Tuesday, December 22, 2015

REGISTER FOR MY CLASS

Give yourself the gift of learning and come to the annual Cabin Fever Creative Arts Festival in Laurel, MD, this February. 

The list of instructors includes Lisa Pavelka, Maureen Carlson, Dayle Doroshow, Nancy Ennis, Natalia Garcia de Leinez and Daniel Torres, Lisa Haney, Lindly Haunani, Anke Humpert, Doreen Kassel, Robert Liu, Jana Lehmann, Ann and Karen Mitchell, Nan Roche, Lynne Ann Schwarzenberg, and me.

Each instructor offers full-day and 4-hour workshops. All workshops will be held in a comfortable Double Tree by Hilton Hotel. Please refer to the Creative Arts Fest's Blog for more information, class descriptions, registration forms, and hotel reservations: https://polymerclayfests.wordpress.com 

I am very excited to offer you two classes during this event. 


The whole-day class will be on Wednesday, February 17, 2016. It is called Organic Pendants From the Sea and is actually an expansion of my step-by-step tutorial Sea Creatures Polymer Clay Cabochons. In this class, I will demonstrate many additional textures inspired by corals, shells, sea urchins, starfish, and other aquatic creatures. We will explore various forms for polymer clay pendants, beads, and brooches that can be decorated with these textures. Then, we will color them with acrylic paints and alcohol inks - I want to show you how to combine these materials to obtain deep and dramatic colors such as those seen in my examples above. I will bring colorful ribbons and cords to this class and show you how to make striking multi-string necklaces with our organic pendants. By the ends of the class you will have an amazing finished necklace to wow your friends.


My 4-hour class, called Odds and Ends from your Craft Room will be on Tuesday, February 16, 2016. In this class, you will learn how to use buttons, ribbons, old zippers and other similar items in combination with polymer clay. It will be fun! 

Monday, November 23, 2015

First Results!

Student Work, Wonder Stamps

Wonder Stamp Made by Kathryn Peters
I was so happy to find this picture in my email this evening!

Kathryn Peters made it following my new tutorial Wonder Stamps for Polymer Clay.  She had all the necessary tools and materials on hand and was able to try the techniques described in the tutorial right away. 

Kathryn wrote: "This has supplied an easy and inexpensive way to follow through on some projects that I've been batting around in my head".

It is so nice to have feedback from people who are using my tutorials, especially with such a positive result.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

New Tutorial: Wonder Stamps for Polymer Clay

When my class Handmade Stamps for Polymer Clay at Master Class Camp was advertised this summer, quite a few people contacting me asking whether I have a tutorial for this technique.  I promised to have the this tutorial ready a few months after the class.


 The wait is over!  This long-anticipated tutorial is finished and available both from my website (polymertutorials.com) and from my etsy shop.

The tutorial is currently being offered for a 20% off introductory price until until 9 pm (EDT) on Monday, November 23, 2015.

In this tutorial, I will show you how to make your own Wonder Stamps with very thin and tall walls. Not only will you have your own unique stamps, but you will be able to use them for countless different polymer clay techniques and variations of them: mokume gane, back-filling, cutting, carving, raised design, and more.

This tutorial explains how to make a Wonder Stamp based on ANY design. It does NOT explain how to use the stamps. I am sure you will be able to come up with many applications on your own, but I am also going to prepare a few project-based tutorials for these stamps in the nearest future.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Polymer Clay Lentil Beads

Polymer clay lentil beads fantastic filigree technique by Eugena Topina
Fantastic Filigree beads
Just want to show a set of lentil beads made in my Fantastic Filigree technique.  These beads are hollow, framed with antique brass round links, about 1.5" in diameter.

Making convex framed necklace parts is described in my tutorial  Faux Metal Necklace.  Creation of a pattern similar to the one on these beads is covered in my Fantastic Filigree tutorial.

