Listening to polymer

Minnesota’s Jan Geisen calls herself an improv artist. “I just capture what the art piece I am working on tells me it wants to be,” she says. She comes to polymer after years working with photography and silkscreen.
Jan tried caning but had more fun collaging the scraps and followed her instincts.

If you find yourself isolated and far from other artists, read how Jan reserves her Tuesday nights for a Skype date when she works and chats with a polymer artist who lives 600 miles away.

See the results in Jan’s Flickr site and her Etsy shop which is full of her collages and tutorials.

Clearly a polymer mystery

We start the week with a head-scratcher from Katrin Neumaier. How does she form her glass-like Firefly earrings? In the comments (in German) on her Flickr page she reveals that liquid Fimo is involved. She certainly starts our week with a mystery.

You may recall that we featured Katrin’s glass-like earrings on PCD back in February. The early ones were made using Pardo translucent polymer clay. Obviously, she wasn’t satisfied and kept experimenting to achieve an even clearer form.

I see some teaching in Katrin’s future, don’t you?

Viral polymer extrusions

Bettina Welker’s clever extruded cane that was featured last week has gone viral already. Some of the most imaginative versions of Bettina’s tutorial showed up on the blog of tmariefrance (Marie France Tournat).

Marie used Bettina’s multi-colored extruded cane as a launch point for other experiments that you can browse through on her site and shop.

If you’ve never extruded before, this cane can give you instant success. Let me know if you come up with your own interesting versions. I’m going to have to try this too. You can use the off-cuts and leftovers for that other viral tutorial, the Stroppel cane.

Real textures

James real textures

Victoria James‘ texture sheets are a favorite of mine because most of them replicate stone, wood, plants and other real textures. It’s helpful that for most of her designs she shows polymer examples. This one caught my eye. The pattern comes from her shingle cracked growth ring texture sheet.

Victoria explains that, “PearlEx was lightly rubbed on the out-y part of a silicon texture sheet and the clay was impressed. This textures the clay and transfers the mica powder at the same time. Next PearlEx was rubbed directly onto the out-y part of the clay surface. The clay was then rolled flat.” Super easy mokume gane!

Beach finds

It feels as if you could brush warm ancient sand off these polymer treasures from Elena Sevva (here’s the correct link). Elena is from Ukraine and lives in Israel.

She wraps delicate wire around some of the amber-like beads and strings them on a leather cord to complete the effect. Stamped designs and scratches are accented with faux metallic and ceramic finishes. Look at them more closely on her Flickr pages.

Summer travels

I’m fully in vacation mode and PCD posts may reflect that as they appear little later and on a more leisurely schedule. Let’s all have some summer fun.

Mixing clays

If you like your clays in both polymer and metal, take a look at the work of Ohio artist Pat Bolgar. Her complex combinations mix materials, colors and shapes in rich and appealing ways. Her mixes engage the eye as she brings color to metallics and, at the same time, adds metallics to polymer.

Pat is featured in the new Metal Clay and Color book and she’s added updated photos on her Facebook page. You can also tour her cabin-in-the-woods studio on Facebook.