Polymer visions of the future

Stroll through entries into a european polymer design contest, Visions of the Future. (No translation problems – it’s offered in several languages though the names of the artists aren’t revealed.)

After all that’s happened in our world recently, it’s refreshing and restorative to see such optimism.

The contest was organized by the French supplier, Perles & Co, in partnership with groups and guilds from France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Holland, and Italy.

Be sure to vote for your favorite before the end of March when winners will be announced.

A new twist on polymer strips

France’s Florence Minne-KHou (CreationMyWay) has been playing with polymer strips and this lovely Wave necklace is her latest version.

Her starting point was the lantern beads we made as children from paper. As I remember, you take a rectangle of paper and cut strips between the two long uncut edges. Then you glue the rectangle into a tube shape and twist to make your lantern. If you see her post here, you’ll get the gist.

The Wave is a more elaborate version and the pearls provide a bubbly, finishing touch. Other artists, like England’s Carol Blackburn, have toyed with polymer strips. This is a delightful new twist.

Sound and fashion designs collide

Santa Fe’s David Forlano is the western half of the Ford/Forlano design duo. (Steven Ford lives in Philadelphia.) The art magazine, Riveting Riffs, features David and his work as both a polymer jeweler and as a sound designer. He co-produces the suspenseful web series Cyphers.

David recounts how he and Steve ricocheted from art school to roofing jobs to polymer clay. He tells the story of how they sold their work at first in surf shops and later in museums. They continue to change.

David traces the thread of collaboration, innovation, and fearlessness throughout their careers which has taken turns not unlike the curving paths in their Ribbon Brooch at left. It’s a good read and he discusses the relationship Ford/Forlano have with the Texas design studio, Allie-Coosh. Prepare for a rich read and an inspiring story with lots of eye candy.

Beads – before and after

Who couldn’t use a little “before” and “after” on a Friday? The thought of salvaging polymer beads gone blah sounds appealing at the end of the week, doesn’t it?

Take a look at how Anna Anpilogova solved her problem. There’s no wasting polymer in Belarus (or Boston or Bellingham). With some judicious carving (before on the left), Anna has turned ho-hum into hot (after on the right)!

Tidbits for the weekend

This link to Alison Torres’ video of Sarajane Helm creating an impromptu face from a lump of polymer is mesmerizing. I missed this tutorial of Geninne Zlatkis’ bird mobile during the holidays but it’s never out of season. Here’s the finished version. Have a dazzling weekend.

Faux Fordite

Dee Wilder educates and delights us at the same time with her polymer faux Fordite rings.

In big automotive factories, the overspray in the painting bays used to build up on surrounding surfaces. The layers of paint were baked as many as 100 times in the ovens where car bodies were cured. Paint build-up had to be removed from time to time.

Workers (and then collectors) salvaged the colorful layered byproduct, calling it Fordite or Detroit Agate.

No more Fordite. Cars are now painted using a process that produces no overspray. Then came Dee Wilder and her polymer clay experiments. Dee has mastered this bit of trickery. There are many more tricks on her dense and rich Flickr site. What will she think of next?

Buttons that top the cake

The fashionistas among you will salivate as you look at the hand-loomed knitwear, complete with polymer buttons and pins, from New York’s Andrea Geer.

I love the easy, asymmetric drape of her knit pieces and appreciate her use of models of various ages and sizes. (More views on FB.)

And to have designer polymer buttons topping off the look, so cool. Rollover details to see them up close and be sure to catch the necklace at the end of the gallery.

Andrea is new to the Craftboston Spring Show and the Smithsonian Craft Show next month. Note some new pictures from Karen Noyes on the Craftboston show site too. Thanks to Ronna Weltman for introducing us to Andrea.

Using cutters

Celine Charuau’s polymer Cathedral Flower brooch is very understated for the usually flamboyant Gris Bleu. The stepped, layered, dimensional cutouts immediately put the viewer in mind of a cathedral window. Delicate, simple and amazing!

On closer inspection, you can see how Celine used simple graduated cutters to achieve this brilliant effect. Then take a look at the snowflakes from Camille Young (and closeup here) that were featured more than a year ago.

Are you using your humble clay cutters to their full potential?

Faux oxidation

Inspired by the oxidized silver and gold jewelry at the Baltimore American Craft Council show, Donna Greenberg wanted to see if she could imitate the expensive metals in polymer clay. Here are her two faux oxidized gold Natura freeform bracelets with faux opal, quartz and hematite pearls. Her Facebook page shows even more.

She says, “I don’t have to tell you how seductive this material is. It’s always leading me down unexpected paths. I recently left my mural and decorative finish company after 22 years and I needed something creative to do as well as earn a living at. This is a lot easier than standing on scaffolding and ladders ten hours a day!” Have an easy weekend.