Polymer seasons ahead

Heather Powers shows us how handy the falling leaves can be. “I used translucent clay and stained the polymer with color so they glow in warm fall hues when held up to the light,” she says of her newest collection.

Check out the similar headpins she made as well as her other nature-inspired designs.

If it’s almost fall, you know that the holiday season can’t be far behind. The ladies of the Samunnat project have already created polymer creche scenes dressed in Nepali finery. Wendy Moore will temporarily abandon her post as shipper for the Samunnat Etsy site and head for Nepal soon. So start your shopping now! And have a festive weekend.

Restful polymer colors

These polymer beads from Russia’s Victoria Mkhitarian calm me down on a busy day. And they look mighty pretty with the PCD site colors, don’t they?

Sometimes when you’re tired and fresh out of brain cells, it’s good to go with your gut. Find something pretty and just say, “Ahhh.” Take a break and browse through Victoria’s interesting shapes and clever combinations.

Jelly roll mokume gane

Geoffrey mokume gane

Polymer mokume gane has been around for so long that it can become, well, boring. But I couldn’t take my eyes off Rebecca Geoffrey’s latest take on the technique. Her polymer billet is made from layers of Skinner blend jelly rolls laid side by side and flattened.

Look at this picture to get the idea. These pictures may have you heading to your studio to figure out how it’s done. More pix here.

Geoffrey pendants

What looks like a cookie cutter in the second picture is actually Rebecca’s handmade silver bezel (and the round tube is the bail). It adds up to a stunning mix of media.

Polymer swallows

Wallis swallows

This beautiful swallow cane from the UK’s Claire Wallis illustrates a problem she’s working to solve.

“I really struggle with translucent clays,” Claire explains adding that, “I find it very hard to slice the cane thin enough so that the translucent is clear not opaque. Plus I find layering the cane slice distorts it somewhat.”

These pendants represent one solution. She trimmed and baked thin slices of the large swallow cane. Then she pushed the baked slices into unbaked backgrounds. Voila! No distortion….but more sanding. Claire brings her painterly approach to caning with impressive results.

Fall faux soutache

Magdalene soutache

Fall colors are popping up. The faux soutache earrings created by Magdalena on this Polish site bring Halloween to mind….but a very sophisticated Halloween. What a perfect use for extruded clay.

I’m on the road this weekend with no time for research. Any Polish speakers out there who can tell us more about Magdalena?

Polymer plein air

Kate van Aphen submitted this polymer painting for a recent virtual paintout (VPO). “What’s that,” you ask?

It’s a virtual painting trip. The theme and location are chosen and the artists travel via Google Street View to find a scene they like and screencapture it. Kentucky’s Bill Guffey started the clever exercise when he wanted to paint outdoors but could only paint at home at night.

Kate is from South Africa and now lives in England. She has a background in computer arts and was drawn to polymer by its tactile nature and vivid colors. Her Sisters Beach, Tasmania polymer painting is 10cm x 10cm and is drawn from a Google view.

Pittsburgh’s Rebecca Watkins participates in VPOs when she can and she sent Kate’s link along.

Polymer whistles

Vancouver’s Joan Tayler has made polymer whistles for years. This leaf shape is a new design. Look at all the others on her Etsy shop.

Don’t you think it’s time for Joan to write a whistle tutorial? I sure would like a lesson…and I’d pay good money to avoid the problems that she’s already worked through. If you feel the same, leave a comment and maybe Joan will take the hint.

Artfair polymer finds

Lori Wilkes’ was one of six polymer booths at the local show and I spotted this new necklace. The beads looked African to me but she swears that she was following an Italian influence. Either way, kewl. She revealed that tool used to distress these beads is a fine wire dog brush.

Lori has a book coming out in October that may satisfy readers who complain about how artists getting started in polymer can be deluged with confusing and conflicting information. Lori’s book, The Absolute Beginners Guide: Working With Polymer Clay, is from Kalmbach Books and it’s available for pre-order on Amazon. Sample a few pages here.

Spotting polymer at artfairs is one of my favorite games. The others I found yesterday were Kim Arden, Valerie Wright, Annabelle Fisher, Greg and BJ Jordan, and River Wolfe. Hope I didn’t miss any.