Winners

The winners in the Bead and Button "Bead Dreams" competition, polymer clay category have just been announced. Looks like you can't view the winners on the Bead and Button site until next week but here they. Congratulations to all.

It's grand to be getting so many comments from abroad. I've been using Alta Vista Babelfish for translations which are often quite quirky. You get the gist of the comments and have to guess at the entire meaning. Linda Crocco wrote to suggest dictionary.com as a better alternative.

I may be able to hear you better in any language after yesterday's surgery on my ear. All went well and I'm rather proud of my temporary Van Gogh look. Finally, I'm a real artist! Have a great weekend.

Dalliance

Talking about France yesterday got me in a traveling mood so I took a mini-vacation to France via the web. Madeleine Songe's site shows her polymer jewelry that reflects the romantic abandon that I enjoy in French designs.

Following Madeleine's links (liens) feels like a trip down a quaint back alley. The links take you to her community of friends.

I'm a bit anxious today and this was the perfect dalliance…a look at the larger world to make me look beyond my small one.

Teamwork

Sarajane Helm and Judith Skinner put out the word that they needed quilt canes for their upcoming book, "Adapting Quilt Patterns to Polymer Clay".

To illustrate the book they were were building a miniature quilt store to be stocked with polymer quilt fabrics. Among those who responded to the call for help were the artists at the national guild retreat at Shrine Mont who sent well over a hundred "bolts". Nice teamwork!

If you scroll down Sarajane's page you can watch the shop fill up with fabrics. The book is due out this fall.

 

Back and Front

I love it when polymer clay pieces are as interesting on the back as they are on the front and these new pieces from Judy Belcher don't disappoint. Hollie Mion brought these gems and lots of pictures home from the national Shrine Mont conference.

Judy doesn't have a web page so I've put a few pictures on a temporary page for her. She says she's working on a new book with Ranger Industries that features projects using their inks and embossing powders with polymer. It'll be out in July.

Trade Beads

These faux African trade beads by Debbie Jackson are the best I've seen. And they're right in my backyard!

Debbie's a local (Columbus, Ohio) artist who recently created a web page to show some of her ethnic flavored pieces and her book.

I hadn't seen Debbie's page until Robin Johnston from Texas alerted me. Debbie is particularly adept at integrating cowry shells and other natural objects into her pieces.

Bead Dreams

"People's Choice" voting has begun on the Bead Dreams competition held in conjunction with the Bead and Button Conference next week. This work by Karen Swiech is entry 21 in the polymer section. I used this picture to see if anyone can tell me more about Karen Swiech. Anyone?

Winners will be announced during the conference. Thanks to Ronna Weltman for the heads-up.

Dancing Polymer


Loretta Lam led me to Margaret Polcawich and her fine wood and polymer furniture. See what lovely things this young artist has developed. They put me in mind of Bonnie Bishoff and Pier Voulkas and Daniel Peters and Dan Cormier and others.

That put me in the way-back machine and I just had to look again at Pier's early works which started so many of our current trends.

The night shift googling monkeys found Pier's name currently in lights at the Allegro Ballroom where she and husband Dan performed recently as a professional Argentine tango duo. Pier and Dan had begun their careers as professional modern dancers some years back. After a stunning foray into professional polymer, it looks as if they've returned to their dancing roots, performing and instructing all over.

I hope I haven't lost you in my meandering. It just confirms the notion that we are all connected and that we often stand on the shoulders of other artists…which must make dancing more difficult (grin).

Grins

Feeling a little prickly this Tuesday morning? These puppettinis from Monza, Italy are just the thing to make you grin. There's not much info on the artist. The little creatures are for sale and can be made into earrings. A look at the artist's calendar reveals a whole host of neatly done characters.

They serve as young and silly reminders that there's a big world out there that finds amusing things to do with polymer clay. Smile, and start your Tuesday out right. This tip came from Marcia Rocha, a kindred spirit of Puppettini's.

Best of Show

Sweet! Laura Balombini's polymer art took "best of show" in our big summer arts festival. Laura was modestly explaining to me her very zen-like response to those who copy her work when the prize police came up with a ribbon and $2,000. Karma? Or the just reward for really fine work?

Amist all the potters, painters and jewelers, it's nice to see one of our fellow polymer artists receive this outstanding recognition.

Laura says she freshens her web site with new photos after every major show so visit frequently.

And speaking of the ethics of copying, have you read about Dale Chihuly's  hard-edged legal fight in federal court over the distinctiveness of his creations and, more fundamentally, who owns artistic expression in the glass art world. It'll be an interesting story to follow.

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