June means polymer at weddings

Wait, wait! We can’t go through the month of June without talking about polymer wedding cake toppers.

My most recent favorite is Spain’s Noemi Hurtado who pays attention to every detail. From noses to fabrics to hair to flowers, Noemi makes a faithful copy of the couple in miniature. The “before and after” photos on her Flickr galleries and her blog kept me reading longer than I intended to stay.

Since I was in a romantic frame of mind, I popped into Heather Wynn’s Etsy shop and facebook fan page. Always good for a tug at your heart.

Beginners tutorial

Sandy's paperclip bracelet tutorial

If you’re looking for a good beginner’s polymer clay project, check out Sandy’s jewelry made with polymer and round paper clips. Easy, peezy.

Leupold’s polymer process

Dede Leupold gives me a vicarious thrill on a day when I can’t get to my own studio. She posted pictures from her process in creating a masterful kaleidoscope cane on Facebook.

It takes thought and planning to achieve such delicate shading and color combinations that sing. Here are earlier looks (1 and 2) at Dede’s work and the jewelry made from her canes on her Esty site.

Schwarzenberg’s filigree winner

Schwarzenberg's Beautiful Baroque

Lynne Ann Schwarzenberg, winner of the Bead Dreams 2010 top prize, sent in a picture of her winning entry. Lynne layers floral cane slices over filigree to achieve her “Beautiful Baroque” effect. You can see more recent examples of filigree work on her Facebook photo page.

As Lynne tells it, “I discovered polymer clay in college, when a friend brought over a sampler pack of clay and wanted to make beads to sell as she traveled the country following her favorite band, the Grateful Dead. We made beads together that afternoon, and she left the clay at my apartment when she left on her trip. I was immediately taken by this wonderful, colorful substance, and it’s been a love affair ever since.” Have a lovely weekend.

Fideka partners metal clay and polymer

Fideka's metal clay and polymer necklace

Anna Fideka of Warsaw, Poland turned up as I was rooting around in the metal clay artists’ sites (check out metalclaymagic and this Flickr pool).

Fideka's metal clay and polymer pendant

She studied Polish literature and journalism. For many years she worked as a journalist and released two books of poetry. In 2004 she discovered polymer clay and began her adventure in jewelry.

Seeing how our medium is mixing with our metal clay partners is exciting. Her Polish gallery sales site was impressive. Here are her Fickr pix.

This Just In

Libby Mills posted the Bead Dreams 2010 winners on her site. First Place Lynne Schwarzenberg; Second Place Lludmya Heggland; Third Place Janice Abarbanel. Check ’em out here.

Communicating with clay

Perrin's polymer illustration for the Fabulous Reggae Dogs

Polymer illustrators like Sylvie Perrin communicate cleverly with their clay art. These distressed fish looked particularly topical even though she made the illustration for a children’s series last year.

Checking her site and her blog from time to time is like a crash course in politics, pop culture and current events.

Second Look

One of yesterday’s commenters pointed out a slideshow about Joyce Fritz and her workspace that I had overlooked yesterday. It’s worth a second look here. Thanks Sylvia.

Polymer bugs

Wisconsin’s Joyce Fritz has been making her “Yipes” polymer clay bugs since 1993 and she has pieces in hundred of galleries and shops. “Bugs are a great vehicle for colors and pattern,” she says. “I like inventing my own species. It’s my chance to play God.”

Creating jewelry of butterflies, beetles, lady bugs, bees, grasshoppers, dragonflies and other critters is Fritz’s full-time occupation. She has about 70 bugs and critters in her line, and at least a third are new each year. She and part-time assistant Joan Berkopec make about 6,000 pieces a year.

Though the photos on her 2010 Web site are small, you can read great stories about her process here and in her alumni magazine. Her galleries show larger photos of her work here, here and here.

Moeller-Smith sail with polymer

Moeller-Smith polymer and sterling bracelet

Robbin Smith and Warren Moeller are artists, travelers, and sailors. They live with a parrot on a 43 foot sailboat, on which they have logged thousands of sea miles.

Robbin and Warren have designed and created several lines of jewelry using the natural elements that they have collected while sailing the South Pacific, often tying those elements together with polymer clay.

Moeller-Smith coral and polymer earrings

The influence of living and creating with the island people of the world for more than 25 years is represented in their work. They mix their contemporary sensibilities with those of the cultures around them. Don’t miss the accolade from Morgan Freeman on their site as well as their blog and Flickr pages.

Thanks to Betsy Baker for this lovely Monday diversion.

Prophater polymer cover girl

Laurie Prophater generously demoed her flat faux ivory bangles at a recent conference and I can tell you that they’re fun to make and wear. Zentangle aficionados loved the drawing and carving involved.

Read all about how to make these bracelets in the summer issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry magazine. In fact, Laurie’s the cover girl! You can find more examples on her Flickr pages.

Laurie’s in the decorating biz and her blog is full of links that will lead you to wonderful (and outrageously expensive) designers, fabrics and furniture. She’s on top of the latest trends and enjoys translating them into polymer.

Christi Friesen’s featured in the issue as well! I must get to the bookstore to see if I missed anyone else.

Antique polymer group

Faux ancient polymer work intrigues me and I was happy to see the Reproduction of Ancient Jewelry group that formed on Flickr. I won’t spoil the fun for you and will warn you that clicking through can take some time.

I might also suggest the book, Creating Your Own Antique Jewelry, if faux ancient appeals to you.

This locket by Eva Menager, administrator of the new group, is based on an old Van Cleef & Arpels watch.

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