Susan Waddington of Polydogz does many things well. What I found myself stuck on as I cruised through her galleries was her ingenious bails for pendants, some from years past, some new.
Integrating polymer bails into pendant design is quite a trick and Susan’s mastered it. She’s fond of using a paper-bead type construction which she camoflages with decorative coverings as in the shield shape with textured folded circle shown here. Layers of patterns form connections that fit seamlessly into her collages of polymer pattern.
How lovely to end the week with Kathleen Dustin’sLayered Fragment brooch. Kathleen explains, almost apologizes, that her focus is changing from narrative and representational to abstract.
“It seems to me that truly abstract work probably most reflects our humanness because it is based on spirit and what we do not see or know. Narrative or representational work is based on what we see and know. It has been a true challenge for me to make work not based on what I see or know,” she says.
Though her focus may change, her reliance on ways of translucent layering that she developed remains. Breath-taking washes of color pull you in as scribbles of metal float in and out of the frame. This new direction forces other changes and she asks for your suggestions here.
Niche Award winner Melanie West enjoys the challenge of a new design and she’s engineered some clever solutions with her new polymer Ball and Star necklace shown here. A magnet secures the ball next to the star and acts as a clasp on this piece which is strung on buna cord (and check out what looks like buna rings over the cording).
She tried a similar solution using memory wire and found it too bouncy in her test drives. Melanie shares more of her design process along with some of her successes and failures in this post.
“I actually like the way they look better than the original impressed stampings. they have so much more depth this way. They feel much more like a small painting to me,” she says. See them all here and here.
When you don’t know which end is up, try making an “innie” an “outie.”
Their textured bronze bails fold over the top edges to create perfect companions for polymer pendants. These artists/sailors create on a floating studio in the South Pacific.
In the tagline for their Artistic Energy series of pendants they ask, “Where does it come from? Like bubbles on the sea –sometimes there, sometimes not.” Where will your artistic energy come from this week?
Thank you to everyone who participated in the Worldwide Pasta Machine Survey. Now we can recommend labeling pasta machines with a thickness guide that will help set a shared standard.
After analyzing the survey results we have four key findings:
As we suspected there are huge differences not just from one model to the next but also from machines of the same model.
The Imperia has the smallest range (in one case just 1 mm – 2.1 mm!) and the Dream Machine has the largest range (.5 mm – 3.4 mm)
The common range is between 1 mm and 2.5 mm.
Absolute precision is not possible due to differences in the way each artist measured their clay and machine, the types and age of clay, the variations in thickness of playing cards and the shifting of the rollers over time.
Pasta Machine Thickness Guide
The survey results were used to create this simple chart that can be used as a more consistent way to talk about thickness regardless of the brand of the pasta machine or the number of settings.
Note that the actual thickness of playing cards does not necessarily equal the millimeter equivalent. The stacked cards will commonly be a bit thinner than the clay that comes out of the machine at the equivalent setting but should be within .25mm. This is due to the cards not filling the space precisely as well as expansion of the clay as it rests after being rolled through.
Not every project needs precision in measuring thickness, and not every artist wants to work with this degree of accuracy. But for those who do, establishing a standard will provide a guideline for teachers and writers to use when preparing instructions for students who would like to duplicate steps as closely as possible.
How to label your pasta machine
The instructions include a chart you can fill in and then cut out to tape to your pasta machine. It only takes about 15 minutes to measure and label your pasta machine. The more machines that are labeled, the more we can shift to sharing a common language about thickness.
We believe it’s important to include the worldwide polymer community in the process of developing this kind of standard. Please let us know your thoughts by continuing to comment here on PCD.
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