What do you think of when you hear polymer clay? Well if you are Cynthia Toops you think it is a wonderful material with unlimited potential in jewelry making. September 26 & 27 Cynthia will be teaching Extraordinary Effects with Polymer Striped Canes at Danaca Design. Cynthia’s own work takes polymer clay to the next level making the mundane magical.
But what are polymer striped canes?
Polymer canes are when long strips of polymer clay are layered, usually to create a design, and then cut apart. They are based off of the millefiori glasswork technique that is used to apply decoration to glass objects. Canes patterns can very simple to very complex and how the canes are laid out together adds to the beauty and complexity.
These canes can then be used to cover beads and cabochons to create unique decorative elements for your jewelry. Techniques like combing, carving and mokume gane will be covered expanding and enlivening your repertoire.
Finally students will explore “thin sheet work” to make simple pins, bracelets and other alternative polymer clay forms.
This class is open to all levels, from the beginner curious about the many possibilities of polymer clay to the advanced student interested in focusing on a particular aspect of the medium.
To register for class call us at 206-524-0916 or stop by Mon-Fri 11am-6pm or Sat 10am-6pm at 5619 University Way NE, Seattle WA, 98105
Don’t forget to check out our complete fall schedule at www.danacadesign.com
Looking for a great activity for your 3rd – 6th grader this summer? Check out the Danaca Design jewelry camp!
July 20th – 24th, Monday – Friday, 9am – 2pm
This week-long camp teaches cool jewelry-making techniques such as bead making and stringing, wire working, texturing, stamping, and riveting metal!
In addition, we will explore the fundamentals of composition and color theory while learning to use a variety of basic hand tools.
Using polymer clay, Shrinky Dinks, seed beads, and copper and brass wire and sheet metal, we will create a variety of jewelry pieces students can wear proudly. After all, nothing is quite as fun as saying, “I made this!”
Rings and bracelets and brooches, oh my! Come have fun with us for a week in July!
This class is taught by Tegan Wallace, who has been teaching jewelry making at the elementary and middle school level for several years. Last year was our first time offering it and it was a BIG hit!
Questions and registration: 206-524-0916
Or check us out online at www.danacadesign.com
I love seeing the new photos for Cynthia’s classes! She’s definitely expanded my idea of what you can do with polymer clay.
In September Cynthia Toops will be teaching Beyond the Polymer Cane here at Danaca Design. If you want to learn how to create interesting and unexpected shapes and patterns with this material, now is a great time!
I found this little bit about polymer clay on Wikipedia. I never knew that’s where FIMO came from:
“Bakelite, an early plastic, was popular with designers and was an early form of polymer clay, but the phenol base of uncured Bakelite was flammable and was eventually discontinued. Polymer clays were first formulated as a possible replacement for Bakelite. One of these formulations was brought to the attention of German doll maker Käthe Kruse in 1939. While it was not suitable for use in her factory, Kruse gave some to her daughter Sophie, who was known in the family as “Fifi,” who successfully used it as modeling clay. The formulation was later sold to Eberhardt Faber and marketed under the name “FIMO” (FIfi’s MOdeling compound).”
Beyond the Polymer Cane
Instructor: Cynthia Toops
September 13 and 14, Saturday and Sunday, 10:30-5:00
Class Fee: $265|Basic materials included
Cane work is the most common polymer technique to decorate beads. Learn to transform this basic technique into something extraordinary. In this two-part class we will first take basic canes and transform them into complex designs to use for surface decoration. Then we will explore alternative bead shapes and create other objects: leaves, cones, claws, tab tiles, as well as hollow sculptural forms for bigger pieces. Cynthia will forever alter your perception of polymer clay! All skill levels are welcome.
Seattle artist Cynthia Toops has always been fascinated with beads. An ivory cicada bead carved by her father is one of her most cherished possessions. However, it was a copy of Lois Sherr Dublin’s “The History of Beads”, which catapulted this fascination into a passion and career. Falling in love with the Roman face beads on the cover, Cynthia was inspired to make her own versions. During a visit to her native Hong Kong, Cynthia discovered polymer clay and fell in love with the medium. Cynthia is inspired by 18th Century Italian micro mosaics, as well as the elaborate works of Mexico’s Huichol Indians, who embed seed beads in hot wax. Adapting these styles to polymer clay, Cynthia developed techniques that work for her and are ‘simple and very low-tech’. Using this technique of mosaic in her work, Cynthia is able to create tremendous richness, texture and subtle color variation on a single piece. Cynthia is widely published and exhibits and teaches throughout the United States.
Cynthia also has some work up at Facèré right now. You can see some of it on their website: http://www.facerejewelryart.com/artist.php?id=39
To register for Cynthia’s class call the studio at 206-524-0916, we’re here Tuesday-Friday 11-6, and Saturday 10-6.
Image Transfer on Polymer
Instructor: Sarah Wilbanks
November 23, Saturday, 10:30-4:30
Class Fee: $95 | Some materials included
If you love photography or have images you want to use in your jewelry, image transfers onto polymer clay is a simple and affordable method to incorporate them into your work and can be done easily at home. This class will cover one basic type of transfer technique using a transfer paper and Sculpey Premo. Other techniques will be discussed and time permitting students will have the option to try other systems. We will also discuss a variety of ways to use transfers in your work including cutting, setting and different options for protecting the surface. We will discuss equipment you will need should you choose to pursue this in your home studio. A basic understanding of working with polymer helpful.
As a young girl I often spent time making things, drawing and assembling projects without instructions. I come from a line of craftspeople, artists and photographers and have always been encouraged to create. My love of jewelry began with a spool of aluminum wire in High School that led to my first line called ‘Lobes.’ I went on to college to study Fine Arts in Chicago. Later, I learned metalsmithing at Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle.
For the past 7+ years I made one of a kind Fine Art Jewelry for Facere Jewelry Art Gallery and other Galleries. This past spring I embarked on a new line of jewelry designed using organic forms set with photographs that I have taken during my travels or from my image collection. I love seeing the story that takes shape when the two are combined.
I find inspiration from my love of organic forms, color and image. I visit a community garden in my neighborhood often for inspiration and to take photographs.
I build the originals by hand and then have them cast locally with a company that uses mostly recycled sterling silver. I fabricate all of my clasps and ear wires by hand. I also transfer the photographs myself to polymer clay to give the images depth and versatility. They are then coated in a layer of polymer for durability.