Kato Site

A look at Donna Kato’s new personal site will inspire and tire you. All those pets, a whirlwind travel schedule, classes galore, online tutorials and wonderful polymer clay work. Plus the books and the business. And she’s teaching herself how to post it all to the web.

This is a lovely glimpse into how a busy successful artist works. She’s easing up a bit and with any luck, 2007 will be the year she learns to ride. This is a site you’ll want to visit again and again.

Donna’s new book is due out this summer. You can pre-order your copy now.

Fewer bells

Helen Breil has a way with textures. She combines great patterns with layers and colors that slowly reveal themselves. Check out her gallery page.

Those revealing rollover pictures I tried last week were too much of a good thing. I’m going to try using them only on the daily pictures and see how that works out. I do enjoy them on the artists’ page where they’ll stay. If you find that gets in your way, let me know. It’s good to be reminded that not everyone across the world has the bandwidth and computer power to handle fancy code.

As in our polymer clay work, just because you can use something doesn’t mean you should.

Pavelka Update

Thanks for all the comments! They're very helpful. I neglected to mention the Polymer Paradise Clay Cruise, March 18-25, which departs from Long Beach, California with polymer artists Karen Lewis, Jana Roberts Benzon, Lisa Pavelka, and others.

Tidying the class list is on my weekend list of chores so if you've got some, send them along. Can't say that it'll be comprehensive, but I'll make a stab at it.

Speaking of chores, the first of the year is a great time to add new work to your web site. Take a look at Lisa Pavelka's updated work and reorganized site. Very nice with some great work to inspire you this weekend.

Sweethearts visit

My daughter and her sweetheart are visiting which has thrown me off schedule. I added the rollover link effect (a link preview should pop up) to the site and can't decide if it's helpful or annoying. Please tell me if you have strong feelings.

I've also been reading the Devine Color book (Maggie put me on to her). Try this exercise from author Gretchen Schauffler.

Choose one thing from each room in your home that you absolutely love to look at or that has a deep connection. Make a pile of them in front of you. Name the colors (use rainbow color names only) out loud. These are the colors your eyes love to feel and the colors that have followed you throughout your life changes.

What a terrific exercise. Thanks to Darleen Bellan for the heart image.

Social calendar

January is the time for plotting out your social calendar if you want to "clay well with others." (The image is from the newsletter of the Philadelphia Guild who are sponsoring their own Clayathon in January.)

There's the fabulous bead show in Tucson from January 21 to February 16 and simultaneous To Bead True Blue classes (warning…the site is very frustrating but if you scroll long and hard, you'll find some great classes with polymer clay teachers like Ronna Sarvas Weltman, Christi Friesen, Janet Farris) and an extensive exhibitor list.

Or if you want something more intimate and earthy visit Klew's 8th Bi-annual Polymer Retreat on Memorial Day weekend. Want something warmer? Try the Florida guild's Florida in February.

Check with your local guild for more classes and conferences…there are many at this time of year.

If you missed this weekend's e-newsletter, be sure to sign up for it in the column at the right. I'll try to make it a monthly feature this year and you won't want to miss it.

New Year’s Eve

Who better to celebrate the New Year with than that crazy Bulgarian, Dinko Tilov? I'd lost track of his site and through a series of links (visit clay wizard), found him just in time for a polymer clay New Year's party.

His characters are wonderful exaggerations. Note the devil and angel at the right who may be whispering on your shoulder right now as you consider your last bite of 2006 overindulgence. Happy New Year!

Buna Bounty

I love it when humble materials are given new life and utility as they are in these new polymer clay pieces by Maggie Maggio. Maggie repurposes buna cord as earring bails and as stretchy ring bands…a bit of a twist on the technique devised by Donna Kato for her pendants and bracelets.

The rubber o-rings give the treatment uniformity and add to the finished look. 

These are from Maggie's Terrazo series of new designs from resurrected 10-year-old canes

I'm pondering the past year and the one ahead…hence my daliance and dabbling of the past few days. I expect to be hit with some outstanding predictions and revelations at any moment. Ponder these lovely designs as you await enlightenment.