Terrazzo canes

Nikolina Otrzan's tutorial updates the spattered look with a new cane technique

Just as I was admiring the speckled heishi beads in yesterday’s post, Croatia’s Nikolina Otrzan unveiled her new terrazzo cane tutorial for what she calls a Pixie Cane.

Artists from Pier Voulkas to Angela Bahrenholtz to Alice Stroppel and others have come up with methods of making multicolor terrazzos.

Nikolina’s variation is tighter, neater, more intense. I ran to my studio to see if I could do it. My first effort was satisfying even though I was working with too-soft clay. These blocks will make great veneers. Nik is planning another tutorial that will cover projects made using the patterns.

Caners will be pleased to achieve a random pixelated look that goes beyond a surface effect. Yesterday’s spattered beads from Marina Rios were created with what I’m guessing were low-fire enamel powders. You know how it is when you hit upon a method that’s right up your alley? I couldn’t contain my enthusiasm.

Faceted heishes

Chicago’s Marina Rios (fanciful devices) made some very cool heishi beads by covering faceted tubes of polymer with acrylics and enamel paints.

Marina Rios low-fire enamel-painted heishi beads on PolymerClayDaily

“At all hours I find myself crouched over tiny, crusty treasures found in my home country of Uruguay, or in midwestern flea markets, or culled from the brilliant artisans of Etsy” says Marina, “I am madly in love with crafting, altering, assembling little bits of wearable art.”

Look at more of Marina’s rustic, tribal, mixed media assemblages on Instagram.

These beads have already sold on Etsy so we’ll have to make our own versions. I plan to make facets on long extruded tubes, then color them and chunk them up.

Sometimes simple ideas grab me and won’t let go so I post them on PCD as a way to remind myself to try them.

Wooing with whimsy

 Serena Ghidoni's mermaids wrap up whimsy week on PolymerClayDaily.com

Italy’s Serena Ghidoni (Mondoinundito) admits that she loves swimming, photography, and Disney.

You can sense the heart she puts into her small, flowing, translucent mermaid charms. Her style combines Art Nouveau and fantasy with sparkle.

Today’s artists who gravitate to polymer whimsy mind their social media. Serena has nearly 44K followers on Instagram alone and she’s covered all the bases including YouTube. Facebook and Etsy.

The inspirations have ranged from Barbies and Disney to animals and monsters. The power of these handmade whimsies begins in the artist’s experience and travels online to a receptive audience.

Are there significant toys and trinkets in your experience that deserve to be included in your art?

Join Saturday’s StudioMojo group for a deeper dive into polymer ideas and trends. 

The fascination of whimsy

What's the story behind Tina Wu's whimsical sculptures on PolymerClayDaily.com

Does this sculpture from Tina Yu belong in PCD’s whimsy week? “I used to collect Barbies when I was little and growing up I was always fascinated with unique and one-of-a-kind ball jointed dolls,” says Tina.

She is a Chinese-raised New York-based artist/designer who studied graphic design at Pratt Institute. This twenty-something admits that even though she often spends up to nine hours a day working on her sculptures, she doesn’t plan out what she will do beforehand.

Whimsy is defined as extravagant, fanciful, playful, or odd. Her works surely check off those boxes. And she has hundreds of thousands of followers. She’s struck a nerve and amassed an enthusiastic following on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and elsewhere.

How do you explain the fascination of this whimsy?

Whimsy week

Corbitt's pigmy marmoset visits PolymerClayDaily.com during whimsy week

It’s turned into PCD whimsy week and today’s features come from Washington’s Dayna Corbitt (WhimsyCalling). “I’m assuming you love all things fantastical, slightly odd, and melt-your-face-off-cute. I am the same sort,” says Dayna.

Corbitt's baby armadillo visits PolymerClayDaily.com during whimsy week

Here she dreams up a marmoset and a blue baby armadillo. Recently she added albino bats, butterfants, a lotus turtle, a dragon, a sloth with a cactus on its head, and a cute alien.

This kind of creation may not be wandering around in your head (not in mine, for sure) but we sure can admire the fantasy and the skill it takes to bring these creatures to life. See more on Facebook and Etsy.

Kickstarting monsters

Fernihough's friendly monsters funded by Kickstarter on PolymerClayDaily.com

Angela Fernihough of the UK’s Monjoo continues our look at what she calls, lovably ugly pet monsters. Each of the polymer pocket pets has a story.

Angela Fernihough's friendly monsters funded by Kickstarter on PolymerClayDaily.com

When Angela decided to take her monsters on the road she raised the funds for display stands and signage through a modest and successful Kickstarter campaign. Have you considered a funding campaign to reach your goals?

A few days in the studio with grandchildren has heightened my appreciation for lovably ugly creatures like Angela’s.

 

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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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