Stroppel’s polymer strudel

Before you tidy your polymer workspace for the weekend, consider trying a clever trick from Florida’s Alice Stroppel. She’s added a short (and free) video of her Stroppel cane on her website.

Colorful cane scraps layered between thin sheets of high contrast background produce new random patterns that give the scrap new life.

We had fun trying this at our recent conference where scrap was plentiful. These brooches were a late night collaborative effort by Alice and her table mate Meisha Barbee as they cleaned up the leftover bits of the day.

May your weekend be filled with colorful random bits of fun!

Polymer that recharges

The car dealership waiting room was my impromptu office this afternoon. So you can imagine that an email introducing me to Vancouver artist Amanda Parker was what I needed (well, that and a battery).

Amanda, who sells under the MarianandHazel name, is new to PCD and her always-white, zen-like polymer jewelry speaks softly, calmly and fashionably. She majored in glass which she still works in as she branches out into polymer and recycled leather.

If you need a Thursday breather, sit down with a quiet cup of tea and check out her site, her recent Facebook pictures and her Etsy gallery. The sites, like her designs, are soothing and restorative.

Go-with-the-flow polymer

The UK’s Cate van Alphen created this polymer Baroque Water pendant for The Four Elements Deviant Art Contest. Pearlex powder provides shimmer on the watery bezel and bail. The theme continues around the pendant back. Her second entry is shown here.

Cate writes with charming candor about one meandering experiment saying, “I find myself rather indifferent to the result. I did not have a particular plan when I was making it, so I am spared disappointment, but I also don’t have anything to judge it against to determine if it is a success. And now I wish I could remember how I did it.”

She’s headed in interesting directions and her wishpots and polymer covered headpins offer glimpses of unusual designs ahead.

Balanced asymmetry

Chifonie has moved toward what she calls an ethnic fall mode with her polymer necklaces. Mixing dark textures and interesting shapes with contrasts and personalities she “…searches for balance in the asymmetry.”

The color palette is pure, delicious autumn. See more on her site, her Etsy and Flickr pages where she has a whole stash of ethnic goodies.

Sprucing up

You’ll note that PCD is sprucing up for the season too. There are big things coming this fall and we want to be ready. Let us know if we misplace anything as we rearrange the furniture.

Postgraduate polymer

An-Fen Kuo’s polymer and metal jewelry highlights the theme in “MAdness in the Method“, a group show of 35 graduating MA students from the reknown School of Jewellery, Birmingham, UK. The postgraduate students have undergone an intense process of problem solving, skills building, and researching designs and materials.

An-Fen Kuo chose to pair polymer with her metals work because the color and organic shapes she envisioned for her Organism Study were readily available with the medium.

Start your Monday with a look through An-Fen’s portfolio and a sampling of work on the Crafthaus website. That polymer is being included in the vocabulary of students of fine jewelry marks another step forward for all of us.

Piling on the polymer color

Laurie Mika has taken color to opulence and beyond! She’s piled on the layers of polymer, stamps, paints, metallics, inks and jewels to achieve a whole new level of splendor. This mosaic was inspired by the Indian sari trims Laurie found on her recent trip to Sydney.

When you examine the large version of this snippet from a piece for her Petaluma, CA, Wild About Tile class, it’s hard to know where to look first. Explosions of color detonate in medallions and fire across borders.

Laurie snapped this picture with her phone on the way to the airport and posted it to Facebook where it was met with an immediate uproar of applause. (Randee Ketzel first alerted me to the ruckus.)

Don’t you wish you were in her class? Have a splendid weekend.

Pieced polymer

Israel’s Angela Bahrenholtz likes to work in small bright pieces. Sometimes she uses little sections to build polymer quilts, recently she moved to even smaller micromosaics as in this Autumn pendant.

Her 12″ square all-polymer quilt took second place in the Israeli Polymer Clay Guild’s contest this summer.

Even Angela’s faux tweed cane is made up of little pieces of other polymer scrap. I tried her tweed tutorial and loved the pixelated results.

Knit, crochet, quilt and more – if there’s a fabric technique that can be simulated in polymer, you’ll find it in Angela’s Flickr pages.

Museum-quality polymer

The once-snubbed material is making a grand entrance in the art world, thanks to one woman’s vision and drive.

That’s the tag line for polymer’s coming out story in American Craft Magazine this month and you can read the whole article here.

Written by Monica Moses it celebrates the efforts of Elise Winters and a host of artists who have muscled their way into museums by demonstrating the power of polymer. The pieces chosen for this article were drawn from the upcoming RAM exhibit and you can sneak a mouthwatering peek at the catalog.

Smaller chunks of the collection Elise gathered have gone to the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Newark Museum; and the Mingei International Museum in San Diego.

As Elise’s husband Woody says, “We’re stepping on the surface of a new world, just beginning an artistic exploration of a medium that will reveal itself for decades to come.” Read all his comments on the PolymerArtArchive blog.

Testing the limits

Artists are testing the limits of Kato clay. This bangle from Laurie Prophater is constructed of thin strings of copper colored Kato that have been wound decoratively around a pop can and embellished with pearls on wire. I was surprised at its strength…and beauty. Laurie links to design sites on her blog. If you want to see her personal work, you’ll have to go to her Flickr pix.

Rebecca Watkins built a strong faux wood  prototype bangle out of intertwined extruded triangular strings of Kato. She brushed it with dark metallic powder and sanded off the excess. Her minimalist approach is very appealing.

I can’t believe I’m uploading to the blog mid-air on my flight home from Denver. Southwest offers wifi for $5! By creating an in-flight post I can avoid testing the limits of my marriage by heading straight for the computer when I get home.