Second Look – Marcia Palmer, Loretta Lam

Let’s catch up with a couple of artists that we haven’t heard from in a while. Niche Award winner Loretta Lam hasn’t had time to update her site so she sent PCDaily some of her most recent work for you to enjoy. Her polymer clay jewelry is in a NYC gallery and she’s been thrilled to hear local customers say, “Didn’t I see your work on Madison Avenue?”

Marcia Palmer has refined and expanded her ethnic looking ivories, chunky bracelets and stamped switchplates since we last visited her. She has a bold, decorative style comes through no matter what technique she uses or what item she embellishes. I subscribe to her “Home is where the art is” philosophy. Thanks to Ronna Weltman for reminding us to look Marcia up.

NOTE: In an attempt to improve those slow load times and ditch the nuisance hackers, I’ve moved PCDaily to a new host where a person answers the phone and the head geek is a polymer clay artist’s husband (thanks, Barbara). Got to purge the gremlins this Halloween. Have a gremlin-free weekend.

Bogosian’s polymer puzzles

New Jersey’s Helena Bogosian is a polymer clay illustrator with two new books coming out next week. If you’re a puzzle person of any age, you’ll love solving her matching problems, finding hidden pictures, and working your way through her mazes. Extruded clay strings maked great tangled webs.

These two books, Clay Quests: Hidden Picture Puzzles and Clay Quests: Maze Magic, are the first in a series published by Sterling Publishing. You can view samples at her site.

Newfry’s journals

Geraldine Newfry has added this polymer clay covered book to her site. You’ll see more of her work not only on her Etsy site but also in the new Lark book, 500 Handmade Books.

Geraldine explains her interest in blank books, “I have journals dating back to the second grade. Mostly they are filled with angst and silly ramblings, but I love looking back on them. I had worked with polymer clay for ten years before I took a book binding class on a whim. Once I realized I could connect my polymer art and my first love, there was no looking back.”

Lopez del Prado’s polymer clay adventures

Barcelona’s Elvira Lopez Del Prado mixes her media and works with polymer clay in unconstrained ways. Her use of color is refined and her designs are exhuberant. She dabbles with many polymer clay techniques and comes up with some brilliant pieces like the stunning red beads below (transfers? stamps? canes?).

She’s equally adventurous with felt, wire, fabric, paper and resin and her fearless approach is just what I need to start my week in the studio. She shows her work on several sites and you’ll want to visit them all here, here and here.

Friesen’s polymer and steampunk

Following up on yesterday’s trend report here’s Christi Friesen newest line based on the steampunk aesthetic. (I had to look it up on wikipedia.) I see a promising new polymer clay trend here.

Christi explains steampunk as, “viewing the future from the vantage point of the turn-of-the-century — all gears and hydraulics and brassy screws – very rich and slightly gothic, and quite in keeping with the whole altered art/assemblage movement!”

As science fiction author Bruce Sterling explains, “Steampunk’s key lessons are not about the past. They are about the instability and obsolescence of our own times. A host of objects and services that we see each day all around us are not sustainable. They will surely vanish, just as Gone With the Wind like Scarlett O’Hara’s evil slave-based economy. Once they’re gone, they’ll seem every bit as weird and archaic as top hats, crinolines, magic lanterns, clockwork automatons, absinthe, walking-sticks and paper-scrolled player pianos. We are secretly preparing ourselves for the death of our own tech.” Fascinating concept.

Christi’s book showing all her new work will be out in November and she’ll soon have a steampunk project tutorial on her site. Have a fascinating weekend.

Five trends and Gruenholz’ illustrations

I’m still sorting web code, ignoring the stock market and avoiding politics. Here’s a quiet, calming polymer clay illustration from Spain’s Irma Gruenholz to match my mood. The illustration was based on birds nesting in the artist’s shutters.

If you’re looking for further distraction, read these trend predictions. According to the David Report, there are five key design trends that have emerged and will impact the future of design.

“Folklore and artisan production will see a boost,” the report predicts. “We, the consumers, simply do not buy anymore. We want to experience the real deal. It may be the regional or local individuality and the knowledge of who has made a certain product. We want it to have a scent, a taste and a feeling.” (via design-milk)

Thanks for all the referrals to web technicians. That helps.

Benzon’s gourds, Polymer Cafe article

Jana Roberts Benzon has transformed her polymer clay sea sculptures into fall harvest creations. Her organic shapes flow from one environment to the other nicely.

Here are the links that accompany my extrusions article in the December issue of Polymer Cafe. The magazine is full of tips and tricks and things you won’t want to miss.

I waded into a swamp of alligators when I posted about monkeys yesterday. I was unaware that in these heated political times an innocent monkey icon has been appropriated for mean political use. Absolutely no political comment was insinuated. Lighten up…and vote.

I’m still coding furiously behind the scenes and looking for a WordPress expert if anyone has one they can recommend.

Clay monkey, code monkey

I thought my code monkey days were behind me! It seems not. Thank you all for your email condolences and your patience with that big ugly “Server Error” message yesterday. It’s fixed for now.

These polymer clay sock monkey ornaments by Texan Waxela Sananda caught my eye and seemed right for today. She carries an eclectic mix of artwork on her Etsy site and her blog.

Do me a favor

My sweet nomadic daughter has launched a new website. Please go visit and click around on her This Tiny House blog. She’s fascinated with small spaces and, as a web consultant, can take her office on the road and work from anywhere.

She’s lived in a small room on a commune in Virginia, a miniscule NYC apartment, a houseboat in Sausalito, and more. It’s quite the life and I’d like to help her get her latest venture started with a burst of traffic. She’s got an eye, a way with words and a fascinating view of the world. Thanks for your help.

Light earrings, new book

Look at these great organic earrings by Ellen Prophater that I saw in Kentucky last weekend. She’s still thinking about a web site which, of course, frustrates both me and you. These lightweight lovelies are formed and baked on wooden balls. Ellen dips the finished earrings into warm water combined with liver of sulfur to turn the silver wires black.

The movement toward self-published books is exciting. Here’s a wonderful offering from Cynthia Toops and her husband, glass artist Dan Adams. There’s a nice preview online though the sample pages seem to show more of Dan’s work than Cynthia’s. Thanks to Leslie Blackford for the link.

That ugly server message is finally gone and the site is back up for now. I’ve stripped out the guestbook, the Flickr pictures and loads of other little potential gremlins. Let’s hope the PCDaily site is stable. Understand that if there are problems, it’s me not you.