Speechless polymer

Claire Wallis invites the wearers of her polymer brooch to fill in the empty bubble and make their own statement with her quote brooch. “Grab a pen and express yourself,” she says.

Her matching earrings whisper sweet nothings.

We last looked at this UK artist’s faux knitting. “My work generally leans towards simple colours and sculptural shapes and with the exception of striped, stacked canes I hadn’t tried anything more adventurous. This was my first attempt at a ‘proper’ cane,” says Claire.

What would you like to say to yourself this week?

Giving polymer life

Dayton’s Anita Behnan packs her 1″ polymer bugs full of smiles. Putting personality into a small lump of clay is quite an art. She knows how to give her creatures endearing expressions as she surrounds them with little caned flowers.

At this point in the season, all the bugs in the garden look as harmless as these. She sent along this very sweet rabbit as well. You’ll have to check Facebook to see more of Anita’s work.

Applying metallics

Maria Airoldi from Bergamo, Italy transforms bullseye polymer extrusions into fascinating African textiles by applying some sort of tiny metallic dots to the surface. They look like sequins but the same thing could be achieved with a metallic paint pen. You can see how Maria enlivens ho-hum beads with a dash of sparkle as you check out her Flickr pages

After seeing the twinkling mirrored mosaic magic in Philadelphia, I’m on the prowl for ways to incorporate sparkle into my work. Whole new worlds open when you take a stimulating class, don’t they?

Polymer potpourri

Barbara Briggs‘ polymer Flora beads are part of her new collection of polymer, metal clay and glass beads that form this Potpourri bracelet.

It’s hard to tell where the metal stops and the polymer begins and that’s part of the delight. I love how common this mix and match approach to media has become…especially when silver prices reach over $40/ounce!

On her Etsy site Barbara offers the bracelet as a pattern and/or a kit to assemble.

Faux fun

This polymer potato chip ring from Ponsawan Silas popped up as I was researching Pardo clay use. Very convincing, eh?

Funny how food references look so enticing when you decide to cut back on snacks. Where are those faux broccoli examples?

I’ll be back in the swing tomorrow.

Macro and micro mosaics weekend

The student work from Cynthia Toops’ polymer micromosaic class is a testament to both her teaching and the expertise of the Philadelphia guild. Here’s a small sampling of student work at the end of the weekend class (hastily assembled in my hotel room). Each student quickly reinterpreted Toops’ techniques into her own style.

It was an added bonus that we stumbled on Isaiah Zagar’s Magic Gardens in South Philly on Saturday evening. Zagar’s mosaic covered storefronts, alleyways, gardens and galleries provided a perfect counterpoint to Toops’ tiny formats. The micro and macro of mosaics! Meeting Zagar working in his studio was an unexpected treat.

My clumsy and colorful class bead shown here takes after the Zagar style. Thanks to our hosts, Martha Aleo and Ken Baskin, and to the great guild bunch. I’m on the way home after an invigorating weekend.

Scratching the surface

I’d be remiss not to mention a few more polymer “scribers” but this list is by no means comprehensive. Lately Rebecca Watkins with her Circus beads and Bettina Welker with her Sgraffito earrings have been at the forefront.

Looking back, names like Maggie Maggio, Luann Udell and Tory Hughes come to mind. And we haven’t even touched on the Zentangle folks yet!

I’ll be scribbling this weekend…taking notes in a class in Philadelphia.

With any luck we’ll get some pictures from the opening of the exciting Woman Creative – Art and Jewelry gallery in the Atlanta suburb of Buford, Georgia. Gallery manager Ellen Prophater has gathered an extensive exhibit of polymer work from artists across the country. The Polymer, From the Beginning exhibit opens this weekend. See video and teasers here.

Spring strings

The UK’s Susan Rimmer led me off track as I was searching for more inscribed beads to show you. Susan has an intriguing way of quickly making a tried and true technique her own.

These pendants covered with extruded polymer strings look like modern sea urchins and demonstrate how she tweaks our expectations. Her site is full of similar twists and turns.

I found Susan from Carol Simmons’ Finding Inspiration post. Carol’s Flickr favorites are a gold mine for color lovers.

Polymer relic style

Take a look at the new batch of work posted by California’s Selena Wells if you’re in the mood for more polymer that’s been written on and roughed up. That seems to be the theme that’s emerging this week. This ancient-looking pendant is actually a cyber-tribal piece entitled “Broadcast.” In the same vein, she posted a relic that’s a polymer-covered USB drive.

Selena often adds more intrigue to her pieces by embedding tiny cabochons into the clay. Here’s her Etsy shop.

Scribed designs

Gera Chandler has packed up her muses and sent them away. After visiting her studio for months they’re off to galleries and Gera’s Etsy shop.

These 12″ willowy wall-mounted polymer sculptures have thick fiber hair and gleaming gowns. Gera etches and scratches designs into her fabric-like polymer much like we saw on Claire Maunsell’s work yesterday.

You can see the whole glowing group on her Flickr pages. Heading for new homes, the muses are sure to inspire and delight.

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