Faux cloisonne

Sabine Spiesser’s Dare to Dream of Timeless Opulence was named the winner of the Aussiepolyclayers 2011 Competition and featured on the Voila site. Watch parts float in the shimmering cloisonne that you can see more closely here.

Sabine was born in Angola and now lives in Melbourne. A former potter and self-taught digital artist, she brings the layering and transparency processes that are familiar on the computer to her meticulous faux cloisonne polymer pieces.

Sabine credits Eugenia Topina with teaching her the technique which she has mastered and expanded. You can read more about the technique and its development here.

Cane slice bowls

Karin Noyes’ website shows only a one frustratingly small picture of her polymer bowls created from cane slices pressed together over a form. Working out of her studio in northwest Connecticut, Karin has sold these bright quilt-like creations at ACC shows since 2002 but her online exposure remained minimal.

What a treat to find a selection of her bowls on Etsy! Sized between 4″ and 6″ in diameter, her bowls are featured as part of the Harvest Gold Gallery’s Etsy offerings. This one features a back-to-school theme. She offers a wide range of colors, shapes, and patterns, mixing large and small caned images.

You can see how Karin’s knitting, quilting and rosemaling experience finds its way into polymer work. Her resume gives you a snapshot of her colorful past. Thanks to Elaine Robitalle whose CraftGossip post that led me to this new stash.

Polymer amulets

Jen Parrish makes polymer relics in the attic studio of a purple Victorian home stuffed with tattered antiques, pampered cats and dogs and a poet husband.

She creates for museums, the entertainment industry and for daydreaming romantics. Her glass vessel amulets are framed with textured, antiqued polymer then paired with vintage beads. The glass vial can hold wishes and other precious items. It’s topped with a tiny cork. History meets glamor in these recent magazine article photos.

Jen includes everything from tiaras to triptychs in her line of ornate enchanted polymer pretties. Would a little romance soften the beginning of your week? Look at Jen’s FB page, Etsy shop and blog.

Swirls of activity

After 16 years selling at juried fine art fairs, Wisconsin’s Laura Timmins decided 2011 was the year to take her polymer designs to the wholesale market with the new name, SwirlStone. “No more retail online or at shows! I’m loving my new business, but it’s a big learning curve,” she reports.

Laura is able to achieve a consistency and a depth of detail in her lentil swirl beads that is unmatched. This Flickr picture of her ocean of lentil beads is proof.

Laura’s introduced several stunning new designs based on her distinctive pattern. You can see them on her SwirlStone Facebook page.

Artist Online

If taking your business to the next level is on your list of goals, be sure to check out the 12-week Artist Online class that Susan Lomuto (Daily Art Muse) is offering. She knows her stuff and can help you find that bigger audience you need.

Building a polymer stash

Debra DeWolff decided that it’s cool enough to start claying and she got busy building her stash of the polymer components that accompany her felted beads.

She explains that, “I like to work on components and get lots of them made before I start assembling the actual pieces of jewelry.  I’ll work in a particular colorway for several days, making lots of different types of beads and component parts.  Then when I’ve amassed a fair amount, sometimes hundreds of components in several different colorways, I’ll start designing things like necklaces, bracelets and earrings using what I have.”

Her palette is filled with juicy melon colors. And check out her polka dots!

Polymer that’s not quite

Whenever the news I’m listening to gets complicated and worrisome, my eye gravitates to the most simple, straightforward polymer designs it can find. Unfussy design and bright color feel like an oasis in the desert, calm in a storm.

Australia’s Rachel Wightman presents the most basic polymer shapes in sizzling colors. Her work as a stylist on interior design magazines plays out in her minimalist choices.

The photos on her Etsy site are plain and effective, highlighting necklaces that might look childish in another setting. Even the names of her pieces, not quite round, not quite flat, etc., seem to take the pressure off.

The Oh Joy design site picked up her necklace and paired it with some very graphic Marimekko sheets at Crate and Barrel. Rachel’s easy not quite approach turns out to be spot on for today.

Simple shapes

Ontario’s Karen Pasieka specializes in simple polymer shapes and subtle details which is perhaps a result of her training as an architect. These ice blue hydrangea baubles are constructed on filgree cores and hung from wire loops. Pale crystals add sparkle to the delicate earrings.

There’s no fuss to her rosebud bouquets. The soft shades of the groupings give them sophistication. Even her Christmas trees (yes, she keeps them up year round) have an architectural feel to them, relying on color and shape rather than fancy pattern tricks.

Polymer piranha

This Piranha Plant earring could take a bite out of your Monday. Arizona’s Elizabeth Kohn makes polymer accessories for Super Mario Brothers fans.

Or if you prefer, you can picture Little Shop of Horrors’ Audrey and “Feed me, Seymour.” Either way, this lobe-eating earring will wake up your week.

Elizabeth makes Pokemon, Nintendo and other gamer icons in polymer too. Since her Etsy shop in June she’s been so popular with the geeky crowd that she’s having trouble keeping up!

Cathedral-inspired polymer

When you consider that Julie Eakes created a 2,000-color-combination palette in Photoshop before embarking on her extruded polymer DaVinci portrait cane, you can appreciate why it took her a year and a 16-day cruise before she hit upon the right inspiration for the proper frame for her mosaic’s slices.

And what better inspiration than an Italian cathedral?

The new elaborate frames require more caning, repeated sanding and multiple bakings. By this point, we’ve given up calculating the hours. You do what you have to do.

The pieces come with a terrific story. Julie thinks that no one ever looks at her blog so be sure to leave a comment to show her that we care. Have an inspired weekend!

Button vignettes

These buttons from Vancouver’s Joan Tayler take polymer pebbles to a whole new level. On each of them one red ladybug crawls across a domed faux granite base that’s been partially obscured by slices of leaves and flowers. Picture a thickly knitted wool cardigan finished with these bright scenes.

Leaves and ladybugs were Joan’s theme for the previous week. And her individually sculpted old owl buttons from week 29 will make you smile. She has an eye for woodland vignettes that delight. You can track the week-by-week progress on her button project here.