Patriotic polymer

Venus De Chela's earrings send a strong message and funds to Cuba on PolymerClayDaily.com

Miami’s Venus De Chela usually takes her inspiration from paintings – Monet’s waterlilies or  Picasso’s women. Her latest collection, a mosaic of the Cuban flag, is closer to this Cuban-born artist’s heart.

“VIVA CUBA LIBRE Y VIVA,” she says as she raises money for her homeland. Her polymer earrings send a strong message.

How do you like your mokume gane?

Julie Picarello reveals her mokume gane tricks online on PolymerClayDaily.com

California’s Julie Picarello is famous for her mokume gane in soothing mellow palettes. She haunts hardware stores for obscure metal tools and gizmos repurposed to make surprisingly pleasant abstract paintings in clay.

How do you like your mokume gane? Scratched, half-toned, custom cut, reversed, quilted, landscaped? 

The organizers of the August 7-8 weekend online event decided to take a deep dive into a single technique. From its Japanese roots in metal to today’s homegrown varieties.

Shaving slivers off a Mokume Gane block reveals layers of unpredictable and fascinating beauty and a world of endless possibility. How do they do that?

This is the last week to sign up for a look at Mokume Gane approaches from seven polymer experts. 

FOLLOW FRIDAY: The gathering

Kathleen Anderson educates the Gathering on PolymerClayDaily.com

We’ve been flying under the radar for a year and now we’re ready to be seen. Fourteen polymer artists, 7 black and 7 white have been meeting every other week on Zoom since July 2020 when I interviewed Debbie Jackson.

Are the conversations comfortable? No. Interesting? Yes. Tears? When we can’t hold back. Anger? Uh-huh. “I can’t stand this!”…from time to time.

We continue to learn about ourselves and about the racial ideas that are baked into us and into the polymer community. We are changing.

Kathleen Dustin committed us to an exhibit in New Hampshire this fall. Joey Barnes brought her blog out of hiatus.

We’ve just come out on social media (our links may be wonky). No guarantees, no promises but a whole lot of learning going on. Follow us. (I plan to use this powerful image of Kathleen Anderson in my work for the exhibit in October.)


Want to dig deeper? Come on over to StudioMojo for more dips into what lies ahead. The Saturday morning overview might not be comfortable, but it will tickle your brain. 

Working outdoors

These visitors are welcome in Gael Keyes' garage studio on PolymerClayDaily.com

New Mexico’s Gael Keyes works with the garage door open. It’s no wonder that she is visited by bugs.

She gently returns her inspirations back outside as she makes her own fantastical versions from leftover patterns and bits of shimmer. They’re delightful and harmless.

 

FRIDAY FOLLOW- Athena Barda

Athena Barda follows her bliss with polymer on PolymerClayDaily.com

Greece’s Athena Barda (manusinmano_jewelry) is all over the map…and I’m liking that. Follow her and hang on. She’s philosophical and hangs out with the Euro set. If you want to feel like you’re traveling somewhere exotic, scan her latest to catch the colors and the vibe.

 Athena Barda follows her bliss with polymer on PolymerClayDaily.com

Check out her vessels here or her sizzling colors. She’s worked at polymer for years and she never seems to tire of trying new things. She’s obviously having fun.

If fun is your pursuit and you want to up your game, try the Saturday StudioMojo where we suss out the passionate polymer explorers and innovators. “I’ll have what she’s having,” we tell ourselves.

Squiggly tubes

Isis Blackstock makes modern squiggles in polymer on PolymerClayDaily.com

Isis Blackstock(littlepiecesjewelry) made me explore further.

It seems counter-intuitive that you can bend an extruded tube and still maintain the hole. The joys of polymer!

I’m remembering earlier variations on the idea from Lindly Haunani, Ford/Forlano, and Pier Voulkas. Oh, that takes me back.

Isis explores this concept, applying it to a wide range of bangles and necklaces.

She offers them in monochrome colors but what if you covered the tube with pattern? I’m talking to myself here. I really must try this.

Our polymer sisters


Pramila and Sharmila have tested positive at Samunnat Nepal on PolymerClayDaily.com

Pramila and Sharmila are the “eyes” behind the polymer beads in this promo shot. They were two of the early artists in the Samunnat Nepal project begun 14 years ago and supported by polymer artists around the world. Both women have tested positive.

Without vaccines and good healthcare, the country is ravaged by COVID. So far Pramila and Sharmila have not required hospitalization but the situation is perilous for all the women.

While we slowly and happily return to normal, consider those in countries where the prospect of normal is a long way off. Keep these polymer sisters in your thoughts and prayers.

To donate, scroll to the bottom of their page to an easy PayPal donate button. Follow their progress on Instagram.


A late report from Wendy Moore: Sharmila seems to be recovering but Pramila is still getting very bad headaches.

It costs NRS 1000 ($8.39) to get tested and so Samunnat is paying for all the close contacts to get tested. The centre is more than half an hour away so we are paying for transport too. We have closed the studio until we see how things are.

We had been meeting at least weekly with Kathleen (Dustin) and the girls were so positive about this. And as we speak, a parcel of prototypes is heading to her.

FRIDAY FOLLOW – Blossom and Clay

Follow Sally Kirk to see what she'll try next on PolymerClayDaily.com

Houston’s Sally Kirk (BlossomandClay) has whizzed through polymer techniques in her first year. She brings a keen eye and a steady hand to each method.

Here Sally tops alcohol inks on polymer with resin. She has a love/hate relationship with the inks that can mix brilliantly or badly without warning.

Follow her to see how this musician/teacher/gardener lets her skills and sensitivities play in polymer.

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