Polymer Clay Canes for Beginners

27 videos, step by step, beginner cane workshop beginner Cane Tutorial What people are saying about this tutorial. jennifer rose Just finished this first workshop on how to make canes, and I must say I learned so much. This is exactly what I have been looking for, someone who could explain cane making in a step by step that process that I could replicate. I watched the videos, went into my studio and began to create all of the canes Alice showed. I finally have results I can be proud of, and I say thank you so much for doing this workshop. My only question now is when do we get more workshops. If you are only going to take one online class let it be this workshop. Thank you Alice for your hard work, and your dedication to helping others learn the joys of polymer clay.

Online Workshops with Alice Stroppel


[caption id="attachment_102" align="aligncenter" width="100" caption="Member IPCA"]Member IPCA[/caption]

Polymer Clay Slides

I have a slide exchange coming up and I have been experimenting with different designs. They have to be black and white with one color. The exchange is with a very talented group of polymer clay artists and I want to make something new and different. Different for me anyway.

This was the first idea that I had and I made a bracelet to go with it. I saw a pendent like this except instead of my dot-dot-dot cane there were real diamonds draped around. I like this one and got several compliments when I wore it.

Black and White and Red Slide and bracelet


Next  I made these three, once again using my dot, dot, dot, cane in each one. I like the one in the middle the best.


three polymer clay slidesYesterday I made these hoping they look a bit like ceramic bisque.

three polymer clay slides.


And then this “just a bit crazy” one that uses… what else but the dot, dot, dot, cane again. polymer clay slide

And the experiments continue.


Stroppel Cane Pins for Fandango Swap

Here’s a pile of colorful fun Stroppel Pins I’ve made for the pin exchange at Orlando Area Polymer Clay Guild’s Fandango. I’m about half way there, even though we don’t have to make pins to exchange with everyone, I don’t want to miss any very cool pins by running out of mine.

I’ve been having a great time with these and might just keep these as something I do all the time. There are so many possibilities with each little canvas.

Now back to making some face canes for my class at Creative Journey Studios on the 21st and 22nd of this month.

Both places still have room for more students, so pick up the phone and reserve your space.

Margit Böhmer’s Beautiful Work – A Gift

Margit Böhmer

MargitB and I are Flickr friends and have been for a couple of years now. I love her bright cheerful colors and the unique construction of her pieces. I feel like we are sisters in our love of color and clay.

We were both in the Winter Inchie Swap with the Polymer Clay Italia and swap mistress Leila Bidler. Sadly we weren’t in the same groups so we decided to swap with each other.

When I opened my package from Margit, I found these fabulous earrings she made just for me. I am so excited to have these, they’re gorgeous I’ve always wanted a piece of her work.

Inchies Margit Böhmer

On top of that, I also received two inchies. The Santa Claus cane is made by Mary Webster from Oregon and the inchies are Margit’s, colorful as always! How lucky am I? What a happy Christmas present to me. Thank you Margit, you’re a doll.

Spend some time on Margit’s flickr page if you want to be inspired or just want to enjoy some truly exciting work.

Polymer Clay Italia 2011 Winter Inchie Swap

Polymer Clay Italia 2011 Winter Inchie Swap

Yesterday at the Post Office I was doing a small dance after I checked my mailbox and found a package from Leila Bidler.  My inchies from the Polymer Clay Italia 2011 Winter Inchie Swap had arrived.

And you can see why I was excited. This is the second inchie swap I’ve participated in with the remarkable Leila Bidler. I have always admired those who take on the task of a swap, it all seems so large and such a lot of work. But I’m delighted she is enjoying it because I sure am.

Leila said this was a winter swap and to do something wintery and not necessarily the holidays. The only thing I can really relate to about winter is water and palm tree, oak trees and sunshine. So I used a mini Stroppel cane to make the palm fronds and that was inchie #1. I thought I might make some of my fellow swappers smile.

Leila has been doing some incredible work with polymer clay and bargello for some fantastic results.  Just take a look at her blog post. I am thrilled to say that she sent me a wonderful piece of her purple bargello work. This picture doesn’t do it justice.

Leila Bidler Bargello

You really need to go look at her blog to see how fabulous these are. I just can’t decide if I want to frame it, wear it as a pin or make it into a slide. What I do know is I’m thrilled to have it. Thank you Leila.

