Verklempt polymer

Or as Laurel Steven jokes about her polymer hearts wall piece, VerClumped. Overcome with emotion, that is, verklempt by all the birthday wishes and hoping that the site is up in time for me to post this. Seems the server was overwhelmed too! (Yea! we’re back.)

Camille Young throws her heart into the ring and in keeping with our bad pun birthday theme, we’ll call that Young at Heart (she calls it Majora’s Mask). With so many terrific hearts online this season, you can expect to see them sprinkled liberally in posts for the next two weeks.

Polymer color boost

Nothing seems to start the week better than a shot of color! Why not take a double dose for good measure?

The first is hummingbird color from Carol Simmons. A study of the hummingbirds visiting her Colorado home resulted in Carol’s brilliant irredescent version of mokume gane. This botanist/artist has found a way to combine her polymer passion and birding bent with a new class that’s an adventure in both.

Rebecca Geoffrey moved over into metal clay, resin, and metalsmithing two years ago. Remember these? She’s back!

She explained that, “The dilemma is whether I will make mostly silver and resin jewellery, polymer clay and silver jewellery or sterling and gemstone work. I was feeling that I had to completely do one or the other but was not wanting to feel trapped in one medium. Then, the lightbulb went on and I realized that I could do it all. I will just have to work harder to make a cohesive line through all mediums. I don’t feel fulfilled unless I am learning new things and feel that this is the only way I can make and sell jewellery and feel satisfied.”

Many polymer artists share Rebecca’s enthusiasm for mixing up their media! The skills learned in one new media usually trickle into the others. It’s win-win. More here.

Wired hearts

Staci Smith is a Pennsylvania mixed media artist who sometimes throws polymer into the mix. Her tray of hearts ready for the oven looked so full of possibility that it pulled me right into the studio to make a few valentines of my own. Her rough and random wires add playful touches.

Staci’s new to PCDaily and you’ll enjoy her metal clay and sea glass work as you search for her polymer pieces. Look here and here.

Identifying birds

Seems that the birds I attributed to Leslie Blackford on Wednesday were made by her students. All the more reason to take a class with Leslie! The bird featured in the post was made by Barb Kunkle.

Buzzing, skittering, crawling polymer

Allow the color to wash over you as you watch Jeff Dever’s Edensong Revisited – Buzz, Skitter and Crawl YouTube video. This 3-minute video chronicles the growth of Jeff’s piece through installations at the Fuller Craft Museum and later at the Racine Art Museum.

The closeups show sinuous shapes and gradations of color on lovely alien creepy crawlies. Jeff promises the debut of his website later this year.

Note that the Racine (RAM) polymer exhibit closes on February 5. The museum is offering a Kathleen Dustin mug and Terra Nova: Polymer at the Crossroads book package deal. Thanks to Maggie Maggio for the link!

No angry birds

Leslie Blackford’s polymer woodland birds perch just the way they should but there’s something definitely wacky and endearing about them. Pictures of the flock she created at a Philadelphia Guild workshop demonstrate the point.

One wears a crown, another a cowboy hat. One smokes a cigar, several have outlandish plummage and cheeky grins. It’s easy to identify the birds but hard to put your finger on why they’re so appealing. While Leslie’s style can appear deceptively simple and childlike, students soon realize how difficult it is to accurately capture an essence and then veer into fantasy with polymer.

Leslie grew up in the woods of Tennessee and Kentucky with a botanist father helping her identify, study and appreciate the wildlife. The shapes and characteristics of each species were clearly imprinted in Leslie’s head. Maybe it’s her understanding and kinship with animals that startles us and makes us stop in our tracks.

Love beads in polymer

Wendy Malinow’s Etsy site is already stocked with hearts for the coming season. Romantic, gruesome, wooden, beating, funny, anatomical…her polymer valentines run the gamut.

These entwined faux birch branches form a lovely pendant perfect for anyone with an outdoorsy, Portland sensibility. (Are you watching Portlandia?) Her bleeding thorn heart might appeal to more prickly sweethearts.

Wendy grew up in a household knee-deep in art projects. You won’t be surprised that one of her earliest art encounters was with “love beads” and she continues to share her fascination.

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

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