Organic extruded cane

Louise Smith’s Swanwalk cane marries Bettina Welker’s extruded retro cane with Alice Stroppel’s scrap idea. The resulting combination cane looks organic and like snakeskin.

Louise takes a chunk of scrap ho-hum cane, reduces it to a diameter that fits the extruder, and tops it off with two chunks of contrasting plain colored polymer. The resulting long extruded snakes are combined Bettina-retro-style. It’s all documented on Louise’s Flickr site. Getting your head around the concept is a good exercise to start the week.

And while you’re getting acquainted with Louise, be sure to look at her Facebook page which is filled with even more eye candy. Thanks to Perrie May for the new link.

Polymer pod clusters

This cluster of polymer pods from Loretta Lam hangs like a bunch of colorful bananas. The pendant cluster is suspended on a long copper chain. It’s a new design that she debuted on her Facebook page.

Is it the ripe fruit look that makes them appealing and ready to be plucked?

Loretta thinks the configuration makes them look like fetishes. The vibe is very contemporary. She’s on to something.

Have a inspired weekend!

Polymer phone decorations, bookmarks

Olena from Kiev, Ukraine has filled her entire Etsy shop with polymer bookmarks and cell phone accessories guaranteed to elicit smiles.

PCDaily first spotted the bookmarks with legs last May and the phenomenon has exploded. Look at all Olena’s legs and shoes designed to help keep you on the right page.

Too late to order for this holiday? You can make your own using cell phone jack plugs. Hang a festive bead from your cell phone. Thanks to Genevieve Williamson for the link!

Dramatic polymer

Italy’s Ilenia Moreni describes her rugged Double Stud bangle as an ethnic-organic piece. The band is faux leather with faux bone and turquoise.

It probably won’t surprise you to learn that Ilenia designs and produces costumes and accessories for theater, role playing and reeactment. The drama leaps out of her big bold art.

Here’s her Etsy shop and her whole collection on Flickr. Thanks to Randee Ketzel for the link.

Emerging polymer

Melanie West is on a roll too! She’s added two vessels along with three new textured necklaces in a series she’s calling Beautiful Uglies.  Note the clever use of small rubber O-rings as spacer beads.

Melanie moves between heavy texturing on her new beads to a cane-slice encrusted 6″ tall vessel in her signature style. She’s calling this vase NudiFlounder.

If she tires of one style, she can move to the other. Smart! Melanie was working toward these new series when we played together in the spring. What a gift to see them emerge.

Bangle binge

Croatia’s Nikolina Otrzan has been on a polymer bangle binge lately. Her large graphic patterns are usually outlined in black or white to accentuate the contrast between colors.

Companion patterns peek out from the bangles’ interiors and add a bonus to the designs.

See the whole collection on Nikolina’s Flickr pages and catch more of her intriguing designs on her Etsy showcase .

Her fresh, bold approach may make you rethink your work as you start the week.

Potted polymer

Toronto’s Afsaneh Tajvidi designs lovely delicate jewelry and sells her jewel-tone watercolors and prints on Etsy. Every once in a while she gets the urge to play with polymer – usually when she’s inspired by her window sill succulent garden or has a request for a cake topper.

Afi rediscovered a stash of tiny flower pots that she had collected and started making a new miniature cactus collection in colors that delight the eye. Is it the gelato colors that make them so mouthwatering?

Here’s her polymer collection on Flickr, her Facebook page, her Etsy site (with a feature on Afi) and her blog.

Moveable polymer

Nova Scotia’s Kate Church has uploaded a stash of recent work that will keep you thinking about sculpture. The posture and expression of each of Kate’s polymer sculptures imparts emotion, drama, action and joy.

Most of them are made to be adjusted, posed and moved. “Each piece is meant to become an artful muse for those who collect them,” she says.

The 21″ tall Betti and Geranium is one of Kate’s current favorites. Look out, her site is full of treasures! Don’t miss the gallery, her blog, her list of classes and even this student’s class pix.

Distilled polymer

Cat of Prague’s Hamlin Designs distills the essence of her subjects into small smooth sculptures. Using only a lump of polymer Cat packs action and personality into simple shapes that convey energy and attitude.

Each piece is around 2″ long and is hand formed, then sanded and buffed. “Often times, when I have a hunk of clay in my hands, I try to hear/feel what it wants to become,” she says.

Janet Hoy sent the link along because she admired the artist’s economy of line. See Cat’s entire menagerie on her Etsy shop.

Drawn to translucent

Kathrin Neumaier taunts us with more of her tantalizing Pardo translucent creations. This time she shows thin color-blended petals gathered and suspended from earwires. Makes you think of projects to try for spring, doesn’t it?

This hummingbird seems to be attracted to the flowers! It’s a big cane (2 1/2″ tall and 6″ wide) from Jennifer Patterson. She’ll fill in the voids with translucent to reduce the cane.

Here’s her Quilted in Clay fan page with pictures of her booth and other great canes.

Survey #3

This survey asks a few brief questions about monetizing your work. Whether you hope to cover your costs or support a lavish lifestyle, we’d like to hear from you. This is the third of four surveys Judy Belcher and I made for our Synergy3 presentation in the spring. We’re loving all your responses!

Anke Humpert is surveying European polymer artists to bring the Synergy crowd an accurate picture of how polymer is faring there. Read about her data-gathering and take the survey here.