Down to brass tacks

Alaska’s Karen Ottenbreit gets down to brass tacks with her polymer. Actually she embedded domed brads in these polymer beads and has since moved on to leather studs and spikes as she, “…channels my inner biker chick.”

The look blends perfectly with her gothic fish and funky flowers. You gotta be tough to deal with the wildlife and weather in Alaska. You can friend her and follow along on her Facebook page. After a week of seriousness, we end the week with a lighter touch. Have a relaxing weekend.

A polymer embrace

These Embrace beads by Steven Ford and David Forlano showed up in a recent blog post about how their work touches on themes similar to those in the Art Nouveau period. They share a focus on organics and a sense of movement as illustrated in these luscious new beads.

RAM Redux

A slideshow about the Racine Art Museum gala is up for your enjoyment. In my excitement I simply pointed my phone camera (somewhat shakily) and started snapping. Please forgive omissions and silliness.

A comprehensive recording of the event, the panel discussions and events will be available in the future. Pieces from the exhibit are thoroughly documented in the companion book. And the exhibit itself will be open to you until February 5. In the meantime, enjoy my hastily assembled 3-minute snack.

A video conversation with Pier Voulkos will be part of this weekend’s StudioMojo newsletter.

Big beauties

This big beautiful cane by Diane Boivin appeared on Cynthia Blanton’s blog as she recorded the results of the 6-day kaleidoscope pendant intensive workshop with Carol Simmons at the Shake Rag Alley School for Arts and Crafts in Wisconsin last week. Cynthia says that the room got noisy as students began pounding these large triangular assemblages to reduce them.

Look on Cynthia’s blog and on Carol’s Facebook page to see more student work.

And the winner is…

Barbara Briggs won the souvenir t-shirt from the RAM exhibit via random number generator. Congrats and thanks to all who entered.

You may have noticed more changes on the PCD site this week in our attempt to freshen and keep up to date. Of course we broke a few electrons in the process. We appreciate all comments/criticisms.

More RAM pix tomorrow.


RAM treasure chests

Polymer finery was on display all weekend. Some of these were new works, some old favorites. Top left is Kathleen Dustin, Julie Eakes’ framed extravagence on the right with Jeff Dever’s new work in the center (on Hollie Mion). The lavish seascape on the bottom is Laura Timmins’. Bottom right is elegance from Sandra McCaw.

You can enter to win the event t-shirt (printed with a shimmering version of Elise Winters’ art) until midnight (ET) Tuesday! Thanks for all the comments.

Wednesday night’s online class at Craftcast features Patrik Kusek combining metal clay and polymer using “warm” connections.

Win the Terra Nova Tee

Something significant changes when an artwork is set on a pedestal and encased beneath a clear polished museum vitrine. The necklace that was once casually worn to a party is now handled with gloves and tagged with new meaning.

That shift in significance is what we’re all pondering after the opening of the Terra Nova exhibit at the Racine Art Museum. The weekend exceeded all my expectations and you’ll see more as soon as I unpack and catch my breath.

In the meanwhile, you can order the lovely book here. I brought back this souvenir black tee with irridescent artwork for some lucky reader.

Register to win the limited edition Terra Nova t-shirt by leaving a comment below before midnight Tuesday.

Wearing polymer finery

These long slinky ecru earrings from New Mexico’s Barb Fajardo would look good with the jacket I packed for the RAM show. I’m guessing that Barb used the sprigging or Sutton slice technique to place the delicate contrasting flower pattern on the black background. Take a look at the roll that Barb’s been on lately. Don’t miss her cut and replace teaser.

I wear others’ polymer work every day without fail. It dawned on me that I’ll have to wear my own work at the RAM show! Pier Voulkos once revealed that she too had a hard time wearing her own pieces. Do you wear your work comfortably and proudly?

I headed back to my studio to whip up something appropriately dramatic and sparkly. Look for photographs of RAM visitors in all their finery over the next few posts. I’m off on a roadtrip to Wisconsin!

Why Polymer? – from RAM director Bruce Pepich

Is polymer on the rise? Why did the Racine Art Museum decide it was time to “break boundaries” with this new collection? How are museum goers reacting? Bruce Pepich and Craftcast’s Alison Lee discuss this and more in a free podcast available online on Friday.



Polymer pumpkinseeds

Oregon’s Janell Berryman is the creator of Little Pumpkinseeds characters including these mummy and steampunkin originals. Her polymer Pumpkinseeds have grown and changed as she’s sculpted them over 15 years and some of her pieces have been commercially reproduced.

Mummy man is six inches tall and the punkin is about the size of an apple. Breeze through her Etsy site, website and Facebook page to get the full treatment.

Gypsy class tonight

Release your inner gypsy as you learn to make vintage textile replicas in polymer and turn them into colorful clanking bangles or exotic necklaces. My Craftcast online class starts at 8:00 ET with full recordings available afterward. Join us!

Pungent polymer

Prague’s Pavla Cepelikova calls this necklace her Spice Bazaar and its autumn colors made me stop for a longer look. Her Flickr gallery is full of exercises in caning and construction. She’s gravitated to setting stones in polymer in novel ways as in this Smokey Quartz.

Pavla is a quick study and she breezes through techniques (look at all the necklaces in her gallery) while giving them her own distinctive stamp of dense pattern and intense color. This Saffron Addict likes her spices pungent.