I’m itching to get back to work as my week at camp winds down. All week long the humble little polymer bowl has been on our minds and work surfaces. Lynda Gilcher built several prototype wire bases to elevate her little vessels.
Bowls are on the rise. I’ll leave you with that and report more when I return home next week.
While we’re focused on ways of working, I noticed that Emily Squires Levine accumulates her cane slices and in a designated scrap bowl and at the end of each studio session, she makes coasters from the day’s surplus.
Clay that isn’t used in the coaster collage is blended into backing to add thickness. What a good way to get rid of scraps regularly so that they don’t nag at you from an ugly pile that clutters the studio.
Julie Eakes (yesterday’s artist) is more than a one trick pony. While she’s drawn to mosaic portraits, she’s also a cane magician who’s been collaging her canes and patterns into a new Silk Road series of brooches and bangles.
Julie was intrigued by Meisha Barbee’s process of spreading out a big selection of component canes and colors on her work surface and then happily composing works from the array of choices in front of her.
Julie built up her own stash of stripes, colors and textile canes from which she’s building her new collection.
The heart guy, Ron Lehocky, admitted that he was shocked and verklempt at the gift Julie Eakes presented him as we celebrated his having made 30,000 polymer heart pins to support the Kentucky Kids Center. Julie mounted heart cane slices on a 24″ x 28″ canvas to form a mosaic portrait.
Julie ran the photo of Ron through her mosaic software program to determine the basic design. She then made 9 heart canes in varying shades of pink, surrounding them with either black or white backgrounds. She baked the canes and sliced them while they were warm so as not to distort the squares. The mosaic required about 2,400 slices and Julie has the blisters to prove it.
Quebec’s Claire Maunsell will construct these butterfly beads, hollow joining elements and clasp this Saturday (May 9) live online in her Elusory Leaves class on Craftcast. (Her first international class at Galerie Friesleben was a big hit.)
A hot glass artist for decades, Claire embraced polymer because it offered color, malleability and portability. She happily left the heat and heavy equipment behind. Because of her experience with glass Claire approaches polymer with a fresh perspective, stretching, moving and coloring the medium very differently.
If you look at Claire’s ideas on Pinterest, on Flickr and on her blog, you’ll begin to grasp her aesthetic – organic, ethereal, dark – and begin to appreciate her skill and creativity. Craftcast classes are recorded so that you can revisit the instructions whenever you need to.
Melissa Terlizzi also interprets nature in polymer with her bee colony. She was inspired by the Victor Hugo quote, “Life is a flower for which love is the honey…” and says the piece is almost like sunshine in a box for her.
On her Facebook page and on Flickr she shares photos of her work in progress and tells how she created her swarm.
Is Mother Nature speaking to you in the language of polymer this spring?
A bunch of dried pussy willows in a booth at the farmers market caught my eye. What if I picked off the fuzzy blooms and replaced them with polymer ones?
This bunch of blossoms in my living room would provide a splash of color and a clever visual pun. Here’s a closer look.
I raided my old canes and piles of color scraps, recycling them to make hundreds of little ovals. I baked them and fired up the hot glue gun. The worst of the whole process was removing the fine webs of glue threads that draped themselves on the branches.
Dr. Ron is easing up on his medical hours and he’s beginning to share some of the finer points that working with polymer day in and day out taught him.
He’s perfected Roney Gane, the Easy Peasy Cane and developed clever ways to recycle canes and enliven surfaces. Ron explains more on this short video. He’s donating the 30,000th heart to Creative Journey Studios’ polymer history collection.
Polymer by month
Each month I upload all the PCD photos to my Flickr gallery. April’s features were particularly photogenic. Have a look.