Monster Minis

Sarajane Helm organizes monster swaps of miniature masks. The one she’s just sorting and mailing exchanged the works of 100 artists. Every participating artist makes ten masks which must each fit inside a three inch by three inch square. Other details are left up to the individual artist.

The designs of the masks are wild and varied (the ones here are from Valerie Aharoni). Even more amazing is the organizing and packaging that Sarajane has mastered to make these events happen.

The masks from swaps in 2001-2006 will be featured in her upcoming book “The Art Of Polymer Clay Masks” due out in Fall 2007. Melanie West has some of her swap contributions posted on her site too.

More Pots

More Canadian teapots! These are from from Gera Scott Chandler’s updated site which sports lots of new work. I like the way that the glass base of these teapots is not completely covered with polymer clay.

Each of Gera’s creations are a celebration of the beauty, color and texture of the natural west coast environment. She’s teaching a 2-day Secretive Woman workshop in April if you’re in the Victoria area.

Shum Monday

Wanda Shum’s quirky polymer clay teapots are migrating across Canada in the country’s "By Hand" shows (and she’ll be moving from Winnipeg to Victoria this year). Wanda says of this teapot, "This piece also has a mixture of texture sheet mokume gane techniques, carved and inlaid work. It took around six bakings to complete it and wet sanded to a satinlike finish."

Her Flickr site has great pictures of other works including beautifully patterned bugs and dragonflies. On Wanda’s blog she shares the trials and tribulations of her works in progress. A colorful start for your week.

Bad Hair Day

It’s Friday and I’m frazzled. Reminds me of these "good hair/bad hair" earrings I made some years ago.

Just for fun, I’ll hit the bookstore this weekend. I understand that Pat Bolgar has an article in Belle Armoire Jewelry, Volume 2 and LuAnn Udel is quoted in More magazine’s March article, "The Mentor’s Manual." I know there are other polymer clay articles popping up on the newsstands too. Have a refreshing, replenishing weekend.

Discovery

Yesterday we happened upon an Australian artist. Today I discovered Jules Knowlton who lives a few blocks from me in Worthington, Ohio.

Knowlton’s polymer clay works have a very thick, painterly, appearance. In doing a little further research I found her referenced on a French blog which talked about the materials she uses – paints, polymer clay, resins and foams. I must get some better pictures of these intriguing works.

Australian Coast

Robyn Gordon’s vibrant polymer clay works depict forms in the Australian coastal and marine habitat. Her works are widely collected and shown. She says of her work:

My jewellery works often have elements of fantasy and the unexpected – bold additions to the body, an outward expression of the personality of the wearer. I like my works to sit well on the body, to be comfortable, to elicit responses from the viewer/observer – the walls of the body become a walking gallery.

The work on Gordon’s site spans 25 years and will take you some time to read through. I’m surprised that it’s taken us so long to discover this prolific artist. The link came to us via a French connection, Catherine Verdière. Thanks!

Liberating color

Imagine 250,000 polymer clay beads rolling down the streets of San Francisco. In this Sony video they’re actually colorful super bounce balls. The images are so fanciful and liberating that they had to be shared. You may have seen the ad during the Super Bowl but it’s worth a second look.

And on a more serious note, two reminders from the National Guild.

First, they’re rebuilding their web site and would appreciate having lots of pictures of members’ work. If you’re willing to share pictures from your web site, drop the webmaster an email giving her (Barbara Forbes-Lyons) your permission. Or if you have digital pictures that aren’t already online, send them along.

Second, the Progress and Possibilities 2007 entries deadline is creeping up on us. April 1 will be here before you know it. Diane Villano is waiting for your paperwork.

Transcending

Snooping around in Paula Pindroh’s portfolio and her home site is like returning to childhood. Her polymer clay illustrations are playful and open.

Paula’s blog shows her latest work, including a peek at her preliminary sketches. She also writes about her other pasttimes…one as a parttime cookie decorator for a Cleveland caterer.

Paula’s skill translates perfectly into edible delights. The cookies are works of art. Scroll way down her blog page to see them all. Whether it’s illustrations in clay or cookies in sugar, this artist’s vision transcends her materials.

Blackburn Book

If you need a "hit" of polymer clay inspiration, you’ll want to take a look at this new book from England’s Carol Blackburn. She has a way of taking standard techniques and enlivening them with her own vision. I’m a big fan of her backfilling tips.

The book is a colorful treat that’s laid out in a way that makes every step obvious and clear. True to its title, the book focuses more on beadmaking than on the construction of finished pieces. This isn’t a project book, it’s a hefty primer for beginners and accomplished clayers alike.

If you’re in a listening mood, be sure to tune into Alison Lee’s Craftcast chat with Donna Kato who talks about work that transcends the material it’s made of. Nice concept to ponder this weekend.

One glass

One glass of wine with my Valentine’s Day dinner and my head feels like this today.

It’s comforting to look at Steve Chipman’s Flickr photos and see his sculpted polymer clay heads progress. Perhaps I’ll feel more like "Doris" at right by noon. A brief Google of Chipman shows him to be a polymer sculptor and a web developer, or as one fan called him, a "javascript deity."

Fun stuff to browse. Talk amongst yourselves. I’ll be back tomorrow.

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