I sent 20 inches and received 20 + back. I love each and everyone of them. Inchie #2 was a Stroppel cane inchie, not wintery at all, but I was in the middle of all the attention focused on the cane, so I just went with it. Most of them looked kind of like stained glass I think, the one I kept for myself, not so much.

Thank you to all my swap buddies. Happy Holidays.

Polymer Clay Italia 2011 Winter Inchie Swap

P.S. Margit, yours will be on it’s way after Christmas.

Helen Breil Texture and Stroppel Cane

A friend is having a birthday this month and several of us met for dinner and had a great time. This friend has so many of my “girls” in every form I’ve ever made so I thought it was time I’d make her something totally different.

I made this neckpiece for my birthday friend using one of Helen Breil’s texture sheets and a piece of Stroppel cane. The funny thing is the colors blended so well in person, you couldn’t see the blue tones in the cane as much as you can in this photo. I still like it, it’s interesting and different and hope my friend likes it too.

I’ve had the texture sheet for several months, I bought it at a retreat where I met Helen for the first time. What a talented lady, just take a look at her fabulous work.

I was lucky to be in a slide swap with Helen and this is the very cool slide I received.

Helen Breil and Alice Stroppel Swap

The back side of my piece is fun too because of the great texture from the sheets.

Artybecca’s Beads for a Stroppel Cane Pendant

Artybecca Beads


Aren’t these beads just wonderful? Rebecca Watkins aka Artybecca and I made a trade and I think I made off with the best part of the bargain. Rebecca hand carves each one of these beautiful beads and now I have these to look at, wear and enjoy. Thanks you so much Rebecca, I’m so happy we got to meet each other in person, I had such a great time playing with clay!

This is my half of the trade, the first piece I made entirely from a Stroppel cane.

Stroppel Cane pendant Artybecca Trade

Cane Mapped Mosaic Fish Featured on Polymer Clay Daily

I was thrilled that my cane mapped fish slides were featured on Polymer Clay Daily last week. Thank you Cynthia! And I was so happy that all my swap buddies liked the little guys. But they couldn’t have liked the fish as much as I love each and every slide that I got to bring home with me. Thanks to all the swappers…..is that a word?

I would have posted this thank you sooner but I was without phone service and internet off and on. But oh what a wonderful time of just clay and friendship spent in a beautiful place.

I also spent two days after our retreat in Denver with Meisha Barbee. Meisha doesn’t have a website or blog but you can see her work on Polymer Clay Daily. We had the best time exploring galleries and museums and getting to know downtown Denver. It’s a beautiful city with lots of great places to eat and shop.

We visited Pismo Contemporary Art Glass Gallery where Meisha’s work is featured. It is an incredible gallery full of the most fabulous glass and jewelry, put it on your list if you’re going to Denver. We walked over to Show of Hands and what a wonderful shop it is, just my kind of funky, fun place with lots of interesting things to tempt you. Both places are so friendly and welcoming.

We also went to Boulder for a wonderful visit with Polymer clay artist Ann Kruglak and her husband Ivan in their gorgeous mountain home, thank you guys.  Talk about view envy, what Ann gets to look at everyday out her windows is truly amazing.

Meisha and I  made time to visit Marie Gibbons who is one of the featured artists on my other blog The Figurative Artbeat. I was so glad to get to see her studio and spend some time with her.  I was delighted to be able to take pictures of her new work and add another piece of her fabulous swimmers from her Float series to my collection. I’ll be featuring Marie, her new work and the story of her swimmers in the next week or so on The Figurative Artbeat so check in often.

I’m back and full of inspiration and ideas that I can’t wait to get to. But first things first, I had to go to the grocery store first thing yesterday because…….. there was not one thing in the refrigerator, seriously! Then I decided to take just a small little nap and slept for hours so that today I am rested, excited and ready to get to work. The clay is calling me, I can hear it.

I have the best husband, he had such a wonderful surprise for me when I got home! I’ll share pictures tomorrow, think black and white checks.  Thanks for checking in with me and to all those who signed up for my newsletter in the last couple of weeks, I’ll be sending one out in the next week or so.

I had the best time, but there is no place like home . (Clicking my ruby reds)

Sarajane Helm’s 2011 Mini Mask Swap


If you were in Sarajane Helm’s 2011 mini mask swap and


or your surprise might be ruined.

Whew, glad I remembered that some people might not have their masks back yet. But not everyone will be receiving these masks. There are 1,000 masks involved in this adventure and there are only 30 shown here.

