Verklempt polymer

Or as Laurel Steven jokes about her polymer hearts wall piece, VerClumped. Overcome with emotion, that is, verklempt by all the birthday wishes and hoping that the site is up in time for me to post this. Seems the server was overwhelmed too! (Yea! we’re back.)

Camille Young throws her heart into the ring and in keeping with our bad pun birthday theme, we’ll call that Young at Heart (she calls it Majora’s Mask). With so many terrific hearts online this season, you can expect to see them sprinkled liberally in posts for the next two weeks.

Polymer color boost

Nothing seems to start the week better than a shot of color! Why not take a double dose for good measure?

The first is hummingbird color from Carol Simmons. A study of the hummingbirds visiting her Colorado home resulted in Carol’s brilliant irredescent version of mokume gane. This botanist/artist has found a way to combine her polymer passion and birding bent with a new class that’s an adventure in both.

Rebecca Geoffrey moved over into metal clay, resin, and metalsmithing two years ago. Remember these? She’s back!

She explained that, “The dilemma is whether I will make mostly silver and resin jewellery, polymer clay and silver jewellery or sterling and gemstone work. I was feeling that I had to completely do one or the other but was not wanting to feel trapped in one medium. Then, the lightbulb went on and I realized that I could do it all. I will just have to work harder to make a cohesive line through all mediums. I don’t feel fulfilled unless I am learning new things and feel that this is the only way I can make and sell jewellery and feel satisfied.”

Many polymer artists share Rebecca’s enthusiasm for mixing up their media! The skills learned in one new media usually trickle into the others. It’s win-win. More here.

Wired hearts

Staci Smith is a Pennsylvania mixed media artist who sometimes throws polymer into the mix. Her tray of hearts ready for the oven looked so full of possibility that it pulled me right into the studio to make a few valentines of my own. Her rough and random wires add playful touches.

Staci’s new to PCDaily and you’ll enjoy her metal clay and sea glass work as you search for her polymer pieces. Look here and here.

Identifying birds

Seems that the birds I attributed to Leslie Blackford on Wednesday were made by her students. All the more reason to take a class with Leslie! The bird featured in the post was made by Barb Kunkle.

Buzzing, skittering, crawling polymer

Allow the color to wash over you as you watch Jeff Dever’s Edensong Revisited – Buzz, Skitter and Crawl YouTube video. This 3-minute video chronicles the growth of Jeff’s piece through installations at the Fuller Craft Museum and later at the Racine Art Museum.

The closeups show sinuous shapes and gradations of color on lovely alien creepy crawlies. Jeff promises the debut of his website later this year.

Note that the Racine (RAM) polymer exhibit closes on February 5. The museum is offering a Kathleen Dustin mug and Terra Nova: Polymer at the Crossroads book package deal. Thanks to Maggie Maggio for the link!

No angry birds

Leslie Blackford’s polymer woodland birds perch just the way they should but there’s something definitely wacky and endearing about them. Pictures of the flock she created at a Philadelphia Guild workshop demonstrate the point.

One wears a crown, another a cowboy hat. One smokes a cigar, several have outlandish plummage and cheeky grins. It’s easy to identify the birds but hard to put your finger on why they’re so appealing. While Leslie’s style can appear deceptively simple and childlike, students soon realize how difficult it is to accurately capture an essence and then veer into fantasy with polymer.

Leslie grew up in the woods of Tennessee and Kentucky with a botanist father helping her identify, study and appreciate the wildlife. The shapes and characteristics of each species were clearly imprinted in Leslie’s head. Maybe it’s her understanding and kinship with animals that startles us and makes us stop in our tracks.

Love beads in polymer

Wendy Malinow’s Etsy site is already stocked with hearts for the coming season. Romantic, gruesome, wooden, beating, funny, anatomical…her polymer valentines run the gamut.

These entwined faux birch branches form a lovely pendant perfect for anyone with an outdoorsy, Portland sensibility. (Are you watching Portlandia?) Her bleeding thorn heart might appeal to more prickly sweethearts.

Wendy grew up in a household knee-deep in art projects. You won’t be surprised that one of her earliest art encounters was with “love beads” and she continues to share her fascination.

Enlivened lockets

While the idea of covering lockets with polymer has been around for a while, Sydney, Australia’s Rocky Antonio turns the idea on its head!

The necks on Rocky’s charming Matryoshka dolls are made from lockets turned sideways. Jumprings baked into their heads allow them to be suspended from chains as pendants or charms. Study more pictures here and start your engines this week with a updated, upcycled twist on an old idea.

Pantone polymer

Unaodd’s Lynn Lunger was inspired by Pantone and spring seed catalogs. She mixed her own Tangerine Tango, Pantone’s color of the year, and started developing her 2012 palette.

Lynn confesses to a crisper drawer full of extra flower seeds from years past. That doesn’t stop her from considering if she should buy some of the new ones offered in this year’s crop of February garden catalogs.

In an effort to resist giving in to seed acquisition, she started filling custom-made silicone molds with her new polymer colors. Imprints of last years’ blooms had been pressed to make the forms. The resulting polymer beads give us visual taste of spring.

What’s happening in Lynn’s studio usually reflects what’s growing outside and her blog is a good garden and studio read. Think spring this weekend.

Guilt-free polymer

When the very disciplined Dayle Doroshow admits that she’s veered off her creative course to dabble in a few new polymer ideas that weren’t on her list, I sigh with relief.

These Les Fleurs brooches aren’t the earrings she was supposed to be working on and they don’t directly relate to her project but aren’t they lovely? Dayle allowed herself some guilt-free time to play with glowing colors and sift through her stash of vintage buttons from French flea markets. The petals are polymer with a few fabrics tossed in. The center of each flower is highlighted with a button.

Seeing how fruitful and fun Dayle’s play time has been might take some pressure off your to-do list and give you a nudge back into the studio. Need more creative nudges? Check out our Creative Sparks book.

A certain mentalitea

PCDaily hasn’t visited Nova Scotia’s Kate Church for two years and when she appeared on the DailyArtMuse, it was time to look again. Kate’s mixed media jewelry, like this polymer-faced Red Queen, resides in theatre boxes when they’re not being worn.

Her droll dolls and puppets may frown but they dance joyously. They have, as one show was entitled, A Certain Mentalitea that you can experience here.

If your art could use better online exposure, check out DailyArtMuse’s Artist Online classes.