Streamlined polymer

Blackburn on PCDaily

London’s Carol Blackburn knows how to slim down. Not weightwise (she’s already trim) but stepwise. There are a few people in our community who know how to streamline patterns and translate a complex design into a few strategic steps. You’ve probably seen her ingenious Shell designs pictured below. Her book has been published in four languages.

Blackburn on PCDaily

She teaches a slew of classes about her methods. I took a class from her and came away with a hassle-free way to inlay a new bowl. Her efficiency comes from years working in knitting and high fashion where time is money.

Carol’s teaching some of her pattern tricks at a weekend workshop in Santa Fe in February at Penina Meisel’s studio and they have a few seats left. Here’s more of her work on Pinterest.

Polymer twists

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A new twist on an old shape from Angie Wiggins is sure to capture our attention.

Bits of canes are textured and topped off with a companion bead and strung on the ends of buna cord with o-ring findings. She makes mixing and matching look so easy.

Wiggins on PCDaily

Then Angie moves to her specialty vessels. Sand from Scotland mixed into the Skinner blend gives the piece extra depth. The striped stubby legs are a signature touch.

You’ll love studying how she comes up with these compositions. All you have to do is look at her worktable pictures on Facebook.

New polymer shoots

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These New Shoots from Kentucky’s Leslie Blackford may make you smile. She combines found shell casings and polymer into a hopeful, bittersweet visual pun.

The tag line on her recently updated web site says, “For those seeking out the odd and unusual.” Her work champions outcasts and unloved characters and somehow she makes their oddness endearing.

Leslie has a raw talent that doesn’t rely on technique. Her fingers put her heartfelt sentiments into the polymer and she is able to communicate keenly through her work. Her themes often center on animals and ephemera found in Kentucky’s moody woods. Her Pinterest page may amuse and delight you too.

Architectural polymer

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Delaware’s Arden Bardol is one busy polymer artist, selling her work through a long list of galleries, on Artful Home, and with a number of shows thrown into the mix.

And she’s been a repeat Niche Award winner and finalist (2014).

Her Wings and Windows brooch gives a hint of her training in architecture. She tried interior design and ceramics as well. Arden combined her talents and settled on polymer clay. She started selling in earnest in 2005 through her Art-Ture studio, a blend of art and architecture.

Bardol on PCDaily

Her 3″ wide Petals brooch is part of her current collection and comes in a number of colorways with companion earrings. Cane slices are coordinated, shaped and layered on their edges into a flower with small splashes of dots and dashes. There’s more to explore on Facebook.

Does Arden’s volume of work make you want to get busy this week?

Polymer squares

France’s Christine Aubin (Krissobe) likes a square format. So when her group held a square-themed challenge, she jumped right in with this collage of polymer squares on a wire form. You’ll find similar earrings and pieces on her site.

Doesn’t her necklace give you ideas for all those inchies you’ve been collecting?

Explore further and you’ll see that Krissobe has a gallery of square tiles that mix patterns and colors in painterly ways.

The pendant on the right shows that Krissobe doesn’t shy away from other geometrics.

You’ll find all kinds of interesting polymer creations on her blog with great color boards and inspirations on her Pinterest site.

18K love on polymer

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Florida’s Sherri Kellberg puts us in a valentines mood with her hearts bracelet. She makes polymer look vintage using layered metallic finishes.

She applies 18K gold leaf to the textured tops and edges of the hearts and stamps love letters on the backs.

Layers of verdigris and turquoise patinas add richness to the metallic effects. Pearls and glass beads wired to the brass chain make the celebration of love jangle.

Here’s Sherri on Etsy and Facebook.

Featherweight polymer

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France’s Celine Charuau created this dramatic bunch of black petals on a delicate chain using polymer and sterling wire. The piece might have ended up heavy and dark in other hands but Celine has a way with wire and polymer that allows her to blend them into lightweight constructions.

Celine will be teaching her Plumes (in English and French) at EuroSynergy this spring. She’ll show how she forms her petals and constructs jewelry using wire. Take a look at her work on Flickr and Facebook and read more about the class here.

Micro polymer hearts

Newfoundland’s Melissa McCarthy brings us a tiny bit of love in her heart-backed micro dinosaur. Her polymer Stegosaurus is only 1.5 inches long.

If you felt overwhelmed by yesterday’s complex art, you may feel reassured to know that simple, small polymer art can make a big statement too.

Melissa’s tiny sculptures of pandas, penguins and lots of other small creatures have quite a following on Etsy. Her shop is closed temporarily but you can still see her sold items and you can follow her on Facebook.

Tide pool polymer

Along with the photo of her spectacular Tide Pool Bowl, Carol Simmons offers the details of its construction on her blog.

You can see the components she amassed and follow along as she slices them to precise and consistent thickness. She assembled the patterns into a pleasing collage, pushed the edges together and flattened the whole sheet.

It’s nerve wracking to hear how she lifted the delicate thin sheet and placed it into a thrift-store bowl that served as a form.

Carol’s years as a biologist/ecologist certainly contribute to her ability to replicate botanical colors and diversity. In her career she spent months mapping vegetation in California, the Rocky Mountains and the Artic.

Zoom in and you’ll feel lost in a tide pool. What a masterpiece of color and form! See more samples of her work on Flickr and stay in touch on Facebook. Carol has collected quite a treasure trove of colors and designs on Pinterest as well.