Mischievous polymer

Ryan MacLeod is a self-taught polymer sculptor who sets his dragons down in the midst of the most unlikely and mischievous predicaments – from candy store to steampunk. His ornate miniature polymer piano was irrestible. American-born Ryan now lives in India with his wife and family.

His friendly dragons, like this recent Fire Dragon, will charm and delight you with his antics. This is a good way to warm up to the goblins and dark creatures that will be visiting PCD soon in honor of Halloween.

MacLeod on PCDaily

Perhaps the easiest way to appreciate all Ryan’s dense and complex creations is on Pinterest. You may also catch up with him on his website and on Facebook.

Susan Lomuto (Daily Art Muse) sent this link along. See what mischief she’s been up to with her new MAM and sample a free issue here.

Polymer and coffee

Renata on PCDaily

Over a cup of coffee Slovenia’s Renata happened upon the inspiration for this graphic, eye-popping polymer necklace.

For her birthday Renata had requested a set of the Illy coffee mugs designed by Tobias Rehberger. Once she had the cups she felt compelled to make a companion polymer necklace. More pieces may follow.

You can see what Renata and her friends are teaching in their classes here and follow her on Flickr and on Facebook.

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Welcome home polymer

Williamson on PCDaily

Genevieve Williamson and her family were dropped off on a remote island in the South Atlantic for the summer (check out Saint Helena) and she’s recently returned to her rural Pennsylvania home. Her father installed a new skylight in her attic studio while she was away that may make you jealous.

Williamson on PCDaily

Genevieve has taken the dust covers off her work table as she dives into work for a gallery show. Already you can see that her months of a simpler life have changed her approach to clay. These simple strands of tubing in subtle shades, shifting diameters and slim palettes may hint at what’s to come.

She’s also added some variations to her earring project that was featured in Polymer Clay Global Perspectives. Has your summer changed your work?

Another Van Gogh discovered

Qoth on PCDaily

Polymer-covered Altoids boxes logged nearly half a million views this week on Reddit. Another Van Gogh discovered!

A blogger named Qoth posted an album of his mother’s creations and they were an instant hit.

Qoth on PCDaily

The footed boxes are heartfelt tokens made as gifts for family members. Small, humble artworks can still strike a chord in the hearts of online fans. Thousands were amazed at what could be done with polymer. The link came to PCDaily from Society of American Mosaic Artists trustee Sharon Plummer.

Ventilated polymer

McNall on PCDaily

These convex discs from Page McNall are two sides of a pendent she was creating from a blended sheet of clay. Even though she doesn’t show the assembled piece, you can see the possibilities.

Page is working on more 3D pieces saying, “My goal is to make irregularly shaped holes and inscribe intricate designs.” You can see what she’s accomplished on Flickr.

McNall on PCDaily

She describes the process, “After I made the blend, I cut the circle and draped it over the copper form where I proceeded to cut the decorative holes and draw patterns. I dusted the entire surface with black embossing powder and cured it. After it cooled, I used 600 grit sandpaper while the clay was still on the copper form and added Renaissance wax to give a subtle shine.” Follow along on her step-by-step here.


Manuscript beads

Grigoryan on PCDaily

Barcelona’s Sona Grigoryan offers much more than this handful of Manuscript Beads on her Flickr site. For these ethnic beads Sona transfers flowing text and historic Armenian images to clay and forms the beads from strips torn from the flat sheets of transfers.

Lately she’s been constructing hollow organic beads and wrapping them with fiber or fiber-like vines and pods. She even tries macrame in polymer.

You can watch her work move from beads to sculpture to fiber and then to a combination of all three. She’s not finished with her experiments so we’ll visit often. Here she is on Facebook.

Hollow bead trick

Watkins on PCDaily

Carol Simmons and Rebecca Watkins are sharing the fruits of their recent collaborative work with you!

Carol wanted to experiment with big polymer beads and Rebecca wanted them lightweight and textured. Rebecca came up with an ingenious solution to make them hollow. Paper!

Since paper’s burning point is 451° Fahrenheit, it works as an armature for polymer. Rebecca researched and redrew various shape templates, printed them onto cardstock, cut them out, and taped each shape together. The constructed forms were covered with a thin layer of polymer (see the black forms in this picture) and baked.

Watkins on PCDaily

Carol and Rebecca covered the baked forms with slices of kaleidoscope canes. Rebecca incised deep lines into Carol’s densely patterned canes. They tried a variety of methods – deeply or lightly textured, highlighted with dark powder (see Rebecca’s project in Polymer Clay Global Perspectives) or not, covered in sheets of pattern or with small sections. Each test bead was then rebaked.

Simmons and Watkins on PCDaily

Here are her shape files for you to download free, print and play with. “They are free because I did not invent geometry!” says Rebecca. Still, it was generous of the duo to share their secrets. Thanks to them we have another great way to create hollow forms with polymer.

Refrigerator shrine

Christie on PCDaily

Amy Christie is a maker and a mom. She offers a quick free tutorial on how to transfer kids art to polymer, add magnets and make what I think of as a refrigerator shrine.

Darling doodles and sweet scribbles deserve to be kept as a reminder of innocence and pure play.

When I said that my grandson’s drawings looked like Willem de Kooning’s work, my daughter-in-law rightly said that the reverse was true. De Kooning worked hard to recapture the grace of children’s brushstrokes, color and composition. We’re all trying to get back to our unaffected, free selves.

Do you have drawings that you’d like to enshrine?

Polymer shrine for gamers

Young on PCDaily

Inspired by scenes from the video game, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, this mostly polymer sculpture from Tucson’s Camille Young stands 5″ x 15″.

The piece, entitled Cross Section, was created for the Fangamer X Attract Mode show in Seattle. Video gamers love seeing their 2D characters brought to life in 3D by Camille and her sculpture represents a kind of modern shrine.

The Animal Crossing game allows players to build their own happy places and make the decisions that shape their lives.

These concepts may be completely foreign to us non-gamers but the audience for this artwork is huge and growing. Read about Camille in Polymer Clay Global Perspectives to get a glimpse of how and why this art is so important. She offers a 3D project for you to try.

Camille’s been sidetracked by her 6-month old daughter and it’s great to see her working (after Iris is in bed) again. Sample more of her work on Flickr and Facebook.

Upcycled triptych

Moore on PCDaily
Moore at PCDaily

Wendy Moore’s triptych is made from an discarded dart board upcycled with papier mache and polymer. It’s entitled Chautara which means resting place in Nepali. “This is a resting place for me; a place to reflect, meditate and reground,” says Wendy. See more of Wendy’s works on Flickr.

Moore on PCDaily

The shrine is part of her month-long show at the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery in Australia. Her works highlight the contrasts of living in the Outback and her frequent travels to Nepal where Wendy teaches women to create jewellery and objects to sell, enabling them to escape lives of poverty, trafficking and abuse.

Donations from the polymer community have helped the Samunnat project begin construction on a permanent home. Here’s their Etsy shop and their U.S. outlet on Kazuri West.

This week’s shrines show what potent places triptychs can be. Are you beginning to plan yours?