Lehocky’s polymer canvas

Lehocky on PCDaily

Ron Lehocky boosted his tally of polymer hearts past the 23,000 mark this week, creating popular designs from scrap canes destashed from other artists’ studios as well as his own creations. At $10 per heart, you can calculate how much Ron has raised for the Kids Center in Louisville Kentucky. Click on the picture for a closer look.

Ron talks about how the consistent size of the heart-sized canvas has allowed him to focus on technique and explore design within the limits of the brooches’ scale. After beveling 23,000 hearts, he can undercut an edge with remarkable speed and precision. His finishing techniques are superb.

Lehocky on PCDaily

Ron’s putting together a class on Ronnie Gane, a variation he’s developed that reveals spirals and geometric shapes. He plans to teach his method when his schedule allows.

In this StudioMojo video Ron talks about how the heart project began and why creating something tangible has been so important to him. See previous posts on his progress here.

Painting on polymer

Strick on PCDaily
Strick on PCDaily

Vermont’s Meta Strick combines bits of wood, wire, beads and yarn on her art dolls. Then she dresses them in polymer. Often they carry inspirational messages. There are mixed media shrines, dolls, sculpture, buttons and more under construction here in Virginia. We’re not limited to jewelry.

Meta (rhymes with pita) is also a painter (see more here). An unexpected gift of Genesis heat-set paints prompted her to try painting on polymer this week. Turn this ragged-edged slab of polymer over and you’ll find a portrait that looks like an ancient relic. Painting on polymer could offer you a diversion next time you’re feeling exasperated with jewelry-making.

Here’s a photo of Lindly Haunani’s progress on her cane from yesterday’s post.

Testing polymer colors

Haunani on PCDaily

Lindly Haunani is working on a new tropical bracelet that uses her signature juicy colors with new shapes and ingredients. The edges of the petals pop with slightly lighter shades and texture variations.

Even as I watch her work, her way of creating seamless gradations baffles me. She checks and rechecks her colors before putting them into the long multi-color canes that she needs for production (see her test strips). It’s hard to keep my eyes on my own work surface when these colors are exploding at the next table.

Damascus with a twist

Wujick on PCDaily

Virginia’s Tina Wujick has an affinity for the Damascus cane and when she took a Skyscraper class with Iris Mishly earlier this year, she saw new possibilities. On Tina’s newest earrings black bisects the cane for added interest.

Wujick on PCDaily

This week you’ll see snapshots of works in progress as a group of us play here in Virginia. “What if…” is our mantra as we take what we know and turn it on its head.

Tina is also making bright beads with rope edges from her bright pieces of cane as she tries to give her favorite technique her personal signature.

Trendy French polymer

Vantorre on PCDaily

Dorothee Vantorre’s day-in-the-studio pictures (on Flickr and on Facebook) show off her trendy polymer designs and let us oggle her workspace. Her funny French sensibilty veers from pleasant monsters to delicate geometrics. The designs mirror her training in illustration and architecture.

Vantorre on PCDaily

Note that there aren’t many tools or tricks on her work surfaces. Dorothee relies on color and patient manipulation to build her fresh creations. Her understated raindrop earrings end in a pop of delicious color. And there’s plenty more in her Etsy shop. A little French fun to begin your week.

Botanical polymer

Dever on PCDaily

Two polymer artists, Jeff Dever and Annie Pennington advance polymer’s reputation by appearing in The Nature of Jewelry:Botanical Design and Symbols exhibit at the Peninsula School of Art in Fish Creek, Wisconsin.

In the show twenty-nine notable jewelry artists from throughout the US, Ireland and Canada display a sampling of process drawings and reference materials to trace the creative process for their works.

“They thought I’d add a bit of color,” says Jeff. He sent us larger pictures (gathered here) so that you could witness the color. This exhibit was a spinoff of the RAM’s Terra Nova and it runs until July 13.

Indigo polymer

Larose on PCDaily

These test squares from France’s Isabelle Larose/Atelierlilaroz were the results of her playing with Pavla Cepelikova’s batik tutorial. Yummy! The indigo colors had me drooling. These are my favorites from her samples here. It won’t surprise you that Anne is also interested in watercolors.

Can I squeeze experimenting with batik into my play at the conference next week? This is where Pinterest comes in handy. By skimming through my favorite board (Be Still My Heart), I’ll remind myself of the patterns, colors and emotions that ring my chimes. That will keep me on track and help me integrate these batik finishes into the work I love. Don’t worry, you’re coming along and we’ll play together. Lots of photos and tidbits.

Spring crop of tutorials

Cepelikova on PCDaily

Spring is the season for growing and there’s a promising crop of polymer tutorials popping up. Here are three that could broaden your options and save you lots of trial and error time.

Otrzan on PCDaily

Finishes are all the rage – ceramic, enamel, raku, crackle, batik. No new equipment is required, just pull out the inks, powders and tools that you probably already have on hand. These surface treatments could give your designs added oomph.

The tutorials’ authors are not the first to try these processes but each teacher has each come up with new twists and clever tricks that may make the information helpful for you. All are delivered electronically and some have videos. While they each offer projects that you can follow, applying these finishes to your own signature work is what will make the information valuable.

Test samples from one student caught my eye and have me itching to play in the studio. Come back tomorrow to see. If you’ve found other interesting tutorials, let me know. The ones that I like to feature on PCD are those that offer new and/or easier ways to work with polymer.

Yikes! spring cleaning

Anderson on PCDaily

Maine’s Suzanne Anderson has souped up her Yikes! website to better feature her colorful polymer and multi-media jewelry. The new site offers a updated web presence that reflects her evolving work. It includes a blog where she shares peeks into her studio, her kitchen and her head.

The blog also allows her to talk about the enamel and metal clay work that she mixes with polymer.

Anderson starfish on PCDaily

Offering seasonal collections (like these summery starfish bangles) prevents her from getting stale or burned out and separates her lines into neat categories. Go prowl around in her site, track down her links and give the new site a test drive. Is it time for a spring cleaning on your site? We’re freshening up PCDaily behind the scenes. Look for changes soon.

Start with a tute

Petkova on PCDaily

Will a little tutorial help jumpstart your week?

Maria Petkova has been refining what she calls her Painted with Mokume Gane technique. The painted look of this Violets on My Window Sill pendant shows the appealing backfilling technique that simulates hand drawing on polymer. She shows an entire gallery of examples on her website.

Petkova on PCDaily

Here’s her latest free step-by-step tutorial that shows the process quite clearly. Her earlier tutorial was intruiging but harder to follow.

In these In the Jungle earrings Maria takes the technique to a higher level of refinement. She pushed herself to create them as she was completing her How To Become A Better Artist course with Christine Dumont on Voila.

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