought a small uv light for exposing the photopolymer plates that I use with text and silver.  But I also bought some uv hardening resin which I kinda forgot I had for a while.  But looking for something else, I came across it and thought, Hey, this should be fun….

I made three designs that have low bezel walls.  Two of them have clay patterns covering some areas of the textured silver back.  The colors are very subtle.  These all three are pendants with tubing soldered on the back so they can take up to a 2mm cord or chain.


Let me know what you think!




Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 598 other followers

%d bloggers like this: