Elise Winters’ polymer clay work is pictured on the cover of February’s Crafts Report magazine along with a profile on page 24. The magazine’s focus is on jewelry this month. Elise sees this as a win-win. Not only is this a personal win but also it signals a growing acceptance of polymer clay by the jewelry community.
Our low-tech, low-fire humble materials become fine art in a fine craftsman’s hands.
The 2006 Webby Awards are now taking votes for the best weblogs of 2005. 2005 was surely the year when I discovered blogging and the community of blogs. I promised myself that this year I’d promote my product. So, cast your vote for the best blogs of the past year by Tuesday, January 10th!
Hint, hint…there’s one category for "Best Craft Blog" and/or "Best New Blog" about halfway down through the categories. Scroll to the bottom and push "submit" and you’re done.
I wandered into Kate McKinnon’s site, intrigued by the ring mounts she offers. Kate works primarily in metal and glass but I detected a polymer sensibility. I kept sleuthing and stumbled onto her journal where I came across two Cynthia Toops’ pieces…aha! My sense was right. The top one she called "Moss" and the bottom one, "Conversation".
I’m only disappointed that I don’t know the exact size of these pieces. I’ve seen Toops’ work in several galleries and the incredible detail of her micro-mosaics doesn’t come across as well in photos. Still they’re fun to look at and Kate’s site is fun to browse.
Even the Columbus paper proclaimed chunky jewelry a fashion trend for 2006. Let’s hear it for polymer beads which, often as not, fall into the chunky category.
"Say hello to big hair, big shades and big jewelry in â€™06." says the Dispatch. "Itâ€™s very much a â€˜world storyâ€™ in accessories for â€™06 with a lot of ethnic influences: African tribal with wooden beads and bangles in neutral colors. The Russian influence in a lot of accessories this season will transition into more of a Turkish and Mediterranean look of embellishments. Thereâ€™s also a nautical influence with seashells. Overall, everything (handbags, jewelry, belts, etc.) is very handcrafted-looking with a lot of texture."
Check out the trendy look (pictured above) on Emma Ralph’s site in the UK. The bracelet is by Jean Yates (at the bottom of her online store).
And this from BusinessWire – Artisanal is the New Product Adjective — This is a correlating trend to the food focus and this year artisanal will go way beyond a descriptor for just cheese made by monks using milk from nomadic yaks. We will see it attached to coffee and chocolate as well as non food products. There are already artisanal knives, jewelry and home accessories in catalogs and stores. I am sure there is a small band of workers in New Jersey right now hand making something that will be in the stores next month labeled artisanal. By the way, artisanal means made by an artisan aka a skilled worker.
Here’s a trick that’s new to me. Desiree McCory explains her neat bead-in-bead process. I’ve always avoided this process because it sounded too complicated. Wrapping the first bead in wax sounds doable as her tutorial explains it…and her tutorials are all well-written. Let me know if you’ve had success.
I suppose you can guess why I’m looking at miniature food today. My meal portions need to be resized more in line with these miniature versions by Angie Scarr. It’s post-holidays and I’m trying to shrink my appetite and scale down.
Miniatures are where I started in polymer…furnishing a dollhouse with my daughter. It seemed that Fimo should have other applications and when I saw CityZenClay’s pins in the Museum of Modern Art’s shop, I caught a glimmer of the possibilities.
That was nearly 15 years ago and I still have a soft spot for miniatures. Angie has some clever tutorials on her site. The sweet corn is particularly good…and not too filling.
Charles Mayer is a homegrown Ohio legend from Sandusky, Ohio. There’s not much of his work online but what’s there will give you an idea of his talent and his attention to detail. His filigree work is phenomenal.
Canadian Gera Scott Chandler came upon the idea for "ethni’Zens", the first of her art dolls when she was beachcombing and stopped to study the form of some bull kelp that was strewn upon the sand.
Says Gera, "I saw the suggestion of a long skirt cascading from a dancer’s hips and visualized an exciting way to combine polymer clay with fiber and found materials to create an evocative character who is subtly beautiful and unabashedly aloof."