Photos of McCaw classes

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Class photos usually include nice first efforts, simple projects and smiling group shots. The pictures from Sandra McCaw‘s classes in France are much more worth examining.

The class canes (at left) are very accomplished, the project pin (below) is lovely, and the group photos show the artists riding horses on beach! Great stuff to inspire your week.

HuereBlue captures students’ progress on her Flickr site and Chifonie shows her workshop pix here. Sandra’s making a return visit to Europe in 2010 with additional stops in Switzerland.

(Sandra’s been refining her method for years. I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of these old snapshots.)

Lehmann’s cosmic polymer

Jana Lehmann (Feeliz) from Stuttgart, Germany, has added a blog (in addition to her Flickr pages) where you can watch her polymer clay progress.

Taking classes with Grant Diffendaffer and Donna Kato helped her refine her technique and find her own “cosmic” voice. Jana’s playful planets and dimensional space beads are smartly crafted from a bright luscious color palette.

The color studies she’s created from lessons in Lindly and Maggie’s color book look like paint store swatches and make me want create a new set.

Fago’s polymer bangles

Celie Fago adds carved and textured metal rings, bands, and beads to her mokume gane polymer clay bangles. Can’t you just hear them jangling? Aren’t they exotic and just a little gypsy?

My 103-year-old aunt died recently and left me a beautiful bracelet whose links and charms tinkle and clink. I swear I can smell Aunt Mary’s perfume when I hear it clatter on my arm. Celie’s pieces are rich with sounds and stories.

Stokes’ Winterfair works

Ohio’s Grace Stokes‘ polymer clay work is featured on the promotions for our big Winterfair show in December. You’ll find her newest works, elegant combinations of metal clay and polymer, on her Crafthaus page.

Because group sites have made it so easy to upload photos, many artists are updating their profiles and adding new work to their page within the group instead of freshening their individual formal sites. The upside is that we’re seeing new works faster.

I count seven polymer artists in the show program. Looks like a good year.

Gould’s mini masks

Brita Gould’s collection of miniature polymer clay masks, this one from The Breath Series, seems like a good Tuesday choice with Tropical Ida blowing in the south.

This photo gives you a better idea of the size of her art. The polymer clay is covered with metal leaf, painted and embellished with metal sheeting and wire.

Here’s her Coppertone series.

Brita lives in Portland, Oregon and has been intrigued by masks for years, inspired by native exhibits and celebrations as she grew up in Alaska.

Her small expressive faces gleam as they blow and pucker and laugh. Thanks to Maggie Maggio for the link.

Whole Hog Monday

Open Heather Campbell’s latest polymer clay/mixed media work called “Woman’s Work” for your Monday inspiration. The piece represents women and their connections to every facet of our lives.

She quotes a recent New York Times article that says, “Women are poised to surpass men on the nation’s payrolls, taking the majority for the first time in American history.” Heather adds that, “Working women symbolize the glue that keeps us connected to our families, our communities and our world. Woman’s work is not only vital but essential to our success as a human race.”

As Heather showed the piece to her friends this weekend she admitted that, “It turned out to be a little more complicated than I had planned. But that’s what happens when you allow your experience to influence your expression.”

The work will first be shown at a Utah gallery and will then join the Synergy 2 Exhibit in Baltimore.

Raven Lunatic

Raven Lunatic Studios! Don’t you love the name of Kamilla White’s polymer clay obsession? The Seattle-based artist is intrigued by crows’ keen intelligence and their intricate co-evolutionary relationships with human beings. You’ll find her sculptures for sale on the Artful Home site.

A further search for polymer clay on Artful Home will return a growing smorgasbord of work from Susan Kinzig, Carolyn Tillie, Bonnie Bishoff and J.M. Syron, Molly Thomas, Louis Fischer Cozzi, Sue Savage and others. So much to see!

You may have detected a bit of lunacy in my ramblings this week. Thoughts of the impending holiday season have me trying to resolve the tension between art, altruism and commercialism. I bounced between Niche, Nepal and Miami Beach with my antennae alert for answers. Have a crazy great weekend.

Fashion/fantasy from Cat and Cleo

It’s time to revisit the fashion/fantasy work of Florida sisters Cleo and Cat Pieschacon. Their current collection, Drama, Fusion, and Nocturnal, pairs semi-precious stones, silver, gold, and leather with polymer clay in dramatic, oversize jewelry. The cuffs in the collection are based on jewel-encrusted polymer layered on large silver or leather bases.

Cleo and Cat’s website is glamorous. Their press clippings (read here and here) and this news video reveal marketing savvy as well as fashion sense. Both artists are design school graduates. Cat was a home furnishing designer for Polo Ralph Lauren.

Last spring the duo presented at Henri Bendel’s spring trunk show and their line was recently picked up by Nordstrom. The sisters plan to open their own Miami boutique in 2010.

Down-to-earth polymer from Nepal

All this talk of galleries, and museums and awards makes me hungry for something down-to-earth. Take a look at AColourfulJourney.com

The ladies of Nepal’s Sammunat Project tug at my heartstrings and remind me of other meaningful lessons that polymer clay can offer. Their fashion items become income, education for their children, food, medicine, and hope for a brighter future.

Australia’s Wendy Moore (these are her polymer dolls) has been spearheading this remarkable project with a group of Nepalese friends. The project assists abused women by teaching them beading and business skills. On the blog, they eloquently recount their own stories. (Disclaimer: I put the website together for them. The content’s all theirs.)

“We hope that each woman will understand that she is not merely a victim of violence but a talented, capable and valuable woman with strong inner resources and access to external resources,” says Wendy.

Please sign up for their email list so that you can be notified when they get through the bureacratic hurdles and hoops in the way of their online store. Clicking on the donation button will help too. Their tag line says it all…look good, feel good, do good.

Lam’s nominees

Two more additions to the Niche nominees from Loretta Lam. Her finalists are Come Dancin’ in the polymer category (hey, we talked about that piece in August) and Hanging Basket (pictured here) in the fashion jewelry category.

Loretta says of all the entries, “Can’t you feel the winds of change? We will soon be sitting at the big kids’ table!”

Finding a subject to talk about has been easy as these award nominees floated in. I may have to return to regular research and web surfing for tomorrow’s news.

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