Prokic’s birdland

Janja Prokic spends time in the woods with her chickens, geese, goats and polymer clay. Her pastoral life is played out in her line of fashionable birds. Her models’ hairstyles match their feathered friends’ in dramatic and delightful ways.

The one below is a detailed pink cockatoo and the model is wearing what Janja calls a Silly Cockerel.

Originally from Belgrade, Janja is a jewelry designer who moves between Prague, Czech Republic and St. Malo, France as she studies painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. Right now she’s roosting in France.

Follow her migratory patterns on her Flickr gallery (her web site is down) or her Facebook page. Enough with the bird puns. Enjoy.

Garbe’s jewelry with a story

The video at the right and a storybook accompany the latest polymer creations from Illinois artist Linda Garbe.

As I watched, I got caught up looking at her Dream Machine and admiring her fingers effortlessly building complicated structures. I had to listen a second time to follow her melodious words. While many artists have stories that inform their work, few have documented them in such a thorough and novel way.

Linda created four necklaces called Jewelry With Stories to Tell specifically for Chicago’s One of a Kind show. This one is called Standing in the Center of Spring. Three more necklaces are similarly captured on Linda’s YouTube page. Here’s her Etsy gallery and her home site. Thanks to Dee Wilder who sent along the link.

Bonham’s Black Friday

Today is the year’s biggest shopping day or “Black Friday” as it’s known in the U.S. and Mags Bonham’s polymer purse necklace looked like an appropriate symbol for the day.

There’s even a replica of a tiny Kathleen Dustin evening bag in the group.

Art Jewelry Magazine editor Hazel Wheaton picked these pieces for some of her annual favorites. Mags created a series of “Our Purses, Ourselves” which looks at the items that women choose to lug around in our bags. Here’s her necklace and her charm bracelet that winks at the items we carry with us.

Hang on to your pocketbook and enjoy the weekend!

Turkey hearts

Kentucky’s Ron Lehocky brings us a turkey heart for the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday today. This Thanksgiving marks the fifth anniversary of the heart project.

Ron has made and sold 14,000 polymer clay heart pins to benefit the Kids Center for Pediatric Therapies. Can you imagine making 14,000 hearts in your spare time?

PCD has followed Ron on this project. Read earlier posts here and here. We can be thankful for artists like Ron who put their talents to such good use. He’s gearing up for Christmas and you can email him for a heart here.

I’m thankful for all you loyal PCDers and wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.

Faux electroforming

I’ve been on a bit of an electroforming jag lately. Here’s a new link from Tavostia in Russia and some experimenting from Cynthia Blanton.

For those of you who, like me, are trying to resist the urge to impulsively invest in more equipment, I’ve come up with a faux electroforming trick that may help.

First I made silicone molds of some bumpy unidentified berries from a neighbor’s tree and cast white polymer beads from the molds and fired them. Then I pulled out my alcohol inks, colored the white clay and let the inks dry.

To give the berry beads a metallic/electroformed look, I pulled out my secret weapon – gilder’s paste! Sue Sutherland and Ellen Prophater let us try theirs at a conference and I was hooked. The paste reminds me of the old-fashioned shoe polish that comes in flat cans. A swipe of a paste-coated finger over the top of a design highlights it with a metallic sheen which becomes permanent in a few hours. Gilders paste can be moved around or wiped off in the first few minutes which I find a big benefit over Rub and Buff or paint.

Copper-colored highlights would have passed for electroforming so I’m adding that to my supply. Sue and Ellen are building their site over at Filigree and More and you can email them to order.

Giving thanks, giving back

Pennsylvania’s Genevieve Williamson starts this week of giving thanks with a sweet little fiber-y bead tutorial.

As Genevieve says, “I’ve had some polymer artists extend themselves and share their knowledge and present me with great opportunities. Kindness should overflow, shouldn’t it? So it seems appropriate that I make my first small attempt to give back with a tutorial at the beginning of America’s week of Thanksgiving.”

The kindness flowed back from Germany in the watery colors of Kathrin Neumaier’s fish bead necklace. Kathrin acknowledges that her idea for carving the fish beads came after seeing the rough hewn look of Genevieve’s carved beads and rings. The link was sent in by Margit Böhmer.

There is much caring and sharing in this community and yesterday was an example of your goodness. See Monday’s post if you missed all the ruckus and the happy ending. As Angela Mabray said, “Now that that’s settled, let’s all get back to work.”

Yellow and blue make an opportunity,

Many polymer clay colorists and teachers are concerned about Polyform Products’ announcement that the company is changing its Premo color palette. While I prefer to avoid manufacturing topics, this is one where several dear friends who could be impacted have asked PCD to get the word out in hopes of making a difference.

Please read and then add your voice to the matter. We’d like to urge the company to rethink its decision. Some relevant links are listed below.

Among Polyform’s changes, two primary colors, essential for color blending and teaching color theory will be eliminated from the Premo line. Zinc yellow and cobalt blue, essential for most of the primary blends shown here, will no longer be available.

An x below a strand in the top row of Premo blended samples indicates an affected color. The bottom row shows the remaining colors. Thanks to Carol Simmons for the illustration.

If you’ve ever seen the meticulous, laborious processes that polymer colorists and teachers go through to develop their theories and formulas, you can understand their distress. Fine artists who rely on signature colors for their livelihood, will be forced to undergo costly reformulations.

We applaud Polyform’s appeal to the hobby market whose vitality improves the future of our craft. At the same time, we appeal to the company consider the needs of the artists who have supported them and who continue to expand the use of Polyform products and make the brand visible to a wide audience through fine art, education, and research.

Thanks for helping. Tomorrow we’re back to beauty as usual!

Electroforming and more

Watching Dee Wilder, Ann Davis (that’s her bangle) and others (see the previous links) experiment with electroforming on polymer satisfies my urge to jump right in and try it…for now, at least. Go see what they’re up to.

Loose ends

As I clean up my desk for Friday I note that Raija Korpela has kindly shared her crinkle cut technique with a picture tutorial. It’s an easy, fun distraction for weekend playing.Thanks, Raija.

Polymer artist Rachel Carren was named Best New Artist at the 34th Annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show. This prestigious show has historically welcomed our crowd and this year the entire group included Ford/Forlano, Kathleen Dustin, Bonnie Bishoff/J.M. Syron, and Melanie West. Congrats, Rachel.

Have an electrifying weekend!

Polymer nidos

Madrid’s Silvia Ortiz de la Torre makes bright colored “nidos” (which translates as nests) out of polymer. Circles of blended colors connected with buna cord form web of rings. Polymer balls hook them together and secure the ends.

The whole nest is so playful that it gets me thinking about how this construction could be used elsewhere. Wouldn’t this make a great mobile? Lately all ideas lead me back to babies. Did I introduce you to my grandson Oliver who got his name and his domain on the same day? Each time you refresh his page, you’ll get a new picture.

Passionate contributions

Kerstin Rupprecht has perfected these extruded spirals. The edges of her clay cracks to reveal stunning contrasts. Blends flow from light to dark. What looks like a happy accident is no accident at all. Kerstin calls polymer her therapy and you can sense the meditative quality of her spirals. Though she has a website, she admits that it’s much easier to keep pictures current on her Flickr pages.

Kerstin is a special ed teacher near Frankfurt, Germany. “For me polymer clay is a passion but not a profession,” she explains. “I don’t sell my work – most of the time I give it as a gift to those I love or just keep it for myself.”

She started the first German group at Yahoo which later became the guild (polyclaykunst.de). The contributions of those who are “passionate but not professional” is what has kept our community growing. Randee Ketzel tipped us off to this one.

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