Polymer art imitates life

I saw not a speck of polymer clay on my road trip this weekend. But we did buy sweet corn at a roadstand just like in this award-winning polymer illustration by Paula Pindroh.

And we wore our summer sandals just like these polymer ones by Tatiana Franchi.

I was moved by a student piece in the hallway of the campus art building (we were touring my son’s digital lab). On each of four photos there was one word and together they read, "Do | What | You | Love". It was a lovely weekend.

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Petroglyphs and nail art canes

I’ve been making some translucent polymer clay petroglyphs canes for my rocks following the techniques developed by Kathleen Dustin, Marla Frankenberg and others. Slicing the soft image canes thin enough is an art in itself.

The nail technicians at the Beauty Tech Shoppe are way ahead of me and have opened up a new niche market for all of us. I’ll bet your nails go through too much abuse to try this but we can admire the small landscapes others create on their acrylic nails.

Iris Mishly posted about this on Thursday and Susan Lomuto sent it along.

NOTE: The nail canes are pre-baked, sliced and applied, then several coats of clear polish are added on top. Fashionista Cat Theiren sells them on her site and has more “how-to” information.

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Whalen’s works combine art, craft, culture

California artist, Benji Whalen’s polymer clay works overlap art and craft and popular culture. His clay and fabric sculptures are absurd piles of human beings in fights with body parts sticking out. Optimism and pessimism, faith and dejection, humor and sadness are simultaneously present.

Whalen grew up among artists in a Vermont commune where he was exposed to an "art as sustenance" philosophy that still informs his identity as an artist. This "Hippie Totem" piece amuses me as I take off on a road trip to visit my free-spirited children.

The storm sirens are blaring, too loud for me to think. I’ll leave you to check out Whalen’s work on your own here and here. Thanks to Susan Lomuto for the link.

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Picarello, Fajardo push concepts further


I’ve been trying to push my polymer clay design ideas a bit further so I was intrigued when I saw how Julie Picarello has been taking her earlier metalworking ideas (top left image) and reworking them for polymer (bottom pair). She’s also got a cute pinwheel shape started from some playful experimentation.

Barbara Fajardo has rediscovered swag-shaped beads, a graceful shape that she wants to explore.

This makes me want to take a second look at concepts that I may have abandoned too soon.

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Wilder evolves the polymer clay cuff

Dee Wilder has moved polymer clay cuff design ahead another notch with these ruffled edged beauties that look like they’ve been plucked from the garden.

It’s fun to watch a concept morph around the globe. Check out these versions:

Note: Sorry for today’s lateness. Seems I overwrote the post…it vanished. I must have gotten distracted. My daughter’s coming for a visit and we’ll be going on a mother/daughter road trip to North Carolina on Thursday. I love posting from the road.

Addendum: Look at the creation Lori Scouton created as a result! Lovely.

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Local polymer clay finds

Two Ohio polymer clay artists in my local arts show make this a rich and easy Monday.

Pat Bolgar mixes seed beads, stones, silver and PMC in balanced and complementary ways. No element outweighs the others and the resulting textures hold your interest. Micro glass balls embedded in polymer on some of the beads give them an elegant touch.

Valerie Wright turns ordinary kitchen utensils into much more by covering handles with precise and impeccably finished polymer clay canework. Her counter-intuitive (and easy) method of creating fine stripes is explained in Barbara McGuire’s Creative Canes book.

You can see Valerie’s pieces and more of Pat’s work on the page I composed from pictures I took on my stroll around the show.

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Wynn blogs and stamps

I won’t tell you how much time I spent chasing links for this post. My new life is enticingly unstructured and the computer and the studio both call to me. Computer won today.

Was it fate that I’d run into Heather Wynn’s new blog, swoondimples, and her cautionary pendant pictured above? Heather turns a simple phrase and a bit of polymer clay into high art. Go knock around on her new blog and see her work on her etsy store and her site. Check out last Wednesday’s post and those stud earrings.

It’s fun to bump a new blogger’s numbers up. Be sure to leave comments.

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Extruding dry clay

It must be hard to extrude clay this dry but I’m sure likin’ the results. I guess I’ll have to break down and run this Parole de pate page through the French translation instead of just looking at the pictures to figure it out. Lazy day. (Here’s the English translation. Thanks, Annerose.)

Annerose Doering and others in that part of the world are making some playful multicolor beads out of clay that looks like it’s way past its prime.

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