Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tips and Tuts

Here is a quick round up of some of the great polymer clay advice that two of our members recently dished up on their blogs.

By Bette Jo on Knightwork: Playing with Clay 
(and also featured on Polymer Clay Daily today!)

"At long last here it is....a simple version of my Border Cane.  I hope you like it and find it useful.  This is the cane we are going to make."
Read more:

 Getting ready to extrude!
by Line on  Play Sculpt Live

"Our next monthly challenge for the pcagoe is called "Extruded". For those who don't know what that means, basically it's using a tool called an extruder to create something using polymer clay. The applications for the extruded clay defies all imagination and new ways are coming up all the time. A fellow member wanted photos to explain how I turned my hard-to-use, almost-giving-up extruder into a tool that is easy to use. Instead of just showing her photos, I thought I'd post a blog about it in case someone else might be interested."
Read more:

Monday, May 28, 2012

June Challenge Prizes

Public voting opens for our June Challenge on June 1. Here is a sneak peek at the prizes up for grabs for three lucky voters! If you win the drawing YOU GET TO CHOOSE YOUR PRIZE(see below).

Winners will be notified by email and given instructions on how to select and claim a prize.  Before or after you vote, we invite you to visit the shops and start thinking about what you will choose if you win the drawing.  Have fun browsing!

Any one item of your choice up to $20 value; no cash balance.

$25 gift certificate towards total purchase amount, good for 60 days

Small Ideas
Free map pins: cookies and crackers

Elemental Dragons
Custom made dragon (value of 24.99)
Gift certificate of $20 to be used within 60 days of date of announced winner   
$20 on anything in my shop, must be used within 60 days, no cash remuneration.

$20 gift certificate to be used within 60 days

any item(s) worth up to $20 in my shop (no cash refund on balance); valid for 60 days

Young Creative
any item worth up to $20 in my shop (no cash refund on balance); valid for 60 days

Any one item of your choice up to $20 value; no cash balance

Any one item of your choice up to $20 value; no cash balance; good any time

In stock items under $20, no made to order items

$20 gift certificate (no cash refund on balance); valid for 60 days

$20 Gift Certificate

Gift certificate up to $20 to be used within 60 days of date of announced winner

$20 gift certificate, up to 60 days unless by private arrangement with me

$20 dollar gift certificate to be used within 60 days

$20 gift certificate towards any item good for 60 days

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Scenes from an Italian Restaurant

Linda of NKDesigns was listening to Billy Joel's Scenes from an Italian Restaurant when the lyrics, " a bottle of white, a bottle of red.. " set the table for a great treasury.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Celebrating the Solar Eclipse

Lots of people are excited about today's solar eclipse, including PCAGOE member Jackie of ThePleasantPheasant. She created this treasury "Sun and Moon Eclipse" to celebrate the event. It features celestial works by PCAGOE members and other Etsy sellers.

Sun and Moon Eclipse

Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Father's Eyes by Eric Clapton

Line of PlaySculptLive is back with another song themed treasury, this time in honor of dads. Check out an homage to My Father's Eyes by Eric Clapton.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Soft and Sweet Pastels

This scrumptious collection of "Soft and Sweet Pastels in Clay" was assembled by Linda of NKDesigns for your viewing pleaser. Come explore this treasury on Etsy.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day 

From the PCAGOE members
 to all of you new moms and those of you who are old pros!

New Parents Dragons by PGAGOE member Angela of Elemental Dragons

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

May Challenge Winners

And the winners of the May Challenge are:

Winners Voted on by PCAGOE Members

1st Place
Tiffanylit4 by Beth of of CreateMyWorld
 2nd place
Sparkles the Fish and Mermaid Inspired by James Christensen, "Jonah" by Peg of Peggers
3rd place (3-way tie)
Kinkade-Inspired by Jill of jkollmann
Abstract Pendant No. 116 By Susan of 11BOLDstreet

Alice Sculpture by Marie of YoungCreative

Winners Voted on by Non Members

1st Place
Capucci inspired petal necklace by Lisa of HiGirls
2nd Place

Tiffanylit4 by Beth of of CreateMyWorld

3rd Place
In Flight by Tamara of irrysistablejewels

Drawing Winners

Congrats to Gail Thompson, Joan Anderson, Carmela Aviv!
They get to pick a prize from one of our lovely participating shop owners.

Congratulations to all the winners, and thank you to everyone who voted and supports our challenges each month.
213 votes were cast this month.

Comments left by the voters:
Wonderful artistic inspirations!

Wow this month was really hard. It took me a long time to decide and then I had some left over. Very very good to everyone who entered.

Amazing entries! I had a really hard time choosing my top 3.

I always love to see what everyone does I like to work with clay I'm not very good but I am learning and they inspire me to want to do more plus their work is lovely.

These are all so wonderful. Your members are amazing artists

I see unlimited talent with some of these projects...

I am totally blown away with this month's entries. Your members are an inspiration to a new polymer clay " artist".

I saw the post on Facebook by Berit Hines & came by to check out all the fabulous work. Very nice job! It was hard to pick! I had 6 picked out & then kept narrowing it down! Very creative work, everyone!

This was a very tough competition to pick winners, as they were all excellent. I really love James Christianson and his quirky humor, and I thought "sparkles" captured that. I loved the Watercolor Trinket Box though I didn't choose it. As I said, they were all quite good. Good luck to all, it will be tough!

Hard choice in these beautiful and inventive entries! Such imagination and quality execution. Bravo to all!

Unbelievably difficult to chose, the members have upped their game a thousand percent. Way to go!!

#14 is exquisite, so creative,and a beautiful usable piece!


Best group of artist ever. I wanted to have 10 votes (at least). And even once I narrowed it down to 3, I had real trouble ranking them. I was also impressed by 3, 12 and 17.

I love polyclay and because I am a polymer clay artist myself I am always interested in things other artists made.

All these entries are just beautiful....very difficult to choose my favorites...loved them all!!! WOW such talent!!!

Lisa - that necklace is absolutely gorgeous and So Capucci! I liked it the best before I even looked at the names!

This was one of the hardest competitions to pick three favorites from. Everyone should be VERY proud of the work they did for this month's contest. Great Job Everyone!!

To see stained glass in clay is awesome. Good job.

Fantastic entries - so hard to choose! So many creative interpretation of familiar (and not-so-familiar) artists. Great job!

Great job, Marie!

Love the 'Artist Inspired' challenge theme!

Oh, my! It was sooooo hard to narrow my choices to only 3!!! These are some of the most gorgeous designs I've seen in quite awhile -- although I think this every month! :)

What a difficult decission again! It's hard to choose between all the creations. I've chosen this 3 pieces because I love the artists that have inspired them: Friesen, Mucha and Tiffany

Amazing work. I hope to be well enough to join in the challenge next month.

So much artists inspire us polymer clay artists! I love to see all these creations with their own inspiration story. Beautiful work!

I think the Jackson Pollock inspiration was spot on for a Polymer clay article.
Loved this Calico horse and could see why it was named as such. Nice work.
A lot of work goes into Faberge Eggs, and the work here mirrored that nice effort.
It is always hard to choose a pick, as such good work is done by all artists involved.

As always, the amazing talent of the PCAGOE artists just blows me away. It is truly incredible how these artists grew to meet the current month's challenge.

Love to see and read what sparks each artist. Extremely difficult to choose from such varied examples. Kudos to all.

really love the panda, and the fish, nice work.

So diverse and beautiful. I now have a lot of artists who have inspired me. Thank you!

the choices are getting harder and harder to make.... but so enjoy looking at all of that beautiful art and all the hard work, creativity and inspiration that went into it.

My 2 favorites hummingbirds and
Morning glories-so pretty

PLEASE make the pictures clickable to bigger photos. ESP with beauties like these, I need to be able to see closeups. Thanks!

This challenge was definitely the most difficult to narrow down to only three choices. There are so many talented artists and this challenge brought out the "big guns". Kudos to all !!

I find the petal necklace design very stunning. It is a simple yet lovely way to use two colours of polymer clay for a playful, yet sophisticated piece of jewelry. Bravo.

All creations this month are extraordinary! Difficult time making a choice.

I loved seeing the fantasy sculptures as that is what I have done since the early 80's Nice work !! I am going on the Clayditarod cruise in Aug. Anybody going ?? It will be my first classes even though I have taught over the years LOL. My first time being around other polymer clay people other than visits here. Great pieces

I love the work by Jill of jkollmann. On the other hand, it's a very heart-warming tribute to the passing of Thomas Kinkade.

