Books/Magazines

NYTimes: Polymer for anxiety

Rebecca Ackermann cures anxiety on PolymerClayDaily.com

In Thursday’s NYTimes, San Francisco’s Rebecca Ackermann reinforces the joys of polymer in her article called, I Cured My Pandemic Anxiety by Making Tiny Food Out of Clay.

She watched friends extract comfort from cooking and tried that. “It was just another thing I was failing at,” she says. She moved on to tie-dye, yoga, face painting, and more. One day she bought some polymer clay to pass the hours with her daughter.

You know the rest of the story!

“My daughter and I still do clay together when she’s in the mood, but she gets angry if her results don’t look like mine. So I’m working to teach her the word “experiment” and the notion that each time she tries, the trying makes her better. It’s a lesson I’m still learning at the end of every strange, horrible, or hopeful day in quarantine when I sit down with my clay and my little tools and I try again to make one small piece of the world just right.” Rebecca is on Instagram and Twitter.

Thanks to Seth Savarick (still in Chicago, moving to Palm Springs) for pointing PCD to this article. If you’re ready to get more newsy bits in one weekly digest, sign up for Saturday’s StudioMojo. 

Polymer publications for your collection

Polymer Week magazine (it's quarterly) gives polymer art cache on PolymerClayDaily.com

No, no, no…that’s not me on the cover of the beautiful Polymer Week magazine! That’s the evocative, delicate polymer sculpture of Israel’s Edith Fischer-Katz.

Lucie

Polymer Week (it's quarterly) gives polymer art cache on PolymerClayDaily.com

S?truncova? did interview me for this issue. I blush at how glamorous she made me look (then I flip through the pages again to make sure it’s me.)

But more to the point, these quarterly magazines are collector’s items because they elevate polymer art to the level of fine art that we have dreamed of. The paper is slick and weighty. The photography is stunning. The quality of the work is breath-taking. The tutorials are first-rate.

I don’t know how Lucie and her crew do it. Snatch up these gems for your collection.

Celebrating differently

Lisa Mathews' sculptures provide a warm yet candid look at her experience on PolymerClayDaily.com

Atlanta’s Lisa Mathews demonstrates the power of polymer with her sculptures that illustrate the black experience. This Fourth of July, Americans are being forced to see the nation’s celebration for independence differently.

In this polymer diorama, Lisa looks at the controversial third stanza of our national them which is being scrutinized for its racial wording. The song wasn’t meant for all Americans when Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics in 1814.

Lisa’s clear portrayals of the black experience help us look at our patriotism in a new light.

At the age of 45, with no advance planning, Lisa threw caution to the wind and pursued a career as an artist. She happened upon an instructional book, How To Make Clay Characters by Maureen Carlson. It was through this book that she discovered what would become her passion as an artist.

Stories of artists’ passion are part of tomorrow’s StudioMojo. We’ll look at how Carissa Nichols turned her lack of vision into a passion for light and giving back. Join us to see how current events impact us all. 

Learning in isolation

Mindy Meyers teaches herself color during isolation on PolymerClayDaily

These times aren’t easy for creatives. Illinois’ Mindy Meyers decided that isolation was the perfect time to follow the lessons in the color book from Lindly Haunani and Maggie Maggio.

Mindy’s color studies have propelled her forward. “I decided the first of this month to go back and read the book word for word and to do each and every exercise. I’ve just finished chapter 3. Things are making much more sense to me now,” says Mindy.

Mindy Meyers teaches herself color during isolation on PolymerClayDaily

“I am truly enjoying myself and following the book gives me a regimen. Rather than going to my studio and having no idea where to start, I appreciate having the exercises to do,” she continues.

Do you need a routine or a regimen to get you back on track? Pull out that favorite book or tutorial and give it a try.

Heat from Bali

Robbin and Warren Moeller-Smith's contemporary primitive colors on PolymerClayDaily

It’s below zero here but it’s a lot warmer where Warren and Robbin Moeller-Smith (ebu Robbin and ebu_jewelry) are putting these earrings together in their open-air studio in Bali. If you’re feeling a chill, Warren and Robbin’s Instagram photos will warm you. They’re getting ready for their annual trip to the Tucson bead show next month.

They have so many materials from the beach at their fingertips that Robbin doesn’t often feature polymer prominently in their contemporary primitive jewelry. But sometimes she needs to get her hands on color she can manipulate. Warren creates the findings.

You may enjoy this interview with them (StudioMojo 2016) in which they explain the ins and outs of living and working on Bali.

