Abstract polymer from Kathleen Dustin

How lovely to end the week with Kathleen Dustin’s Layered Fragment brooch. Kathleen explains, almost apologizes, that her focus is changing from narrative and representational to abstract.

“It seems to me that truly abstract work probably most reflects our humanness because it is based on spirit and what we do not see or know. Narrative or representational work is based on what we see and know. It has been a true challenge for me to make work not based on what I see or know,” she says.

Though her focus may change, her reliance on ways of translucent layering that she developed remains. Breath-taking washes of color pull you in as scribbles of metal float in and out of the frame. This new direction forces other changes and she asks for your suggestions here.

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  • reply Melanie Muir ,

    Kathleen writes that her abstracts may not be as popular as her organically inspired work, but I love the painterly, almost “Turneresque” qualities of her new work. If you take a look at the necklace on her blog, it completely embodies that often over used phrase, “art to wear”. Kathleen is one of the greatest originators in our medium.

    • reply Nevenka Sabo ,

      Love Kathleen’s new pieces.

      • reply Liz Hall ,

        I love all her work and was fortunate enough to go to the ACC show in Feb and see some of these amazing works. The abstract pieces fascinated me and I love how the lines/designs escape off of the main focal piece, truly wearable “art” !

        • reply donna Greenberg ,

          Working outside our comfort zone, breaking out of the box. which Kathleen literally does on this brooch are some of the hallmarks of what it takes to elevate any medium into a higher art. We have learned to expect no less from this forward thinking and groundbreaking artist.

          • reply Selma ,

            Looks like modern art painting! Wondreful!

            • reply Barbara Briggs ,

              Everything Kathleen does is absolutely wonderful!

              • reply Carole M ,

                Great to see your new work!
                I have connected with you since your blog on 2010 where you quoted
                Malcolm Gladwell
                In Creative Success and Late Bloomers
                I love Gladwell
                and I did not start working in clay till my singing career was taken from me and I was in my 40 s

                • reply Sabine Spiesser ,

                  Kathleen’s new work is always like a breath of fresh air to me. I admire her ability to take her technique and style to a new level – dropping the need to represent something we can recognise in her latest work. I am intrigued how well the abstract work blends in with her more organic pieces and do not feel it requires a new theme, blog or website. Her more organic works are quite abstract in many ways. I love the new interplay of colours and mixed media. I am in awe of Kathleen’s love of sandpaper – I have never embraced it. Her calligraphy may have changed, but one can see the evolution. I would love to see a lot more of her work, maybe also on a larger surface.
                  My head is always spinning between ideas and what’s practical, between what others may be able to relate to and what I would like to express. I feel Kathleen has truly mastered the transition and congratulate her on persevering with the internal battle.

                  • reply ladee ,

                    I absolutely love this… it resonated with me immediately, what I saw…. the dark X, my son recently in a bad auto accident, the colors are of hope and healing days ahead, the metal anchoring me to earth as also to my Higher Power above…. abstract always speaks to me and makes me feel…. great work…. thank you for sharing…

                    • reply Denise ,

                      I just love Kathleen’s new work. I love the wire being an extension of the design on this piece. I keep going back and looking at them again and again.

                      • reply genevieve ,

                        I saw some of these new pieces at the ACC show in Baltimore. Fantastic!

                        • reply Kay Olson ,

                          Kathleen, Your abstract brooch is the type of art I take pictures of in office waiting rooms, and other places for inspiration. Every time I see something unique I think to myself can I replicate this in Polymer.

                          • reply Jill Palumbo ,

                            Thank you so much for sharing this lovely piece of art on PCD. I find it difficult to close my mouth and move on with my daily activities. What a rare and inspiring piece!

                            • reply Kathleen Mand Beck ,

                              I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Kathleen and many
                              great polymer artist at RAM – Racine, WI last year. Her work is
                              amazing and truly an inspiration. Any chance you would teach
                              at the Bead N Button show in Milwaukee ..June 2013?

                              • reply Meetup in Olde City: Kathleen Dustin, Artistic Development, and the Clowns of Murano | Ornamento ,

                                […] there is always a new aspect to it that pushes her body of work to a different level.  Read this Polymer Clay Daily post on the changing focus of her work from representational to abstract.  Then check out these […]

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