Chasing polymer finials

This picture of Mareike Scharmer’s bright polymer finials on a fence in Germany threw me completely off track. The time I should have spent researching and writing other projects was sucked away and replaced with hours of tracking down links, translating captions, joining groups, and laughing at her riotous designs. You’ve been warned.

Mareike is a designer who specializes in rooms and library spaces for children, complete with furniture and murals. Her own house makeover is simply stunning with a Wonderland/Dr. Seuss feel from top to bottom.

There’s a smattering of polymer in Mareike’s projects. I’m betting there will be more. It’s interesting that her favorite Flickr pictures are mostly from other polymer artists (which led me all over the globe). You’re on your own. I’m not responsible.

Polymer gourd miniatures

On our first crisp and gray fall day, this little basket of squashes mirrors the season. Linda Cummings makes perfect polymer Turks turbans, sweet dumplings and butternut squashes that nestle in a tiny basket. They look just like the ones at the Saturday morning farmers’ market.

If you need more fall reminders, go to Linda’s blog to see her baskets of bread and tables of pumpkins being carved. All 1/12th scale miniatures, of course.

Welker’s carvings

Did you catch Bettina Welker’s new carved and textured series of polymer beads, brooches and bracelets?

Bettina’s experiments using Pardo clay, paints and carving resulted in a lively series this summer and evolved to this chunky new fall batch that’s rich with color and full of bead-within-bead movement.

I keep running into carved polymer pieces lately. Is texture the new frontier to explore this fall?

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Floribunda

Making realistic flowers from air dry polymer clay was originally popular in Thailand and Japan. That popularity has spread to Russia, the US and elsewhere. Thin and pliable air dry clay, often referred to as cold porcelain, is perfect for simulating petals.

I tracked down Daisy Clay (US and Thailand), Rowan Craft (Russia and UK), and Deco Clay (Hawaii) and new brands are popping up.

Take a look at some of what’s happening to this contingent of artists within the polymer community.

Fabi faux

These graphic faux enamels from Fabi (fperezajates) have a hip new look. Fabi carves her own patterns into erasers and I’m guessing that she used metallic clay for the polymer base.

Inks and powders seem to be involved and she finishes the look with a layer of resin.

Like yesterday’s Natalia, Fabi is from Madrid where they’re obviously pouring it on for the EuroClay Carnival.

Fabi has also embellished some small crocheted purses with polymer buttons. Sweet!

Browse through her site and you’ll see what you’re missing while they frollick in Madrid. So much enthusiasm. Thanks to Eva Ménager for making us more  jealous.

Extruded string beads

Since several people have inquired about extruded string beads lately, it must be time to feature them again.

As luck would have it, the link to Vera Kleist’s “rough cut” extruded bead necklace came to me today via Lindly Haunani.

And Annerose Doering had just emailed me the address for Dominique Franceschi’s tutorial (from 2006) for the technique.

Annerose prefers a smooth finish on hers. She says, “Before I smooth the clay around the scrap base bead, I let the beads rest for a few hours so that they are not too soft. This helps to get clearer lines. I let them rest again before I pierce them.”

The basic material for these colorful, chaotic beads is dry, old clay and most of us have that readily available.

Space Girls polymer

Wanda Shum is only inspired to create one or two polymer-covered teapots a year. This year’s Space Girls theme was prompted by the Jetson-like shape of the pot. The best view of the rest of her line of jewelry and accessories is found on her Facebook page (it’s public).

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If you click on these images, you’ll see the smooth, flawless finish on Wanda’s intricate collage of canes and textures.

She provides inspiration to rocket us into a new week.

Fago’s carving tips

The latest discovery in my hunt for polymer and texture techniques led me back to Celie Fago. She posted these carving and texture plate tips on her blog a while back and I happily stumbled upon them.

When Celie first started in polymer, she spent many hours carving warm, baked polymer and she developed many tricks, including ways to keep tools sharp.

Time-intensive carving made her think about creating texture plates which she now uses for both metal clay and polymer. You’ll see evidence of both techniques in her Etsy shop. I hope your weekend is filled with texture.

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