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. 

Clusters of green

Liga Valge gathers chips of polymer for a fashion ring on PolymerClayDaily.com

Ireland’s Liga Valge (ValgStudio) resisted selling this ring of clustered green chunks. With its inclusions and patterns, it looks geological but it’s made of faceted polymer bits.

She gathers the chips together into a compelling fashion statement in time for St. Patrick’s Day.

See Liga here on Facebook.

Barbara McGuire’s shimmering mokume

Barbara Mcguire's painterly approach to mokume gane on PolymerClayDaily.com

North Carolina’s Barbara McGuire will be teaching her own special brand of Mokume Gane this weekend at Tryon’s Arts and Crafts school. These class samples have me salivating.

Barbara’s Shimmering Mokume brings influences from Gustav Klimt with a touch of Paul Klee (to my eye at least).

Wouldn’t you love to know how she arrives at such painterly pieces?

Study her on Facebook. She offers some wonderfully deep rubber stamps in her Etsy shop.

How to catch Love Bugs

Nicole Johnson's love bugs scramble away quickly on PolymerClayDaily.com

It only took seven minutes for fans of New York’s Nicole Johnson’s Mealy Monsters to empty her shop of Love Bugs, Love Grubs, and Infestation Monsters when she updated her shop last weekend.

Her loveable, horrible characters are perfect for Valentine’s Day. They’re ugly and often they hold strange, irreverent signs and sayings.

Nichole has a loyal following who appreciates all the work and whimsy she sculpts into these polymer characters. They creep out every holiday to say something sassy. You have to move quickly to catch them. Here they are on Facebook.

Monday zigzags

Greece’s Katerina Strouggari (@mepolymeraki) zigs and zags her polymer earrings, tucking in balls of clay for an imitative soutache design.

She starts with one long strip of black and white, adding alternating colors of balls between each turn.

Soutache is the narrow braid embroidery associated with military and band uniforms.

See how she creates the same effect on pendants on Facebook

Layers for 2020

Libby Mills 6x6 squares reveal layers of textures, shapes, and colors on PolymerClayDaily.com

Connecticut’s Libby Mills (Libzoid) has hit her stride with her wall tiles that are made of layered slabs of polymer. This latest is not only brighter but there’s a lot going on.

Look closely and you’ll spot veneers and canes, stitches and waffles, circles and arcs, cutouts and appliques.

That’s a lot of elements to make work together! And she does it! Libby comes into 2020 with a look that’s distinctly hers. Here she is on Facebook.

In this weekend’s StudioMojo, we will look into our crystal ball and see who’s leading us toward new ways with clay. Come on over if you want to see what’s ahead.

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