The allure of layered translucent clays

Lisa Gauthier looks into translucent possibilities on PolymerClayDaily

These samples come from Connecticut’s Lisa Gauthier, a student in Marie Segal’s Cernit Translucent 2017 class. Glass-like layers that reveal more color below remind us of the possibilities of the clay and may make you want to try your hand at it.

The flower and butterfly cane slices appliqued on came from another student, Seana Bettencourt.

Study these and other samples from Lisa on Facebook. “Thanks to Marie Segal and Cernit I can create colorful, bright things in these cold dark winter days,” says Lisa.

Secrets from the hardware store

Julie Picarello's secrets come from the hardware store on PolymerClayDaily.com

California’s Julie Picarello has a new batch of focals ready for the annual Tucson bead show next week. She’ll be buying, selling, and teaching her new Lunar Feather Beads.

She prowls through hardware stores and walks the long aisles of the big box stores looking for pieces she can stamp into or otherwise incorporate into her mokume gane designs.

In her Tucson classes, students will learn how to use new tools she appropriated from the HVAC department!

In the group pictured here, Julie gives a nod to textiles but look closely and you’ll see washers and traces of metal. This new series is done in her signature color palettes and sprinkled with painted and torched do-dads. She’s on Facebook here.

Expanding within limits

Angela Schwer expands within limits on PolymerClayDaily.com

California’s Angela Schwer (DillyPad) has become known for her white-on-white flower and succulent polymer wall art. She sells her polymer wall tiles in sets or individually in a range of sizes.

Just think about it. All those decisions about color? Gone! You can see that Angela’s energy is redirected into dense, deep design as she layers as many hand-formed shapes as artfully possible into whatever space is allowed. See more of what happens within limits on Facebook and Instagram.

The idea of limiting your options as a way of diving deeper into your art is the kind of concept we explore every weekend on StudioMojo. It’s our weekly sandbox where we ask, “What if?” and marvel at the treasures we’ve dug up during the week. Join us!

Tactile textures

Olga Ledneva's textures and enamels provide a tactile experience on PolymerClayDaily.com

Russia’s Olga Ledneva used Cernit clay and low-tire enamels on this pendant that mixes textures and colors in ways that invite the wearer to fondle the corrugated background and bargello center stripe.

Low fire enamel powders leave a slick and shiny surface. The metal bail and leather cord add to the tactile options. Olga likes to engage the wearer with her pieces. See how she does this on Flickr and Instagram.

Pieced polymer

Pieced polymer quilt from Kathy Koontz on PolymerClayDaily.com

South Carolina’s Kathy Koontz (flowertown_originals) found that polymer was a great way to translate her affinity for embroidery into another art form.

It’s very soothing to zoom in and examine the complex canes and textures that she assembles into quilt squares. The outline of extruded blue thread makes a perfect border and contains the designs.

“I love it when people say, “Just looking at your work makes me happy,” Kathy admits. “I couldn’t think of a better compliment.” She’s on Instagram here. And the biggest stash of her current work is on Facebook.

Illusory polymer

Lizzi Holt practices magic learned from Melanie West on PolymerClayDaily

You might swear that these canes by the UK’s Lizzi Holt (BizziZizzi) have concave centers. When you finally agree that they don’t it may take you some time to figure out the cane’s optical illusion.

Lizzi is drawn to mysterious spiral forms that pull you into their orbit. See her Peace Pebbles and watch her ride the peace wave. Follow her on Instagram to see where she takes these tricky canes.

If you guessed that Lizzi was inspired by a class with Melanie West, you’d be right. She’s been dreaming up new patterns ever since a British Polymer Clay Guild class with Melanie in London last fall.

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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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