Framed

Here’s another one you’ll have a hard time locating on the web. My table mate here at Shrinemont is Jan Frame from Denver and she produces her polymer clay works for herself and her friends. No web site, no big business…just wonderful work that gives her pleasure.

These three-inch hollow beads are light as a feather, precisely finished, with lovely patterns on both sides. Most are silkscreened using a method Jan adapted from Gwen Gibson’s class. They’re formed and baked on a lightbulb.

Jan has a keen eye and has become the "go-to" person when we have a piece that needs a reality check. We all need those trusted friends who will tell us the truth about our works and help us improve them.

Organization

Organization is sometimes a thing of beauty in itself and I just had to share these pictures of Karen Scudder’s canes neatly resting in their boxes for safekeeping. I’ll snap some pix of her finished work as the week progresses.

Karen’s colors are as crisp and clean as her canes. Lovely stuff. (You can google a few references to Karen to see her work but she doesn’t have her own site.)

Speaking of colors, Lindly Haunani said I could share her newest iteration of color studies from her classes.

Hot out of the oven. Aren’t these pins yummy?

Information Sources

If your only source of polymer clay information is the web, you’re missing great new work. Joining a guild, taking to a class or attending a conference will broaden your knowledge tremendously.

This week’s Shrine Mont conference participants will grow tired of hearing me tell them to update their web sites, especially when they change direction in their work as these artists have.

Above is Ann Dillon’s new work which plays on the same themes as the earlier pieces on her web site but with updated and expanded designs. Quite lovely.

And Sandra McCaw took off the necklace she was wearing (at right) so that I could capture it for you. It’s the product of a winter metals class and hints at new things to come.

Road Trip

Take a little trip with me to France and Madeleine Songe’s lovely photo transfers to polymer. I’ll be stopping off in Virginia but you can keep on traveling in France if you like. It’s easy to spend a great deal of time on the site.

I love the combination of the fabric neckpieces (I think Madeleine’s used those Chinese knotted ones you can buy), old photos, polymer bezels and crystal beads. Such, "Je nais se quoi!"

I’m off to Virginia where they tell me there’s wifi. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. Many thanks to Kimberly Hodes for finding links for today. She was googling while I was packing. Her site is a treat as well. It’s road trip Monday. I’ll be back in touch soon.

Paper to Polymer

Missouri’s Shane Vorhaben is a prolific artist who draws obsessively detailed creations on paper. Occasionally he ventures into polymer clay. The translation of his distinctive drawings into sculptures makes for exciting and unusual artwork. His originality is inspiring.

Many thanks to Kim Cavender for bringing us this new vision.

Reproductions

Today’s polymer clay quilter is Jennifer Patterson from Minnesota. Jennifer’s designs are meticulous reproductions of traditional quilt patterns.

For example, this polymer clay pin replicates an Underground Railroad Sampler and shows how slaves used the quilt block patterns as code to help navigate their escape.

Jennifer is currently working on the designs of Ruby McKim, a top quilt designer of the 1920s and 1930s. McKim’s family has allowed Jennifer to recreate the patterns in polymer clay. I particularly like the way Jennifer has stamped some of the quilt pieces to suggest stitching.

Cat Thieren says, "Jen is one of the few clay artists who earns her family’s entire income from her clay. She has been working with clay for over 15 years. Sometimes they have two booths, at two different shows, in different parts of the country. This family business runs successfully and Jen is too modest to toot her own horn about it!"

Quilts

I’ve bounced back from yesterday’s chaos to today’s "control" theme and landed in polymer clay quilt patterns. In doing a bit of research on a quilt show that’s in town, I came across a California polymer clay artist who’s new to me.

Susan Terry (The Bead Ranch) produces quilted pieces that have a sweetness and grandmotherly look about them that is at the same time hip and chic. Is it her palette? Is it the mix of flowers and geometrics? These pieces have a very handmade quality that makes them endearing.

If you look closely, you’ll see subtle texturing (pin dots), animal skin patterns and metal leafing. These aren’t really your grandmother’s quilts. I’ve got a couple more related examples to show you this week…can’t wait.

Freeform Monday

Elena Samsonova created this great freeform wireworked bracelet that includes polymer clay beads, seed beads and stones. Samsonova lives in New York and writes her blog in Russian so I can’t tell you much about her methods. She and her friends (check this link) unite lots of disparate elements with wrapped wire in ways that resemble sketches or mosaics.

Perhaps I’m attracted to it because this bracelet looks like my desk on Monday morning!

Last week’s white necklace mystery has been solved (my guess was wrong) and the creator is Sherry Bailey who was experimenting with UltraLight clay. Keep experimenting!

To Do


It’s nearly time for the annual conference at Shrine Mont (see my 2003 pictures). And instead of concentrating on what polymer clay work I’ll do, I’ve been searching for a pair of shoes to paint because Michigan wild woman Jean Comport (and Shrine Mont co-coordinator) is bringing her shoe painting supplies.

Some of the western contingent have been looking for reassurance that they can survive in the wilds of Virginia. Can they make it up and down the hills in clogs? Are the snakes poisonous? I’m usually the easterner nervous about traveling west so it’s nice to have the clog on the other foot.

To Do – One more thing on the list. NPCG has made it very easy to submit a demo proposal for next February’s Synergy Conference in Baltimore (with the ACC show). The form is easy and online….and due May 15. Get busy and have a fabulous weekend.

Wanna Beads

Ronna Weltman’s "Cave Girl" polymer clay necklace didn’t get chosen in a competition she entered and she’s bummed. PolymerClayDaily is happy to serve as the consolation prize. Perhaps it’s my fine photoshop skills that show them off to better advantage.

I love the construction, the wobbly green disks and the name cracks me up. Very Flintstone. One person’s "also-ran" is another’s first rate. Go visit Ronna and cheer her up.

Note: The comments will show you that Ronna’s not really that thin-skinned and she surely doesn’t wish to be seen as a sore loser. She had the necklaces, the pictures so why not make the best of it and share?

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