Faux bike chain

Yep, LaLa Ortiz used polymer to create this faux bicycle chain bracelet. Lighter and less oily than the real version, don’t you think? There are better pictures here.

It’s a clever chain design which LaLa promises to upload to her Web site. She’d been thinking about the bracelet for a couple of years and it came to fruition at this year’s Polypalooza at Lake Tahoe. Clever biker girl.

Cable woes

Our wires got crossed or the squirrels chewed them or some such disaster has upset our household. Worse than not having internet is listening to my husband mourn the loss of his tv. If I’m slow to respond to email or a bit sloppy with my coding, you’ll know why. Waitin’ for the cable guy.

Blackford’s sideshow

Leslie Blackford is breathing a sigh of relief as she finishes her first major batch of orders for galleries. The tagline for her “carnies” series is “Damn everything but the circus.” The theme continues through the sculptures to her imaginative packaging.

Pendant cords travel up through the top of her boxes through a slit that holds each pendant in place. Stacked together they form an impromptu fun house display of her sideshow characters. Her catalog is printed as a circus flier.

Leslie’s companion packaging and promotions amplify the impact of her intensely personal and engaging work, an edgy combination of dark and whimsical.

Leslie’s theme is based on an e. e. cummings quote that may resonate with you on a Monday, “…damn everything that is grim, dull, motionless, unrisking, inward turning, damn everything that won’t get into the circle, that won’t enjoy, that won’t throw its heart into the tension, surprise, fear and delight of the circus, the round world, the full existence.

Monstrous fun

Johnson's Normals

Nicole Johnson’s polymer Mealy Monsters finish our mostly non-jewelry week in style, monster style.

Her monsters have pets and sweetly flawed personalities that help you get past their horns, fangs and bulging eyes.

Leslie Levings’ Beastlies have that same sort of friendly monster appeal with their cute spots of color and tiny teeth. Check out pictures of her sales table at the recent Comic Con.

Levings' Beasties

Friendly monsters are all the rage in August but beware, the Halloween fanatics are mixing batches of orange and black polymer for darker, scarier creations. Thanks for playing along and have a monstrously fun weekend.

Bechtel’s trendy bits

I was going to stay away from pretty polymer jewelry this week but then Barbara Bechtel (via ArtBeadScene) showed me two things I couldn’t resist – pennants and lacey stamps.

Pennants are all the rage and Barbara’s polymer versions are cheery and hip with no sewing required. Her bits of lace stamped into polymer create a trendy accessory. Read more about Barbara and look inside her studio on this blog.

Q and A

Several people asked about how the polymer mosaic on my porch would withstand Ohio’s weather. I primed and painted the frame on both sides per my expert cabinetmaker’s instructions. The tiles are held in place with construction adhesive.

My experience with polymer-covered Christmas lights that survived years of snow and rain lead me to believe that the mosaic will do just fine. And really, I’ll need an excuse to create some new porch decor in a few years anyway.

Mosaic group effort

This four-foot polymer mosaic for our home’s new front porch was icing on this summer’s cake. The shape of our house had come to resemble a bowling alley after several long additions. It needed some details to restore its curb appeal.

Architect/polymer artist Maggie Maggio helped us with the porch design which I envisioned in Photoshop and my husband made into reality. He was happy to add more square footage to his man cave in the bargain. You can follow the porch progress here.

My mosaic (polymer glazed with colored liquid polymer) balances out the offset front door. The drawer of rubber stamps and molds that I’ve collected were finally put to good use. I was surprised at how the variety of stamps could make a cohesive aesthetic.

Even though I created some of the stamps myself, I’ll always look at this piece and express gratitude to Laurie Mika for inspiration and to Barbara McGuire, Wendy Malinow, Victoria James and Helen Breil for favorite images.

Long ago Richard Bassett brought his stash of metal stampings to a Shrinemont retreat and we scurried to make molds. All those collected bits and bobs found a home in a colorful and sentimental piece.

Now it looks like the old front door needs a similar embellishment! My husband cut out a masonite base so it’s back to the studio to make more tiles. To be continued.

WOW polymer

Wowcharmers.com show us how younger artists are using polymer, even if we’re not World of Warcraft fans. The site’s author is secretive about the designers and it looks like these elaborately dressed characters originate in China. You’ll find larger pictures on the Facebook page.

One of the early favorite polymer character artists is Bulgarian Dinko Tilov. His dinosaurs and monsters predate the gamer figures. Check out Dinko’s tutorials here. Dinko and his brother Boris recently put out a new book, Sculpting Mythical Creatures. Dinko gives tips on how to make his sculptures on his blog and video tutorials here.

The cartoon and gamer-based polymer toy crowd speaks a language all its own and they are a growing global force.

Young’s katamari

Enough with pretty polymer jewelry this week. Time for a change and I love the idea of Camille Young’s katamari ball. Camille built this sculpture on the fly, responding to calls from FanGamers during their online officecam show.

The ball is based on a puzzle-action video game. The game’s plot concerns a prince on a mission to rebuild the stars. This is achieved by rolling a magical, highly adhesive ball called a katamari around various locations, collecting increasingly greater objects until the ball has grown large enough to become a star.

Camille shows what accumulated on her polymer version of the ball in the video to the right.¬†Here’s hoping that your personal katamari picks up polymer accomplishments through the week.

Riotous polymer

Harue Fujikawa’s polymer vegetables are corny. And since it’s Friday and tomorrow we shop at our farmers market, his laughing bi-color corn looks just right.

Harue has pages of lively vegetables, dolls and Japanese characters.The translator isn’t much help but his site is a visual riot.

And while we’re on the subject of riotous, check out les p’titsmobiles, strange polymer sea creatures made by a French girl in Denmark. I found her on the readers’ link page (put yours there).

If you have any phobias about vegetables or sea urchins, you may want to sit this one out. The rest of you have a riotous weekend.

Wallace’s new twists

One look at Amy Wallace’s polymer chevron beads makes me want to try chevron canes again. The bright colors give them a happy, ethnic, graphic look that’s very much in vogue.

Amy has shut down her old Ovenfried site and the “stacker” bead tutorial that she popularized has vanished (sigh). She’s opened a new blog and Etsy sites. On her Flickr page her megastackers and snakeskin beads show off the newest twist on her old stacker technique.