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Sandy Camp and a New Scrap Technique

Portrait Alice Stroppel

I have a lot to do this week. I’m very excited to tell you that I am going to Sandy Camp in California next month. I’m going to be doing a demo. Thanks so much to the San Diego Polymer Clay guild and Nancy Ulrich for letting me join everyone this year.

I’m very excited to get to spend some time with my buddy Meisha Barbee. After all she’s kind of responsible for me deciding that the Stroppel Cane was worth sharing. Remember our collaboration featured on Polymer Clay Daily? Fun!

I’m spending some time making girlfriend bracelets to take along with me plus some other goodies.

But in-between I’m using scrap to create some fun pieces. Jainnie Jenkins named them Scappy girls. Love that, thanks Jainne.

Portrait Alice Stroppel polymer clay

 

The hair and clothes are mostly from scraps. I textured them, cured them, then stained the whole piece. Mounted it on mat board and then framed them.

So many ideas too little time.

I have a big silver project I’m working on too this month and it doesn’t even include this pile of silver I brought home after a thrift shop adventure that put me into overload. *g*.

silver

Wish me luck!

If you’re going to be at Sandy Camp, see you there.

Stroppel Cane #2 – another way to use your polymer clay scraps


Stroppel cane #2

Here’s a short video  showing you how I make a Stroppel Cane #2. Have Fun!!! Rescue those scraps!!!

I’m excited once again to share something I just discovered. Another way to use your polymer clay scraps. So Cool! I’m calling it Stroppel cane #2. Or Stroppel #2.

It’s fun and easy just like the first one, which you can watch by clicking on the video to your right.

Stroppel Cane #2

 

You can make this cane tiny like the one in the picture above or large enough for a bracelet.

Stoppel Cane #2 bracelet

I shared my discovery with the Florida Gulf Coast Polymer Clay Guild and these slices are from Sydney Carter’s first Stroppel #2. Love it.

Sydney Carter Stroppel Cane #2

 

Note: I’m having a bit of trouble keeping up with technology so I can’t get the video to embed here. so just click on the picture of my girls below and they will take you to my new Youtube channel. And that’s another story. Have fun!

Stroppel Cane #2

Polymer Clay Global Perspectives – Cynthia Tinapple

Polymer Clay Global Perspectives - Cynthia Tinapple

 

 

Cynthia Tinapple’s new book, Polymer Clay Global Perspectives arrived at my home yesterday, exciting news, the problem was, I wasn’t home. But thanks to Linda Mosley’s post  I saw that I could download it to my ipad. So while I was visiting my mother, I was able to take a look at the book and my place in it right away.

It’s a beautiful book, but what makes it special for me is that so many of the artists I know personally, many of them are my friends, I consider myself so lucky to have had the opportunity to become apart of this fascinating polymer clay world and to share a small part of the stage with such talented people.  And it is such a world wide stage thanks to the internet.

I am amazed to be including at the beginning of this book along with Meisha Barbee, Donna Kato, Maureen Carlson, Gwen Gibson and Bettina Welker. To have my name listed in on the same pages as these ladies, as well as other well known names, is a dream.  My Stroppel Cane has truly become a part of the history of polymer clay and it’s incredibly exciting.

Cynthia takes a closer look at 13 artists and each of them share a project with you. You’ll be tempted to put the book down and get started right away creating your own version of each project. I enjoy ed getting to know the artists I haven’t met and felt even closer to the ones I consider friends.

One of my Stroppel Sweater Girls is pictured as well, right on a page with some of my favorite people. I can’t ask for more. in all over 125 artists are included in this global look at polymer clay today.

So this is another special publication for me, but I’ll be willing to bet you’d love it too. You can take a quick peak at some of the pages on Amazon and of course place your order there as well.

 

Stroppel Cane Swirl with Button Covers and Brass Buttons

Stroppel Cane Necklace

I was cleaning up my work space after covering the hand in the last post and made this Stroppel Cane Jelly roll Cane.

From my pattern business years ago I still have hundreds of brass button covers that for some reason I still have. Okay I admit, it’s because I’m a keeper of “things I might be able to use in my art projects” kind of person. I also have lots of rubber cording. I decide to combine the two making these “beads” removable and interchangeable.

button cover necklace - Stroppel Cane

 

Of course your cording has to be thin enough and flexible enough for the clasp to close.

The second thing I have a few of are brass button on a shank. I pushed one through each slice of my cane and baked them

SCnecklacebrassbuttonsw

 

 

All I had to do is run the cord through the button shank and tada. The cord was just tight enough to keep everything in place and keep them from sliding. Both of these necklaces lay well and look very interesting.

