Micro mosaic stories

Toops micromosaics on PolymerClayDaily

Though San Francisco’s Velvet da Vinci Gallery has closed after 26 years, the gallery maintains an online presence. Cynthia Toops was an early name on the gallery’s list of artists.

Toops micromosaics on PolymerClayDaily.com

Her polymer micro mosaics still pop up on Velvet da Vinci and on Seattle’s Facere Gallery. This Turtle micro mosaic pendant recently appeared on Velvet da Vinci’s Instagram.

The Divine Archer whose theme is based an an ancient Chinese myth appears on Facere’s recent post.

It’s difficult to show you how exquisitely minuscule her threads of polymer really are. Cynthia bakes the hair-thin strands of polymer before cutting and embedding them in the base layer. Click on the images to see details and remember that the brooch is only 2 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ and the pendant is similarly sized.

“My work, especially the micromosaics, is technically simple but very labor-intensive,” she admits. She succeeds at telling very big stories in exceptionally small spaces.

Hope hidden in a bottle

Look closely and you’ll see that the flowers on Marji Purcell’s 2″ tall potted plants are actually stoppers for Bottles of Hope.

These recycled glass medicine vials are covered with polymer and filled with good wishes and hope for health. They are distributed to cancer patients.

Cancer survivor and polymer artist Diane Gregoire began the project in 1999 in Rhode Island. The concept has spread internationally and many guilds and organizations contribute their time and art to this project.

Competition for cool BOH designs like Marji’s makes this a popular guild project. It gives you a great reason to clay with friends, learn a few tricks and spread hope at the same time.

Spinning polymer

Anderson's yo-yo on PolymerClayDaily.com

Did you read Ron Lehocky’s story about Bali’s Jon Anderson in this summer edition of The Polymer Arts magazine? The two artists have developed a long-distance friendship. Jon regularly sends Ron canes to be made into hearts for the Kids Project.

Jon enjoys contributing to the project and seeing how Ron reinterprets his ideas into something very different.

The polymer yo-yo pictured here was tucked into this month’s box of goodies from Bali. Ron says it spins perfectly. Cool, eh?

Does Jon’s toy start your brain spinning? Google How to make a yo-yo and you’ll find lots of video tutorials that can be easily adapted to polymer.

Painting brightly at night

Yitzhaki paints brightly at night on PolymerClayDaily.com

My nightly meander led me to another polymer painting, this one from Israel’s Yehudit Yitzhaki.

She has 10 grandchildren and was an arts teacher as you might have guessed from her playful and exuberant  style. Layers of patterns are topped with slices of canes that form outsized flowers and butterflies in a bustling hilly village.

Busy with her family and cooking during the day, Yehudit spends nights with her art. Sample more of it on Flickr.

Petal power

Carman's painting on PolymerClayDaily.com

It takes quite a stash of small colorful petal canes to create a bouquet like this polymer-on-wood painting by Forida’s Pamela Carman.

She’s textured the background on a 12″ x 12″ panel. The wallpaper and the red tablecloth plus the retro vase give the composition a feeling of depth and cohesion. See more of her petal power on Flickr, Facebook and Instagram.

Does Pamela’s piece make you want to create your own polymer painting? Sometimes jealousy is a good motivator.

Bead and Button winners

McGuire bead and button winner on PolymerClayDaily.com

Thanks to Julie Picarello who sent us these photos of the 2017 Bead Dreams winners in the polymer category.

First place went to Barbara McGuire’s Seeing Through Now necklace. The feather-textured teal and pearl collar ends with an etherial portrait. Barbara is a well known longtime polymer artist, author, teacher and supplier.

Kunnanchath's 2017 Bead and Button winner on PolymerClayDaily

The second place winner is California’s Arathy Kunnanchath with her opulent imitative turquoise, coral and amber multi-strand necklace from her Alchemist Collection.

Turquoise and silver pieces center the necklace yet the design is appealingly asymmetric.

Julie was particularly pleased to take these photos since Arathy is a member of her Clayville guild. Says Julie, “Arathy has just started working with polymer and is amazing.  Two little kids at home, gets up at 4:30a.m. to get in clay time before they get up. Yowzer!”

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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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