Cutting loose

Cover girl Doreen Gay Kassel rips and tears on PolymerClayDaily

Doreen Gay Kassel lets loose with some torn polymer and vivid color experiments. She rips and tears with an abandon that’s refreshing.

Cover girl Doreen Gay Kassel rips and tears on PolymerClayDaily

I’m guessing that Doreen is giving herself some playtime after months of hard work including her feature on the cover of Cloth Paper Scissors. The November/December issue is dedicated to creating gifts with meaning and you can preview it here.

Mojo working…

If you want to know what other artists are trying and how they chug through the winter doldrums, join us at StudioMojo on Saturday morning.

Pocket art hearts

Tejae Floyde creates a heart-inside-heart on PolymerClayDaily.com

A Facebook video from Colorado’s Tejae Floyde shows you more of her Encased Hearts. Tejae loves pocket art – tokens and secrets and hidden wishes. The smaller heart fits perfectly inside the larger one and they are covered with wise words, rich textures and glints of metals.

She’s been busy creating this stamped and painted Mother’s Day version, sometimes adding childrens names on the back.

Read more about Tejae on her site, Facebook and Etsy. You’ll find Tejae’s step-by-step instructions for a basic encased heart in my book.

Working together in American Craft

https://youtu.be/eLIxQFCsyOc

fordforlano_acc_cover_web

The June/July 2016 issue of American Craft is all about teamwork: struggles, triumphs, and lessons from working together. Included in the highlighted partnerships are jewelers and polymer artists Steve Ford and David Forlano.

In this video trailer they explain how their 28-year, east/west partnership has survived and how their work has thrived.

The magazine article (and of course all the luscious photos of their work) make us very proud of the trail they have blazed for other polymer artists. Be sure to read the comments and see more work on Facebook.

Frozen polymer moments

Suska on PCDaily

Guess what medium was used in the piece that won the top award at the Schmuck (German for jewelry) exhibit during the world’s top international contemporary jewelry event. You are looking at Jelizaveta (Liza) Suska’s Frozen Moment brooch made of polymer and crushed marble powder.

It’s the winner of the top prize at the Munich exhibit and was chosen among 700 applicants. The field was whittled down to 66 designers from 21 countries and took place during Munich’s Jewelry Week. The judges were intrigued at how the brooch resembles an unpolished gemstone. Translucent polymer has captivated us for years. With Liza’s vision and skill, it’s gaining wider recognition.

Liza, 26, is a Latvian who lives in Sweden. Read about her in the New York Times, her site, on Facebook and on Pinterest.

I hope Liza doesn’t mind our basking in the glow of her prize. The polymer community will happily latch onto the coattails of this talented young jeweler. The prize was brought to our attention by Kathleen Dustin who agrees that it marks a big step forward.

Polymer Journeys on PCDaily

Another step forward

PolymerArt’s Sage Bray announces the April 14 publication of Polymer Journeys 2016 with 30% off the cover price until March 30. The book (in paper and digital formats) covers recent works of hundreds of artists.

Sage included my input about how the community has progressed and where we’re headed. Whether you’ve been a polymer artist for 10 days or 10 years, you’ll find something useful and inspirational in this book to keep you moving forward. 

Appreciating Life in polymer

OWR on PCDaily

Stephanie, one of the students in the Ohio Reformatory for Women polymer class created this lovely frame for the exhibit, Reflections from a Gated Community: Art from Ohio Inmates that opens at our local (High Road Gallery) gallery this Sunday. Reception from 2-4.

The black 10″ square wood frames were made by my husband and the inmates could decorate them with polymer however they wished. Because we can’t take glass into the prison, the mirror was added last. This frame is called Appreciating Life.

Seeing Stephanie’s children’s names and birthdays carved in the background bricks brought tears to my eyes as I typed the artwork’s label which reads, “The gifts of life, the beauty of nature and these three precious people make me who I am and remind me of what I have.”

The inmates have no internet available for tutorials, Pinterest and PCDaily.They have no tissue blades, nothing sharp, no fancy tools. They rely on books, occasional classes and their own creativity. Still their art is raw, powerful and full of conceptual content and personal meaning. In each class, I teach them techniques and they teach me about art and life.

Shout out to Lindly

I wondered why Lindly Haunani was sending PCD so many good links this month. Turns out she’s been convalescing and spending more time than usual online. She’s on the mend after quite a long siege but I know she’d like to hear from you all. Lindly will recognize that Stephanie’s been studying her color book! Appreciating Life, indeed.