Polymer in progress

Wiggins desk

Mixed media artist Angie Wiggins is almost panicked about her inventory for the September 15, 43rd St. Festival of the Arts in Richmond, Virginia.

The in-progress shot of her desk (above) has me checking the map to see how long a drive it would be. Wait ’til you see the mouthwatering photos on her Facebook page of her huge Skinner blends, her layered silkscreens on polymer, her handmade paper bowls.

Her eggshell mosaics fit right in with polymer and her felted bowls stand on polymer bases. In her hands the media mix like old friends.

Wouldn’t you love to stroll through her booth on a crisp fall day?

Spirals or circles?

The Austrian coils or the Swiss circles? I couldn’t decide which ones to feature so you can choose for yourself. The designs are each made from extruded polymer but with entirely different approaches.

The coils are from Austria’s Eva Ehmeier (she’s the model). Graduated colors are extruded (or rolled) into thin strands which are curled and built right on the earwires. Choose your favorite among the neon colors here. Eva developed this design when she allowed herself some playtime in the studio.

E. Mischler from Switzerland gives a monochromatic twist to Bettina Welker’s retro cane that creates a snakeskin or mosaic look. Smooth lentil beads are suspended below coordinated solid color beads. This artist/pharmacist admits that clay has been her addiction since 2007 when she discovered that polymer brought balance to her life.

Polymer cutwork

Fajardo cut and replace

“Remember Jerry Seinfeld and his black and white cookie? That episode popped into my mind when saving this image,” says Albuquerque’s Barb Fajardo. Named Can’t We All Just Get Along? or One Big Happy Family (take your pick) this new design is part of Barb’s push to develop techniques and class materials for next year.

Check out the color versions here. Barb has perfected her cut and replace technique, adding new twists that guarantee good workshops. Here’s her Facebook link, her blog and her CraftArtEdu page.

Retro soul

Look at Libby Mills’ latest work and you’d swear she had a retro soul. She handles a ripple blade like she was born to it. This extruded cane slice could have been swiped from a Mad Men set.

The Skinner blends she starts with are thoroughly modern, however. Browse through her Flickr pages to see how she’s been building subtle, soothing blends into patterns that delight the eye and take you back to the 1960s. Here’s her post about her process.

Mixed media Monday

Amy Christie art

Minnesota’s Amy Christie popped up in a news clipping about her current gallery show. She’s a mixed media artist who uses heavy texture, deep color and sculptural elements in mostly large scale works. Her materials include polymer clay, paint, paper, inks and wire.

Amy’s layered mosaics have a distinctive look and you will be itching to see more. For an idea of the size of her art, try this link. Here’s a bit on Facebook and her blog.

Jumpy colors

This worktable full of polymer pin variations makes fabulous Friday eye-candy. You can get lost in the textures and colors tucked into the layers of these Ford/Forlano O’Keeffe brooches.

These variations came from a technique the duo developed for their Shell series. “We like the jumpy colors and textures,” says Steve. You can see the pins mounted in their bezels on their Facebook page.

Unknown specimens

“Borrowing from the familiar forms of fungus, lichen, and mold, I invent and sculpt fictional organisms that graft onto manufactured domestic objects and infest the nooks and crannies of architectural spaces. Challenging notions of synthetic and organic, real and imagined, these sculptures and installations allude that through the passage of time these spaces and objects will become overtaken,” says Texan Jasmyne Grabill of her mixed media sculptures which rely heavily on polymer for their organic appeal.

Jasmyne’s works were featured in the luscious August/September issue of American Craft. In an article called Fungus Among Us, Monica Moses tracks this visual theme and finds fungus-themed works in metal, paper, fiber and food.

As I read the article my mind automatically started listing other examples of this trend that you may already know. Let’s see: Melanie West, Rachel Gourley, Kim Cavender, Ronna Weltman, Laura Tabakman, Wendy Malinow, Kathleen Dustin, Angelika Arendt, Jillian Moore. And that’s just for starters!

Send me your candidates and I’ll compile a list to send to the editor. ACC should know what we’ve been growing in the PCDaily laboratory.

Back to school this fall

Your online presence is your showcase, your gallery! Pay attention to it. Polymer artists can tell you how enthusiastically I will jump on my soapbox to rant about this subject.

Fellow blogger Susan Lomuto (DailyArtMuse) nags artists too and she offers you an easy solution with her DIY Artist Websites, an online class about how to construct and maintain your own web portfolio.

All you have to do is to look at the spectacular sites of polymer artists Rachel Gourley, Sabine Speisser, and Tory Hughes, all Susan’s students, to see how helpful the class can be.

I’ve taken Susan’s classes and I can tell you that they are jam-packed with surprising resources and time-saving tips. She’s a superb researcher and a terrific teacher. Class starts September 7. Sign up now!

Seuss-isms for Success

Wright circus necklace

Another spirited necklace! Today’s Paradise Circus is from Nova Scotia’s Jenna Wright. Extrusions are coiled around some spheres then carved. Extruded slices are applied to others.

Jenna’s Etsy shop name is Boxes for Groxes and what we know about her we learn only from her colorful, playful aesthetic.

A little more research revealed that her shop name comes from Dr. Seuss’ Seuss-isms for Success whose whimsy fits nicely with Jenna’s art. Read the whole tongue twister here.

Slipping disks

This splash of color from Toronto’s Dorothy Siemens jolts us into a new week. Flat disks of polymer in turquoise, gold and cobalt are interspersed with spheres and a focal lentil covered with mokume gane. A graphic artist, Dorothy leans toward primitive, tribal and bohemian designs with lots of asymmetry.

The color continues on her Flickr site where you’ll see how Dorothy’s knitting skill meshes with her polymer creations. She makes buttons and scarf pins, of course!