Swirling inks from Greece

These sorbet colored lentil swirls from Athens’ Klio Tsaliki are the result of lots of experiments with Premo frost, Premo white, alcohol markers and regular markers.

The sweet pale colors are perfect for summer. For other seasons, see what Klio has done using Premo gold.

Watching the swirls of pattern materialize is addictive. If you’re looking for an easy and fun diversion in clay, this might just what you need.

If you’ve never made a bicone-shaped bead, you’re in for a treat. Desiree McCrory’s step-by-step is one of the best explanations. It’s like riding a bike and once you get it, you’ll take off.

Faster, higher, stronger polymer

Olympics

Someone had to polymerize the Olympics, right? The gold medal goes to Croatia’s Nikolina Otrzan and her Citius, Altius, Fortius necklace. That’s the Olympic motto – Faster, Higher, Stronger.

Nikolina’s polymer rings are colored with chalks, sealed with a glossy coating, and joined with large jump rings.

She’s also been perfecting her writing on polymer, hiding messages in her graphic designs for pendants. Browse around her Flickr and her Etsy sites and enjoy an Olympic weekend.

Pyramid power polymer

Pyramids from Fanmaus

We’ve been on an extruding craze lately and here’s one more for you to try while it’s hot and the clay is soft.

Fanmaus (Tatiana Begacheva) from Russia brings us this cheerful jumble of pyramids covered in extruded strings of clay.

I’ll guess that she baked the base forms first, then she adhered the strings to the triangles and fired again. The chunks move and the colors spiral to give the necklace movement and interest.

Polymer artifacts

“I make all kinds of artifacts,” says New Hampshire’s Luann Udell, “I imagine myself an ancient artist working in ivory and soapstone. I dream of giving these to people I love, people who wear them daily until they are worn smooth by the touch of human hands.”

These polymer faux stone masks kept calling me back to study them along with Luann’s ancient horses, bears, fish, birds and talisman. Resonances of both primitive and digital cultures come through as Luann retells ancient stories in our very modern medium – a cyber tribal effect.

“I tell stories with my art, stories to honor and encourage others who are making their own place in the world,” she explains. Check her links and see for yourself.

Bauhaus polymer

The UK’s Angela Garrod starts our week with these tidy bauhaus-like designs. The hollow lentil beads are covered with geometric designs that combine gold and pearl mica polymer with black contrasts.

She admits that the designs presented complex and challenging problems. Angela was named Voila’s Polymerista of the Year in the Proficient Category for 2011. She has started teaching her techniques and is scheduled at the UK’s Polymer Pamper Play weekend in April 2013.

Twisted polymer fun

All signs point to extruding. Get out your gun and try this new trick from St. Petersburg’s Maria Belkomor .

Her twisted bracelet comes with an easy tutorial in Russian but you won’t need written instructions to get the gist of it. The pictures show you everything.

Notice how the soothing colors of her bracelet match the colors in the street view on her blog.

Some fun for your weekend! It’s still hot which will make the clay softer and easier to extrude.

A polymer rabbit that teaches

This 3-inch lop bunny from Oregon’s Sophie Skein is sculpted from white polymer blended with iridescent glitter.

Her explanation may ring true for you today as she says, “Rabbits are gentle, shy and fearful. Rabbits have taught me how to be gentle with myself when I am afraid. People tend to dislike the fearful parts of themselves and others, but almost everyone likes rabbits. It helps me to remember that we can have the same compassion for our fearful selves that we naturally do for rabbits.”

Perhaps this group of groundhogs is more to your liking. It’s easy to find some critter in Sophie’s Menagerie of Inscrutable Magic that will lift your spirits. She grew up next to her family’s vet clinic which gave her a special understanding of small orphaned animals that comes through in her polymer creations.

Working Wednesday

Israel’s Yonat Dascalu brings us these sunny canes that look like crisp sun dress fabrics. What an inspiration it is to examine neat colorful canes that work. See more on her Flickr and Etsy sites.

If you’ve been eyeing the latest dyes and patinas from Swellegant, look at Heather Powers’ examples,  color formulas and step-by-step how-tos for this new line. The effects are stunning and require some patience and persistence. Heather is sold on the product and her instructions may help if you’re considering them.

Careful, Heather’s sites are full of new beads and pretty things that may keep you online longer than you intended.

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