Polymer jitters

Wendy Moore on PCDaily

This week's theme seems to center around the jitters! We all get jitters about what lies ahead and sometimes those jitters lead us into new creative territory.

Today you're looking at Wendy Moore's necklace Tsarang Mala #4 that she created for the exhibit she mounts in two weeks at the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery in Australia. It started with the stripes in Nepali aprons and then Wendy added the horn shapes that she remembered above the doorways on her latest trek in Mustang province. Then flowers appeared. Her story about this evolving creation is fascinating.

Her exhibit is described as, "…inspired by the contrasts of living in the Outback and her frequent travels to Nepal where she works helping women to create jewellery and objects to sell, enabling them to escape lives of poverty, trafficking and abuse."

If you'd like to try some of your own Tibetan style, check out Wendy's project in the new book! Or visit the Samunnat shop on Etsy.

Patching polymer

Tinapple on PCDaily

What did the neighbors think when they saw me down on my knees in the middle of the driveway? The few that ventured closer saw that I was jamming red polymer into some thin cracks that had developed near the corners of the pavement.

In the wider areas, slices of bright patterned canes decorated my ragged red lines. The summer sun began the baking process and a heat gun finished the job.

This small, manageable art project felt appropriate as we waited for word on the health of my husband's elderly mother. This was something I could fix and make better. I could control the outcome and it made me feel helpful. I patched the driveway.

Tinapple on PCDaily

Polymer is not just for earrings, you know. Sometimes it brings a smile or makes a statement. Will my art make it through Ohio's freezing and thawing winter? Who knows how long anything will last?

My husband has begun pointing out other possibilities for my artwork. What will the neighbors think? (Here are the original canes based on an antique Iraqi kilim.)

Polymer time management

Udell on PCDaily

Luann Udell explains her pre-show jitters and invites visitors to her booth at the NH Craftsman's Annual Fair at Mt. Sunapee later this week.

"It’s where I’ll struggle to put up my booth on a ski slope, stand for nine days in 95 degree weather, and wonder if I’ll make enough money to get me through to next year’s show," she says cheerily.

She'll show you her newest polymer artifacts from lost cultures and imagined prehistories and let you see the awesome scar on her knee which explains her absence last year.

Luann's blog post about her display research is a good read and you can find out even more on FaceBook.

Ann Dillon, Sandra McCaw, Marcia Herson, Kathleen Dustin (did I miss anyone?) are also regulars at this terrific show now in its 80th year.

It's in the mail!

You may have been wondering when my book would appear (me too). Pre-ordered copies of Polymer Clay Global Perspectives have shipped and I'm sending virtual hugs with each one. Now you can order it online and snap it up in bookstores. See what all the buzz is about.

Octopus polymer

Tryfonova on PCDaily

Ukraine's Katya Tryfonova shares her new Octopus beads with us. They're brightly stamped and colored polymer sheets rolled into jagged tube beads.

She then strung them into the angular necklace that she wears below.

On Katya's Flickr page you can see how she's taken classes and tried various styles, always giving the pieces a hint of her own voice. With her Octopus beads Katya is stretching her wings.

Tryfonova on PCDaily

Taking flight

Your response to Melanie Muir's project yesterday was amazing and your generosity has been heartwarming. Thank you.

Art Jewelry, Bead & Button and BeadStyle magazines have all added 1-year subscription giveaways to the event so your chances keep improving and there's still time. Melanie will draw the winners on August 19.

Pay it forward polymer

When Scotland's Melanie Muir won the top polymer award with her Reggae Necklace at this year's Bead and Button Show the award came with a $300 gift certificate from Fire Mountain Gems.

Melanie feels that the recognition is enough prize for her and she is raffling off her gift certificate on behalf of Women for Women. Craftcast's Alison Lee jumped on the bandwagon adding a $100 class voucher. PCD couldn't be left behind! We're adding two copies of Polymer Clay Global Perspectives to the raffle.

