Volkova’s photo shoot

Oxana Volkova’s photo shoot fascinates me! Her glamour and over-the-top chunky polymer, felt and knit creations make me clap and smile. And the matching makeup makes me wonder if I have those eye shadow colors in my bathroom.

While she was waiting for the professional photographer to show up, Oxana started snapping some behind the scenes shots. They give us a peek at how this Moscow artist works.

If you’re feeling uptight or bored with your work, a few minutes with her Flickr site will freshen your perspective.

Greenberg’s new craters

Donna Greenberg has been a textile and ceramic artist and muralist for years. Seven months ago she was introduced to polymer clay and she hasn’t looked back. I particularly like the way her drawings and illustrations spill over into her polymer jewelry work.

These bangles are part of her Craters, Meteorites and Moons series. If you check her Facebook fan page you’ll see her latest springy thingy craze. The enthusiasm and energy of a newcomer is just what we need for Monday.

Donna sent me the link to her new site…hint, hint.

New Niche and Sparks

Sandra McCaw’s work launches us to the east coast. Two of her entries are finalists in the Niche Awards. These earrings have been named in the Fashion Jewelry category and one of her signature necklaces was selected in the Polymer Clay group. Both pieces showcase her ability, “…to create complex patterns where lines seem to lose their distinction and blend, and where colors bloom and merge.”

If you’re near Rhode Island, Sandra is scheduled in the Pawtucket Foundry Artists Show starting December 3.

And speaking of the holidays, Dayle Doroshow and I have put together an inspirational volume that’s chock full of Dayle’s famous tricks for easing you back into the studio when your muse goes missing. Creative Sparks is full of luscious pictures and powerful tips. Preview and purchase it here.

Shriver’s big beads

Sarah Shriver has added big polymer shapes, a bit of metal and new palettes (her Frida colors) to her repertoire. She calls the series pictured here her acorn beads. She’ll be teaching how to make these new big beads, veneer beads built over ultra-light clay, at CFCF in February.

Clicking across the images on her site’s front page makes me want more, more and bigger pictures. And it makes me wish I were on the west coast in December when she sells and parties up and down the coast. If you’re in the area, put one of her events on your calendar.

Micro babies

I have a new grandchild, our first! We’ll have to Skype a look at our grandson for the first few weeks until we can head west for a visit.

What better time to remind you to look at Camille Allen’s marvelous new polymer micro babies? Her tiny lifelike infants have attracted an amazing following of swooning grandmothers and serious collectors. Camille lives in British Columbia and eight years ago learned to sculpt dolls in polymer from her grandmother. Her miniatures range from $99 for a resin copy to $5,000 for a polymer original. I’m captivated, of course.

Ditzy moves

In my anxiety I overlooked several details last week. Judy Summers should have been listed in the Niche finalists. One of her horses is in the running! And I meant to include Vickie Hallmark in the list of electroforming experimenters.

Moscow moments

A link from Kathy Weaver pushed me to look at Russian sites which give us an idea of how polymer art is progressing in that country. This requires clicking through annoying ads and garbled translations but it’s worth the effort.

The trendy colors and hip clothes in the photos on Julia Laukhina’s site could have been from a craft fair in any urban center. Julli-Ya is from Moscow and this batch of soothing colors launches us calmly into a new week.

Then I ran into Elkozzzavra also from Moscow who loves her Dremel. She enthusiastically drills and carves polymer. It works and she’s developed techniques that look like a good outlet for aggression and result in gem-like sculptured art.

Check out her swiss cheese trees and positive/negative butterfly. Luckily she adds a photo tutorial with her carved pumpkin pin.

Electroforming and polymer

Have you gotten wind of the electroforming on polymer craze? A glance at the kit available from Sherri Haab and a look at the recent experiments of these artists may start your wheels spinning:

That led me to some of the glass folks like Kate Fowle Meleney who’ve become expert at electroforming.

If you know of others who are experimenting, send me links to their work. For those of you who prefer more low tech polymer, check out this easy and fun free bead shaping tutorial.

Polymer plus

My eye can usually spot polymer at 50 paces and when it can’t, I’m delighted. Which is why Claire Maunsell’s latest batch of beads thrills me. There’s a fluidity that may come from her years working with glass. This polymer looks like something more.

Claire added bits of image transfer leftovers to her hollow beads, brushed on some new metallic paints, played with translucent clay, stippled surfaces and drew with inks. It’s her layering of colors and methods and messages that fools the eye and builds up a wonderful story.

Claire also shares her process in ways that I can understand. She reveals that, “Sometime ago I bought a set of metallic paints to use with polymer, but every time I tried them the result was so disappointingly garish that I would throw all the results away and curse my inability to resist temptation in art supply stores.” Who hasn’t been there?

She thoroughly describes her thought processes, her missteps and her techniques on her blog. I like going to her Flickr pages to get an overview of her results. What an inspiration.

Speaking of fooling the eye! I just looked at Judy Belcher’s latest trompe l’oeil polymer canes. You simply must study these!

Simmons art grows

Carol Simmons has tiptoed into blogging and you can follow along as she rolls out her new polymer cane slicer. It’s a serious machine that certainly does the trick.

Carol is also unveiling new work with this Sporocarps piece. After years of looking at mosses, lichens and algae under the microscope, she reinterpreted her vision in polymer.

She’s also published a new Flickr site which gives you a quick view of how her botanically-based art has grown.