Polymer puzzler

3 inch squares for puzzle

What could all these 3″ polymer tiles add up to? There are no rules other than to follow the pattern you’re given and maintain a high contrast between the elements.

puzzle building

Tonight we find out what picture will be built from 25 of these beauties. It doesn’t really matter because they each reflect the personality of the maker. Take a closer look at tile 1, tile 2, tile 3, tile 4 and tile 5.

Then have a look at the whole shebang. Julie Eakes excels at creating these visual puzzles, a group-building exercise that some lucky winner will take home as a memento.

Hola senorita

Eakes on PCDaily

Julie Eakes is getting in touch with her inner Spaniard as she prepares for EuroClay Carnival in Madrid in September. This cane was initially designed to be an inchie!

Inspired by Adam Thomas Rees’ multi-part cane, Julie built her flamenco dancer as two 4″x4″ squares (top and bottom) which she reduced separately.

On her blog Julie explains the troubles she encountered with this senorita and how she turned flaws into features.

The filigree and beaded touches inserted into the bottom of the pendant add additional flair. See more of Julie on Facebook, Flickr and Pinterest.

Collaborative gardens in polymer

Simmons on PCDaily

Carol Simmons has been working on this breath-taking modular Wearable Gardenseries for months. This photo is of a box of her components. She’s been shaping and stacking the caned polymer blossoms into fantastical organic creations that can be worn as brooches or pendants.

Carol feels at home with complex pattern but struggles with three dimensions.

Sculptor Maureen Carlson saw Carol’s flowers and thought the heads would take on new life if they were perched on stalks. She envisioned the pieces as sculpture, wall pieces, terrariums, habitats.

Simmons and Carlson on PCDaily

Both artists had been to the Chihuly exhibit in Denver. Maureen felt that the blossoms could be at home in the Avatar or Epic movies.

Carol and Maureen’s collaboration on this Woodland Garden led to plans for a couple of possible separate workshops, each taking a different approach.

You can look over their shoulders as they work here and here.

Mountain polymer

Swetnam on PCDaily

Portland’s Laurel Swetnam has a website that I missed and her work has surged forward. It’s a treat to see how old friends have changed. Browse and enjoy.

Here are the mountain flowers that she had coming out of the oven today. They’re meant to be sewn onto a fat fabric cord. An inspiring environment can lead you in new directions.

Seed beads in polymer

Dembicer on PCDaily

When I say seed beads and polymer you probably envision small beads woven around polymer cabochons. Connecticut’s Peggy Dembicer thinks differently.

Here she embeds seeds beads in polymer to create a mosaic portrait. She was inspired by a 1940s photo of her mother-in-law. It measured 8.5″ by 11. Even though the beads are pretty widely spaced, they read as a soft, moody photo. Look more closely here.

For this cover of ArtNews magazine she cut out large areas of polymer to make the background of the mosaic. Cruise through Flickr to see more.

Peggy mixes her media using her background in textiles and fiber arts to present a modern take on traditional techniques. She reinterprets her world in fiber, beads and polymer. Let’s hear it for mixing your media!

Outback polymer

Crothers on PCDaily

Western Australia’s Debbie Crothers is venturing farther and farther into the outback. Or so it seems.

These are some of her latest polymer creations using all sorts of inclusions and something familiar but unnamed. What are you guessing?

Some of the beads are carved, painted, textured. The shapes vary and the colors are pure Aussie.

Debbie says that the more grungy the beads get, the better she likes them. She’s unearthed them for upcoming Art in the Outback workshops.

crothers_blue_beads

Study them more closely on Facebook, Flickr and see what she’s teaching on CraftArtEdu. She’s pinned all over the place on Pinterest.

Rough treatment for polymer

Sypkova on PCDaily

Olga Sypkova from Kemerovo, Russia plays rough with her African Ethnic beads.

What starts out as cane slices simply applied to clay bases becomes much more interesting once she draws a few lines with circles, scrapes some lines and scratches the surface with sandpaper.

A coat of light acrylic paint accentuates the marks. The rough treatmentt gives an ordinary polymer bead a tribal look with a mysterious past. The beads must have been worn and treasured.

Olga offers you a step-by-step free tutorial. See more of her work on this Russian site (use your translator).

 

 

In polymer wonderland

Stroppel on PCDaily

It’s hard to keep up with Alice Stroppel! I just figured out why so many of her images, like this White Rabbit sculpture, are from Alice in Wonderland. Alice does Alice, get it?

In her own wonderland, Alice’s polymer work spreads across table tops and covers the bases for lamps. Her fish swim up the walls and wind around arms. I’m particularly fond of this haunting portrait of a woman gazing intently…much like Alice herself.

Stroppel on PCDaily

The rabbit seems right for today. People are arriving in town. I’m late! I’m late! Must get to the party.

Chasing after Alice will keep you busy. She’s all over Facebook and Etsy too. If you’ve never made a Stroppel scrap cane, you simply must watch the tutorial.

Alice shared her story on camera a couple of years ago. If you’d like to see more videos like this, join StudioMojo, the weekend newsletter.

Polymer prospecting

Hall on PCDaily

Like a rock hunter with pick and shovel in hand, the viewer discovers the glowing opal in Liz Hall’s newest Boulder Opal Bracelet. What looks like rough stone gives off flashes of surprising color and touches of crystal druzy on a 1″ wide brass cuff.

Liz has moved from small mosaic imitative opal to this larger, more dramatic treatment captured between borders of sterling ball chain buried in polymer.

Here’s another example of her boulder opal technique and her Facebook page. What are you prospecting for this week?

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