Micro mosaics

I wandered into Kate McKinnon’s site, intrigued by the ring mounts she offers. Kate works primarily in metal and glass but I detected a polymer sensibility. I kept sleuthing and stumbled onto her journal where I came across two Cynthia Toops’ pieces…aha! My sense was right. The top one she called "Moss" and the bottom one, "Conversation".

I’m only disappointed that I don’t know the exact size of these pieces. I’ve seen Toops’ work in several galleries and the incredible detail of her micro-mosaics doesn’t come across as well in photos. Still they’re fun to look at and Kate’s site is fun to browse.

Trends

Even the Columbus paper proclaimed chunky jewelry a fashion trend for 2006. Let’s hear it for polymer beads which, often as not, fall into the chunky category.

"Say hello to big hair, big shades and big jewelry in ’06." says the Dispatch. "It’s very much a ‘world story’ in accessories for ’06 with a lot of ethnic influences: African tribal with wooden beads and bangles in neutral colors. The Russian influence in a lot of accessories this season will transition into more of a Turkish and Mediterranean look of embellishments. There’s also a nautical influence with seashells. Overall, everything (handbags, jewelry, belts, etc.) is very handcrafted-looking with a lot of texture."

Check out the trendy look (pictured above) on Emma Ralph’s site in the UK. The bracelet is by Jean Yates (at the bottom of her online store).

And this from BusinessWire – Artisanal is the New Product Adjective — This is a correlating trend to the food focus and this year artisanal will go way beyond a descriptor for just cheese made by monks using milk from nomadic yaks. We will see it attached to coffee and chocolate as well as non food products. There are already artisanal knives, jewelry and home accessories in catalogs and stores. I am sure there is a small band of workers in New Jersey right now hand making something that will be in the stores next month labeled artisanal. By the way, artisanal means made by an artisan aka a skilled worker.

Lost Wax


Here’s a trick that’s new to me. Desiree McCory explains her neat bead-in-bead process. I’ve always avoided this process because it sounded too complicated. Wrapping the first bead in wax sounds doable as her tutorial explains it…and her tutorials are all well-written. Let me know if you’ve had success.

Smaller Portions

I suppose you can guess why I’m looking at miniature food today. My meal portions need to be resized more in line with these miniature versions by Angie Scarr. It’s post-holidays and I’m trying to shrink my appetite and scale down.

Miniatures are where I started in polymer…furnishing a dollhouse with my daughter. It seemed that Fimo should have other applications and when I saw CityZenClay’s pins in the Museum of Modern Art’s shop, I caught a glimmer of the possibilities.

That was nearly 15 years ago and I still have a soft spot for miniatures. Angie has some clever tutorials on her site. The sweet corn is particularly good…and not too filling.

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Homegrown

Charles Mayer is a homegrown Ohio legend from Sandusky, Ohio. There’s not much of his work online but what’s there will give you an idea of his talent and his attention to detail. His filigree work is phenomenal.

The piece pictured here is a two-sided puzzle with filigree, photo transfer and stamped areas. Take a look at the Ohio Lakeshore Polymer Clay Guild’s page of Charles’ work.

A retired art teacher, Charles’ has a distinguished history of support for Ohio arts and artists.

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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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