Polymer sculpture in bloom

The newest polymer sculpture from Germany’s Angelika Arendt reminds me of the colorful hillsides here in southern California where I’m visiting. Angelika’s steep landscape draws you in and doesn’t disappoint.

On the sunny slopes the orderly rows of cane slices have budded. Other patches are awaiting their turn to bloom into bigger color and texture. I’m tempted to run my finger down the side of this dazzling polymer mountain.

Look closely here. Have a colorful, blooming weekend.

Dynamic polymer

Making dynamic art for the body is what Donna Greenberg says she’s all about. The dynamics of her new curving Saber Tooth necklace shows what she means.

The swirled beads refuse to lie flat, pointing their gold-tipped ends at each other in a colorful dance of shape and color. The piece combines menacing and playful impulses.

Donna’s one busy artist! See her spring display at Sample NYC.

Birthday presence

Birthdays have a way of reminding you to get busy and for Scotland’s Melanie Muir and West Virginia’s Judy Belcher, recent big days pushed them into action.

This hollow-bead Skye-line necklace was inspired by Melanie Muir’s birthday trip to the Isle of Skye and the dramatic mountainous landscapes there. Invited to submit work to several prestigious US shows this year, Melanie says she’s been “squeezing my brains” to develop new work. You can see the results on her Facebook page.

Judy Belcher’s birthday prompted her to launch her new and improved website today! (It was polished by my dear daughter.) Judy’s energy and savvy shine through on every page.

She’s also developed a new MicroKnitting class for CraftEdu that debuts on Wednesday. Be sure to get in on her clever twist on the polymer knitting craze.

While both Melanie and Judy welcome your birthday wishes, sometimes it’s the gifts we give ourselves that are truly important.

Western themes

We’re off to California and Arizona which gives me an excuse to feature this cactus ring from Camille Young and to browse her assortment of polymer art that includes everything from barbed wire to video game themes.

The breadth of her interests is evident in the works that appeared in this 30-day art challenge. She moves from artichokes to stones to pixilated fantasy with enviable ease. What’s on her mind flows directly to her fingers.

Serendipitous polymer

The polymer scrap from a guild challenge provided San Antonio’s Deb Tuchsen with a rainbow of leftovers. She stacked and spiraled them into a Kato-style cane. The end bits were layered into a Stroppel-inspired log.

The synergy of the techniques and colors added up to a Van Gogh-meets-Hundertwasser cuff! This art history lesson comes to you courtesy of equal parts serendipity, sharing and skill. Congrats to Deb for bringing it all together.

I don’t know if her entry was successful in the guild challenge but this is certainly a winner. Watch the whole process on her Flickr site.

Polymer curves

The lovely curves of Jana Lehmann’s newest polymer pens are offset by crisp, quirky designs layered over sensuous Skinner blends.

Those shapely pen bases must only be available in Germany. They would certainly have been snapped up by polymer enthusiasts if they were available in the U.S. Does anyone have a source? 

Even Jana’s Easter eggs show off her graphic sensibility. She has a whole gallery just for pens and polymer objects on Flickr. Jana sets a high bar for design.

Gypsy tricks

Oregon’s Dede Leupold added these dramatic Gypsy earrings to her Etsy site recently. She embeds the silver wires into the polymer, fires the clay and suspends the amethyst clusters and topaz drops later.

Dede has a delicate touch in both caning and wireworking and finishes the backs with equal care.

The blues of Dede’s color palette are distinctive. Check out her Ode to Spode button photos on her Facebook page for more examples.

Real and faux felt

Hot colors help Oxana Volkova (Oksoon) warm up the winter in Moscow (check out the pictures from pancake weekend). This brooch is a mix of bright felt colors with a multicolored organic growth of polymer at its center.

A similar oval brooch (below) looks like it has a bit of Stroppel cane next to felt. But the felt is faux, a texture achieved by attacking the polymer surface with a toothbrush!

Oxana includes an intriguing hollow bead experiment in her Flickr pictures. And this star is one of my favorites too. So much to look at!

Normal polymer

If you had any tired or timid thoughts this Monday, prepare to lose them. This shot of exhuberant, exotic polymer beads, called Same Same But Different, comes from Thailand’s Aow Dusdee.

Her beads are made into simple necklaces here. Her more elaborate works mix beads and fibers and polymer in constructions that drape the body.

Aow has added new images of “my crafty home” to her Flickr site. Crochet and polymer and color surround her in an inviting tropical home. Polymer beads hang in the doorways, pair up with tassels and embellish sculptures. Colors that might seem garish in other settings fit perfectly here.

It’s a big world out there and there are many, many ways to express yourself with polymer. A page from her sketchbook reads, “Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.” Happy Monday!

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