All in the family

Rather that looking at classic images, this time I searched my family tree for inspiration for a polymer face cane. I never knew my maternal grandmother but I cherished a pin that captured her beauty as a young girl.  I decided to recreate that image in my latest mosaic cane.

The cane, which I built from extruded squares in six sections, measured 5″ x 7″ x  1-1/2″.  Read more about it in the post, Grand mama, what big eyes you have!on my blog.

guest post from Julie Eakes

Survey says…

When my art teacher husband told me he had decided to add polymer clay to his high school 3D design class I was thrilled!

Naively I thought it would be pretty easy to help him write the curriculum for his 10th-12th grade students. It wasn’t until we actually got to work that I realized our biggest hurdle would be condensing the mountain of skills, techniques and information available to fit ten, 80-minute sessions. Onward!

We ordered required reading materials based on the Polymer Art Archive bibliography, poured over the internet and started sharing the pasta machine. Basic supplies were ordered and arrived within a week. So what’s next?

Well, we’d love to have your help!  Beyond conditioning, baking and basic studio safety, what four or five foundational polymer clay skills should be included in the lessons? Leave your comment here or write me directly at jibbyandjuna@comcast.net

guest post by Genevieve Williamson

An accurate polymer picture…

As a guest blogger, I would like to direct your attention to an issue that affects the polymer community and to offer you the opportunity to have your opinion heard.

The manufacturers are grappling with many issues that center around reformulating polymer and bringing the best product to market. Your response to this comprehensive survey allows you to rank which issues are most important to you. With an accurate picture of our needs manufacturers may make products that suit us better.

Grab your favorite beverage and expect to invest 10 to 15 minutes of your time to answer 40 questions. The responses will be tallied and sent as one document to all the polymer manufacturers. Here’s the survey.

As a thank you for your efforts, you will have a chance to win an autographed copy of Terra Nova – Polymer Art at the Crossroads, released in conjunction with the opening of the Racine Art Museum’s exhibition. This special book has been signed by all the boundary-breakers! To enter the drawing, fill out the survey and comment on this post “I took the survey.” Then check next Monday to see if you won.

Editor’s Note: Congratulations to Carol Dotin, winner of this giveaway. Thanks to all who participated.

guest post from Lindly Haunani

Collaborators

Every day for the next three weeks, you’ll be treated to topics chosen by guest posters who volunteered to pinch-hit on PCDaily. Their work allows me to travel worry-free. Shower them with comments!

Here are some ways you can get involved in my Nepalese adventure:

In this exotic bracelet Wisconsin’s Erin Prais-Hintz took a few beads I created for my trip and worked some magic. I asked for asymmetric and jangly and sent her to my Pinterest board to get a sense of my vision. I’ve been tossing ideas and inspirations onto Pinterest for months.

My eyes filled with tears when I saw Erin’s results on this and several other pieces which are better than what I had in mind and way better than what I could have done. Here’s Erin’s work on Flickr and she’s written about this project on her blog. Erin’s creations are carefully packed in my suitcase as I head out for a few weeks.

I can hear you all shouting, “Bon Voyage!” See you in December.


Mixed media mosaics

Susan Crocenzi mixes polymer clay elements with her unglazed porcelain, tempered glass, glass and mirror mosaics as in this 8×10″ Architecture Healer (Hundtertwasser).

Artists can match polymer to the color, texture, shape, and thickness of other tesserae without the need of a kiln. Recently Susan’s been teaching mixed media classes that focus on integrating polymer into traditional mosaics.

“Mosaic art offers the sweet possibility that the random, disparate bits-and-pieces of our lives can yield peace, beauty, and meaning,” she explains. Read about Susan’s classes and study her glittering works on her site and her Facebook page.

Traditional polymer

South Carolina’s Lynda Moseley ushers in the season with some lovely vintage holiday transfers on polymer. Her collection’s theme is loosely based on historical traditions from around the world.

Lynda admits that her designs are sentimental. “When I was a teenager, my grandmother gave me a crosstitch pattern book which had different Christmas traditions in it and I recreated them all and put them on our tree. My mother still puts them on her tree and has every year for the last 35 years,” she says.

Here’s a sneak peek at her holiday collection. Do you have traditions that tug at your heartstrings and affect your designs?

Easy-does-it faux dichroic

Florida’s Sherri Kelberg was going with the flow and watching I Love Lucy reruns when she created this faux dichroic polymer pendant. “When I just lose myself in what I’m creating, it seems to come out better,” she says. The drawback of this unplanned approach to art is that the process may be hard to replicate.

Sherri remembers that this latest project “…involves layering, with translucent clay, rainbow foils, and pearl canes. After I bake the pendant and it’s hot out of the oven, I plunge it in a bowl of ice water. This seems to help with the clarity of the final product.”

Then she sands followed by a vigorous buffing with a microfiber cloth. A coating of resin completes the look. Her easy-does-it reminder is a good way to start the week. See more on Sherri’s Flickr pages, her Etsy site and on Facebook.

Bringing color into life

Hi, this is klio 1961, (Eleni is my sister’s name, we used her name to open our etsy shop). I really want to thank you all, from the bottom of my heart. Your nice comments are very encouraging. I am Greek, and Greece is experiencing very difficult moments, we all live in a nightmaire, so I need to bring some color in my life and keep the hope alive. Thank you all once again, please do no believe all these bad things that are said about Greece and Greeks.

This comment from Greece’s Klio Tsaliki from Wednesday’s post reminds us of our difficult global times and of the power of the creative spirit (and polymer) to lift our spirits.

The sunny, cheerful artwork shown here is from France’s Celine Roumagnac who specializes in happy polymer vignettes. This one, Village in the Clouds, is captured under a glass dome.

Visit her Flickr pages for more sweetness, a slideshow of her little worlds and even a news video visit to her booth! Have a sweet weekend.

Cebeka slices

The identity of France’s Cebeka is unclear but her style is distinctive. Her various constructions take great advantage of simple canes made of subtly graduated colors. She throws in a few stripes for variety and sometimes shapes slices into teardrops for elegant dangles. Cut, repeat, manipulate is the basis for many great designs.

Simple and effective polymer techniques are catching my eye since I’ll soon be teaching artists who need to produce appealing quality items in an efficient way. Cebeka’s approach is a good strategy. Her site is full of delightful examples.

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