Synergy exhibitors’ gallery

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Take a sneak peek and be the first to shop at the IPCA Synergy2 exclusive online gallery! Exhibit chairman Marcia Laska has been gathering polymer clay work for the February conference. The exhibit celebrates the joys of collaborating, mixing media, experimenting and astonishing. She predicts that nearly 60 pieces will be included when all the artwork is in.

Choosing one piece to feature out of the 38 here was too tough. Instead I constructed a page of thumbnails that will lead you to the whooooole batch of fabulous delights. Click on the images for the details on each. Check the gallery page often, I’ll add more as the art arrives.

Even if you can’t attend Synergy2 you have the opportunity to own a spectacular piece. Anyone is welcome to purchase these works. Marcia explains how on the IPCA site.

Can’t afford your favorite? Enjoy owning a fine print of each of them by buying the catalogue that will be available for $25 (no shipping) in Baltimore. The catalogue will also be available online (with shipping).

Enjoy this visual treat that I hope will tempt you to add Synergy2 to your 2010 calendar.

Henley’s fish ornaments, Wade’s bobbins

Ginny Henley has been busy making polymer clay fish ornaments for her family. These are fish with attitude and color and style. The yellow one here is carrying a purse. Another has glasses.

Wouldn’t you love to be there when her relatives open their gifts?

You can see more of her “school” on her Flickr site and see her jewelry work here.

Bobbins with a twist

Susan Lomuto spotted Tina Wade’s polymer bobbin rings on Crafthaus. It’s fun to see how Tina tweaked the design with some ingenious construction.

Eakes’ polymer gifts

Julie Eakes offers a nifty poinsettia tutorial on her blog. She collages slices from four or five basic canes onto a graduated background for one variation. Then she shows how the same canes can be used for sculptural or dimensional pieces. What a nice gift to readers.

If you’ve caught the generous spirit of the holidays, you may want to:

Thanks to Susan Lomuto at DailyArtMuse and Lindly Haunani for the links.

Abrams’ new direction

Lauren Cole Abrams’ polymer clay class with Kathleen Dustin inspired Lauren to try new techniques and reassess her style. She says that, “In the weeks I’ve been back I’ve gone round and round trying to figure out what it is that makes me passionate about polymer clay…and what direction to go in”

Her blog posts here and here about how she found direction may launch your week on a better path.

And if you’re looking for more inspiration, check out the latest playful, moveable rings from Donna Kato. Thanks to Susan Lomuto (DailyArtMuse) for pointing out Donna’s new pictures on Facebook (or just click on the picture).

Johnson’s holiday monsters

Something about Nicole Johnson’s recent polymer clay MealyMonsters makes sense when it’s cold and snowy and the holiday rush is breathing down your neck. Deviant, dark and humorous looks just right and makes me smile at the madness.

Even Nicole’s ornaments have been taken over by monsters. “You see…monsters have a fondness for shiny and colorful objects so it makes sense that my monsters have begun to claim Christmas ornaments as their own,” she explains.

Visit her blog for ramblings on life with monsters and her Flickr site for more pix. Have a humorous weekend and make peace with your monsters.

Polymer color shifts

Let’s take a break from the red/green palette and traditional designs that surround us this season. Here are three lovely reminders from other areas of the color wheel.

Start with the deep rich palette Heather Powers used for her Garnet Kiss beads on the Art Bead Scene blog. Move to Jana Roberts Benzon‘s complex and bejeweled Enchanted Garden brooch, the latest of her dimensional jewelry creations. End with the colorful, abundant swirls on Vera Kleist’s (BeadingVera) rustic disc bracelet. They’re all refreshing to the eye.

Small polymer pleasures

Little things count at this time of year. I’m trying to finish my chores so that I can try something from my stash of miniature holiday polymer clay designs. Maybe you have time to play.

The teensy gingerbread house is from Israel’s Shay Aaron. The stocking earrings are from Croatia’s SandrArt. Both tree designs look jolly. The stacking ones are from Australia’s Amanda Hunt. The other one is California’s Kim Korringa’s. Little things sometimes bring big pleasure.

Tidy Tuesday – Polymer in the news

My desk is littered with notes about polymer clay in the news and it’s time to tidy.

The January Art Jewelry Magazine contains two significant polymer articles, “A conversation with Kathleen Dustin” and Seth Savarick’s “Go Big with Lightweight Polymer Clay.” Kathleen shares how she plans her pieces and says that playing around with small jewelry often gives her ideas for larger works.

The articles, additional photos of Kathleen’s work, and one of Betsy Baker’s in the gallery make polymer prominent in this issue. ArtJewelry also has a terrific online gallery where readers are invited to submit their work. The brooch above is by Jan Geisen.

In her “Getting the Most from a Jewelry Class” article in the winter StepbyStepWire Magazine, Ronna Sarvas Weltman advises students to, “…push your boundaries and test the materials while you have an expert to answer your questions.” It may mean that you won’t end up with a beautiful project but you will learn more. Ronna delves into the minds of eager students and gives them sage advice.

Susan O’Neill (11BoldStreet) has won first place in Interweave’s Bead Star Contest in the plastics category for her faux turquoise choker pictured here. Winners are chosen by readers from around the globe.

These are tidbits that you’ve sent me or that I’ve come across. It’s gratifying to see more polymer articles popping up in a surprising number of publications.

Flaky, funky, folksy holiday polymer

Much of the country is in a snowy mood and I drifted to the snow-inspired polymer works of two artists.

Kim Owens (folkartfromtheheart) antiques her folk art/primitive characters (the one at right is Frosty Frightcicle) to give them her signature funky folk look. She’s from California and must have to imagine her snowy scenes.

Janell Berryman (pumpkins-seeds) lives on the Oregon coast where I doubt she’s seeing snowmen like those in her newest collection (pictured at left) either.

Janell has been sculpting and selling her pieces since 1997 and she’s part of a group of like-minded “sweet and spooky” sculptors on the spookytimejingles site. The rich polymer and paperclay links on that site provide a perfect diversion when you need a break from your studio.

Sahl’s winter wonderland polymer

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When Sharon Sahl unveils her polymer clay gingerbread houses, I know the holiday season has begun. Sharon’s attention to detail is phenomenal and her knowledge of Christmas cookies and candies is comprehensive. Every butter cookie and ribbon candy is mouthwateringly accurate and the scenes are magical (so much so that I keep mine on display all year long).

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The houses are decorated with candy and cookies and icing, requiring multiple bakes before the bases are started. Finishing the bases with paths, fences, trees, gingerbread men, snowmen, candy gardens and perhaps a pond or stream is the last step,” she says.

Sharon’s only made ten of these beauties this year. Please buy them quickly so that I can stop obsessing. She’s been making ornaments and sculptures since the 1970s, first in bread dough and in polymer since 1983. Her long-time collectors are happy she’s moved back to Ohio.

Enjoy her winter wonderlands and have a wonderful weekend.

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