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Tag Archives: tools

tools: finger brush and texture plate

When Lorrene Davis sent along the link to this artist I popped over to her website to see what she was up to and look what I found!


Davis, a metal clay Master Instructor, handcrafts and sells the Finger Brush – a tool she invented when she got tired of “Putting down the file, picking up the dry brush to save the precious silver dust.Then putting down the brush and picking up the file.Then repeating the whole process over and over again…… and over and over again.”

Cool beans. You can get one too. Right here.

marsha neal shards

Then a visit to Marsha Neal’s blog revealed a post about how she makes porcelain shards. I like the way Neal uses two wood texture plates to make the spiral ridges. I’m sure the texture boards can be used with materials other than porcelain. Maybe Miss Marsha will share her source for the serious looking texture mats?

In the meantime, although you can’t buy the texture plates from her, you can purchase the porcelain shards.  This way please – booth #806.

cormier & holmes introduce new work and the great white Sh.A.R.K.

We are dedicated to evolving polymer clay through creativity without boundaries, quality without compromise, design with intent, and innovation with integrity. And we want to have fun doing it. Dan Cormier & Tracy Holmes

Dan Cormier and Tracy Holmes have been busy sprucing up their website – adding new work, making cool videos, sharing exciting news about the Sh.A.R.K. family of tools (see below) and refining a mission statement (that’s it above, but read more here).

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Polar Pin, 2009, polymer clay

When Cormier has a new idea for a piece and discovers that it requires a tool he doesn’t have, he gets to work making the tool and the whole community benefits. He has been sharing his Cutting Edge line of precision tools with us since 2005 when he introduced the Peeler Collection, adding the Sh.A.R.K. in 2008 and now the Great White Sh.A.R.K. and more to come later this year.

The Sh.A.R.K. is “a magnetic ‘moveable wall,’ a sheet adjuster that turns your single-width pasta machine into a versatile ‘any width’ tool for sheeting, mixing, blending, and reducing polymer clay.” The original Sh.A.R.K. was made to fit the Atlas 150 pasta machine, but now everyone can enjoy the benefits of this little fin-that-could with the new Great White Sh.A.R.K., which fits the Amaco, Makins, and Atlas 180 machines.


The video below is a comprehensive look at what the Sh.A.R.K can help you accomplish in your studio.  Beautifully executed, it takes the concept of a ‘brochure’ to a whole new level. Fun, informative and enticing.  I have a Sh.A.R.K. and while I love the way it adjusts the size of the sheet of clay, I admit that it wasn’t until I saw the video that I truly understood that I had a powerhouse sitting on my pasta machine!

Want your own Sh.A.R.K. ? You can purchase a Sh.A.R.K. Kit here.

For me, my tools and what I do with them have always been intertwined. It’s not about the latest gimmick or trick. It’s more fundamental, evolving organically out of some need I find through my dialogue with the clay. A new idea requires a tool I don’t have. So I make that tool. Once I have it, I can usually do the thing I wanted to do, which is great. But even better, it continues the conversation. Suddenly I see something I couldn’t see before, something I hadn’t even imagined. Like cresting a hill, I get a new view, a new perspective, a new take on my medium. Dan Cormier

Congratulations to this dynamic duo – it certainly does look like they are having fun (see mission statement above) while elevating the medium with their innovative tools, work and techniques – a win/win combination for all.

inspiration sent and received

There are days when I wonder if this blog is actually influencing anyone’s art-making.  Then there are days when I get emails that make it clear to me that Daily Art Muse is making a difference. Oh yes, this blog is tickling muses, inspiring products – even providing research resources for art students.  A recent email from Valerie Claff made my day:

Dear Susan,

I wanted to write and thank you ENORMOUSLY for your amazing blog/musing.  I am an artist and art professor at Clark University in Mass.  For some years now I have been teaching a class called Exploring the Natural World – a combination of field drawing, printmaking and mixed-media.  The other day I stumbled across your site while searching for examples of work for inspiration.  I have to say, your site is THE BEST resource I have found so far.  I don’t have a ton of time to research as I’ve got the teaching to do, so your site is an amazing help for me.  THANK YOU!  I love the work you’re including as they are great examples of a broad range of materials and mediums.  I probably won’t venture too much further than your daily blog and archives this semester and will require my students to do some research there to help with generating ideas.  Again, thank you!

Valerie Claff

DAMuse as required reading for art students.  I like it!  I look forward to seeing Valerie’s students’ work before the end of the semester.

Then yesterday I was scrolling through Canadian based Shades of Clay’s online store looking at Helen Breil’s latest product line.  I was delighted to see that Helen credits a post on Daily Art Muse as the inspiration for her new flexible textures stamps, Tango and Mambo.  Which post sparked the idea?  Zentangles, of course!

As always, Helen’s work is beautifully designed and executed.

Helen Breil’s Mambo Texture Stamp and Mambo Leaf Bracelet

Helen Breil’s Tango Lentil Pendant and Tango Texture Stamp

Come back this afternoon for more DAMuse-inspired work and words.  And do tell – what has DAMuse done for you lately?

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