Rees self portrait

Rees on PCDaily

Utah’s Adam Thomas Rees thinks big. He usually covers large animal sculptures with polymer patterns but this time his subject was himself.

First he painted a self-portrait. Then he decided to continue his self study by converting the painting to a 12.5″ x 10″ cane.

Rees on PCDaily

He chopped the big cane into 20 small (2.5″) square canes to minimize waste and distortion during reduction. The reduced canes were then reassembled into the finished portrait.

The process is fascinating to see (and his web site is under the weather). I’ve repeated his Facebook photos in a special gallery for you non-FB readers.

It’s not just the size and reduction that make us study Adam’s cane. What look like slap-dash layers of unexpected color build into an exciting self portrait.

That should start your wheels turning on a Monday!

Hollywood polymer

Viner on

Mike K. Viner's 10" polymer caricatures are so spot on that they compel you to stop and study them.

Replicating facial features in polymer (no paint) is one talent. Finding a defining gesture takes his portraiture to a higher level. This Russian who lives in Tel Aviv is hard to find online with a slim web site, a few YouTube slideshows and a newish Facebook presence. I keep gravitating back to his page. He'll be worth watching.

Back to school

Susan Lomuto (Daily Art Muse) starts another online web class in September. It's a dynamite course and the students' web sites are testament to Susan's great teaching. Her sliding scale price offer ends July 31.

Polymer that emerges with hope

“I’m loving this new project,” Heather Campbell said in October, “It’s so physical and messy. I guess a darker side of me needs to erupt and show itself before I can move on.”

The December result is Holding It Together, a large polymer and mixed media sculpture with a hopeful, healthy message for the end of our year.

Heather explains that, “Our strength is our ability to sew and hammer and bind, to glue and nail each piece of ourselves together, until the strength of our parts makes us whole again. Holding it together is our challenge, emerging with hope is our goal. We are survivors.”

The scale and power of this piece is remarkable. Watch Heather rip into a mannequin form that serves as the base. Scroll down to watch this big girl take shape.

Heather will teach others how to make a powerful personal portrait of their own at Maureen Carlson’s Center in May.

As a fitting start for the new year, she received word that her rustic, layered polymer necklace has been chosen as a finalist for a Niche Award! Visit the Niche site to see more finalists. Happy 2012 to all of you!

Beat-the-clock polymer

Japanese designers Yuji Kawauchi and Yuri Hamaguchi of Atelier Sango sculpted mini-portraits out of polymer clay (Bend and Bake) at the recent Dwell on Design event in Los Angeles. Twice a day they picked someone from their audience and created a portrait in 30 minutes.

The duo produce figures for claymation videos and presented their work as part of the Yakitate! (fresh baked) show of emerging artists.Watch the video in the right column to see Kawauchi in action.

Can you imagine sculpting a likeness in front of a crowd with the clock ticking? They’re used to working fast since a 30-minute movie requires approximately 21,600 stops to change the figures for the frames.

You can see their animations and more information about them on the DesignBoom site. The link came to us from DailyArtMuse/Susan Lomuto.

Eakes’ extruded mosaic

Julie Eakes combined four pounds of extruded polymer clay into one remarkable 5.5″ by 8″ by 2″ mosaic face cane. Calculating colors and preparing each cane is a painstaking task that took Julie three weeks.

Julie says her inspiration came from those photo mosaics that are made up of other little pictures. She adds that, “My brother worked with Chuck Close years ago and I was lucky enough to meet him then. I have a painting that my brother did of me using dots. I have the picture my brother did (which was inspired by Chuck) so maybe subconsciously I was inspired by Chuck.”

Julie is letting the cane rest while she considers her next step. Should she reduce it? How small should she go? It will be fascinating to watch.

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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.

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