Its always a treat to view the entries. Thank you for letting us general public types to participate in the voting.

I loved seeing all the different interpretations translated into clay - especially since the different inspirations were both 2D and 3D.
This was a tough choice - everyone did top notch work!!

Very original challenge!All works are very interesting!I pleased to see Hundertwasser ispiration here.

The entries are all so different and how wonderful to see what inspires each of the artists and their amazing interpretations.

Tough competition this month... So very difficult to choose just 3, my top 3 could change any minute, but at this particular minute they are Susan's Pollock inspired pendant, Jill's Kincade inspired art and Angela's Fabrege egg. Excellent work everyone!

Thank you all for being here.

I love the soft colors of the Kincaid inspired piece. Beautifully done! I am a huge fan of Fabrege and Jackson Pollock and am inspired by these creations. Good luck to Jill, Angela and Susan. Love your works. All of the pieces were great.

This was not easy. They are all excellent. My selections were based not only on my personal funnest of the pieces but also the degree of difficulty in producing the pieces to mimic the work of Artists whose work is of a different medium. I'm a Polymer Artist and know how challenging this can be. The Kincaid replica(and I don't particularly care for Kincaid's work)at that or any scale in Polymer was definitely a challenge to say the least. The end result is amazing.

Saw the Kincade in person at our guild meeting. Jill does fabulous work!

Everything is amazing! But that necklace is calling out to me!

This was the most difficult voting in a long time!

Great job on the necklace HiGirl. it is so unique and I love the colors.

I am absolutely in love with #4. Once I read how they found the inspiration and noticed, in amazement, on how well the necklace itself coordinates with the inspiration, I was floored! Beautiful work!

Best challenge yet!!

This month's pieces are just beautiful, jaw-dropping to see the variety and the workmanship. Great job everyone!

Everyone outdid themselves this time. I have never had such a hard time choosing. Wow.

I love Linda Clay's work.

We say this over and over but it was SO HARD TO CHOOSE! This surely had to be one of the most, if not THE most difficult month to choose three (and only three!!) favorites. Fantastic work and creativity here.

I love all the works posted here and they provide inspiration to all other artists.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Nature of the Beast

Thanks to everyone who voted in our challenge! We'll post the voting results and the winners of our prize drawing soon. In the meantime enjoy this fab treasury, "It's the Nature of the Beasts!" by Linda of NKDesigns.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Challenge: Artist Inspired

Scroll to the bottom of the post to vote for your favorites!

We all seek inspiration in the world around us. We are particularly inspired by great artist of all mediums. For this challenge, PCAGOE members sought out those who inspire us from painters, to fashion designers, to other clay artists--and then we each created a piece with our own flair. As always entries had to be at least 50% polymer clay.

Vote at the bottom of the page and you might win!
Vote May 1-7 and you could win. Three lucky winners will be selected in a drawing of all non-member voters and will be able to choose a prize offered by our member shops sponsoring this month's challenge. See the list of participating sponsors and prizes.  

And the entries are:

View slide show below to see larger photos. 
To vote: scroll to bottom of post.

1. Rainy Day at the Circus by Deb of RenGalSA
It's hard sometimes to put into words where your inspiration comes from. As long as I can remember I've been creative - drawing and cutting out my own paper dolls from the moment I could hold a scissors. Every creative moment molds you and one of my pivotal ones was getting a paint by number set with two clowns - one happy, one sad. It was complex and I was very young, but my mom knew I needed the challenge. I was fascinated with the face painting, the expressions, and it began a love affair with the human face and capturing emotions with concepts and design. In starting this latest line of polymer art, I wanted to get back to those ideas that inspired me in my youth. These earrings are called "Rainy Day at the Circus." They have a translucent sad clown face on a black, gray & white pixeled background. I wanted the gray back drop to represent the gray of the rain in contrast to the bright colors in the clown's nose, hair, and flower. This will be my entry in the May PCAGOE challenge - "Artist Inspired." And it's not what you may think, I wasn't inspired by the artist who painted the original painting that paint-by-number from my youth was based upon. When I thought about it, the artists that inspired me were the clowns or more specifically the clown that most of the sad, tramp clowns were based upon - Emmett Kelly or "Weary Willie."