Entering is easy. A £5 donation becomes a virtual raffle ticket. Buy as many as you like. For instance, if you donate £20, your name goes into 'the hat' four times. (We'll let Melanie work out the £/$ mathematics.)

Melanie has already raised 35% of her goal so jump in and take a chance. Any way you look at it, you can't lose.

The satin smooth finish on Melanie's beautifully crafted work is amazing and you'll find her latest creations (and raffle updates) on her Facebook page.

Faux collection

Moseley on PCDaily

Luxuriate in the colors and patterns on Lynda Moseley's newest group of faux turquoise polymer pieces. She's sampled a variety of colors and experimented with all kinds of cracks and crevices. This sampler pendant combines snippets from lots of test pieces.

"What I had originally planned as a faux turquoise tutorial has morphed into a range of faux finishes using the same technique," she reports. It looks like her Faux Master Collection will be ready for prime time at the end of the month.

Lynda has a reputation for researching and refining her techniques into deceptively simple steps that make you wonder why you didn't think of that. See more of her work on Flickr, on Facebook, and watch her Etsy site for the new info.

Hollywood polymer

Viner on PCDaily.com

Mike K. Viner's 10" polymer caricatures are so spot on that they compel you to stop and study them.

Replicating facial features in polymer (no paint) is one talent. Finding a defining gesture takes his portraiture to a higher level. This Russian who lives in Tel Aviv is hard to find online with a slim web site, a few YouTube slideshows and a newish Facebook presence. I keep gravitating back to his page. He'll be worth watching.

Back to school

Susan Lomuto (Daily Art Muse) starts another online web class in September. It's a dynamite course and the students' web sites are testament to Susan's great teaching. Her sliding scale price offer ends July 31.

Pushing with polymer

Stroppel on PCDaily

"I pushed myself to create something large and more complicated than in the past," Alice Stroppel says of her newest 20" x 29" polymer painting. "I bake my polymer clay in a regular kitchen oven, but even so I had to construct it in pieces like a giant jigsaw puzzle," she says.

Track her progress (here's the Flickr version) and see how she assembled the piece on her blog. Alice uses a process she calls cane mapping to combine lots of cane slices into a cohesive painting.

Examples of Alice's famous Stroppel Cane continue to appear online and she has recently added her own Stroppel Cane Swirl necklace to the long list of variations.

Is this your week to push out of your comfort zone?

Integrating tutorials

Vogel on PCDaily

Lorraine Vogel's polymer pendants and earrings glow with graceful shapes and layered colors that make me envious. Look closely and you may spot tricks she's learned from tutorials by Lynda Moseley and Ginger Davis Allman but the stamps, the carving and the colors are distinctly her own. She uses tutorials in the way they were meant to be used, quickly integrating them into her signature style.

Vogel on PCDaily

A graphic artist from South Florida, Lorraine brings a keen eye for balance and harmony to polymer. She has a couple of Etsy shops and you can find her on Facebook. Her Flickr photos will give you a wider look at her eye-pleasing creations.

Need a freebie?

Don't miss Margit Bohmer's step-by-step photos of her doodle transfers for some free weekend fun.

Noodling and doodling

Otrzan on PCDaily

In her new Doodle Me Do class on CraftArtEdu Nikolina Otrzan shows you how to make a bunch of small canes. You then use that stash to doodle and play and make all kinds of artworks.

A peek at the class with all its pictures and possibilities had me itching to pump up my own supply of canes and to try out some of the ingenious ways she has of building them.

Otrzan on PCDaily

Nikolina also has a class on Zentangling on clay if that suits your doodling style better.

Need a new idea?

If you're ready to try something new, I might also suggest the hollow bead tutorial from Orly Fuchs Galchen. Look at these yummy examples.

And my newest favorite tutorial is Tina Holden's sea glass. Tina uses a whole different method for producing glass that's virtually indistinguishable from the pieces weathered on the beach. I wish I'd thought of it. Here's her site where you'll find some freebie lessons as well.