Molecules and moments

Terri Powell was thinking "molecules" with this throwback bowl on

You may see circles joined into a shallow bowl but scientist/clay artist Terri Powell (ArtScidesigns) sees molecules. Though this work was a throwback to 2017, Terri correctly foretold the correct 2020 Pantone colors of gray and yellow.

I’m currently fixated on dots and this piece grabbed me. We all see things differently, don’t we?

I had several “moments” this week when things seemed confusing, then clearer. For better or worse, it’s a turning point. On StudioMojo we’ll look at changes that are clearly emerging and ponder what the future of polymer will bring. Join us for the latest scoop.

Polymer intensity

Fiona Abel-Smith captures a conversation in an polymer on

There are easy-breezy polymer approaches with pieces joyfully slap-dashed together. And then there are intense and enthusiastic polymer artists.

Yesterday we had intense miniature cats. Today it’s butterflies.

UK’s Fiona Abel-Smith dives deep to create When I Grow Up a 4 x 16 x 8-inch sculpture. There’s a metaphor embedded in this caned and sculpted piece.

Fiona says, “The little caterpillar doesn’t realize that she will grow into a beautiful moth and is already a stunner in her own right if only she could see herself as we do.”

Fiona documents her progress in videos and photos on Facebook and shows us the intensity required to tell her story.


Polymer cats to the rescue

Kerri Pajutee's polymer sculpted animals bring outsized pleasure on PolymerClayDaily

Bummed and stuck? I know what you guys need. Time to bring in the cats!

Just imagine the tiny purrs of these little guys from Oregon’s Kerri Pajutee. This one’s an Egyptian Mau. She sculpts miniatures in polymer in 1:12 scale and uses natural fibers to give them their coats. The entire process from inspiration to the final scissor clip is tedious, exacting, and time-consuming. Kerri is widely collected.

Her little creatures bring outsized pleasure. A scroll through her Instagram is guaranteed to lower your blood pressure. How does she do it?

Pursuing primitive polymer

First, let me say that Chicago’s Marina Rios (FancifulDevices) is not a child. Or a chipmunk. She sped up the video to give us super fast look.

Marina Rios show us how to go primitive on

Marina gets messy and there’s not a liquid or powder that she won’t try in pursuit of the grungy, primitive, gypsy look that she loves to give her polymer. In this one minute session she pulls out paint, alcohol inks, crackle, eye shadow, and more in pursuit of just the right vibe.

We benefit from her experimenting without having to stain our fingers or clean up after her. Thanks, Marina.

Corrugated polymer

Olga Schmuck layers corrugated textures on

Germany’s Olja Krueger (olgasmodeschmuck) gives a corrugated, industrial look to her many-layered brooches.

There’s a hint of Matisse cutouts in her latest works as well.

Olga Schmuck makes corrugated fashionable on

What does all this stack up to? Something about the layers and repetition of textures feels reassuring.

And if there’s one thing I’d like today, it’s reassurance and predictability.

On StudioMojo we’ll be looking at old friends – the familiar techniques that artists return to when they’re stressed as we are this week. See how people you know conquer anxiety with a few simple, reliable, go-to exercises. You may be surprised.

Snowbird polymer

Gail Garbe shows how she takes her studio on the road on

Ontario’s Gail Garbe invites us into her studio on wheels in her latest Facebook post.

She pulls out bins and drawers explaining how she makes her studio portable. For those of us looking out our same windows at the same landscape day after day, Gail’s setup sounded magical and I imagined her on a beach or the desert.

Gail Garbe shows how she takes her studio on the road on

So where is Gail working right now? “Haha!” she replied, “We’re in front of the fireplace! We aren’t able to cross the U.S. border and we’re locked down in our town.”

Her latest penguins and cold-looking polymer characters should have given me a clue. Ever resourceful she and her husband have parked the trailer on the northern shore of Lake Erie where they treat it like a studio/cottage from spring to fall. Keep dreaming!

Rough and ready polymer

Myranda Escamilla roughs up her new palette on

Texas’ Myranda Escamilla uses what she has onhand as she slaps together rough-hewn textures and stone color mixes for a bold fashion look.

“I’ve realized brown is usually available for purchase or at the very least, easier to find than other shades, and to save what precious clay I have, I’ve had to make-do,” she explains. The exercise pushed her out of her color comfort zone and into what turned out to be a trendy collection.

See more on her second Instagram page. The look is very 2021.