Polymer clay lentil beads
Fantastic Filigree beads



Fantastic Filigree beads, fragment


Friday, September 25, 2015

New Polymer Clay Tutorial Fall Leaves

Deeply textured and brightly colored polymer clay leaves look gorgeous as necklaces or brooches.  I just finished a new polymer clay tutorial for these projects.  It is available on my website and in my etsy shop.

The tutorial is on sale until Monday, September 28, 2015.




Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Openwork Pendants: Now in Color

 Experimenting with adding colors to my openwork pendants.

How to make these shapes is described in my tutorial Openwork Pendants: Under a Microscope.

I am using the coloring techniques shown in my other tutorial, Polymer Clay Cabochons Sea Creatures.




Sunday, September 13, 2015

Cool Tool for Polymer Clay

One of the fun things about polymer clay is that many tools used for other arts and crafts can be successfully adopted for polymer clay projects.

For example, the tool shown here is actually used in cake making.  It is an embossing plate for fondant.

Can't you just see it being used for mokume gane?!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Polymer Clay Texture Ideas: Organic

Peach stones make excellent organic texture tools for polymer clay.

To transfer the texture onto the polymer clay, drape a sheet of polymer clay around the stone and press firmly.   When done, re-position the sheet of clay and repeat.  Actually, it is better to have a few of those peach stones to avoid obvious repetition of the texture.

To prevent the clay from sticking to the surface of the peach stones, spray the polymer clay sheet with some water first.  Other release agents could be used as well, such as mica powders or corn starch.  I personally prefer water.

Look for more ideas for various texture tools in my Faux Metal Necklace Tutorial.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Student's Work: Faux Cloisonne



Student work, Faux Cloisonne
 This morning, I received this lovely letter from one of my customers, Holly D.:

"I thought you might like to see my first cloisonné piece :) made this last night (it is with Lisa Pavelka's Magic Glos, rather than with resin... I was impatient :)"

There were two pictures in this email; they are on the left and below.
Student work, Faux Cloisonne
Holly bought one of my polymer clay Faux Cloisonne tutorials the day before.  I take it as a huge compliment when someone is so excited about my technique or a project!  I am happy to see how Holly's faux cloisonne piece turned out.  The color gradation is lovely!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Trip to Trakai: Castle on the Lake

The last country on our trip itinerary (after Russia, Estonia, and Latvia), was Lithuania.  We briefly stopped in its capital, Vilnius, and then headed to Trakai.


Originally built in early 15-th century (ruined and rebuilt many times), this castle is like a time machine.






Thursday, August 20, 2015

Trip to Riga: Art Nouveau

Riga is the capital of Latvia.  Very beautiful city, with its own Old Town.  I have to admit though, that Riga's Old Town was not that impressive right after seeing Tallinn.  What was really impressive for me, is Riga's own version of Art Nouveau architecture.


Again, for a polymer clay artist, a walk in Riga's neighborhood built in early 20-th century is a great source of inspiration.

I'll just show here a few (out of many) pictures I took there.  For more, do a google search for Riga Art Nouveau Architecture.




Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tallinn Trip: Fairy Tales and Openwork Sculptures


Tallinn, Estonia, view from the Upper Town
 After visiting St.Petersburg, we went to Tallinn (Estonia).

This must be the least crowded capital city in Europe!  We were there in the middle of August, right at the peak of the tourist season, and there was a very bearable number of people even in the Old Town.

Speaking of Tallinn's old town - it is just magical.  No wonder, during the Soviet Union time most of the fairy tale movies were made there.

Tallinn, Estonia, outside of the old city walls

Tallinn, Estonia, cafe

Tallinn, Estonia, view from one of the towers in the Lower Town
 We spent less than two days in this enchanted place.  When we came home, it turned out I took most pictures from our trip in Tallinn.

Now, to the openwork sculptures mentioned in the title.  We went for a stroll just outside the city walls and came across some kind of exhibition of modern sculptures.  Too bad all signs were in estonian, so I have no idea what these things are and who made them.  However, I was pleasantly surprised to recognize one of the shapes I've been obsessed with for almost a year now.

