Tweedy polymer

Israel’s Angela Barenholtz specializes in dots and dashes in polymer. Her tutorial shows you how to combine a rainbow of colors into pleasant tweeds that mix comfortably with the most riotous patterns.

With its bright, sunny colors, Angela’s Flickr site provides us with relief from the past several days of gray and stormy skies. I hope you’re all safe, warm and dry.

Grown-up rolled beads

What is it about rolled beads that fascinates us? Is it because we made them as kids that we want to try them again?

These grown-up polymer versions are from Page McNall. She adds graduated color, texture, and embedded trinkets with a wash of color – taking rolled beads to a whole new level.

Page has been experimenting. See what she’s up to on her Flickr page.

Skull chips

These alien skulls from Susan Detwiler looked right at home sprinkled among the polymer poker chips at the Mammoth Cave guild event. They were highly sought prizes.

Susan also features voodoo dolls, robots, faerie houses, hearts and more on Flickr where her art combines ghoulish humor with whimsy and wit. Be sure to introduce yourself to her Fred, Ethel Mae and Lola.

There are a few snapshots from the Kentucky event on Flickr for you to enjoy while I catch up with your posts and a pile of email.

Halloween hearts

Ron Lehocky takes a more benign approach to Halloween with his heart pins that support the Kids Center for Pediatric Therapies. Ron works on heart number 20,203 as he sits across the table from me at the Kentucky gathering. Artists generously send him their scraps and cane ends which he upcycles into new creations.

Guild members are also working on Beads of Courage and Bottles of Hope. Tonight I regaled them with stories of the Samunnat project. You can take pride in the amount of heart shared by polymer clay artists. We’re playing….see you Monday. Look, Ron added a few Nepali mirrors to his latest heart!

Fractured polymer geometry

Missouri’s Dawn Stubitsch has started mixing her media in a new jewelry series that combines polymer with metal clay.

Dawn has been known for her super realistic polymer cake toppers and her tame and tidy graphic pendants. These recent energetic combinations of patterns, layers and materials represent a new direction.

Look more closely at Dawn’s work on her Facebook page, her website, and her Etsy shop. Libby Mills, who just finished a metal clay workshop with Celie Fago, brought the Dawn’s new geometry to our attention.

Scream of consciousness polymer

Wendy Malinow’s grinning polymer shaker is filled with steel shot which makes it fit for a serious percussionist. But her musician husband is frightened by the menacing 12 1/2″ tall multi-eyed root. The real teeth embedded in pink polymer gums add to the scariness of this piece that both attracts and repulses.

Her root has been accepted into this year’s 38th Toys Designed by Artists exhibition November 21 to January 6 at the Arkansas Art Center. Here’s Wendy’s official site.

In Las Vegas where Wendy taught last week, the shaker looked at home among the skulls and bones strewn across her work surface. The students made more benign eggs, bones and mushroom charms. Wendy’s quirky woodland vision merged perfectly with Leslie Blackford’s dark and deviant characters from the farm and circus. Check out this snake!

Their “scream of consciousness” approach to polymer art made students stretch their skills and search their souls. It was all in good fun and perfectly timed for Halloween.

Penciled polymer brooch

Bonus points are awarded to polymer artists who make work that looks good with the PCDaily colors! Today’s mixed media Phagocytosis from Annie Pennington is surely a winner. Annie’s also Associate Editor at  Art Jewelry magazine.

Her brooch combines sterling silver, copper, polymer, handmade wool felt and colored pencil. The richness of her strokes on polymer will have you digging through your art supplies for your long-forgotten pencils.

More buttons

These button-like polymer pendants from Tel Aviv’s Hila Bushari were inspired by a glass artist. Multi-layered, multi-colored, multi-textured designs make for a sumptuous effect. And here’s Hila’s Etsy shop. Would some of her candle holders look good on your holiday table?

You may be waiting for a report on my Las Vegas experience but it’s taking me a while to digest all that I learned. This quiet midwestern girl is easily overwhelmed by the glitz and glamor of sin city. I didn’t lose a nickel in the slot machines but I managed to drop a significant sum in the Clay Carnival store. Polymer is a much safer bet for me.

Ornamental polymer

Slovenia’s Klavdija Kurent gets a head start on holiday ornaments with this domed and pierced layered polymer creation. Hitting the highlights with metallic paste gives it a rich, old world warmth.

Klavkija’s strong designs (and her articles in Unikat magazine) have brought her quite a following as you can see on her Facebook page.

This textured, monochromatic necklace, Klavdija claims, is from leftovers. Isn’t that the way? The leftovers often turn into your favorite pieces.

Beads or buttons

These subtly domed designs from Germany’s Vera Kleist could be either beads or buttons. Vera gives minimal techniques maximum impact with her fashionable color choices and stringing variations.

Browse her Flickr and Etsy sites to see where her smart design sense has led her. Thanks to Bettina Welker for the link.

What happens in Vegas…

…will not stay in Vegas if I have anything to say about it. This weekend’s clay carnival will be my first and I’ll be meeting new folks and catching up with old chums. Can’t wait to share what I find with you!