Cool Ideas

I imagine you all lounging at the pool with your laptops. Still too hot to clay? Here's another distraction.

The artists on the Charon Kransen Arts site are nothing short of spectacular. I shook my head in disbelief at some of the designs from all over the world. Take a look at Japan's Meiri Ishida's felt necklaces for starters.

I went through the whole long list (happy to see Ford/Forlano among them). The artists on this site will blow your mind and the rest of the overheated world will drift away.

Lentil Overload

Just when I think I've looked at every lentil bead on the web, I'm drawn back to some spectacular variations. Valerie Aharoni's lentils are something to behold. I can't really tell how they're done. Is it Gwen Gibson's image transfer technique? Is it some sort of rubber stamp trick? Whatever, it's terrific.

And I love the bursting lentils in the necklace at the right that Gwen Gibson created some years back.

All these beads were shaped over a form and were not created using the familiar bicone bead process. I have this old picture of Carol Shelton's beads which illustrates the technique. Two circles were cut out and formed over a large ball bearing. After baking, the two halves were glued together and rebaked making a very lightweight bead.

Some interesting variations on the theme.

American Style


Let's finish out the week with a bit more sculpture, American style.

Utah's Lori Follett has an elegant, sensual series of sculptures and then there's her wacky, witty side (see the trophy wife). Her story's a good read too.

And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Katherine Dewey again. Jodi and Richard Creager's work (thanks to Christine Kozicke for the link) is simply stunning. I can't believe my eyes. Their sculpture is amazingly lifelike and engrossing.

If you've got the weekend to web surf, you can even take a look at the National Institute of American Doll Artists. I'm sure I've overlooked lots of polymer clay sculptors. We'll revisit that side of the craft from time to time.

Envy

So that's what envy looks like! Visit Chicago sculptor Jill Willich's site to view all sorts of faeries, goblins and polymer clay sculpture.

You won't want to miss the spoon doll tutorials…scroll way down the page for the complete effect. Jill makes the process look easy (the mark of a professional) and tempting to try.

This week's illustrators and sculptors remind us that polymer clay isn't just for jewelry and purses and frames. There are many creatures waiting to emerge from the clay.

Thanks to Alisa for the link!

Bliss Out

It's hump day….bliss out by taking a look at French illustrator, Sylvie Perrin who uses polymer clay to make fresh, witty scenes.

It's fun to compare cultures reflected in the Japanese sites from the post a few days ago to the French today to New York's Marcia Rocha (well actually, she's from Brazil) from a few months back.

The French site of illustrator Sylvie Perrin (aka Queen of Clay) shows characters and scenes that come alive with humor and a finely honed craft.

The tip comes from Véronique H. whose site is also a treat.

If you're challenging yourself to look beyond an altoids box, a votive or a frame to cover with polymer clay, take a look at this site for ideas

Transfers

East Vancouver photographer June Hunter transfers her closeups of flowers to polymer clay with stunning results. Hunter's close-ups are so extreme that flowers become dramatic abstracts. She's been experimenting with transfers to a variety of media – tiles, polymer, shell, fabric.

Be sure to look at the .pdf file of her pendants and read the stories of the things she notices "on the way to the compost." This reminds us to be vigilant and look closely at the beauty around us.

Like a breath of fresh air, these inspirations will start your week off right…thanks to Susan Rose's tip.

Dogs

I guess it's the week for unusual treatments. Susan Waddington paints dogs onto polymer bases and fashions them into pins and pendants. With so many dog afficianados and Susan's skill, I'm sure she does a brisk business.

I'm remembering repeating over and over to customers, "It's not painted, it's a polymer cane." And now Susan comes along and confuses the issue…by golly, it IS painted.

Thanks to Merrie60@aol.com for the link. How did it get to be Friday? Have a great weekend.