Turning old into new

Bettina Welker shows how to mix old and new elements into modern marvels on PolymerClayDaily.com

Germany’s Bettina Welker arranges textured elements on a black spiral doodle of clay to form a thoroughly modern pendant/brooch.

Bettina is teaching this workshop in her hometown. Students bring favorite elements they’ve made or gathered. They evaluate and sort their finds and learn to arrange them into something new and better.

You can see more in this series on her Etsy site.

Upcycling and making old into new is another of the trends we’ll look at in this Saturday’s StudioMojo. It’s a heads-up for where our work may be headed in 2020 and beyond. We’d love to have you join us.

The polymer rabbit hole

Lynn Yuhr falls down the rabbit hole with her liquid clay class samples on PolymerClayDaily.com

“The rabbit hole is deep,” Florida’s Lynn Yuhr cautions as she prepares her class samples for the Bead and Button show.

You may have seen Lynn’s intro video that we snapped for StudioMojo last year. She demos the basics here.

Since then Lynn has fallen down the rabbit hole as she expands her skills for her Getting Wabi Sabi with Liquid Clay class.

Very loose. Very retro. Very cool.

Polymer in Japan

Yukari Tateuchi offers a taste of Japanese polymer on PolymerClayDaily.com

Japan’s Yukari Tateuchi (ycollection) was introduced to polymer in 1995. That was about the time when Nan Roche and Kaz Kono were busy in Japan though there may be no connection. I like to think that’s when polymer seeds were planted. 

On her class page, she notes that, “It is even better if you bring your own slippers. The workplace is small and dirty,” There are interesting stories here!

These disks covered with monochromatic canes have a soothing, minimalist and modern feel about them. Go explore her aesthetic on her pages.

Putting nature in polymer

Nature flies into Jayne Dwyers' remarkable canes on PolymerClayDaily.com

These robin canes from New Hampshire’s Jayne Dwyer closely mimic what I saw outside my kitchen window this morning.

Jayne has a grasp of figurative caning matched by few other artists. Her shading and depth keep getting better. Jayne generously sends her cane ends to Ron Lehocky, Ohio inmates, and others.

Nature flies into Jayne Dwyers' remarkable canes on PolymerClayDaily.com

The caned images are even more remarkable in person and she sells them for a very affordable price in her Etsy shop.

I thought the robins were the bomb and then I saw these 3D pinecones. Google her images to see the range of her work and how her canes continue to amaze.

Reinterpreted in polymer

Jana Roberts Benzon reinterprets Attai Chen in polymer on PolymerClayDaily

Utah’s Jana Roberts Benzon turns her work in a new direction with these latest brooches.

Jana says she’s riffing on the work of Germany’s Attai Chen. He uses cast-offs, carved wood, layered paper, silver, paint, and graphite to express his aesthetic in both jewelry and wall sculptures.

But if you know Jana’s progression of works and understand that she has a background in flower arranging and a love of nature, you can see how this polymer interpretation is a natural next step.

The polymer and alcohol ink piece is 7″ x 5”. Its thin dense petals are very lightweight and it could be worn as a brooch.

How brave of Jana to show us her impressive first efforts.

Pop quiz

Students in the Carthage College polymer studio class on PolymerClayDaily

Take a look at some of the questions posed on Tumblr that these college students answer in their class sketchbooks.

The college-level studio class in polymer clay is taught by Diane Levesque, Associate Professor of Art at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Students learn color theory, create a repertoire of textures and patterns and develop compositional strategies to make a variety of polymer and mixed media objects.

The class uses Lindly and Maggie’s Polymer Clay Color Inspirations: Techniques and Jewelry Projects for Creating Successful Palettes as the textbook. “The book is now out of print which is challenging,” says Diane.

Maggie Maggio/Lindly Haunani book

I felt a mixture of pride and jealousy at those fresh faces tackling the exercises. Where will they take our art form?

Hats off to Diane and a whole bunch of artists who worked to get a college-level polymer class launched several years ago. How could we help the class continue and spread it to other art schools?

Shower your Monday with fantasy

Serena Ghidoni showers your Monday with fantasy on PolymerClayDaily.com

Italy’s Serena Ghidoni (mondoinundito) showers your Monday with a handful of polymer nymphs, mermaids, and fairies.

Mondoinundito means “world in a finger”. Serena says she wants to convey the idea that behind small things there is a huge and beautiful world that deserves to be discovered.

Take a closer look at the fine details she sculpts into these graceful and fanciful shapes. Her Instagram leads you to her Facebook and sales sites.

Why the Aussies are leading the way

PickledGinger's Drifters earrings teach us a thing or two on PolymerClayDaily.com

Perth’s Pickled Ginger (pickledgingerjewellery) is on fire…in a good way. Owner Fe is one of the young, energetic, enthusiastic polymer artists that are currently on the cutting edge in polymer clay art.

They know how to use social media, they know how to produce products, collaborate with clothing designers and start social campaigns. They take simple designs like these Drifters earrings and inject them with color and excitement.

Over at StudioMojo, we’re spending January looking ahead to see what’s on the horizon. Australian artists seem to have a strategy that works. Come on over if you’d like to know what secrets the Aussies have unlocked and why they’re so hot right now. They’re teaching us a thing or two. 

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