Belcher’s greater-than-the-sum art

The collaboration theme of the Synergy 2 conference in Baltimore has already inspired some terrific mash ups. The fiber/polymer and metal/polymer creations on Judy Belcher’s Flickr site are impressive. Judy is the consummate team player so it’s not surprising that she’s good at partnering her art.

This jacket is by Kerr Grabowski with reversible jewels and closures by Judy. The model is Judy’s daughter.

Universal Connections, the 12.5″x8″ piece pictured, is the result of Judy’s collaboration with Victoria Altepeter, a metalsmith and currently resident artist at Arrowmont.

Take a look at the 37-artist polymer mosaic that Laurie Mika pulled together and see if you can identify each artist with only 2″ squares as clues. You have until December 20 to enter the contest. There is still space in classes at Synergy companion events, Cabin Fever Clay Festival and Synergy 2 Hands-On. You might drop a hint to Santa.

Breil’s texture tricks

Helen Breil takes using stamps and textures to a new level with her most recent polymer clay focal beads. She introduces surprises and layers colors to provide drama.

I often hesitate to use stamps because they feel static. Helen has overcome that shortcoming with a bag of tricks that makes me want to try again. Looking at her design idea gallery is like taking a workshop.

I’m composing this post from 30,000 ft. in between time zones. Tomorrow is all about jet lag and preparing for an evening class at Craftcast.com. California beaches provided a heap of pebble research and I’m pumped for the class. Join us.

Barbee shifts colors and studios

San Diego’s Meisha Barbee showed me her new polymer clay circle pendants in colors that are a bit brighter than her earlier palettes.

She sent along these Serenity pendants as well. She’s tweaked the colors while continuing her distinctive combinations of extrusions, canes and textures.

Meisha promised to rank “launch my website” high on her list of resolutions for 2010. In the meanwhile, you’ll have to settle for this link back to her earlier work. She sent along a couple of pix of her new sunny in-home studio as a bonus. It’s back to Ohio for us today.

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