Brass button necklace - Stroppel Cane

 

There’s a discussion on FaceBook about Buna Cord or Rubber cording. Several people say that years later the cord gets brittle and falls apart. I’ve heard this before, but I haven’t had it happen to me.

You might want to consider a different cording material if you are going to make anything like this and offer it for sale. These are just for me.

On the Other Hand…I Do Plan…

In yesterday’s post I talked about how I don’t plan what to hang my pendants on or from. After thinking about it overnight, I decided that statement wasn’t actually true.

I’m always trying to come up with different ways to add a bail, invent a bail or create a different closure. The project I will be teaching at Fandango this year is a prime example. Florida Sunshine - Alice Stroppel

The stars are the closure. It’s an easy solution and adds a 3D element to the piece, that and the sculpted face. This cat uses the same idea with the tail and the head as closures.

Cat - Alice Stroppel - Polymer

 

You can use this type of closure on almost any design and I’ll show you how at Fandango  in a couple of weeks. And there is exciting news from Iris Weiss the Education Manager from Polyform Products, Polyform will be donating some blocks of Premo for my student to use in my class. Thanks Iris and Polyform.

This piece that I posted a couple of days ago is another easy bail alternative. Creating something different and new is something I really enjoy.

circles-and-squares - Alice Stroppel

I love the creative process of working with polymer clay. However the jewelry making part, findings, stringing, etc, are not on my love list and barely makes my like list. And my usual joy comes from colorful, fun, jewelry. It’s when I decide to create something more sophisticated that I lack the materials on hand to be able to spontaneously finish the piece.

In contrast, I always make sure I have plenty of canes on hand when I begin creating, it’s something I preach to my students. If you have a wide selection of finished canes on hand when you sit down to create, things just flow more smoothly. Not having to stop and make all the canes that need to go into a piece make it possible to create without having to stop the flow.

That’s not to say I don’t start a piece by constructing a couple of new cane, it’s just that I know I have lots of fillers to choose from already made and waiting for me.

So you see, I do plan ahead more than I realize, just not when it involves stringing and findings. So I’m still going to take a look at why I have a block with planning when making something more than a colorful, fun pendant (other than the obvious reason of needing more tools, supplies, etc. ). I’ve accomplished it before and think I just need to get out of my own way. Sound familiar?

So in the mean time, I’ll just keep doing what I love, making fun and funky things to wear and work toward improving my major jewelry construction.

I think these Stroppel Sweater Girls look kind of like Barbara and Cher with red hair. Okay, did that make you smile? Yes? Then my job is finished for today.

 

 

Stroppel Sweater Girls

 

 

Stroppel Cane Necklace and Bracelet

I was messing around with a large Stroppel Cane a couple of weeks ago and came up with this idea. This is actually my second one like this because I wanted to make a simple necklace to match. They are both simple and quick to make but the possibilities are endless.

I left the black surfaces lumpy-bumpy just because, but those surfaces could be smooth or covered any way your imagination takes you.

I used a square cutter to cut the hole in the middle but had to go back and trim again with my blade because the cutters aren’t sharp enough. I used my blade to trim around the outside. Of course you can use oval, circle or square cutters.

 

Tomorrow I’ll share the new camera phone light box set up I just ordered. Actually you can use it with a regular camera too. Very cool.

Brass Channels and Stroppel Cane

 

I told you about my tin full of brass pieces in a post last week. Well in that tin were a bunch of brass channels. Naturally, I had some Stroppel Cane lying around so I thought I’d make something.

I filled the channels with the SC and then mounted them on a sheet of textured black clay and baked it. The pieces came off the black background easily, so I took them off and laid them back out in order, exactly as they were when baked.

I had to pop each SC out of the channel and glue it back in with super glue. Then I glued the channels back in place on the black background.

I haven’t finished the back yet. I think it would make an outstanding pin, but I have more pins than I will ever wear, and I like it. So I might frame it in a small frame. Yeah, I might do just that.

Ultralight Again – A New Bracelet

I have been inspired from several sources, but that’s nothing new, the difference is this time I decided to act right away and now send it to my “someday” list. Besides, I’m in a experimental mood.

When I received my beautiful set of Shisha bracelets made by talented women of Samunnat Nepal ( you should order a set  :) I loved the way they looked. The pattern was tiny and it just laid gently around the face of the bracelet.

Then yesterday on Ornamental Elements, Laurie Prophater posted about Joseph Gatto and his topographic “Environmental” bracelets. The design featured had lots of wonderful color just around the edge. Of course I was making a  Stroppel Cane from scraps from the project I was working on. It’s in the oven now, show you tomorrow. And even though it’s a bit different than what I had envisioned, I really enjoyed myself. I also have Laurie to thank for getting me started on this type of bracelet month ago.

The core is made with Ultralight, I’ve been experimenting with it a lot lately. And naturally I couldn’t leave the inside alone.

Over the last year I’ve been making bracelets with sculpted, contoured edges. I still have something like that in mind for these but for now I am happy with this one. Plus it’s the first time I used Ultralight as the core and it really worked out well.

 

 

The colors on this one remind me of a 1940 quilt or at least fabric from that time. No I wasn’t around then……but I’ve seen pictures.

 

 

Stroppel Cane Trades

The post office was a happy place for me this week. Three packages arrived with Stroppel Cane treasures inside. Two I’ll share with you now and another amazing prize I’ll share with you tomorrow.

The first package was from Peg Gerard, a  Massachusetts polymer clay artist that has used my Stroppel Cane technique to create some wonderful designs. Several caught my eye, especially the pendant above, I loved the bold black and white spiral cane slices that she added to her Stroppel Cane, they make such a statement.

I’m delight Peg decided to trade with me. I sent her a Stroppel sweater girl and I’m now the proud owner of this striking piece. I’m sorry to say I didn’t take a picture of this sweater girl, Peg, if you read this and want to send me a picture I’ll add it here.

You can see more of Peg’s work on her website Polymer Peg’s Clay Jewelry and on her Flickr site, Polymer Peg’s . You can find her work for sale at the galleries listed on her blog. I first saw Peg’s work in 400 Polymer Clay Designs and have been a fan ever since.

Thank you so much Peg.

Then I was thrilled again to receive this fabulous Love NY skyline from Anne Marie Rodellar or amerena as she is known on the web. I was happy to send her this Stroppel sweater girl in exchange.

Anne Marie is from France and had recently visited New York and when she got back home, produced a line of abstract New York skylines using a Stroppel Cane for the building and sometimes the taxi cabs. I’m headed to New York next month for my nephew’s wedding and am going to take it along with me, perfect.

You can see more of amarena’s work on her blog, amerenabijoux  her Flickr site, amarenabijoux’s photo stream or better yet, you can purchase a New York slide for yourself on her Dawanda site.

Thank you Anne Marie.

On a side note, I am staying in the Dumbo area of Brooklyn. Dumbo….”Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass”. It’s one of New York City’s premier arts districts full of both non-profit and for profit art galleries. And..Etsy is around the block ….literally.

This trip piggy backs on a trip I’m taking to Colorado to meet with a couple of my favorite polymer clay artists. We plan on a couple of days of clay and a couple of days of galleries and museums and fabulous eateries. I’m going to be so full of inspiration when I get back, just watch out!

 

The Stroppel Cane Story in The Polymer Arts

I’m thrilled to have the Stroppel Cane featured in the new The Polymer Arts issue. Sage Bray’s recent email said,

“The SUMMER 2012 issue is almost here!

Just got the newest issue through the proofing and approval process with the printer so it’s rolling on the presses and will start mailing out next week! Digital access will be sent May 18th and print starts getting mailed on the 16th. So soon, very soon …”

What’s in the Summer 2012 Reuse and Recycle issue?

Lots of wonderful ideas for using up scrap clay, old canes, and creating beautiful work from old and broken items plus plenty to more new ideas to motivate and excite you:

  • Learn new ways to reuse old canes and scrap clay
  • Read the inside story on the Stroppel cane phenomenon and the art it’s inspiring.
  • Become inspired by Ron Lehocky’s heartwarming story of how he uses polymer to better the lives of children and the environment.
  • Use digital devices for paperless Inspiration and Organization
  • New Technique: Dye Polymer with Old Silk ties
  • Peek into the fabulous Las Vegas Clay Carnival
  • Find out what it’s like to form a vibrant global community with this issue’s profile on Voila.eu.com
  • Discover new product in our reviews on Swellegant, Shades of Clay cutters, & All-in-One CaBezels
  • Get help from other readers’ organization ideas
  • Immerse yourself in the stunning gallery art… altars, winding ropes, layered translucence, and more

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Haven’t read an issue yet? Try a sample here or beter yet order this new issue and read all about the Stroppel Cane and take a look at some of the incredible work by artists from around the world.

Sample Issues of The Polymer Arts magazine … for the polymer clay artist

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I have so much to share from my trip to GA and Fandango that I’ll be posting about it all for a week or two. I’m still trying to get unpacked and caught up with my trades and orders.

Suzanne Ivester and I are working on our magazine, Polymer Porfolio and are excited about how it is coming together. I had the opportunity to film a couple of the artists that we are featuring while I was at Fandango. Look for Barbara McGuire and Denise Graham in some wonderful videos when our first issue is released.

And no, we don’t know when that will be exactly, but you’ll be the first to know……