Philadelphia’s “Perishables”

Don’t get too comfortable this Monday. Take a look at the edgy polymer clay work of Philadelphia’s “Perishables.” The Etsy artist calls his works, “Unusual, ostentanious creatures destined to enhance the visual identity of all those who wear it.” “Don’t wear it if you’re trying to be ignored,” he says.

The artist includes nuts, stones, shells, seeds and other found items among organic-looking polymer forms that writhe and undulate. The ear plugs make me wince and the models look tribal and angry. Still, I can’t look away from these eccentric pieces.

Good things for shaking up your sensibilities this week. Ronna Weltman sent the link.

Understanding Etsy

If the Etsy, DIY, craft mafia phenomena seem baffling, be sure to read Rob Walker’s piece in Sunday’s NYTimes. He paints a clear picture of the movement (70,000 Etsy sellers, average age 34, $4.3 million in sales in November) and hints at what it means and where it’s headed. Thanks to Rachel Carren for sending the article along.

Iterative Algorithmic Polymer Clay

No sooner did I get comfortable with Grant Diffendaffer’s engineer’s approach to polymer clay than my son sent me this “Iterative Algorithmic Plastic Sculpture: Fimo Fractals” from Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories.

Who knew we were creating Sierpinski triangles, exploiting its fractal self-similarity? It’s a mathematical abstraction that naturally emerges in real life. “By the time that we get to the 2187 triangles of the seventh iteration, we begin to reach the point of diminishing returns,” they tell us. (But you knew that.)

I started following the links and got in way over my head. It’s great to see our artwork from other perspectives. See how smart you are?

Diffendaffer’s Book

My mind doesn’t work like Grant Diffendaffer’s . Which is why his new book, Polymer Clay Beads, from Lark Books is just the ticket for me. Recursive beads? Mandrel-formed beads? It stretches and bends my brain.

I had to read the instructions…and then read them again. Slowly his processes began to make sense and small sparks began to light up my dormant engineer, math/science lobe.

The book is available now. Grant has a luscious portfolio of his work on his web site if you want to sample his techniques there first.

Dunn’s Shibori

Judy Dunn has done some clever things with simple polymer clay shapes. By combining a single shape covered with companion patterns in eye-pleasing palettes, she’s created an exciting new series that she calls Shibori.

Again we see how working in a group (see the earlier post on Dayle Doroshow’s theory about making multiples) forces artists to explore and refine…and ultimately improve their concepts. You can see this theory working as you scroll through Judy’s slideshow.

Bolgar Site Update

Ohio polymer clay artist Pat Bolgar has updated her web site and added a shopping cart.

It’s a treat to look at her lovely works this Monday morning. Her colors and lines flow together gracefully.

And it’s encouraging to see an artist of Bolgar’s caliber dive into the digital realm so enthusiastically.

Bradshaw’s Sculptures

This polymer clay figure called “Frozen Slumber” could have been found in my snowy sparkly front yard. It’s one of many magical figures by Georgia artist Michelle Bradshaw.

Her world is filled with faeries and pixies; mermaids and selkies; dryads and dragons often so small they could fit into the palm of your hand.

Bradshaw has a remarkable imagination matched by accomplished sculpting skills. Look at the Julia Roberts likeness and the hunky men! Have a magical weekend.

Hyde’s Madonnas

Washington’s Susan Hyde has teamed up with a skin care products company to promote her wares this holiday season. Scroll down to the bottom of the Alaffia page to see her work.

The company donates $10 for every Angel or Accessory sold to the Alaffia Fousena Fund. The “sustainable skin care” products are sold online and at Whole Foods stores. Nice marketing.

Susan’s added a few items on her site and her new page of madonnas is wonderful. Take a look.

I forgot to say that yesterday’s link came to us via Ronna Weltman.

Van Lingen’s Roots

Your travels often reveal themselves in your polymer clay work. Take a look at the recent work of Christelle Van Lingen. Though she’s now living in the U.S., she can’t deny her South African roots and the impact they have on her designs.

I like the look of this Baobab tree bead on her Etsy site. It’s a distinctly African tree that, as legend has it, the devil plucked up and turned upside down, leaving its roots in the air. I’m back to my roots in the midwest.

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