Polymer with mystery and surprise

When Laurel Swetnam wore this study of polymer cone shapes the other day you couldn’t miss the movement of the shapes and vibrancy of the colors against her blue shirt. The oranges and yellows added an unexpected pop.

Mystery and surprise in our work have been a topic of conversation that we’ll explore on PCD as soon as I get home and get settled.

Laurel’s a Portland artist who’s delving into color studies. You may recognize this design from Maggie and Lindly’s book and Laurel’s taken it in a direction that’s entirely her own. Laurel shyly admitted that she’d put a few of her works online so you must visit and welcome her. (Mari was bowled over with your visits and kind comments yesterday.)

I’m missing all of you and will be happy to return to my daily ritual of scrolling through what’s new in your art world. I hope your weekend offers a bit of mystery and surprise.

Treehouse polymer

A brand new site from Maryland’s Mari O’Dell fills in nicely while the Colorado network taunts us with an intermittent signal.

Mari extrudes polymer with an Asian influence to create a great selection of jewelry, treasure boxes and beloved bowls. After 30 years as a public school teacher and travels around the world, she’s settled into teaching and creating with polymer in her treehouse studio.

The quote that guides her is, “To the wise, life is a festival.”

Do a happy dance for this terrific polymer artist who joins the online community.

Fishing expedition

Alice Stroppel’s fat colorful fish were a hit in the slide swap. Their caned and metallic-leafed bodies made them both fanciful and believable. You’ll find Alice’s joyful canes and faces on her Etsy and home site as well.

As much late night work as swaps require, it’s worth the effort when the results are as bountiful as these. It was a Christmas morning experience.

The fish are an appropriate icon because being with a group of experienced polymer artists makes my work like shooting fish in a barrel! The network is a bit temperamental but with any luck I can share more with you each day.

If a post is missing, blame it on the mountains and come back later.

Fabric inspirations, software samples

Carol Simmons shares a kaleidoscope software program that she uses to sample colors and try out designs. (Kaleider is for PCs only and offers a free trial.) Carol rotates and recombines student Nettonya Ryane’s polymer slice for amazing effect.

These colors are taken from Nettonya’s favorite fabric. Carol talks about the value of looking at fabrics for color inspiration. Many of us don’t sew and feel guilty about collecting fabrics for the simple pleasure of looking at them. No more guilt.

Carol swears she’ll work only in earthtones in Colorado. Maybe she’s cleansing her palette! Pictures from Colorado as soon as the network is more stable (apparently our group crashed it).

Primed to learn

Nothing gets us jazzed for a class more than a heap of polymer samples.

Look at the pile that Fabi (ConTusManos) has layed out on this Flickr page and her site for students in Madrid.

Our eyes immediately search for clues about how she’s managed her texture and resin tricks. The extruded bails on her pendants kick your brain into gear and you’re hooked.

Fall is back to school time. I don’t know about you but I’m primed to learn something new this week.

Polymer jellyfish

We finish the week with Bettina Welker’s jellyfish earrings that look like they were made to go with Wendy Malinow’s beach glass necklace from Tuesday’s post. Have we spotted a translucent trend? Are sea creatures in floating to the top (bad pun) in the polymer world?

Bettina’s graceful hollow forms covered by delicately colored cane slices gracefully mimic the sea creatures. Find more jellyfish here.

Next week we move from the sea to the mountains. There won’t be many words from me and I’m hoping for great pictures. I’m hoping your weekend goes swimmingly!

Sliding to Colorado

Polymer swaps can be difficult, especially when one swapper posts a picture of her first efforts which look mighty fine to my eye. The assignment is for “slides” at next week’s meeting and I’m not even sure what that is!

These pieces are from Rebecca Watkins. Barb Fajardo posted hers here.

They moved the bar up just as I moved mine down. The small canes I’d prepared and set on my workspace a few days ago baked in the hot sun that’s been streaming in the window.

It will all be fine. I smile at my insecurity and try to channel Dayle Doroshow’s self-talk (shameless self-promotion).

This little episode gives me great appreciation for those of you who produce for deadlines and shows. I’m happiest tapping quietly on my keyboard and strolling into the studio for unpressured fun. Here’s a peek at my unfinished boho/gypsy/India slides – which I’m liking after all the fuss!

Shriver’s polymer splash

Sarah Shriver sneaked a few new photos into her site recently. This end of the summer Splash bracelet is perfect for today. One last dive into the summer pool.

Sarah has been exploring unusual shapes that snuggle up against each other. She builds them in Ultralight and covers them with slices of wavy, organic polymer canes.

As I prepare to leave for a week in Colorado, I’m dangling shiny new things in front of you to keep you happy while I pack and do all the errands that I’ve put off. No time for the computer, I have to lean on old friends’ work. Thanks, Sarah.

Faux beach glass

Wendy Malinow refined and reworked the polymer sea glass idea we tinkered with together at the beginning of the summer. This Oregon coast artist can’t pass up making polymer into faux beach finds.

We were riffing on Seth Savarick’s faux glass idea that will be shown in a new book due out next spring.

Wendy adds a bit of fantasy sealife to her version and weaves her shards and coral into a necklace of delicate blue greens. Click on the image to get a bit better idea of the color close up.

The clasp on the piece blends beautifully into this end of season design.

Wise polymer owls

Lisa Mackin’s polymer owls are wisely constructed and seriously cute. The ball chain travels through the owl bodies and forms their feet. It looks like the chain is baked right into the clay.

Another very cute owl hangs on her home page and she’s got more clever constructions (see the fish and belt buckles) in her gallery. Happy Labor Day!

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