Follow your heart

Polymer hearts are simple icons that are easy to make. Broken, mended, sugary, romantic, bleeding, tattooed…they come in many varieties. Being easy to make doesn’t have to mean boring. Here are a few hearts with heart.

Louise Fischer Cozzi sells translucent, thin, minimalist pendants that benefit the Heart Association on her Etsy site. The edges are carefully painted gold. Easy? Yes. Classy? Certainly.

Fairy-Cakes goes for a light-hearted pop art version with a colorful controlled swirl on her DeviantArt page.

Donna Greenberg’s chunky, sparkly mosaics speak of fashion and flair more than love and she has a new line of them. She calls these her bursting hearts. (Thanks to Sarah Connor for the link.) What does your heart look like?

Taking polymer out on a limb

Tamara Shea’s “out-on-a-limb” polymer series hits a topical theme that we’ll consider more deeply next week. The season of hearts is upon us and I’ve been collecting polymer versions for your pleasure.

I’m struck by Tamara’s consistent quality and search for inspiration. All her Block Party Press polymer jewelery pieces are original designs from drawings turned into hand-carved stamps. She documents her daily inspirations on her blog and customers respond to her out-on-a-limb heartfelt art. Have a heartfelt weekend.

Mixing polymer and paper

It’s been a year since we visited Virginia’s Angie Wiggins who happily mixes paper and bead work with polymer. These paper bowls are embellished with beads and polymer legs. Angie learned to embroider at a young age and it shows in the delightful details sewn onto many of her pieces.

On her Facebook page you can roam through her tidy, cozy studio and see some of her most recent mixed media efforts. Don’t miss her metal clay and polymer jewelry in her gallery page.

I’m putting these wine stoppers here to remind myself how cool and useful they would be in my kitchen. Here’s what we posted about Angie earlier on PCDaily.

Cracking the opalescence code

Liz Hall’s mosaic brass bangles jangle against each other and sing with shimmering color. Small iridescent pieces of polymer butt against each other with a devil-may-care attitude that’s punctuated by black and white stripes.

Liz has been working to create opalescence in polymer and it looks to me like she’s cracked the code. Wander through her Etsy shop and you’ll see her very believable results.

Think big!

Madrid’s Silvia Ortiz de la Torre thinks big and bright with these polymer-covered foil beads. Her stringing is fanciful and fun.

While we’re on the subject of big, check out this new video (at the top of the right column) from Hand Guitars that shows Jon Anderson rolling out one small component of a very large and complex cane.

Don’t you wish the process went as quickly and smoothly as this fast-paced movie?

Join the class!

Need to let loose on a cold Monday? California’s Anne Klocko says her polymer girls are a wild and colorful bunch. This is her “Class of 2010.”

Anne has worked for 20 years creating 3-dimensional framed polymer pictures like this one.

She started out studying ceramics and sculpture, skills that helped when she was drawn to polymer’s color possibilities. You can see her figurative sculpture on her web site and at the Etsy shop she recently opened.

Polymer and whiskey

The organizers of the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show have invited Scotland to be the Guest Country for the November show.

Melanie Muir vows to bring whiskey and shortbread with her polymer creations if she’s chosen to be among the 25 Scottish makers.

The pebbles necklace on the left is one of her entries for the show. It was inspired by the rocks she runs by on Nairn beach each morning. You can see more of her latest works on her updated site.

No matter what the colors, Melanie’s beads give one the sensation of looking down through the rocky coastal waters outside her Scottish highlands studio.

Discover your palette

Dee Wilder (Malodora) and Matilde Colas show pictures of their inspirations and allow us to follow the paths to their final interpretations.

For most polymer artists, the ability to convert an inspiring palette of colors into polymer is what draws them to the medium. These two do it with style.

Dee discovered her colors in a fabric swatch and accurately mimicked the batik’s layers of colors on her beads.

Matilde was attracted by a photo of flowers that she turned into a juicy assortment of colors. She cut out gently curving pieces and stacked them to make pins and pendants.

Staying alert for color inspiration is the trick (and the fun).

Big beads, big art

These Ford/Forlano polymer beads were bought by collector Daphne Farago in 1999. She gave her collection to the Museum of Fine Arts Boston in 2006 and the Big Beads appear in the new book, Jewelry by Artists.

The Big Bead series is still ongoing and both Dave and Steve create them, giving each bead character yet working toward a unified design. Steve says, “Dave’s beads play with opaque and translucent cane slices to add depth to the surface, while my beads are always opaque and very graphic, emphasizing a variety of textures contrasting baked and re-baked clay layers.”

These early necklaces were all-polymer. Steve adds, “The clasp is a screw-type brass clasp, covered in clay, with a technique that Pier Voulkos used and taught. The beads are formed over an aluminum foil core, another ingenious Voulkos innovation.”

Ford/Forlano have also posted a stunning picture of their latest Hydro-Top pins in which patterns in the formed metal (by metalsmith Maryanne Petrus) are repeated and expanded in polymer.

How play helps you see the light

The closeup of Wanda Shums’ latest lamp experiment may make you rethink transparent polymer clay! A turtle rests on the top of a translucent water lily and dragonflies float in pools of blue light.

At the end of a successful show season Wanda was nearly burned out by production work. She treated herself to some play time, creating for her own pleasure to feed her spirit and recharge her batteries.

She pulled out translucent canes she built last spring and gave them new life on a glass lamp globe. Then she added some sculptural elements. Giving herself permission to play resulted in a flood of creativity.