French connections

In case you missed this link from yesterday’s globe-spanning comments, you’ll want to look at the glowing colors and distinctive wirework of France’s Celine (aka gRIS bLEu). She credits Melanie West for the inspiration for some of her organic, oceanic pieces.

Celine also experiments with simulating the heavily patterned lampworked beads of German artist, Melanie Moertel in polymer clay. (Moertel’s beads are reminiscent of Kathleen Dustin’s in some ways.) While both experiments are derivative, Celine’s own sensibilities make the work unmistakably hers.

If you’re like me, you’ll follow these links all over Europe thanks to yesterday’s comment from Eva.

New Nom: Susan Lomuto’s work, now under the more appropriate heading of, is unmistakable too. Susan’s wide ranging tastes and impeccable tastes will keep your muse in fine fettle.


European bangles

Keeping tabs on the polymer clay bangle trend, I roamed the world to find more examples to start your week. The ones on the left are from Austria’s Gudrun Stolz. The unusual shapes play against the smooth surfaces into which she’s carved and backfilled the designs. She’s only been working with polymer for a year.

Italy’s Laura Bocchi (Verdevescica) created the "Spazio 2" bangles on the right which are embellished with thick slices of cane or extrusions. She’s also been creating unusual flowers from combinations of wire and what looks to be liquid polymer.

It’s good to see how the bangle trend moves and changes around the world.


Scott’s polymer trilobites

Vancouver’s Andrew Scott captured this trilobite in a jar (the last real one disappeared 250 million years ago). It took me a while to verify that his critters are polymer clay. He describes them as being made of PVC gel. He’s obviously passionate about bugs and his armatures are works of art in themselves.

It’s fun to look at the products of his fertile mind on his site and his Flickr pages.

Scott has just finished a bugs-versus-octopods chess set for a collector, a meter-long dragonfly larva for Vancouver’s Nature House and tentacled alien creatures for a science-fiction horror film.

Hope the bugs don’t bite this weekend.


Crocenzi and tempered glass

Susan Crocenzi has produced growing body of polymer clay and tempered glass mosaic work since we last looked at her in March. The piece shown here, a 3’x5′ wall piece made of tempered glass, polymer clay tiles, amethyst, metal beads, glass gems and smalti, will hang in the new Austin Centre in Texas.

Detail photos on her Flickr site (look here and here) help you appreciate the work better.

Polymer clay allows her to insert colorfully coordinated designs and messages within the free flowing colors of her tempered glass backgrounds. She is now offering classes in her northern California studio.

Thanks to Susan Turney for the link and the reminder to take a second look.


Sexton simply extrudes

I’m a sucker for simple polymer clay techniques done well and these extrusions from Colorado’s Karen Sexton hooked me immediately. Simple color palettes, simple extrusions, clever graphic treatments. Karen’s meticulous craftsmanship makes them more than simple.

She says it was a PCDaily post that got her thinking about extrusions again which is nice to know. This is the year I’m going to get Karen online so that you can see more of her fine work.

Note: Retirement is lovely. Every delicious summer day I smile as I turn off the alarm clock and roll over. Later I toddle down to the studio and pinch myself.


Balian’s polymer clay saints

Marsha Balian is an Oakland, CA mixed media artist who only recently added polymer clay to her toolbox. This sculpture, called "Objects Smaller Than They Appear, the Patron Saint of Hindsight" combines a doll’s torso, polymer clay head, arms and legs, acrylic paint and varnish, copper wire. raffia, beads, fabric scrap on a wood base.

Her series of sculptures, reminiscent of the wooden saints seen in South America, are called "Household Saints of Dubious Virtue".

Balin shifted from painting to sculpture when she needed a portable media that would allow her to be closer to her husband who was ill. The humor she found in her art helped her through difficult times that she recounts here. She describes her art as an expression of affection for the quirkiness that is part of our everyday lives.

Thanks to Susan Rose for the link to this artist who’s new to our scene.


Regan redux

When I saw Montana’s Margaret Regan at our arts fair she had just soaked her top in water and put it back on. The Ohio heat was stifling and Margaret’s resourceful. She does six to eight shows around the country each year.

Her polymer clay colors and patterns remain the same while she shifts her jewelry designs to keep customers coming back. Margaret is widely recognized as the creator of the segmented bangle (look on her site to see the design) and the quality of her work has remained remarkably consistent.

I wondered how long artists can keep traveling around the country with the price of travel and lodging. She was busy enough that we didn’t have time to chat long but I learned that she tangoes and her husband’s coming out with a book. There’s a bit about Margaret’s history that was recently posted on PolymerArtArchives.