31 October 2014

Happy Halloween from everyone at pcPolyzine.com!!
We searched the Tutorial Archives and found 9 projects to make last minute trick-or-treat projects. As always, thanks to the many artists who contributed their ideas.
It wouldn't be Halloween around pcPolyzine world headquarters without a special shout out to Kim Kennedy, our official Pumpkin Princess, and a moment of remembrance for the fabulous Thomas Ojeda.

Here are the projects in no particular order:
Halloween Candlestick
by Kim Kennedy
Halloween Picture Frame
by Sarah Harrington Lajoie
Haunted House Tabletop
by Kim Kennedy and Thomas Ojeda
Glow In The Dark Ghosts
by Thomas Ojeda
Jack O'Lantern Votive
by Thomas Ojeda
Scrapbooking with Polymer Clay: Pumpkin Patch Trip

Halloween Bat Mask Tutorial Video
by Aniko Kolesnikova

19 October 2014

How to Identify Images With Google Images

Do you visit websites that are tutorial havens? We all migrate to sites at some point where the images are culled from a general tutorial search and the author receives no credit or mention. Pinterest is a good example of a site filled with polyclay images where Pinners just Pin and do not credit. Here is how I try to find the image owner. You might do it differently, but for those who have never done it, here is a step-by-step explanation of my method.

Photo Credit: Kael Mijoy

We will use an image from a link farm called familyholiday.net that was mentioned in a Facebook post by Ginger Davis Allman. The website states the source as Pinterest and publishes a disclaimer about the images being considered in the Public Domain, blah, blah, blah.

We already know this image belongs to Kael Mijoy, but play along as if we don't.

OK, here we go.

1. PC Users: If the site allows the right-click saving option, right-click, select Save Image As and save the image to your computer. For sites that disable right-click saving, I use the Snipping Tool in Windows 7. I have it pinned to my Taskbar for easy access. Use the snipping tool to snip the image.

Save it on your computer.

Mac Users: I do not have a clue. You are on your own. :))

2. Go to Google Search and click on the word Images in the upper right-hand corner or at the top of the search page.

3. Click on the camera icon in the Google Search bar.

4. Select Upload an Image.

5. Select Choose File.

6. The screen will display the menu on your computer where you will select the image from the menu where you saved it. Select the image.

7. At this point, Google will begin doing its magic and soon you will see a selection of images that Google considers similar to your image based on an algorithm and such.

8. Is your image there? If not, add a few descriptive words in the search bar. Our image is showcased as the first selection. We can now follow the link where we will see Kael's ArtFire page. Her images are clearly identified.

9. Sometimes it takes more than one try to find an image on Google. Remember, you are looking for one image and Google is searching through millions of images. My experience has been positive. I've found most of the images I was searching for.

10. At this point, you can tag the image yourself on Pinterest with the artist's name and link to their website, blog, or Facebook page. A second step would be to contact the artist and let them know their images are being posted without credit.


Aggregate (composite) sites display a specific type of information from multiple online sources. Aggregators earn ad revenue from website traffic through various streams. You might see ads in a column such as those in the right-hand column of this blog. We earn a small amount of money every three months or so from the number of visitors we have, what they click on, and how long they stay on the site. Those pesky double-underlined words that flash an ad when your cursor skims over them? Those are text ads. The revenue is small, but it can add up.

We are not aggressive with our ad program. Many site owners depend on revenue from their ads. It is not unusual for aggregators to own multiple sites. I personally own 43 domain names that I will use for an upcoming project. I could have created aggregate sites for each of those domains and collected revenue from web traffic. I could easily search the Internet and create curated sites that are collections of other people's images. I would get paid whether I identify the artists or not. Yuck.

When your images appear on the Internet without credit or without your knowledge, someone else is benefitting

Special thanks to Kael Mijoy and Ginger Davis Allman.

17 October 2014

The Tsunami Cane From the pcPolyzine Archives

Photo Credit: Elissa Powell; pcPolyzine.com.

Today we feature the Tsunami Cane created by 
Elissa Marlaine Powell that appeared in pcPolyzine March 2001. Still original. Still free.  http://www.pcpolyzine.com/march2001/tsunami.html

04 October 2014

One-half Ton of Inspiration

What keeps you from wanting to clay all day every day? For many people, it's knowing how tiresome and painful the act of conditioning polymer clay can be. Arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and the effects of aging can rob the best of us of the enthusiasm of claying day and night. Even healthy, able-bodied clayers complain of the drudge of trying to condition clay that is not at its optimal smooshiness. 

NEVERknead, white version
California visual artist Debra Ann Jaffe is one of those people who cringe at the thought of kneading polymer clay to make her unique, movable art mobiles at Atomic Mobiles. She processes a lot of clay and suffered a lot of pain to the point of agony. Unable to find a solution that would allow her to continue claying pain-free, this clever, industrious lady invented NEVERknead, a mechanical device that kneads clay rapidly, efficiently, and without the excruciating pain caused by hand-kneading.

NEVERknead employs one-half ton of pressure to easily and painlessly condition almost any block of polymer clay. How do I know this? I read it on Deb's website AND I tried a NEVERknead myself*. Wow!! I will never knead clay by hand again. The difference between hand-conditioning polymer clay and conditioning clay with NEVERknead can easily be compared to how it felt using the old-style plunger extruders versus the spiffy, newer versions that make extruding a pleasure. It's that dramatic.

Once I saw how easy and painless it is to condition my clay with NEVERknead, I wanted to open and condition every pack of clay I own. I was obsessed and in awe of this magical device. Just as Deb describes on her website, the clay was fully conditioned in a matter of minutes. I would venture to say my clay was better conditioned than when I do it myself by hand OR with my clay machine, even with the motor attached. Not only does NEVERknead condition clay, it also makes color mixing faster and easier and puts an end to dealing with old, crumbled clay that has seen better days. 

It became quickly obvious to me that Deb invented a machine that is by a clayer for clayers. It is 100% relevant to what we do every day as artists and crafters AND it solves the problem of painful, tiring clay conditioning.

NEVERknead in 8 colors, plus white (shown in the large photo above).

NEVERknead comes in 8 colors with a lifetime warranty and 90-day risk free guarantee. AND, if you purchase through PayPal, you can pay for it in installments. What a deal!!

Check out all the details at http://neverknead.com and watch the informative and instructional videos Deb created to see more about how NEVERknead can change your claying life forever. As Deb says, "Make Art, Not Pain."
* In compliance with FTC Rules of Disclosure, I am informing you that Deb sent me a model of NEVERknead for the purpose of this product review. I almost always give away products I receive for review. I love NEVERknead so much that I am keeping it. I am trading ad space in pcPolyzine and on our blog equal to or greater than the retail price of NEVERknead plus shipping. 

01 October 2014

It's hard to admit it, but somehow I missed National Play-Doh Day. September 16th came and went, and so did the chance for a big Play-Doh celebration. Still, I cannot just let it go by without some sort of salute to the product that got most of us started on our way to polymer claying. So, here is my small, but respectful homage to a special day that is already marked on my calendar for 2015.

The theme for NP-DD 2014 was cinematic. James Gunn, director of Guardians of Galaxy, appeared on the Today show, September 16th, where he talked about rewarding his actors, throughout the film shoot, by handing out 40 canisters of Play-Doh in total.

Here is a link to some of the creations that showcase a few of everyone's favorite teen movies: https://www.yahoo.com/movies/5-unforgettable-teen-movie-moments-in-play-doh-97653417232.html

And at this link, http://www.toyhalloffame.org/toys/play-doh, you can read about Play-Doh's 1998 induction into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame.