Wall Dancers

Keri Joy Colestock creates series of polymer clay "Wall Dancers" that are colorful and lively. The optimism of these creations is surprising since they were started in response to a health challenge.

I wish I could zoom in on the pictures and get a better grasp of Keri’s techniques. But techniques aside, these wall pieces are terrific to look and show a quirky, resiliant spirit as well as a fine command of color and shape. Thanks to Susan Rose for starting our Tuesday so brightly.

Mosaics

The Society of American Mosaic Artists has awarded Laurie Mika’s "Hope Springs Eternal" the top award in Best Two-Dimensional category in SAMA’s 2007 exhibit on display at the Mesa, Arizona Contemporary Arts Center March 20th through April 29th.

In the middle of cold Ohio, I find myself daydreaming about Laurie’s mixed media mosaic class in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico April 1-8 (there may still be openings). Her stamped, painted and collaged polymer clay tile assemblages are full of color and energy. Keep your eye out for her Mixed-Media Mosaics book which is coming out later this year.

Dialogue


These recent works by Jeffrey Dever at Mano Gallery round out the week. Like yesterday’s artist, Jeffrey starts with organic shapes and translates them. Says Dever, "My quest is not to replicate God’s finest gifts of flora and fauna, but merely to enter into the dialogue."

You need to see and touch Dever’s works to appreciate his craftsmanship. The patterns and lines are not surface decoration or paint, but carved or incised details backfilled with contrasting colors of clay, cured at each stage. An individual piece can easily go through 20 to 30 fabrication/curing cycles and take weeks to complete.

Pendulum Swing

We’ve gone pretty far into sweetness and fantasy this week. Time to swing back to the organic world, to science and the unseen richness and beauty of the sea as illustrated by a Seattle artist. Take a look at Carolyn Zick’s polymer clay radiolaria.

Radiolaria are microscopic plankton, single cell organisms whose delicate variations and beautiful forms Zick was compelled to draw and recreate. Her show, Pale Sun, displayed these and other works created while she was an artist in residence in Listagilio Center in Akureyri, Iceland.

Thanks to Susan Rose who linked us to this walk on the wild side.

Po

Another Etsy artist with a bit of a seasonal twist for your viewing pleasure.

These polymer clay "Po" characters are from Tomoko, who calls herself a Japanese bird who "perched herself in the New England area and never left." She says of her work, "I can’t explain it well, but Po seems to have this weird presence to lift your spirit up. Whenever I feel a bit cranky, I look at him and I feel better."

In her blog Tomoko shares some introspection and insights into her process. If you’re in the mood for pure sweetness and smiles, visit her Flickr site. Thanks to Cassy Muronaka who led us to the links.

My own backyard

A leisurely weekend surf of local web sites turned up polymer clay artists right in my own backyard. I didn’t realize that Ford/Forlano were represented in the Sherrie Gallerie here in Columbus, Ohio. Their pieces are always a treat.

And on the same site I found the work of Todd Popp and Doug Motz. Motz and Popp (PoMo) have created an arty upscale version of a photo bracelet that’s quite fun. On a bitter cold day this is a wonderful way to wander the neighborhood.

New Hearts

Jennifer Morris is an Etsy artist from Los Angeles, California. Her pieces are deceptively simple with a distinctive vibrant palette. There’s an obvious attention to detail and personal passion in each piece.

While these pieces bring to mind the 3D work of artists like Christi Friesen and Klew, there’s no confusing her work with theirs. Thanks to Susan Rose for forwarding this find.

French Ones

I love the interplay of the gradations on this piece by Catherine Verdiere from Le Havre, France featured on her Ethno-Polymere blog. There’s a wealth of novel ideas and clever solutions on her site.

And her French/English translations are a real help. I’ll have to figure out how she does that. (Oh, she translates it herself since she’s an English teacher! Nice to be bilingual.) Nothing like a lovely new discovery from Susan Rose to shake me out of the doldrums.

Historic Ones

I woke up worrying today. My better self told me to "chill" and give myself a day for breathing and reflection. I found this 15-year-old silly self portrait cane in a cabinet the other day and realized I’ve been playing with polymer for a very long time. FYI, the cane sliced nicely.

Jump in the way-back machine with me and visit some of these old friends and projects (some links are outdated). A day for historic reflection and calm.

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