I had the most fun yesterday opening my package of mini masks from Sarajane Helm and her husband Bryon. As I’m sure you know, Sarajane is the host of the annual mini mask swap and the author of A Collection Of Polymer Clay Masks.

Thanks to my friend Leila Bidler I found out about the swap in enough time to join in. And I will be forever in your debt Leila, because these masks are all incredible. I have to step up my game to be in it next year I can see that.

I was in three groups of 10 and that meant I sent in 30 masks and got back 30 masks including one of each of the ones I made. Here’s group one.

Sarajane Helm's 2011 Mini Mask exchange 1


Are these not the best??? I just enjoy each one so much, looking at how they made them and believe me they are all different.

Of course you could pick my brightly colored crazy design out of the line up I bet. Nothing earthy and tribal for me. Okay so I tried to be tribal with this next one, but couldn’t stay away from the color.

Sarajane Helm's 2011 mini mask swap group 2

Group 2

Again……a wonderful group of fabulous faces. If anyone knows who the gold masks with all the cool faces belongs to, I’d love to know.

In this next group I combined sculpting, mold making, pen and ink and markers. Lots of fun.

Sarajane Helm's 2011 mini mask swap group 3

Group 3

Aren’t these all so interesting? I wish you could see each one up close, the details are what grabs you. I love the time and effort that went into every one, and now I get to look at them all the time.

Here’s a picture of all of my masked man, just because they are all different even though they are all made from the same mold.

Sarajane Helms 2011 mask swap - Alice Stroppel

My guys

Now I know exactly why Sarajane wants to be the hostess for this swap. there are 1000 masks exchanged and she gets to keep one of each. If the ones I’ve received are this fantastic, I know the rest of them are just as wonderful.

Thank you, thank you, to all who took the time to be in this swap and for those of you whom I managed to  be lucky enough to get your mask, I’ll be emailing you personally.

A special thank you to Sarajane for hosting such a fun exchange and Bryon for helping her.

International Inchies – Polymer Clay 1 by 1

Last week I wrote about an international swap I participated in. Leila Bidler from Polymer Clay Italia hosted an international inchies swap and I just received my inchies in the mail today. I was very excited to open the package a take my first look at all these little gems.

International Inchie Swap

International Inchie Swap

I wanted to identify each inchie with their owners name, but I’m having trouble figuring some of them out, so I’ll just list all the names. I’ll take time to figure them out and correct this list later.

Aren’t they great? Each one is so different and unique. Special in their own right because of the time and thought that went into them all.

Thanks to all of you who are listed below, now I have to decide if I’m going to frame them or wear them.

2 hearts at the top – Leila Beidler –  swap mistress             Italy

Rossana Malvani – Italy
Patty – Italy
Eva – Germany
Costanze/Polymericcia – Italy
Susanne Svenja/Svenelo – Germany
Joice – Netherlands
Liselot – Netherlands
Pauli – Netherlands
Sassy – Netherlands
Ariane/Magic Toscana – Italy
Daniela D’Uva/Alkhymeia –  Italy
Leila Bidler/gom6699 –  Italy
Svenja/Svenelo – Germany
Nevenka Sabo – Serbia
Karin –  Netherlands
Pauli – Netherlands
Petra – Netherlands
Sassy – Netherlands
Christine Dumont – United Kingdom

Inchies International Swap – Polymer Clay Italia

Leila Bidler from Polymer Clay Italia hosted an international inchies swap and these are the inchies I sent in to trade. Queen of Hearts, lots of them.

Inchies -Alice Stroppel

It was a Valentine’s Day  Swap and we had to make our inchies with a Valentine flair. So these crazy Queen of Hearts were my contribution.

Leila said that my return set of 20 inchies have been mailed, so I’m waiting as calmly as I can. It took almost a month for my queens to reach Leleila, in fact I was getting worried that they had decided to tour the world on their way to Italy. I hope it doesn’t take that long for her package to reach me.

For those of you who haven’t ever heard of inchies, it’s like ATCs (artist trading card) business size cards that are traded between artists and rarely ever sold. Inchies are the clay and mosaic artists version, altho there have been many ACT made from clay.

Inchies are 1″ x 1″  little works of art. I sent in 20 inchies and I will get 20 different one back from artists around the world. A swap takes a willing hostess to have everything shipped to them and then they have to sort and sent all the packages back out again.  It takes a lot of work and I send my thanks to Leleila for giving me the opportunity to be in touch with so many others that love polymer clay.

You can take a look at a slide show of this years swap here or go to the Flickr site here.