2.  "JOB" by Alphonse Mucha - Image Transfer by Linda of NKdesigns
Alphonse Mucha is an amazing Art Nouveau artist and a definite favorite of mine. He lived from 1860-1939. JOB by Alphonse Mucha was created early in his career when he was establishing himself as a major contemporary artist who was to help develop a new movement called Art Nouveau, from which JOB is one of it's best paintings. He was commissioned to create a poster by a cigarette paper company. You can see the swirls of smoke around the beautiful woman. This is a transfer onto pearlized white clay and then finished with resin for a lasting shine.

3. Abstract Pendant No. 116 By Susan of 11BOLDstreet
For the May PCAGOE Challenge, I chose the work of American abstract impressionist artist Jackson Pollock. I used tinted liquid polymer to mimic his "drip" technique for this reversible pendant.

4. Capucci inspired petal necklace by Lisa of HiGirls
Last year I saw an amazing exhibit of the fashion designs of RobertoCapucci. I was so impressed, I came home with the book, and have paged through it in amazement of his sculptural designs of unexpected color combinations. I always knew I'd make something in clay inspired by these incredible designs. This piece uses the same yellow and dark purple combination he uses in the dress featured on the cover of the show book.

5. Alice Sculpture by Marie of YoungCreative
Obviously my artistic inspiration for this piece is Lewis Carroll with a heavy dose of Tim Burton and a little Victorian Gothic thrown in. The entire piece is hand-sculpted--no molds. The only "cheats" are the gem on her belt and the pocket watch. That is a button that I've been holding onto for 20 years waiting for the right project. The base is artist-inspired, too. Thanks to 11BOLDstreet's Susan for sharing her chopped translucent technique in Polymer Arts.

6.  Panda Hiding in the Jungle by Marcia of marcympc
A polymer clay wall plaque in the style of Christi Friesen, derived from a class at Cabin Fever Clay Fest, 2010.

7. In Flight by Tamara of irrysistablejewels
I was inspired by the awesome sculptures done by Nick Mackman. An award winning wildlife sculptor in the UK. Check out his website and you'll see what I mean.

8.  Calico Horse by Cindy of ArrowdaleArtStudio
My artist of choice is Jon Anderson  With apologies to Mr Anderson - for my work is a long way short of his fantastic work, this is my rendition of a horse decorated with a variety of canes. After it was finished it reminded me of a calico cat, mostly because of the coloring, but also because of the somewhat random effect of the patterns. I built my horse from a cardboard form I made from a cereal box, then covered in junk clay, and then covered that with a brown/orange blend I got from combining all the cane ends. The browns in the mane and tail are from various times along the way of mushing up off-cuts of the canes.

9.  "Faberge" Style Goose Egg by Angela of polymerclaycreations
 I am really inspired by so many artists in so many different genres it was hard to narrow down what I wanted to do. One of my very favorite things to ooh and aah over are Faberge eggs though, so I thought I would give one a try since I will most likely never be able to own one. Peter Carl Faberge was a Russian jeweler commissioned to make gifts for the tzars. He created some of the most beautiful and elaborate eggs using precious metals and gemstones. My egg is a real goose egg first blown out and cleaned. I covered it with a lavender metallic mica shift sheet embellished with sparkly violet, purple and peridot crystals. I hand formed a purple flower and also embellished it with more crystals and added a peridot and crystal butterfly charm. Real Faberge eggs were also known for their surprises inside. Mine has a necklace with a pendant made to match the flower adorning the egg.

10.  Hundertwasser Bowl by Berit of ClayImages
I have always loved the vivid colors and movements of the paintings by Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Here is a humble homage to his work for the PCAGOE May challenge. A polymer clay bowl, about 6 inches in diameter.

11. Chihuly-Inspired by Linda of Claymation3d
My inspiration for this piece is a glass work named Scarlet &Yellow Persian & Feather by world famous glass artist Dale Chihuly. My piece is approx. 13" High x 9" Wide and 22" Diameter. This piece was photographed outdoors suspended from a shepherds’ hook. The component pieces are freeform, almost like forms of life that live upon corals under the sea. All shapes are formed with translucent polymer clay. After the initial baking, I applied colors of liquid polymer clay over the top of many pieces and baked them again to achieve a translucent glassy quality. Some component pieces are painted with Genesis heat set paints or acrylics. Multiple coats of gloss finish were applied over all for a very glassy effect. The long "feathers"on my piece are constructed from Wire Form Med. Brass Rods bent to pleasing shapes. I securely wrapped the rods in certain locations with 28 gauge wire (like a florist pick) leaving wire pieces approx. 3" L hanging from the rod to attach component pieces to later. I covered the rod and wire wrapped around the rod with poly clay, baked and then finished each piece. Each component piece was also securely pre-wired with a loop before baking so I could attach it to other components and/or the feathers. After each component was individually finished they were assembled into this tribute piece. Mr. Chihuly's inspiration piece is a chandelier. My piece is a much smaller scale mobile.

