All the store merchandise tells us that we’re approaching Valentine’s Day. If you’re in the mood to get your valentines ready, here’s a simple heart from Diane Villano. You can even find a “how-to” on the Polymer Cafe site. Sometimes simple is best.
Leslie Blackford’s creatures light up a room….really. (You should see the Vegas Rabbit at the left light up. The pig is a light too.)
I intended to keep this bunny under wraps until Easter but I just couldn’t bear to withhold it. Her flying pigs, cats, birds, and all manner of Kentucky wildlife come alive in the silliest and most delightful ways.
It’s a treat to watch Leslie effortlessly turn a lump of clay into a fox and dress him in a polymer Elvis outfit or lean over her shoulder as she adds wings and a fez to a pig. I have one of these lamps in a bathroom and I smile every time I see it. That’s what polymer art is about.
Her web site is a little difficult to navigate but be patient and you’ll be rewarded.
We see the world in fundamentally different ways. And isn’t that grand? It tickles me to step inside someone else’s head. Leslie Blackford led me to Kevin Buntin’s world which is inhabited by all types of strange and wonderful characters.
Leslie and Kevin and Maureen and their kindred spirits introduce us to stories that we’d never otherwise experience.
Polymer clay comes alive in strange and new ways in their hands.
In the Guild.com site I found only one piece of polymer, this "O’Keeffe Pin" by Ford and Forlano. These two artists, the text says, "…primarily make one-of-a-kind jewelry, passing pieces back and forth between themselves at different stages in the creative process. With the introduction of precious materials such as sterling silver, gold, and pearls, their work is as bold and expressive as ever. Part of their goal is to transform an inorganic, man-made material into something that looks as if it was found on the beach, or growing in the woods."
A clue from Kathy Weaver of the Sandusky, Ohio guild led me to the site of Sharon MacLeod in Washington. Kathy had just googled around and found this artist who is new to me. I’m itching to know more.
Sharon MacLeod says of her work, "I use digitally printed paper, polymer clay, and tubing to create affordable, lightweight, one of a kind and limited production jewelry. Looking at a finished piece, the nature of the work is not obvious, and I am often asked, "What is this made of?"
Each piece is made individually and involves many steps: creating original art or altering and enhancing patterns from other sources, printing the paper, making the polymer clay pieces, gluing the paper to the clay and tubing, and assembling the components, incorporating metal elements, glass beads, and other materials. Multiple coats of matte varnish are brushed on to seal the paper surfaces, making the jewelry durable and water resistant."
Sharon worked as a graphic artist before making the transition to full-time professional craftsperson. She returned to designing and making jewelry in 1999 when she discovered the potential of using digital imaging in her jewelry design. She lives in a secluded cabin in the woods of southwest Washington state.
When I pore over sites, looking for something to tantalize you, I wait for that "aha" moment. It’s great to suspend all judgment and simply go on visceral feelings. I’ve learned to trust my gut and it’s often smarter than my head.
These fish by Pat Sernyk of Manitoba triggered an "aha" as I wandered through the Clayamies site and fantasized about the pleasure of working with artist friends in a cabin up in the woods in Canada. These rainbow trout are terrific.