Notes for a new year

Millican on PCDaily

Heather Millican packs a punch with the simplest polymer designs. “I feel that my duty as an artist and mother are one in the same, to ignite the heart with love, compassion, and hope,” she explains.

Millican on PCDaily

Each of her beads is handstamped, textured, patinaed, sanded and buffed. The words and phrases she’s carefully chosen make you stop and think and smile.

You can shop Swoondimples on Etsy and follow her on Facebook. Heather’s beads make great tokens for you readers today. You really rock! Thanks for a great year and happy 2015.

Mixed media village

Barcelona’s Fabi Ajates has cooked up a mixed media house-building class. This style is her Arabian Nights version which is 24″ by 14″. Made in one piece, the background is painted and then trimmed with polymer, textures and trinkets.

Knobs and hooks used in the design make the wall piece double as a handy hanger for jewelry or keys.

Fabi admits that making these cottages is addicting. “I love the free form of the houses which are in various sizes and somewhat deformed. This gives a the row a cheerful grace. Constructing them becomes a relaxing exercise.” She’ll be teaching the class in Madrid in late January.

See more examples and styles on her site, on Flickr and on Facebook.

Polymer flourish

Grigoryan on PCDaily

Barcelona’s Sona Grigoryan will bring in the new year with a Baroque flourish! Her polymer swash necklace combines architecture and drama.

Imagine the superpowers you could claim if you wore this on New Year’s Eve! Such strength and self-assurance. I’ll be wearing this…virtually.

Sona shares her bangle tutorial on YouTube as an end-of-the-year treat. Go soak up some of her vibe on her website and make a powerful entrance to 2015. More on Facebook and Pinterest.

Spirited polymer

Yitzhaki on PCDaily

Of course the blooming polymer flower covered teapot from Israel’s Yehudit Yitzhaki is too much! Over the top! Color on steroids! And perfect!

Look at the delicious colors in her studio. I love the mix of influences on her Flickr pages – from hamsas, shoes and teapots to Frieda Kahlo. Plus this retired art teacher cooks Hungarian specialties. What’s not to love?

I hope your spirits are as over the top and joyful as Yehudit’s this holiday weekend.

Polymer journals

Kolesnikov on PCDaily

Thinking of making a journal for the new year? London’s Aniko Kolesnikova (MandarinDuck) excels at creating finely textured sculpted polymer tiles. When baked and then glued onto blank book covers, the humble journals speak volumes.

The Indian elephant piece to the left is the early, unpainted version of the tile. Layers later, washes of paint and highlights of color make the image much richer. Nothing Aniko has shown before has captured so much attention she says.

Kolesnikov on PCDaily

You can watch a terrific timelapse of her making a floral journal on YouTube and she hints that a tutorial about the elephant will follow.

Aniko shares her inspirations online on Pinterest and sells on Etsy. See more in process shots of this piece on Flickr.

Coaxing polymer to leather

Richardson on PCDaily

Cincinnati’s Kathy Richardson likes to coax polymer to look like whatever she fancies.

Here she fancies rugged leather and turquoise vessels. She takes 3 1/2″ glass jars and covers them with rough-edged slabs of leathery polymer. She weaves a collar from strips and adds a real turquoise nuggets in chunky bezels.

Kathy takes a welcome departure from the cane slice covered approach to vessels. See more on Flickr, Etsy and her OutofTimeDesigns blog.

Doodled polymer ornaments

Thorp on PCDaily

Filigree meets mosaic meets polymer in these ornaments from Jael Thorp. The dark reds and bright accents add richness, hinting at traditional patterns and including canework then veering off into more contemporary doodles in clay. Their meandering intensity winds around to weave a complex story.

Thorp on PCDaily

This style started when Jael was doodling with clay as she made a batch of inchies. Read more about how she got carried away in this post and on her blog, on Flickr and Facebook.

Stencils and polymer

Watching how Laurie Mika applies stencils to polymer is mesmerizing. Even if your style is miles away from Laurie’s layered, collaged, jewel-encrusted shrines, you may find yourself considering how it would be to lavish color and pattern with such abandon. Or maybe just add pattern in a new way.

Truth is, stencils are a departure for Laurie too and she shares her first efforts. She’s a guest artist on Stencil Girl Talk and she shows a little step-by-step on their site. It’s an Indian-inspired mandala with mirrors and recycled glitz. The stencils are rolled into the clay to create an embossed pattern that’s later enhanced with paints.

Laurie used three of Stencil Girl’s patterns and she plans to add her designs to their line in 2015. Here she is on Facebook.

Decorating for the holidays

Leonini on PCDaily

Cecilia Leonini’s necklace has a holiday air about it. Like a garland you might string around a tree.

The long Skinner blended tubes are matched by round beads of varying sizes. The balance appears haphazard but hangs in a most appealing way.

Cecelia has been working on balancing elements as you’ll see on Flickr and Facebook.

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