Smashing Color

with Maggie Maggio

Back To School

Crayons Treat yourself to a box of 64 crayons and clear some space in your studio.  Its time for the return of Saturday School!

Starting next Saturday, September 11th, I will be expanding on the exercises in Lindly’s and my book, Color Inspirations.  Last year we covered Chapters 1 to 5.  This year we will start with some crayon warm-up exercises and then  move on to Chapter 6.

As a teaser for my upcoming “class assignments,” here’s an idea based on Chapter 2’s Pivot Bead exercise. Follow the directions for making pivot beads but, instead of making beads, cut the striped snakes into longer pieces and make split rings for a monochromatic chain featuring the many variations of your pivot color.

Enjoy Cynthia Tinapple’s new video tutorial of my technique for making split rings.  Here’s a worksheet with templates and dimensions for three different sized split rings. Split Ring Worksheet3

I’ve made strong and flexible split rings with Premo and Kato clay. They should work with most clays. You don’t have to add bendable clay though it certainly wouldn’t hurt to try.

There are endless variations possible. Explore and send me your photos!


  1. This posting is a few months old but can you please tell me where to find the – Color Inspirations. Last year we covered Chapters 1 to 5. – as mentioned above, as I would like to start from the beginning, but I can’t find where you have this info.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing! I’ve been working my way through the book – and with each step it’s a leap in understanding of color for me. And I thought I had a reasonable handle on it already!

  3. Fantastic! It’s so simple and unique! Glad you thought of it. I can see beginners and advanced using this technique! Thank you!

  4. Thank you for so generously sharing this, Maggie. I’m a huge fan of your work. ‘Colour Inspirations’ is my bible and you (and Lindly) are inspirational.
    I hope you can visit us in Australia sometime. I know my clay pals would come from far and wide to meet you!
    Best regards,

  5. Maggie,
    I hadn’t thought I wanted to make chains till I saw the video. So I made a few links with some snakes covered with old canes. Then I got tired of rolling 1/4″ snakes, so I measured the large circle die on the Makins extruder – voila, 1/4″. So I shoved some scrap clay in the extruder, cut a whole bunch of 2 1/8″ pieces, narrowed down the ends as per your video, and brushed them with mica powders (I tried both Pearl Ex and Perfect Pearls). Then I took some Jones Tones foiled clay and wrapped it around the 1/4″ rods and then rolled them out till they were 1/4″ again, and made some links with them.

    Not one to follow instructions to the letter all the time, I also tried some thinner links and you were right, they weren’t strong enough to stop from unrolling, so I made them fixed links with the addition of a little liquid clay. I also made all of my links without the aid of your little center plugs but I can see that they would help speed up the process.

    I’ll send you a picture soon.

  6. what a great tutorial.thank yo for sharing

  7. does not work in the medium,John

    September 4, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    More evidence that the possibilities in the realm of polymer clay are infinite for the truly creative.

  8. total awesomeness. And I have tons of scraps to play with.

  9. Ingenious, Maggie. Thank you for generously sharing your technique and including a template no less! You are the best.


  10. What gorgeous pieces! I am in awe! I’ve not worked in polymer. I have used air dry clays – mostly paperclay, extensively. Could this technique be tried with paperclay?
    Thanks for any info you can provide!

  11. I agree, time for some fun! Thank you!

  12. Love, love, love it!!!

    Thanks so much for sharing this and especially thanks for providing the great work sheet. The video is a great help too.


  13. Our small group is working on your color lessons. i love this and have had success and broaden my horizons w/ magical polymer clay. Thank you for sharing.

  14. A lovely design that lets color be the star of the show. Fun, fun, fun!

  15. This looks like such fun. I can’t wait to start doing it. I’ve been working on colors from a collage and was having trouble getting started with canes, tc.

  16. Genius. Beautiful colors (what else?!).

  17. What a beautiful and clever idea, Maggie! The design is so great and simple to make – many people will thank you for sharing it.

  18. Just watched the video. Great! Thanks for sharing. So many possibilities, Wow! Norma

  19. Thank you Maggie, for your extrordinary generosity in sharing this – I think you may have solved a few problems for me!

  20. wow…this is just fabulous!!!!!

    I’ve been tossing around ideas in my head for a while now wondering how I could make rings that attach. I use lots of jump rings in my work and now you’ve shown me how to do it!

    Thank you so much Maggie, I’ll be sure to send some pics when I get around to making some. I’m sure you’ll see them everywhere soon :o)

    And thank you to Cynthia for making the video!

  21. Love it! It took the video to make it real! Great idea… I hate glue, too… never like to trust it!

    Thanks for sharing!

  22. Oh, what a great idea Maggie. I always wanted to make such a chain style necklace and was – just like you – not happy with the idea of glueing the parts together. This is fabulous – you just made my day! Thanks for sharing.
    A big hug from Germany

  23. Cool! This time I have the book and can follow along. I’ve already done some exercises. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *