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    Bishoff.polymer wave and flower
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    Bishoff.polymer earrings
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    Bishoff.necklace and pendants

Polymer 3: Millefiori-Marquetry Surface Design Techniques

So you've got your polymer canes, now what?! In this virtual course, students will learn to create complex surface patterns in polymer clay with simple millefiori cane designs and Bonnie’s marquetry process. Techniques will demonstrate how to build thin polymer clay veneers with rich surface designs and surprising depth. Students will create three progressively complex designs that can later be used for pins, necklaces or earrings. Each step will address design process, inlay methodology, depth, and light. Basic experience with polymer is needed. Simple pre-made canes will be helpful.

Meet the instructor

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Bonnie Bishoff has worked collaboratively with her artistic partner and husband J. M. Syron since 1987. Starting as furniture makers, they made work that incorporated large panels of polymer veneers for 28 years. Gradually they shifted their focus to explore jewelry and mixed media pieces.They tend to work in series and on several fronts at once. The focus of their jewelry has been creating metal armatures, textured and oxidized metal surfaces, and polymer marquetry surface designs. In addition they have been exploring a series of wall panels or "paintings" in polymer veneers and wire armatured sculptures. 



They have exhibited widely in galleries and fine craft shows including the Smithsonian and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Museum exhibitions include the Peabody Essex, The Museum of Art and Design, NY and the permanent collection of the Racine Art Museum. Their materials include veneers of polymer clay, silver, bronze, copper, and wood. They aim to create work that projects an expansive notion of art and creative pursuit to be shared by the wearer with the world.



Materials & Tools

The following supplies will be used for course demonstrations and objectives. A suggested item and/or vendor has been provided below for reference. Click the vendor name (in red) to be redirected to a page where you can find the item. The quantities needed for each item are listed first. If ordering, please be aware that some items may come in larger quantities than needed for this class. We recommend not opening an item's packaging until the day of the workshop. Student participation during or in-between class sessions is strongly encouraged but not required - observers are welcome. 



  • 5-10 simple or complex canes - can be ends, scraps, or mistakes

  • 4oz x extra polymer clay


If you have no canes, then you will want a variety of Premo, Fimo Soft, or Sculpey III from Polymer Clay Super Store, Joann Fabrics, or Sculpey Products:

  • 10 x 2oz pack - variety of colors 


Polymer tools (please ask if substitution will work): 


Other/miscellaneous items: 

  • masking tape

  • ruler

  • waxed paper or "deli sheets" 

  • cleaner for board and blades (rubbing alcohol, windex, etc.)

  • notebook and writing implements 

  • paper towels or soft cloth


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