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]

Synergy3 Gifts and Trades

Orson's World

Synergy was wonderful for many reasons, but getting to meet in person people you have become friends with online has to be one of the highlights.

My friend Nikolina Otrzan (Orson’s World) surprised me with with this so very thoughtful gift in memory of Ceasar, the oh so sweet dog we just lost. I was touched and so appreciative. Thank you Nik.

Nik creates some fabulous polymer pieces and some very cool tutorials for sale in her Etsy shop. She also has a class on CraftArtEdu

She is such fun to be around, meeting her after month and months of online friendship was a such a treat. She traveled all the way from Croatia to attend Synergy and I hope to see her again when Synergy happens in Europe.

I’m lucky to own another piece of Nik’s work, we traded when she made me something from one of her Stroppel Canes. Love it.

Cara Jane Hayman


Cara Jane Hayman is another friend from the other side… she surprised me with the darling little Stroppel Cane piggy. It was so thoughtful to bring it all the way from Bristol, UK  just for me. Cara Jane started the Stroppel Cane Flickr group so that everyone can share their canes.  Care Jane also has tutorial for sale. Thanks so much Care Jane.

Julie Eakes


Can you believe I am the proud owner of this fabulous piece of a art by Julie Eakes? Julie’s work in impeccable! We made a large trade and I am more than thrilled.

The wording is, “As you’re pretty, so be wise, Wolves may lurk in every guise.” I wish you could see this piece up close, I think Julie said she made at least five canes to incorporate in this necklace. Julie and I have traded before I’m lucky to own a couple of other Julie Eakes creations.

Julie teaches and if you can take a class with her, you should! Here’s one on CraftArtEdu

Julie is soooo much fun and I’m lucky to call her friend…….Julie, I can’t thank you enough.

Meisha Barbee

And finally, Meisha Barbee and  I traded pieces and look what I got, a wowzer.  Meisha doesn’t have a website, but I have a feeling that she will soon, In the meantime here is a google search with some pictures of her fabulous work.

Meisha has recently started to teach, if she’s teaching near you, run don’t walk to take her class.

Meisha, you make me laugh way too much, you rock friend, thank you.

You see how lucky I am, not only to own such wonderful work, but to have made such wonderful friends through my love of polymer. It’s a wonderful life.

Congratulations 2,000 posts Polymer Clay Daily

I just wanted to take a minute to celebrate with Cynthia Tinapple. Today marks her 2,000 post on Polymer Clay Daily. Cynthia has created a window into the studios of polymer artists from around the world, introducing us to work we might not have ever found on our own.

We’ve been inspired and entertained by, in awe of, and delighted to be introduced to the artists Cynthia has shined a light on. PCD is an important stop in most polymer artists’ day.

I am most impressed by Cynthia’s continuing support of the women of Nepal and their quest for individual freedom and expression. She shared her polymer clay Shisha technique with the women of Samunnat on a visit to Nepal.

You can see her Shisha necklace in the picture below and you can order your own Shisha bracelets made by the ladies here in their Sumunnat Shop on Etsy.

Cynthia Tinapple


Recently, Cynthia, Wendy Moore and Ron Lehecky have succeeded in helping to fund a building project for the women of Sumunnat. And there is still time to donate and I hope you do. Here’s a link to learn more about this worthwhile project.

I also want to congratulate Cynthia on her new Book Polymer Clay Global Perspectives: Emerging Ideas and Techniques from 125 International Artists. It is sure to be an exciting book to own.  I’m thrilled to be a part of such a wonderful group of artists.

Thanks you Cynthia for the enjoyment you bring to so many!

Eva Maria Keiser Designs

Colorway - Alice Stroppel


I am delighted to be featured on Eva Maria Keiser’s blog as one of her chosen artists for her Colorway series. Thank you so much Eva Maria.

Eva Maria is an accomplish, incredible bead artist. From vessels to adornment, you will find her work mesmerizing. If you are a bead artist, Eva Maria offers several free tutorials on her blog. Grab a cup of your favorite beverage, you’ll be spending quite a while on this blog.

You can also join Eva Maria on her Facebook page.

Keiser Designs

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



Synergy 3 Seeking Higher Ground Challenge – Kathleen Dustin’s Stunning Necklace

Alice Stroppel and Kathleen DustinI can only say that I was delighted to have this picture with Kathleen Dustin wearing her stunning Necklace. She is such an incredibly talented artist and the polymer clay community is  so lucky to have her as one of our polymer divas continually leading the way to excellence.

The entire Synergy 3 – Seeking Higher Ground was about striving for excellence, improving and growing. Becoming the best that you can be.

The piece I’m wearing I’m sad to admit was made at the last minute. I am challenging myself to continue with the design and improve it if I can.

I have a beautiful peacock  shawl given to me as a gift that I wanted to wear wear the night of the banquet. I worked on a couple of designs but wasn’t happy with them.

Even though I say it was a last minute thing, I did try out several ideas before moving on to the one I actually wore.

peacock prototypes

Here are the first three attempts at a pendant. The one on the far right was actually too literal and I wasn’t happy with that. The other two just weren’t coming together. Everything was just too constricted.
Peacock Feather - Alice Stroppel

I liked this one better, but wish I’d started on it weeks before I needed to wear it.

I decided to use my cane mapping technique and add a touch of metallic. It certainly matched my shawl better and I liked the flow. The bad part was not having a fabulous chain to hang it from, even though I wore it just the same. That seems to me to be one of my largest setbacks, making a piece and not thinking about the rest of the story.

It’s why I usually just do pendants and “slides”. I don’t have to think about the rest. I plan to give that part more thought in the future.

So this is my challenge…….plan, plan, plan and Make it Sing

Wish me luck and go spend some time on Kathleen’s webiste if you haven’t been there for awhile.




New Polymer Clay Necklaces for Synergy III

circles-and-squares - Alice Stroppel


When I was getting ready to travel to Atlanta to attend the Synergy Conference, I wanted to make a few new things to wear. I’ve had a couple of ideas in my head for awhile and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try them out.

The necklace or “slide” in the picture above was really simple and fun to make. It’s more fun to wear because it has motion. It’s made with spiral canes formed into rectangles and of course round canes. I’ve attached them together with Buna Cord and looped the Buna Cord at the top to allow me to slide whatever chain or cording through and TaDa….it’s ready to wear.

dangle - Alice Stroppel

I really like this necklace too.  It moves and dangles and is just fun to wear. But I’m concerned with the o-rings shelf life. I’ve talked with several people that say that after many years, they begin to disintegrate and thus your necklace falls apart. So it’s not something that I could ever sell, but maybe it I keep searching, I can find a replacement.

I have so many things to show you and talk about concerning Synergy and the inspiring things that went on, what was shared, the friends I got to see again, the friends I met in person for the first time and just the overall experience.

Unfortunately I came home sick and am just not getting back to normal. I have lots of catching up to do.

DO take a minute to click on the sun on the righthand side of this page and see what is being offered at this years Fandango retreat. I’m teaching along with Suzanne Ivester, Sydnee Holt, Linda Hess and Penny Jo Couch.  I hope to see you there.