Birds drawn to polymer clay flowers

A realistic polymer clay Four O’clock flower stopper on a mini liquor bottle makes a feeder that hummingbirds can’t resist.

Etsy’s “BirdArtist” has been a zoo keeper, a birder and an illustrator in Pennsylvania and has developed her feeders to be safe, practical and attractive to birds. The entire length of the feeder is only 6″.

It’s exciting to run into such novel, practical and effective use of polymer clay. Thanks to Julie Trulson for sending the link along.

Roses cross pollinate polymer clay

California metalsmith Corliss Rose and lapidary John Lemieux Rose (2Roses Studio) like to cross pollinate their media and expand the limits of jewelry art through the combination of unorthodox materials and techniques.

Their polymer clay works, like these art bracelets, often express their more playful sculptural impulses. You’ll find everything from computers to coconuts in their voluminous selection of jewelry with a healthy dose of polymer clay sprinkled in.

NOTE: The number of polymer clay photos on the web has exploded and it’s challenging to keep up. I remain focused (most days) to bring you fresh and interesting polymer clay finds.

If you’ve got time to browse more or want to post your own work, be sure to also visit the Flickr photo group sites I’ve added in the left hand column. There’s a wonderful, thriving polymer clay world out there. Now back to the studio!

Whiteguppy’s money matters

Money on your mind? Julia (whiteguppy) from Spain made these clever and cute polymer clay money beads that deal with financial matters in an artistic way. Her tutorial suggests running tissue paper or plain napkins through your inkjet printer or using the images from printed napkins.

She modifies and adapts finishes and tools to refine her process. Here’s the tutorial in English. And here’s her Flickr page with a large selection of the patterns she’s used.

NOTE: Having trouble downloading the tutorial? Try this link.

Tuesday’s mix and match polymer clay

Yesterday’s musings kicked up some dust! Judy Belcher pondered the theme for the next Synergy conference (and she added a great new photo of her work). Judy Dunn explained how creating polymer clay cranes nourishes her and her audience.

Thanks for participating in the discussion.

For a little mix and match, here’s a polymer clay shield shape that Lauren Cole Abrams (LaBeana) grew into something much more interesting. Experimenting with Donna Kato’s crushed ikat technique, Lauren then added her own signature style.

Disbrain’s color and our craft’s generosity

One lovely end-of-summer shot of color from a Russian site called Disbrain. Translation isn’t helping much and I hope that the picture says it all. NOTE: The link had lots of porn attached. Go to only if you’re virus protected. Thanks to those who alerted me.

Last week’s American Crafts Council salon that’s now online as an audio file got me thinking about crafts and activism.

Polymer clay has been mostly drawn to admirable charitable causes like Bottles of Hope and Breast Cancer Awareness (one of many sites) and Ron Lehockey’s Cerebral Palsy Kids Center support. (Click on his new halloween hearts.)

With our recent conversations about the perils of gold and diamonds, we’re inching closer to making bolder statements about our medium. The deviant art crowd turns away from the pretty and the comfortable to examine another viewpoint. Overall we’re a mostly tame and generous group. That tameness may change.

In his book Buying In, Rob Walker, one of the salon speakers, suggests the following.

Maybe in some sense, the craft idea is a kind of gateway drug to a different way of thinking about material culture – and about consumer behavior that doesn’t merely feel like being part of something larger than ourselves, but really is.

Thanks for listening today. I’m reading and thinking.

Turkish hooks, Canadian molds

What I unearthed as I sorted through mail begins in the housewares and tools department. These playful wall hooks are built with polymer clay over wire by Turkey’s Arzu Musa. She also specializes in flower pots and glowing candleholders.

New frame and cabochon molds from Canada’s Shades of Clay also caught my eye. The templates are paired to help you shape a perfect bezel for each cabochon. Wendy Orlowski created a photo gallery of inventive ways of using the clever molds. This looks helpful to those of us who have trouble cutting even borders and mitered corners. The group introduces some intriguing tools and textures.

If you’re one of those polymer clay artists or illustrators who comes from the graphics camp, you’ll want to answer NPCG’s call for proposals for a new logo to reflect their broadening international image.

Congrats to all who completed Friday’s pop quiz. Don’t fret if you didn’t get a perfect score. This won’t go on your permanent record. It’s only meant to improve your color vision or bolster your argument for a better computer monitor.

Color tests and weekend homework

The bootup chimes of my computer were music to my ears when power was restored this evening. I’ll assign you some weekend homework to keep you busy as I catch up.

Did you see the color test in the left colum? It looks easy and it’s great eye training. I’m already getting messages from readers about how it’s harder than it looks. I thought I’d ace it. I didn’t.

In response to your questions, the book in which Laura Timmins has found her recipes for financial success is Crafting as a Business by Wendy Rosen. Laura admits that following the formulas is a tedious process but well worth the effort.

Interested in metalwork or other online classes as mentioned in yesterday’s post? Connie Fox invites you to also visit her site, Jatayu, which offers an array of online metalworking classes.

The weather is spectacular. I can finally do laundry, plug in the pasta machine motor and get online! Should be a great weekend.