Florida’s Debo Groover is a failed bead maker. She couldn’t figure out how to use polymer so she devised her own methods as this large Dog Park painting shows.
She says that, “A few thousand bars of polymer clay and eight pasta machines later, I use the clay like a piece of fabric or paper. I mix the colors and make the patterns. I cut and glue it. I scrape and scratch it. I treat it like it was real clay and end up with surfaces I couldn’t possibly achieve with just a paintbrush. I try to capture the joy that is in my life and I tell my silly stories.”
Debo had a very successful ceramic career, traveling and teaching all over the world, but in 2000 her home and studio burned to the ground. Heartbroken, she stopped doing art, and instead renovated houses and worked as a nurse.
Then four years ago she started playing around with polymer clay. She’s self-taught and knows that her methods are unorthodox. People often think her large paintings are fabric or wood or linoleum.
You can read her story in the Fort Myers paper this week as she and her partner Tina begin the art festival season. Tina makes the smaller pieces and keeps things organized and on track. Follow their uninhibited and colorful works on the web site, on Facebook and on Pinterest.
Angela Barenholtz brings us another scrap trick in her newest woven fabric tutorial. If you’re a textile lover who has some patience with geometry and a pile of clay that needs rejuvenating, you may have found your answer.
The strips of pattern can be joined to make flat veneers as on the Hamsa below (it’s a symbol of protection). Or the thinner individual strips can be joined end to end and wrapped around base beads as shown at the left.
This technique may reduce your guilt about that abandoned project or those long ignored canes. Angela is a whiz at replicating the look of fabric and her tweed tutorial is still one of my very favorites.
Her series of cuts and stacks can be confusing. I know because I don’t follow instructions particularly well myself. But if you follow the pictures you’ll soon catch the logic and start cutting and stacking every scrap in sight. (That’s what I’ve been doing for days.)
Angela’s from Israel and it can take a few hours for her to send you the download link. See more of her samples on Flickr and in her Etsy shop.