Polymer in the air

Emily Squires Levine's trees go to Washington on PolymerClayDaily.com

Emily Squires Levine’s dense and colorful Magical Copse bowl will be among the artworks for sale at the Smithsonian Craft Show in Washington DC April 26-29.

She joins a select group of polymer artists in this premier crafts show. From over 1000 applicants,120 are chosen to participate. We’ve come a long way from hippie beads to welcomed participants in fine crafts. See more of Emily’s works on Flickr.

At StudioMojo, the weekend behind-the-scenes newsletter, we marvel at where artists are showing and where we may end up next. If your art needs a shot of inspiration and a push toward new possibilities, join us!

Dog bowls

Pearl on PCDaily

Of course you’d guess that Baltimore’s Linda Pearl was a dog lover from her bowls in the swap at the Virginia conference. You might also sense that her background is in pottery. And her shapes and treatments have a distinctly Japanese feel to them.

Pearl on PCDaily

She showed me how she cut a shape and let it slump inside a hemisphere cake bowl creating a graceful shallow dish shape.

Pearl on PCDaily

She transferred her images from toner copies and played with various textures and metallic finishes.

Linda’s Facebook page is pretty sparse and she swears that better online presence is on her to-do list. Click on the images here to see more.

This crop of bowls was a particularly good one and we’ll cover it more completely in Saturday’s StudioMojo.

Wrapped in quilts

tinapple_quilt_bowl_2016

A picture of a worn old quilt caught my eye. The stripes reminded me of men’s pajamas -washed and faded ones. They showed up in this polymer veneer for a maple bowl turned by my husband.

Taking a hint from Emily Squires Levine, I’m starting to make a habit of using my scraps at the end of the day. Of course the carefree scrap vessels often turn out to be my favorites.

Tinapple on PCDaily

You can see a few in-process photos on my Instagram page.

On my desk

There’s nothing like a deadline to focus attention. These 2 1/2″ diameter bowls are for a conference swap this summer. Thirty are required and the idea of making 30 of anything is daunting to those of us who happily flit from project to project.

By limiting myself to translucent shibori-like blues, I’m concentrating on patterns and shapes. Right now, they’re perched (not glued) on their bases for easy packaging and transporting. I’ll attach the mix-and-match bottoms on site.

These little delights feed my enthusiasm for small decorative items. With their varying pedestal heights and shapes, they create an intriguing grouping.

Repeating a new technique or design 30 times can be very instructive and before you know it, you have a body of work that veers off in a new direction.

You can see how I’ve been mulling over bowls for a while on my Pinterest board.

If you’re interested in learning more about adding touches of personal style to your home join my class at Maureen Carlson’s at the end of July. Have a super weekend!

Before and after polymer

Levine on PCDaily

Pennsylvania’s Emily Squires Levine used her Artchain Challenge to show us these Then & Now works. Inspired by Karin Noyes’ polymer bowls, Emily formed her first version in the mid-1990’s around a custard dish. It drooped when she removed the warm clay from the form but she was undeterred.

Fast forward to this fall and you’ll see how far Emily has come. In fall 2014 she created a flower pot of wavy tendrils in muted greens and metallic golds, part of her Sargassum series that appeared in the Racine Art Museum exhibit.

Levine on PCDaily

Emily’s bowls, eggs and tiles depend on her own strong color palette and exploit the negaitve spaces between elements.

Browsing through her galleries of bowls and polymer/resin tiles on her site and photos on Facebook and Flickr may set you off on your own journey of exploration.

Be sure to keep a photo of your first efforts!

Coaxing polymer to leather

Richardson on PCDaily

Cincinnati’s Kathy Richardson likes to coax polymer to look like whatever she fancies.

Here she fancies rugged leather and turquoise vessels. She takes 3 1/2″ glass jars and covers them with rough-edged slabs of leathery polymer. She weaves a collar from strips and adds a real turquoise nuggets in chunky bezels.

Kathy takes a welcome departure from the cane slice covered approach to vessels. See more on Flickr, Etsy and her OutofTimeDesigns blog.

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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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