Bashing ideas

Carissa Nichols’ Ultralight Sculpey pendants caught my eye at Ohio’s Buckeye Bash (my pictures here) in Dayton. She sculpts the pieces in white clay, bakes and then colors them with alcohol inks and seals them with a spray. Inking the chalky surfaces allows for a bright, frilly effect.

The marshmallowy ultralight requires more gentle handling than other polymer clays. Once baked, however, its soft texture, makes for easy carving and it can be used as a strong armature for large pieces. (See Sarah Shriver’s big beads and Melanie West’s biobangles, for example.)

Carol Simmons was the Buckeye Bash’s visiting artist this year and the room was abuzz with teams creating kaleidoscope canes and slicing them deli-thin on her prototype slicing device.

Sculptural effect from inclusions

Big hollow polymer beads with inclusions are the latest creation from Christine Dumont who is also the founder of the popular European Voila Web site.

In the new beads small fluted “ossocopia” are embedded in the clay, with the tips of their horns protruding or with concave saucers recessed into layers of color, the newest twist in her sculptural approach to polymer beads.

Christine has been teaching workshops online and in several countries. Her butterfly beads flutter all over Europe. She’ll be teaching at Polymer Pamper Play in the UK in March. I hope your weekend is filled with lots of pamper and play.

Polymer medicine

Another dose of color for you from Anna Anpilogova today. The warm colors of her polymer “mango” beads remind us that spring is not far off.

The text on her blog is in Russian and it’s fun to follow along on her studio experiments in Belarus. Anna’s Flickr pages give you the pictures without having to translate anything. She invents constantly and offers this simple faux chevron tutorial that ends with a sophisticated result.

Thanks to Claire Maunsell for the link.

Beads that speak for themselves

I was looking for polymer that was springy and required no explanation since I’m fresh out of words.

Luckily Silvia Ortiz de la Torre posted this necklace that fit my requirements precisely. If Google translator is accurate, this is Silvia’s rendition of beads from a tutorial by fellow Spaniard, Natalia Garcia de Leaniz that appeared in the new From Polymer to Art magazine (the Blue edition). They’re super textured and built on cores of crumpled foil to keep them light. Silvia uses eye-catching graduated color on the base beads.

Let me know if I botched the translation. The beads are exuberant in any language!

Our polymer niche

Arden Bardol is one of the winners just announced in the 2011 Niche Award competition. Arden was omitted from our previous list of finalists. Her Timepiece belt buckle won in the fashion accessories category.

The other winners are Wiwat Kamolpornwijit (fashion jewelry), Doreen Kassel (polymer clay), and Barb Fajardo (polymer clay).

Eight polymer artists were finalists this year and a whopping four of the eight were named winners in their categories. Clap for them and stand up, take a bow for our polymer community. It’s a nice niche you’ve helped establish.

Delightful diversions

There’s nothing better to veer your week off track than a couple of interesting polymer techniques. If you’re facing serious deadlines and chores, stop reading right now.

The first tantalizing tutorial is a bit of Japanese-inspired faux lacquer from Nan Roche. Alison Torres reports from the CFCF event in Maryland that’s in progress this week. Nan briefly describes her method in this short video. (The picture is Alison’s work from Nan’s class.)

Then I happened upon luminous faux mother of pearl from LesEthiopiques. The text on Hélène’s free tutorial is in French accompanied by step-by-step shots of her discoveries. Wouldn’t that be fun to try?

I have deadlines and chores of my own that I’m avoiding. Perhaps if you trot off and try these tricks, I can focus. Sneaky, eh? You try them so I won’t have to.

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  • I'm Cynthia Tinapple, an artist, curator, and leader in the polymer clay community for over 20 years.

    On this blog I showcase the best polymer clay art online to inspire and encourage you. I also send out weekend extras in the premium newsletter, StudioMojo.

    You can find my book, Polymer Clay Global Perspectives, on Amazon.

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