Polymer clay in style

Need a shot of inspiration to jumpstart your week and validate your choice of polymer clay as your medium? Take a look at American Style magazine’s February April issue. (I must have gotten an early copy…it should be on newstands very soon. Read the web version for now.)

Arts Focus: More Than Meets the Eye looks at how polymer clay is stretching the boundaries of art and covers a few artists who are moving the medium forward (like Merrie Buchsbaum whose pendant is pictured here).

Not only are there flattering profiles of fourteen polymer clay artists, but also three full pages of polymer art ads (click each page to see a larger version). Pretty impressive showing!

Royal polymer clay hearts

Polymer hearts abound on the web this year…altered, broken, anatomically correct, steampunked, candy, fragile and untamed. Scroll down to see some favorites.

I am waving my wand and declaring two Queen of Hearts for Valentines Day.

Tejae Floyde is all about hearts. She bounded into the limelight with exhibitions, classes and sites. And she has generously shared her encased heart technique (check the October issue of PolymerCafe). Tejae embellishes her creations with a romantic collage of patterns and words that softens the most hardened heart.

Paula Pindroh‘s polymer illustrations for American Greetings are on sale as valentines. You can see her proudly posed at Target with her rack of cards. Target is becoming design central and I’m delighted to see polymer clay illustrations in the mix.

And for the King of Hearts? Ron Lehocky, of course. Read Kim Cavender’s post about her collection of Ron’s hearts.

You will find previous years’ valentines for 2007 here , and 2006 here and for you last-minute shoppers, a tutorial from Diane Villano. Have a lovely valentines weekend.

Perishable polymer

Body jewelry artist, Hermeone Lavender (Perishables), makes polymer clay jewelry that resonates with me as alien, caveman, primitive and unconstrained. The strange beauty of these pieces sucks me in.

Ear adornments meant to be worn in stretched ear lobe holes and necklaces paired with pierced nipples communicate in a language unfamiliar to me. It’s good for me to look at this perspective, even if I retreat to safer spaces. Energy and change come from the edges of convention.

When we last covered Perishables, he called Philadelphia home. Now the Etsy site lists him as Chicago-based and his line has a strong following. Thanks to Ronna Weltman for the reminder to revisit the site.

Manzi’s mosaic’s, Tessa’s rainbows

Continuing yesterday’s theme, these elaborate polymer clay switchplates from Maine’s Diane Manzi have a bit of a Hundterwasser look too.

Her mosaics are bright and sparkly. I’m a sucker for small polymer clay home decor items that add surprising touches of interest and personality to a room.

Rainbows

I can’t resist when my children ask me to help them launch their projects. They know you’re a loyal and appreciative audience. It’s nice to be needed.

That said, my daughter-in-law has launched a RainbowSightings site to build a collection of photos of rainbows. If you’ve got a favorite rainbow picture, please send it along. And if you haven’t got one, enjoy the pictures she’s archived and follow her Rainbow Magic links.

This video is a particularly good explanation of rainbow color. The picture shown here we call “Eating Rainbows” and it’s one of my all-time favorites.

Nowak/Oksoon, glamorous approach

Izabela Nowak’s latest experimental polymer clay necklace was inspired by the column’s of artist/architect (and her fellow Austrian) Hundertwasser. (Here’s an earlier Hundertwasser post.)

There’s little information about Nowak on her site but reviewing the results of her experiments on her Flickr site will give you clues about her daring and playful approach to clay.

Reading her comments, I was led from Nowak to Russian polymer artist, Oksoon. I was struck by the fashion photos of young models wearing her pieces. Both Nowak and Oksoon take photos that make their pieces look especially glamorous.

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Kato and Eakes – Polymer clay music

“A little of this and a little of that,” is how Donna Kato describes her gallery of polymer clay work. Recently she added these music pieces. They were titled that by her mother who said simply, “They look like music.”

The making of a president

You must go and see Julie Eakes’ Obama cane. His poster begged to be translated into polymer and Julie did it beautifully. (Here’s an earlier post about Julie.)

Have a harmonious weekend.

Feldman’s Iphones

One more thing…as long as we’re examining canes, take a look at Barb Feldman’s Iphone polymer clay cane earrings which were featured in a CNET post. The editors don’t know whether to love or hate them but they sure are intrigued and the link to her Etsy site is an online merchant’s dream.

Treasurefield’s heart soars

Hearts appear everywhere as Valentines Day approaches. This polymer clay winged pendant heart from Alisa Treasurefield is my season’s favorite. It’s for sale as My Heart Soars on her Etsy site.

Reading her story, I realize why it works. Alisa has been doodling winged hearts for years and it’s one of her favorite designs. “It’s pretty rare that I like something I make right away without any tweaking,” she admits. Isn’t that the way it works when you’re working on a design that’s a “natural” for you? (Here’s an older post about Alisa.)

On a similar theme, I like this quote from Tory Hughes’ latest post, “…during tough times, more people start their own businesses. These times give us the chance to act from our deeper purpose.”

Fashionable, industrial polymer clay

Melanie West is waking up from her long winter’s nap with a new polymer clay BioBangle and a line of polymer filled brass bangles for her Etsy shop.

In Fashion

In Elizabeth Yarborough’s “Collection Two,” platters of polymer clay miniature sweets and savories are perched on silver rings.

She finds unexpected beauty in traditionally unwearable objects. Her collections are handcrafted in NYC and carried by Bergdorf Goodman and other fine stores around the world. The link is from Susan Lomuto.

Industrial strength

Have you been watching Wes Warren gear up to make 4,000 beads from his soccer ball cane? His methods, which include the use of an industrial clay sheeter, bungie cords for reduction, and very precise mathematics, make for flawless canes.

Erickson’s recyclables

Illinois’ Karna Erickson’s polymer clay charms and sculptures are more Mad Max than Steampunk. Her robot assemblages include nuts and bolts, found items and erector set leftovers.

Under the names of EanyMeany and Cocoon Designs, Karna pieces together a collection of brightly colored sculptures made from recyclables.

Her soft villages are made of a material hodgepodge that includes recycled sweaters, vintage buttons, yarn and more. She uses polymer to create the creatures that populate the villages and to give found objects exciting second lives.

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