Stacking and unpacking


I’m sending you off to France to discover that By IC is Isa Castellano. I’m liking the way she stacks graduated polymer clay disks into a focal bead. Isa combines beads and colors and media with energy and abandon.

The translation is garbled but the pictures tell a great story.

I’m unloading my suitcase, bringing my head back into the right timezone and readjusting to what passes for normal life. Enjoy IC’s site and her DaWanda gallery while I catch up.

New book and Saturday school


Polymer Clay Color Inspirations, the new book by Lindly Haunani and Maggie Maggio, has hit the bookstores just in time for the back-to-school season. This is the text you’ll need to advance in your polymer education. You can explore your color instincts and develop your own palettes through a series of projects.

Starting next Saturday, September 5, Maggie will be posting “Weekend Extras” on her blog to encourage you to go through each of the exercises in the book. You can send in your questions and comments as you work along.

Lindly and Maggie have long been friends of mine and I wrote the book’s forward (which is scintillating). I may be a bit biased but everyone agrees that they’re the best.

This week has taught me many things and made me appreciate what those of you with slow and unreliable connections have to endure. Thanks for your patience and your help. Have a spectacular weekend.

Prophater’s pop cans

Shapes cut from soda cans and covered with polymer clay are the trick behind this playful necklace from Laurie Prophater. The telephone wire used to secure the beads to rubber cord complete this reuse, recycle design.

A complete how-to of Laurie’s process appears in the autumn issue of Belle Armoire jewelry magazine. Laurie’s working on more variations using this technique that you can see on her Flickr site.

Vacation update

Thanks for your help. The network has been repaired. Here’s a picture of Maureen Carlson’s early morning introduction to a magnificent moose in our backyard.

Out of touch

Network connection is unreliable for the next few days. Road blocks are preventing repairs… something to do with an overturned hot asphalt truck in the Poudre River. I may not be able to post regularly until next week.

Back in business….thanks for all your kind words and to Loretta Lam for pinch-hitting with a great link to Pam Sanders! Looks like the truck’s out of the water and the electrons are flowing again.

Carlson faces teaching

Storyteller Maureen Carlson is preparing these polymer clay pendant samples (see more here, here and here) for her classes at Clay Carnival in November. She’ll be also be teaching at Cabin Fever next February.

These evocative pieces, all made with white clay, wear masks that reveal their alter egos…and make them doubly interesting.

In addition to her character face molds, Maureen’s developing a new line of smaller, less dimensional face molds designed specifically for jewelry use.

Find out more about Maureen, her center, and her classes here.

Wilder’s treasure chest

Dee Wilder’s treasure chest of beads startled me and started me thinking. Dee tries lots of techniques and has a knack for quickly inserting her own voice and style into the process. You can see hints of Grant Diffendaffer, Cynthia Toops, Jeff Dever and others in this box….but only hints.

She swears that even I might be able to loop waxed linen around a big bead like hers. Of course mine would be around a faux stone. Here’s more of Dee’s work.

It’s stormy and rainy in the mountains and the network keeps dropping out. But the wine is holding steady and the ideas are flowing.

Modern medicine woman

Wendy Malinow was decked out in claws, teeth, and femurs (all polymer) when I met up with her in Denver. She looked like a modern day medicine woman with her antler armbands, skull earrings and fringed leather sandals.

It’s the sculptural quality of the bones that attracts her. She’s researched scientific sites and delved into the world of bone scavengers to come up with designs that tweak reality and reinterpret how primitive people adorned themselves.

The Nature’s Ladder neckpiece is part of her continuing exploration of bones as adornment. The long design drapes down the back as well as the front. It will appear in an upcoming book in the Lark masters series.

Thanks for your patience. Speaking of sculptural inspiration, look at Jeff Dever’s video link in the right column. Wow! Maggie Maggio pointed me to it.

Danym’s African interpretation

France’s Danym (Fimoti-Fimota) loves African jewelry and it shows. A polymer clay necklace that could fall flat and be seen as clunky and crude becomes powerful and earthy instead. I wish I could put my finger on what makes the difference. You figure it out.

Enjoy traveling to France rummaging through Danym’s site and Flickr page while I head to Colorado. With any luck, one of my traveling friends will have packed some bibelot she’s made and I can photograph it for tomorrow’s viewing.

I found Danym while wandering through the French group site, Parole de pate.

Lam’s recent work

Loretta Lam’s recent work was featured on the Halstead Jewelry site a few days ago. When I saw her work, I instantly breathed a deep sigh. How is it that a necklace can calm you down?

Loretta’s colors and shapes are soothing. No wild techniques or fancy footwork but colors and shapes in a combination that feels authentic and comforting.

Between repairing blog code (thanks for your suggestions) and preparing for a trip to Colorado, I needed some calming.

Skinner submissions

Sarajane Helm has a bit more explanation of the book that she and Judith Skinner are publishing and they’re looking for submissions from you. Here’s the lowdown.