AiryBeasts

Brooke Duckart merges a love of characters and airplants on PolymerClayDaily.com

This lot of AiryBEASTS from Oregon’s Brooke Duckart has already sold out and there will be a new batch on Etsy on February 4.

Brooke works at a stop-motion animation studio in Portland and has a head full of characters which sometimes emerge as AiryBEASTS, small containers for air plants. You can see what she’s up to on Instagram.

Brooke Duckart merges a love of characters and airplants on PolymerClayDaily.com

I just discovered that Claire Maunsell will be teaching her Artisanal Polymer Bangles on Craftcast today (Wednesday, January 31). Claire approaches clay from a background in glass so her methods feel very different and she’s forever finding some stunning new surface techniques. Catch her if you can or add the recorded class to your library. 

Bowls redux

Angela Pike's retro bowl from Helen Breil's online class on PolymerClayDaily

You may have thought you’d done bowls, You remember all those little round ones we made? Then along comes the UK’s Angela Pike (BeadMeUpButtercup) with her first go at Helen Breil’s bowl tutorial.

Here’s Angela on Facebook and Instagram, The textures highlight the orange and blue glow of this retro bowl. Angela followed Helen’s instructions to the letter for her first try. Use your signature colors and your veneer patterns to put your own spin on them.

Helen is very methodical and her instructions are thorough. Looking for a no-fail fun project? This could be it.

Monday illusion

Lindsey Hansen swirls black and white into a 3D cane on PolymerClayDaily.com

Lindsey Hansen (Vivid Clay) lures us into the week with a tempting cane design that fools the eye with its 3D illusion. She covered a straight-sided jar with the slices and replaced the lid with a cork top.

Using black and white, she layers and stacks blends strips of blended clay into a square cane. 

Lindsey Hansen swirls black and white into a 3D cane on PolymerClayDaily.com

Lindsey shared her step-by-step how-to photos on the Hooked On Polymer page on Facebook. Several HOP members tried it with success and Ron Lehocky sent us the link.

If cane-building seems too much for your Monday brain, you can purchase Lindsey’s raw versions on Etsy.

More with less

Barb Fajardo embraces matte finish on PolymerClayDaily

Albuquerque’s Barb Fajardo has tweaked and tried every variation of her mokume gane. Her color choices are striking and her compositions are amazing. Now she’s trying to do less.

“I’m loving making earrings these days since I’ve recently forgone sanding. I’ve gotten lots of great feedback on the matte finish,” Barb says.

Is there a step in your work that you need to rethink and dial back?

Join us at StudioMojo Saturday where we look at lots of alternative approaches to work. Bigger? Brighter? Simpler? Crazier? Sure! Why not? Pop on over for a walk on the sometimes wilder side. 

Tribal echoes

Shelley Atwoods' tribal echoes on PolymerClayDaily.com

The stitching marks on Shelley Atwood’s earrings contain echoes of Kanta stitching, embroidery from South Asia that’s quite popular. The red beads on the edge provide a wonderful contrast.

Much of Shelley’s work has a tribal and fabric look that’s both powerful and fashionable. Go to her site and Facebook to get the full effect.

Benzon branches out

Jana Roberts Benzon branches out in her Nature Walk class on PolymerClayDaily.com

Why a branch on PCD today? Because it’s polymer and over the past year Jana Roberts Benzon has refined and refined her tools and technique for shaving polymer until it looks spiky. It’s remarkably durable.

Like yesterday’s Julie Picarello and her hardware store appropriations, Jana grabbed tools from a nail tech’s drawer for her new trick.

This is just one of the goodies from Jana’s Nature Walk workshop scheduled for March 17 and 18 in Texas. Taking classes from artists who have already done the laborious research saves you oodles of time and allows you to daydream about how you could integrate their research into your own style.

The allure of layered translucent clays

Lisa Gauthier looks into translucent possibilities on PolymerClayDaily

These samples come from Connecticut’s Lisa Gauthier, a student in Marie Segal’s Cernit Translucent 2017 class. Glass-like layers that reveal more color below remind us of the possibilities of the clay and may make you want to try your hand at it.

The flower and butterfly cane slices appliqued on came from another student, Seana Bettencourt.

Study these and other samples from Lisa on Facebook. “Thanks to Marie Segal and Cernit I can create colorful, bright things in these cold dark winter days,” says Lisa.

Secrets from the hardware store

Julie Picarello's secrets come from the hardware store on PolymerClayDaily.com

California’s Julie Picarello has a new batch of focals ready for the annual Tucson bead show next week. She’ll be buying, selling, and teaching her new Lunar Feather Beads.

She prowls through hardware stores and walks the long aisles of the big box stores looking for pieces she can stamp into or otherwise incorporate into her mokume gane designs.

In her Tucson classes, students will learn how to use new tools she appropriated from the HVAC department!

In the group pictured here, Julie gives a nod to textiles but look closely and you’ll see washers and traces of metal. This new series is done in her signature color palettes and sprinkled with painted and torched do-dads. She’s on Facebook here.

Expanding within limits

Angela Schwer expands within limits on PolymerClayDaily.com

California’s Angela Schwer (DillyPad) has become known for her white-on-white flower and succulent polymer wall art. She sells her polymer wall tiles in sets or individually in a range of sizes.

Just think about it. All those decisions about color? Gone! You can see that Angela’s energy is redirected into dense, deep design as she layers as many hand-formed shapes as artfully possible into whatever space is allowed. See more of what happens within limits on Facebook and Instagram.

The idea of limiting your options as a way of diving deeper into your art is the kind of concept we explore every weekend on StudioMojo. It’s our weekly sandbox where we ask, “What if?” and marvel at the treasures we’ve dug up during the week. Join us!

Tactile textures

Olga Ledneva's textures and enamels provide a tactile experience on PolymerClayDaily.com

Russia’s Olga Ledneva used Cernit clay and low-tire enamels on this pendant that mixes textures and colors in ways that invite the wearer to fondle the corrugated background and bargello center stripe.

Low fire enamel powders leave a slick and shiny surface. The metal bail and leather cord add to the tactile options. Olga likes to engage the wearer with her pieces. See how she does this on Flickr and Instagram.

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