Tallinn, Estonia, openwork sculptures outside the Old Town walls

Don't they look like some of my polymer clay Openwork Pendants?!

Monday, August 17, 2015

St.Petersburg Trip: Mosaics in St.Isaac's Cathedral

I just came back from a short trip to Russia and a few Baltic Cost countries.  The trip was wonderful, the weather was great, and brought back lots of precious memories and beautiful pictures.  I do not want to overwhelm my readers with too many pictures, but some of them I just have to share.

Here are a few pictures I took inside St.Isaac's Cathedral in Saint Petersburg (Russia).  The cathedral itself is absolutely magnificent both from the outside and inside.  Here is a link to a wikipedia article about this cathedral: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Isaac's_Cathedral

There are a few pictures of the cathedral in this article, and many more can be found on-line.

What I want to share here are the pictures taken by a polymer clay artist.  You know, polymer clay is an obsession, and a polymer clay artist simply cannot help but notice things that relate to polymer clay in one way or another.  In my case, I was stunned by the mosaics in this cathedral. 

Built in early 19-th century, St.Isaac's was originally decorated by many masterful paintings by the famous Russian painters of that time.  In a few short years that paintings started to deteriorate due to the harsh weather in St. Petersburg.   A decision was made to replace each painting with an identical mosaic.  To say that this work is very tedious and painstaking is a huge understatement.  The mosaics that were completed are so detailed, they can be easily mistaken for oil paintings even from a few feet away (and especially when they are up at the cathedral ceiling).  Luckily, there were a couple of these mosaics on display at the floor level, so I was able to take these pictures.






 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Organic Swirl Pendants Class for Cabin Fever 2016

It is already confirmed that I will be able to offer my Organic Swirl Pendants Class during Cabin Fever Creative Arts Fest in Laurel, MD in February, 2016.  So, here is some more information about this class.


EUGENA TOPINA: ORGANIC SWIRL PENDANTS


1-day workshop
Skill Level = all levels, confident beginner to advanced


In this class you will learn how to make eye-catching polymer clay pendants with organic designs inspired by corals, shells, sea urchins, starfish, and other aquatic creatures.


Eugena will guide you through nearly thirty different shapes and textures that can be combined in endless ways to create beautiful pendants. She will also share with you her unique approach to using acrylic paints and alcohol inks for creating deeply colored and distressed polymer clay surfaces. Eugena will provide an array of colorful silk ribbons, suede cords, and wax lines so that by the end of the day you will be able to walk out if this class with an amazing necklace to wow your friends. Kit fee applies.

If you would like to take this class, please keep an eye on the official Creative Arts Fest blog. All details about this event will be published in that blog as soon as they are available.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

... And More Pictures From Master Class Camp

It so happened that I've got to teach one more class for Master Class Camp 2015, Organic Swirl Pendants.  The class was offered on a very short notice as a substitute for a wonderful class by Doreen Gay-Kassel, which had to be canceled, unfortunately.

So, here are a few pictures from my ad hoc class.
Student Work in Organic Swirl Pendants Class

Student Work in Organic Swirl Pendants Class

Student Work in Organic Swirl Pendants Class
Here are my happy students, playing away with textures, shapes, and colors:




July 24, 2015.  Edited to add:  This class will be offered again during the Cabin Fever Festival in February, 2016.  For more information, please refer to my next post.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Pictures From Master Class Camp

Finally I found time to download the pictures I took in my Handmade Stamps for Polymer Clay class earlier this month.

Below are a few pictures of the stamps made by the class participants.  Of course, they could not wait to try their newly-made stamps on some polymer clay, so  I was able to capture a few of their experimental pieces as well.

Stamps for polymer clay made by one of the students

WIP by one of the students, made with her stamp



Stamps and pieces made with them by one of the students

WIP by one of the students, made with her stamps
  
Stamps for polymer clay made by one of the students

And here are my lovely students having fun in our class.




Thank you, ladies, for your energy, curiosity, and stories.  I hope we can do it again in the future!

And a HUGE thank you for Kathryn Ottman, the woman who made this event possible.

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