St. Patrick’s Day

Christelle van Lingen, born and raised in South Africa and now living in Ohio, has named her newly developed polymer clay technique "ruffle beads" and is working to refine this popular design.

She’s added a few new examples on her site and even combined it with PMC petals and findings.

Christelle found her inspiration in Yuka Salto’s work featured on Polymer Clay Notes. What a lucky find and a terrific adaptation.

A bit of the green for St. Patrick’s Day. Have a lucky weekend.

3D Cartoons

Virginia polymer clay artist Ann Lukas has been described as a three dimensional cartoonist. For fifteen years she has created humorous custom logos, character and spot illustrations for use in publishing and advertising.

You’ll find Ann’s work on the sites of several artist representatives. Look here for a few more of her illustrations. Thanks to Susan Rose for passing the link along.

Be sure to catch Maggie Maggio’s new color scales video tutorial on her Smashing Color site. It’s a terrific way to learn color mixing.

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Spring

It feels like spring and time for a bit of pastel sweetness. The carefully crafted polymer clay sculptures and jewelry of Florida’s Holly Jayne Cohen reflect a fresh, charming outlook that’s completely in tune with the season.

And as a youth herself, Holly Jayne has a bounty of blogs and sites and myspace pages on which she shares her works. She even has a fairy gallery. Want to see what young polymer clay artists are doing? Check out Holly Jayne and her friends.

Thanks to Denise Culberson for sending the link along.

Dustup

True to its character, this polymer clay chameleon from Doreen Gay-Kassel blended right in with the other files on my desktop. How lovely to rediscover it.

Doreen (we last visited her in July) says she’s got some other new works to be posted on her site soon so check back often.

On another note…

Who knew that the discussion about copying techiques and designs would cause such a dustup? Sometimes it takes a person with some distance to bring clarity.

Pörrö from Finland suggested that the community develop a list of basic techniques and designs that are public. In that way we begin to set some boundaries and allow students to produce their works without fear that they’ve violated some unspoken ethic. "Try to find out what we as community see as basic knowledge rather than unique design," says Pörrö. No need to write Judith Skinner each time you roll out a blend (though I’m sure she’d like to hear from you).

Thanks for all the comments and for maintaining civility throughout. NPCG president Judy Belcher says the board will be looking at this issue and your ideas help.

Donna Kato has a luscious new pod bead series on her art page. Go bask in the color.

Mary and Lou Ann

See more polymer clay work on the updated site from Mary and Lou Ann who will exhibit at the ACC show in St. Paul this month.

Their new work has a more primitive and ethnic feel with carved and stamped clay and a continued reliance on strong metal work. (A sample of their earlier work is shown here at the right.)

They divulge this about their process, "We create our colors primarily through oil pigments and integrate both synthetic and organic materials, such as sugar or sand, to create texture."

Note that Celie Fago has added a blog to her site. In her blog she updates the list of classes being held in her Bethel, Vermont, studio as well as an up-to-date roster of her classes in other venues.

Biconal Bounty

Wisconsin’s Laura Timmins has updated her web site and added some new polymer clay pieces. She has perfected the biconal swirl bead and her use of 66-strand hand-twisted cording embedded in the clay adds a finishing touch. Scroll down on this page to see a great picture of her process.

The abundance of biconals in her multi-strand Noyoko necklace with solid black biconal spacers makes a sumptuous presentation. Laura is one of those former research scientists (see yesterday’s post) drawn to clay by its ability to repeat patterns. Have a grand weekend.

Patterns

I wrote to Ohio artist James Lehman whose work we looked at over a year ago to see if he had some new polymer clay work. He wrote back to say that he is currently focused on laser/computer work. His laser work looks very much like his polymer and I thought you might enjoy the comparison.

Polymer clay art attracts a fair number of computer programmers, graphic artists, medical researchers, botanists, biologists, physicians and other scientists who love to touch the colors and translate the patterns they see in the lab into three dimensional art.

Thanks to Jo-Anne Bartley who prompted the follow-up.

Fishy Art

What I look for in polymer clay artwork is authenticity and passion and sometimes it pops up in the strangest places. Wisconsin’s Joshua Knuth has a passion for fish and wildlife which he recreates in polymer clay, resin, wood, bronze and taxidermy.

This Black Crappie is painstakingly crafted from polymer clay and faithfully replicates nature’s palette. Thanks to Susan Rose for sending the link along.

Humble Beads

It’s hard to keep track of Heather Powers and her Humble Beads. This Texas artist has been blogging for so long that her blog sprouted a blog. Check out her most recent offering. A multi-talented artist/illustrator, Heather posts to Humblearts, Humblebeads and elsewhere.

Heather’s palette is soothing and distinctive…lots of copper and olive. She does a masterful job of mixing seed beads and polymer clay and metals. Her polymer clay sea urchins and embellished felted beads are a marvel.

No squinting for details here. I am grateful for the clear, bright pictures of her stunning work. Take a look.

Where credit is due

Laura Balombini shows some new lovelies on her site. She credits Tim Burton and Shakespeare among her influences!

Laura is one of those polymer clay artists whose works are often emulated. Donna Kato addressed the issue of unauthorized copying on her blog this weekend.

It’s considered good manners to tip your hat to your muse with a mention in print or a link online. Before you benefit financially from teaching a technique to others, be sure to get approval from its originator. Most artists only want credit for their ideas and innovations.

While there are gray areas in matters of design, it’s best to err on the side of politeness and to make apologies and corrections where necessary. I’ve suffered a red face and offered a mea culpa or two myself.

The polymer clay community has a long history of generosity and sharing. We can help sustain that spirit by minding our manners and acknowledging those who have worked hard to blaze a path ahead of us.

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