12.  Sparkles the Fish and Mermaid Inspired by James Christensen, "Jonah" by Peg of Peggers
I love and admire the imagination of James Christensen. Inspired by his unique art, I created a fish wall plaque with many different textures. Instead of Jonah inside the fish, I created a mermaid. I used swarovski crystals in many of the scales of this fish, since mermaids love shiny objects.

13. Kinkade-Inspired by Jill of jkollmann
Our "mission" for the May 2012 PCAGOE challenge was to select an artist of our own choosing and create a piece inspired by that artists' work or works. With the recent passing of Thomas Kinkade, I decided to re-visit my own Garden Gate Series and create a piece inspired by his work. This is 2 3/4 inch by 2 3/4 inch, and the gate DOES swing open and closed! Not being a painter (other than paint by number!) this was a challenge on every level, and quite fun to figure out the 'how to' aspects. Hope you enjoy it!

14. Tiffanylit4 by Beth of of CreateMyWorld
Louis Comfort Tiffany is best known for his gorgeous stained glass works, including many cast bronze lamps with stained glass lampshades. Most people are familiar with Tiffany lampshades, to see a few more, either google Louis Comfort Tiffany or go to this link to see 4 that are featured in the book The Lamps of Louis ComfortTiffany  I have been a fan of Tiffany's work for many years, a print of his magnolia and irises hangs in my living room. A few years ago, my mother-in-law, who owns a gift shop, gave me a bunch of metal lamp bases reminiscent of the bronze lamps done by tiffany, which she didn't want to sell because they had no shades. I had always intended to try making a shade with polymer clay for these lamps, but never got around to it. This challenge gave me the push to accomplish a shade for one of the smaller lamp bases. This lamp base features the design of lily pads, so I decided to decorate the shade with lotus flowers and lily pads with a watery background.

15. Friesen Red Dragon by Line of PlaySculptLive
She is inspired by the work of Christi Friesen, my favorite polymer clay artist. I love her fun sculptures and her witty writing style. Studying her reminds me that art is mostly about pleasing yourself. For your enjoyment visit My dragon is made entirely of polymer clay except for the rubies in her wings and hands and the amethyst chips as spikes on her back.

16.  Pucci-Inspired Bottle by Nikki of AdornmentsbyEstelle
This is my first attempt at covering a bottle with polymer clay. I did this in honor of earth day. This is a sterilized beer bottle that was covered with a thin layer of translucent polymer clay. I then added 3 different black and white polymer clay cane slices. I was inspired by graphic white and black dresses by Emilio Pucci. Check out some the beautiful graphic prints at their site

17.  Abstract Watercolor Trinket Box by Arlene of Ashpaints
One of my favorite artists is Wyatt Waters. He grew up in central Mississippi before expanding his horizons. He uses beautiful intense and vibrant color which brings his paintings to life. I've tried to recreate some of that vibrancy in this mokume gane technique learned from a tutorial by Barbara McGuire. It uses a unique combination of white, black and translucent clay layered with alcohol inks and copper leaf.

Vote Here

Choose your top 3 favorites. The same entry may not be counted more than once. Voting is open to the public the 1-7. Read the expanded rules here.

Full Name (required for voter prize notification):
Email Address (Required for voter prize notification):
For current Dues-Paying PCAGOE Members: What is Your Etsy Shop Name?
Please select your 1st choice:
Please select your 2nd choice: (no duplicate selections, please)
Please select your 3rd choice: (no duplicate selections, please)
How did you hear about the PCAGOE challenge?
Would you like to receive the monthly PCAGOE e-newsletter? yes
I already receive it
Our members love comments! Please comment here on the entries and/or the challenge in general.

Create a web form here