Contrarian polymer

Lela Todua's bright mixes tell a story on PolymerClayDaily

The slicker and more commercial the holiday frenzy gets, the more I appreciate roughly handmade, Bohemian, tribal, rustic, gypsy, hippie, ethnic designs like this pendant from Ukraine’s Lela Todua (Leland Jewelry).

Lela’s techniques and patterns follow her own whims. She pulls the mix of various textures together with color themes and accents of paint.

I realize that PCD featured Lela’s butterflies just recently. Once my eye locks onto a vibe, I find myself visiting and revisiting a collection to soak it up. Lela builds compelling stories as she picks and chooses an assortment of related components.

Follow her story on Etsy and Instagram.

Polymer in DC

Jackson on

We can all get up and do a little happy dance that polymer clay is making its appearance in the National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington D.C. thanks to the work of Ohio’s Debbie Jackson.

Jackson on

She will be offering two series of designs for sale in the museum shop. Debbie’s indigo line shown here combines polymer clay, indigo fabric, African brass, metallic foils and raffia into a powerful group of shield shaped pieces.

See the rest of her designs on Facebook.

Debbie is also working with DC sculptor Woodrow Nash to produce beads and pieces that will embellish his dramatic figures.

It’s been a banner year for Debbie full of paperwork and negotiation and waiting. Debbie has long been known as a talented and persistent artist and teacher here in our home town and we’re very proud of her. She shows us all how hard work pays off.

Grab a rope

Todua on PCDaily

These bracelets from Ukraine’s Lela Todua (Leland) have an urban tribal vibe.

Big hole tube beads strung on thick rope or multi-strand cording make them a favorite for both men and women.

Todua on PCDaily

The beads are polymer stamped with ethnic patterns or graffiti art highlighted with paints.

Catch up with Lela’s rough and ready look on her Etsy store and on Facebook.

Rough treatment for polymer

Sypkova on PCDaily

Olga Sypkova from Kemerovo, Russia plays rough with her African Ethnic beads.

What starts out as cane slices simply applied to clay bases becomes much more interesting once she draws a few lines with circles, scrapes some lines and scratches the surface with sandpaper.

A coat of light acrylic paint accentuates the marks. The rough treatmentt gives an ordinary polymer bead a tribal look with a mysterious past. The beads must have been worn and treasured.

Olga offers you a step-by-step free tutorial. See more of her work on this Russian site (use your translator).



Artfair polymer finds

Lori Wilkes’ was one of six polymer booths at the local show and I spotted this new necklace. The beads looked African to me but she swears that she was following an Italian influence. Either way, kewl. She revealed that tool used to distress these beads is a fine wire dog brush.

Lori has a book coming out in October that may satisfy readers who complain about how artists getting started in polymer can be deluged with confusing and conflicting information. Lori’s book, The Absolute Beginners Guide: Working With Polymer Clay, is from Kalmbach Books and it’s available for pre-order on Amazon. Sample a few pages here.

Spotting polymer at artfairs is one of my favorite games. The others I found yesterday were Kim Arden, Valerie Wright, Annabelle Fisher, Greg and BJ Jordan, and River Wolfe. Hope I didn’t miss any.

Polymer with an African aesthetic

See new work from Ohio’s Debbie Jackson on Facebook and on her Black Art in America page. She’s off to LA to sell these new works at the Pan African Film Festival.

A trip to Ghana injected Debbie’s work with renewed ethnic vibrancy and she mixes polymer with treasures she brought back with her. Her artistic aesthetic is rooted in Africa.

This new necklace includes polymer focal bead with eggshell mosaic, stick coral and African brass beads.

Debbie’s a vital part of our local Creative Women of Color collective that provides a creative connection with the community. Thanks to Jeanne Dumond for the link!

Party Time

Tonight at 8:30 ET at Craftcast. Join us for a free event all about tools.

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  • I'm Cynthia Tinapple, an artist, curator, and leader in the polymer clay community for over 20 years.

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