Dembicer’s polymer reflections

Peggy Dembicer’s “Self Absorbed” polymer clay and seed bead piece is a perfect theme for today. What were the highlights of 2008 for you? What do you want to leave behind in 2008 so that you can start 2009 with a clean slate?

Change for handcrafts

The first round of voting for the Ideas for Change in America competition will end tonight (12/31/08) at midnight Pacific Time. The competition is a citizen-driven effort to identify the best ideas for how the new administration can turn the broad call for “change” into specific policies.

The idea that, “American-made souvenirs and handcrafts should be displayed and sold in our National Parks” needs more votes to qualify for the final round. The idea was proposed by arts advocate and American Style publisher, Wendy Rosen. You can help increase the chances of this proposal reaching the final round by voting here.

Niche finalists

The coming year has started off on the right foot for these 2009 NICHE Finalists in the Polymer Clay and Jewelry/Fashion categories. Happy New Year to you all!

Kuchansky’s web comic series

San Francisco’s Justina Kochansky is a polymer clay sculptor and a puppeteer. “I delight in little things and hope to provide others with delightful little things…most of which have a dark aspect for a bit of flavor,” she explains.

Justina currently produces a sculptural web comic, ArticulateMatter, which is updated every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Her daily diaoramas are then offered for sale on her Etsy site. “It started out with a story line, but quickly evolved into stream-of-consciousness vignettes.” Currently the cast includes polymer clay squids (including Squidmund Freud and Squid Claus), frogs, and various vacuum tube creatures. Her Christmas coral reeth tickled me too.

I needed a little delight as I ponder the end of one year and the start of another. This quirky link comes from Barbara Forbes-Lyons.

Polymer steampunk communication device

Chris (aka Chronomorphs or Nicrosin) created this great steampunk prop from sculpey, rubber, and a various pocket watch parts. It’s fully adjustable and flexible and lined with suede for comfort. Polymer clay helps Victorian meet Blu Tooth in this back-to-the-future piece.

Chris describes his simulated device, “This experimental prototype device, using theoretical Æther-phasing as the delivery system, is used for airship-to-airship private transmissions, hands-free battlefield communications, or real-time status updates of special operations agents.”

It’s actually a limited edition Victorian-style communication device, perfect as a prop or for enhancing a costume. Thanks to Susan Lomuto (via Watchismo) for the tip.

Atomic Mobiles in polymer clay

A note from Arizona’s Debra Ann, owner of Atomic Mobiles, introduced us to her polymer clay and stainless steel mobiles in a wide variety of colors and styles, including glow-in-the-dark.

Inspired by the hanging art mobiles of Alexander Calder, Debra Ann began constructing these moving art forms when it was the subject of a fifth grade class project. She’s been selling her art online since 1995.

“My goal is to create beautiful modern mobiles that are relaxing and give you pause to think, a relaxing way to stop the world and reflect,”says Debra Ann. See videos of her mobiles moving gently here.

8,000 Lehocky polymer clay hearts

Over the last three years, Ron Lehocky has made nearly 8,000 polymer clay hearts including 450 of this year’s Christmas-themed versions. He’s donated all proceeds to the Louisville Cerebral Palsy KIDS Center. In the first six months of this fiscal year his artwork raised more than $15,000 for the center.

What better way to celebrate Christmas than with this example of an artist who gives so generously? Read more about Ron here and catch his article, “Skinner Blending” My Passions, in the February issue of Polymer Cafe magazine. If you’d like to purchase a heart and support the center, contact Ron here. Merry Christmas!

Haldeman’s polymer babies

The one-inch polymer clay babies by Pennsylvania’s Lisa Haldeman (LovinClayDolls) make me want to try my hand at these little gems. The pacifiers add a note of color and humor and circumvent the problem of shaping a delicate mouth.

Lisa makes it look deceptively easy. She’s been practicing for years and has five little models running around her house. In school Lisa’s art teachers told her she worked too small. She’s been making tiny delights ever since. Look here and here.

Last minute studio shopping

I need four gifts for my ladies group and I decided to play with a new design. Last minute, new design? What was I thinking? I was trying to do something “special” and forgot that, to my friends, my work is special. I’m fighting my holiday gift angst. You too?

McCaw on Etsy

Sandra McCaw has joined the ranks of Etsy sellers! It’s such a treat to see her work and know that I can shop at any time. Many thanks to Susan Lomuto for alerting us.

MacLeod’s new multi-media designs

Sharon MacLeod has resurfaced with some stunning new bracelet designs on Crafthaus and on her new Etsy site. It’s an innovative and inspired use of materials.

Sharon explains, “Working with an unexpected combination of materials, I create jewelry that starts with my own graphic art that I print on thin paper, which is then meticulously laminated to various sizes of small tubing, and then assembled with a variety of materials including polymer clay, glass, metal, rubber and plastic.”

See an earlier post about Sharon’s work here.

Blease makes polymer clay time fly

Time flies…or at least it does if you’re looking at Scotland’s Tracy Blease polymer clay clocks. Her “quirkyclocks” are by commssion only and she specializes in reversible pendants. Thanks to Julie Picarello for introducing us to this artist.

Loose Ends

I overlooked Valerie Aharoni‘s Best In Show (and first place in the seed bead category) necklace made of seed beads and polymer. It was chosen by Fire Mountain Gems and is featured on the Bead Star cover. Don’t miss her Flickr site for a complete look at her work.

In the Jan/Feb issue of Step by Step Beads magazine, Ronna Weltman has written an article about polymer clay master classes you can watch at home on DVD. If you’re watching your pennies and your carbon footprint, you might want to read her article as well as Ilene Goldman’s “poly-metrics” piece in the magazine.

I’m in a holidaze. Have a dazzling weekend.

Extreme Mokume from McGuire

Making mokume gane in polymer clay is an exercise in finding the balance between control and chaos. It can easily become a jumble of patterns and a stew of colors. These mokume earrings and pendant by Barbara McGuire show what can happen when you master the technique.

Barbara is teaching her “Extreme Mokume Gane” (as well as two “faces” classes) at Bead and Button in Minneapolis Milwaukee this June.

A list of all the polymer clay classes being offered at Bead and Button is available here. Thanks to Ronna Weltman for the heads-up.