Cormier/Holmes

Found these pictures from the workshops of Dan Cormier and Tracy Holmes on the Northwest Polymer Clay Guild site. The guild reports that, "Dan debuted a new system for creating patterns in polymer clay. After four years of experimenting, Dan shared his latest breakthroughs in surface and veneer design. Simple two-toned canes became the source for an endless collection of intricate patterns, all without any cane reduction. We also explored "Mokume Dan-eh."

The Canadian site, Shades of Clay, is promoting three workshops (two in Canada, one in France) with Dan and Tracy in 2006. Here’s the info in .pdf format or you can contact them at hoco@island.net.

I found pictures from their 2005 workshop in Gloucester online as well. Dan and Tracy are some of those folks that I have to work hard to find on the web.

More colors…more energy

I thought that I’d soon mine the depths of polymer clay artists online. But I keep finding new exciting discoveries. How did I miss Gloria Askin of Baltimore, Maryland?

Gloria says, "These bright floral forms were inspired by the work of the master glass artist Dale Chihuly and are among my foundational works. I was also inspired by the Yoruba Peoples who believe that the more bright colors you wear the more positive energy you put into the universe."

We stand corrected…

My dear daughter filled in for me a couple of weeks back. My clever girl googled polymer+clay+halloween and came up with the P’orn site showing Desiree McCrory’s pin-on horns. What my daughter wouldn’t have known (nor would I) is that these cuties were the brain child of Linda Geer who has sold and traded them for years.

I love the page Linda sent showing various wearers. Thanks for the heads-up, Linda. Our apologies.

Web Presence

It would be great if there were more polymer clay artists’ web sites on the net. I can list a number of fine artists who are techno-adverse and shy away from the complexity and expense of maintaining a web presence.

Artspan.com seems to offer a simple, well-designed, inexpensive package. One of the local guild members recently signed up and I stumbled on it through her.

In real life I’m a webmaster so I hesitate to take work away from your local web designer. But if you want a painless and inexpensive way to get in the game, this might be just the ticket.

Seeing Colors

Polymer Clay artists are all about color and color tricks. Here’s a site that’s all about optical illusions and visual phenomena.

For this illusion, follow the movement of the rotating pink dot. You will only see one color, pink. If you stare at the black + in the center, the moving dot turns to green. Now, concentrate on the black + in the center of the picture. After a short period of time, all the pink dots will slowly disappear, and you will only see a green dot rotating.

There really is no green dot, and the pink ones really don’t disappear. We don’t always see what we think we see.

Hombre with Ombre

Judy Kuskin sent me this link to Jeffrey Dever. I wasn’t familiar with his work and was bowled over. Talk about ombre!

Jeffrey is featured in November in the Function+Art Gallery in Chicago. The gallery newsletter says, "His highly organic approach and bright polychrome palette combine for animated yet elegant brooches, pins and necklaces." They showed his work at October’s SOFA.

Thanks so much for the tip, Judy. If you find an exciting link, please send it along!

Ombre

In our recent color workshop we learned the word "ombre" which the dictionary describes as "having colors or tones that shade into each other — used especially of fabrics in which the color is graduated from light to dark." Maggie wanted us to keep running our blends through the pasta machine to reach ombre.

It’s related to the word "umbra" from the Latin for shadow…think umbrella. We thought that it had to do with "hombre"….not.

So if you want to sound erudite, talk about your blend’s hombre. It’s a noun and an adjective. I’m still trying to use it properly.

More than one way to Skinner…

What is a "Skinny Skinner" you ask? Lots of polymer artists attribute this variation on the Skinner blend to Dorothy Greynolds (shown here at a 2004 Columbus, Ohio workshop). Instead of the typical triangle blends, narrow rectangular bands of color totalling the width of the pasta rollers are laid side-by-side (look on the table in the picture).

Folding and rolling them through the pasta machine gives you a marvelous blend. In Santa Fe, Lindly and Maggie showed us how to refine and control this blend further. One trick is to keep the very light and very dark bands quite narrow, allowing stronger colors to prevail.

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