Alphabet soup

Wujick's alphabet bowl on PolymerClayDaily.com

Virginia’s Tina Wujick cuts thick letters from polymer blends and connects them over a glass form. Sometimes she strengthens the joins with some Genesis thick medium (or other polymer glue).

There’s no rhyme or reason, you can’t read any message here but it’s a great teacher’s gift or just fun to enjoy. This photo of ingredients fills in the blanks.

Tina’s project should keep you busy while I play in Virginia. Look for fun photos all week.

Taking it easy

Kassel's limp and lovely leaves on PolymerClayDaily.com

Sure, you may have been impressed by the cheeky, funny characters that Doreen Gay Kassel has been creating for her Synergy4 presentation with Donna Greenberg (Translating Your Environment into Your Inspiration). Doreen’s characters are funny and engaging and quite complex.

Then she wows us with casual, offhand leaves that look as if they floated to the ground, ready to be raked. Their torn edges and folds show off lovely layers of colors with dots hidden in the recesses.

If you’ve worked with polymer for long you know what a trick it is to make our medium look easy, unforced and really organic. How does she do that? Will she and Donna reveal all at Synergy? You may enjoy some of her inspirations on Pinterest.

Pocket art hearts

Tejae Floyde creates a heart-inside-heart on PolymerClayDaily.com

A Facebook video from Colorado’s Tejae Floyde shows you more of her Encased Hearts. Tejae loves pocket art – tokens and secrets and hidden wishes. The smaller heart fits perfectly inside the larger one and they are covered with wise words, rich textures and glints of metals.

She’s been busy creating this stamped and painted Mother’s Day version, sometimes adding childrens names on the back.

Read more about Tejae on her site, Facebook and Etsy. You’ll find Tejae’s step-by-step instructions for a basic encased heart in my book.

Jumping through hoops with polymer

Wolodkiewicz' polymer embroidery mixes hard with soft on PolymerClayDaily

The last time PCDaily posted about the work of Poland’s Justyna Wolodkiewicz she was making jumping jacks and clocks.

She’s moved on to 3D mixed media pieces that blend embroidery hoops with polymer. It’s hard to picture, right?

Look on Instagram, her blog and Facebook to get the idea. Read what ArtUpon has to say about her.

Three of Justyna’s pieces appeared in the Feminist Fiber Art exhibit in Seattle. How cool is it that this 20-something represents our community on the feministfiberart.com scene?

Watch her how-to video on Facebook as Justyna explains, “First I sculpted colorful rings, circles and spikes out of polymer clay and baked them. Then I started stitching. The mixture of textures is rich and eye-catching. Thread makes polymer look softer. Polymer contrasts with the fluffy look of fabric and thread.”

What happens when you mix polymer with another medium?

Collages to wear

Doroshow's fabric/jewelry wall art on PolymerClayDaily.com

Florida’s Dayle Doroshow will exhibit six mixed-media wall hangings in a popular restaurant (Le Tournesol) near her summer home in Durfort, France.

Each collaged fabric panel is 5′ x 2 1/2′ and is embellished with polymer. Each contains a brooch that can be removed to wear.

Doroshow's fabric collages with polymer on PolymerClayDaily.com

I can almost hear the sighs of students who have experienced the charms of a week of classes at La Cascade. Karen and Ann Mitchell, Dayle, Doreen Kassel and Loretta Lam will all have polymer workshops there this summer.

Staying flexible

Tucson’s Meg Newberg (polymerclayworkshop) loves devising low tech/high results canes. Her followers find Meg’s instructions easy to follow as she builds precise patterns from simple rolls, blends and stacks. Following her steps is simple, very rewarding and great for building your skills.

The inmates in the ORW class are Meg’s biggest fans because no special tools or exotic ingredients are required to produce stunning results.

Her videos have a large and growing following on Facebook. She sells her tutorials and canes on Etsy as well as by subscription.

Here Meg shows a polymer hex-a-flex. Maybe in high school you sent secret notes to friends using a similar paper trick.

If you’re interested in more secret notes, join the StudioMojo group that looks behind the scenes on Saturday mornings. 

Light and deceptively strong polymer collaboration

Bishoff/Syron on PolymerClayDaily.com

Don’t take my word for it, go see for yourself how complex and exciting this 20″ Open Form Necklace from Bonnie Bishoff is.

J.M. Syron constructs the nickel silver and sterling silver wire forms which Bonnie covers with polymer patterns. The piece looks fragile but feels surprisingly sturdy because of its metal underpinnings. The colors and stripes shift subtly from link to link.

The couple’s Body Length Necklace shows another example of long slim shapes that appear ethereal and light yet have strength that allows the wearer to twist and twirl all 60″ of beads.

It takes close collaboration to make pieces that feel both well built and elegant.

The easy/hard parts

Sturdy on PolymerClayDaily.com

Today our eyes gravitate to surface designs from UK’s Veronika Sturdy who claims to have a new addiction to silkscreens and imitative wood looks. She’ll be teaching her methods May 20 in a class in Czech Republic.

Silkscreens are another easy/hard part of polymer art. While silkscreens can feature delicate lines and magnificent patterns, the trick is to fiddle with the designs to make them yours – or to make your own patterns, of course.

Here Veronika combines wood textures with distressed patterns enhanced with luscious mottled colors. Look at them large on Flickr to appreciate the details. Then hop over to Pinterest to get the full behind-the-scenes treatment.

Low bar/high bar

Girodon's pendant on PolymerClayDaily.com

You know how it goes. You learn something new that rearranges your brain and suddenly you see it everywhere. My eyes glom onto surface designs. Paints, pastels, powders and anything applied to the surface of polymer are the only techniques that register after a class with Claire Maunsell.

Which brings us to France’s Sonya Girodon’s latest batch of pendants. Are those embossing powders? How is the color applied?

What an art it is to make the colors erupt across the shield-shaped surface. Then she reins the color in on the top square. Simple but complex. Easy but hard.

Polymer taunts us with its low bar to entry and its high bar for mastery. See several more examples of Sonya’s latest mastery on Facebook and Flickr.