Southwest mysteries

The southwest influence is clear in these mixed media art dolls from Albuquerque artists Mary and Doug. I wish I could tell you more. We’ll have to wait for information to seep in through the back channels. Susan Lomuto pinned the link on her board first.

The doll bodies are made of various fabrics with stylized and painted polymer heads. They stand 15″ tall. There’s a whole Etsy gallery of interesting designs!

More mystery

If your first efforts in polymer are discouraging, you may want to click on the photo below to see who started out making basic beginner beads just like everyone else. His beads have improved considerably. See what happens when you keep trying?

Polymer Tone Shrine

Germany’s Georg Dinkel has looked at polymer for many years in his job as a photographer for Staedtler, the maker of Fimo. This year he picked up a couple of leftover blocks and he was hooked.

Except for a wooden frame and the electronics, the rest of his Tone Shrine is polymer. Three speakers and an ipad are housed inside the structure which took three months to complete. He started with a smaller ipod nano shrine for his seven-year-old daughter. For his “zaubertafel” ipad the project grew bigger.

Growing up surrounded by German Rococo and Baroque architectural masterpieces, Georg knew how to speak that visual language in polymer.

With a simple display change, the shrine can resemble Big Ben, cathedral windows or any other appropriate icon. Enjoy these photos and this video of his ornate celebrations of technology.

Polymer dollmakers

These hands by polymer doll artist Diane Keeler require a scale and level of detail unfamiliar to most polymer jewelry folks. (The hands are from a class Diane teaches.)

There’s no cane work pattern or rough texture to camouflage flaws. Many polymer doll makers have been elected into NIADA and their sculptures are highly prized.

For an education in polymer dolls, look at the work of Diane Keeler, Jodi and Richard Creager, Kate Church, Annie Wahl, and others in this very specialized branch of 3D polymer.

Big eyed polymer

You may have seen Heather Campbell’s The Eyes Have It on the cover of the recent PolymerArts magazine. What you might not understand is the size of Heather’s pieces. The photo below shows the same piece as it was hung at a gallery opening.

We get so used to the scale of earrings and pendants that we forget that some artists work in a much larger format.

Heather calls the style of her lush mixed media assemblages Bohemian Nouveau. The piece at the left, Enlightenment, will be at Utah’s Springville Art Museum through July.

Polymer MindMancers

Meredith Dittmar includes 32 sculpts and 7 wall pieces in this latest set of MindMancers for a June exhibit. The other set shown below is part of her Agents of the Mystery for the same show.

This Portland, Oregon, artist studied computer science and moved into a successful career in digital design leaving all that behind to focus on creating what she once called her psychepolymereganic tableaux and installations. She’s made thousands of her “guys” which are rapidly snatched up by collectors.

You might think that with her young twin boys she’d be slowing down. But her Facebook page shows the opposite. The pictures of her studio are a total treat. Last year she had a major show in Mexico City.

“I discovered polymer clay in ’93 when I worked at a bead store. Not too much was being done with the material at that time as it was pretty new to the market. I wouldn’t say the clay is difficult to work with, it’s just very deep and can be very technical to get certain effects. You can get pretty crazy with it if you want. Really I think I’m not even using one tenth of the knowledge base out there,” she says.

Peace out polymer

With her slingshot, black eye and peace sign, Dinka is a charmer. The translator tells us that these polymer creatures are from Olesya, a young artist in St. Petersburg. Olesya brings Dinka to life, dresses her in quirky fashions and makes her into a completely believable scamp.

The eyes of her baby seal beg for protection. If you’ve ever tried sculpting with polymer, you’ll appreciate how hard it is to build these small endearments into the clay.

Follow links to more of her characters and to her sales site. The terms of her sales site with its cash-only payments and convoluted delivery terms will make you realize how spoiled we are with our slick systems.

Shrines in polymer

Mika mosaic

Some of you have been asking what happened to PCDaily coverage of sculpture, dolls, miniatures and other non-jewelry art. It’s time you had a turn! Let’s start with Laurie Mika for the first entry in an entire week of 3D.

Laurie continues to raise the bar on color with her latest works. Her inks, foils, paints, and powders layered over stamped and textured polymer achieve amazingly luminous results. Look at some closeups here and here.

Laurie mixes her media, integrating recycled bling and found icons into her assemblages. A few choice words make each piece a jewel-like shrine.

Try a studio dig

The faux ivory beads, buttons and pendants from Selena Anne Wells could have been carefully unearthed from an archaelogical dig but they’re polymer and were dug out of her Berkeley, California studio.

Selena’s beads have a cyber-tribal resonance and a Mad Max appeal achieved with just a few cutters and basic shaping tools. Some are set with cabochons.

She’s posted a whole batch of faux ceramic and metal buttons with the same ancient feel on her Flickr site. Poke a bit of clay to see what treasures emerge from your studio this weekend.