Prophater polymer cover girl

Laurie Prophater generously demoed her flat faux ivory bangles at a recent conference and I can tell you that they’re fun to make and wear. Zentangle aficionados loved the drawing and carving involved.

Read all about how to make these bracelets in the summer issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry magazine. In fact, Laurie’s the cover girl! You can find more examples on her Flickr pages.

Laurie’s in the decorating biz and her blog is full of links that will lead you to wonderful (and outrageously expensive) designers, fabrics and furniture. She’s on top of the latest trends and enjoys translating them into polymer.

Christi Friesen’s featured in the issue as well! I must get to the bookstore to see if I missed anyone else.

Polymer that remembers

Luann Udell's Lascaux horses in polymer clay
Williamson's distressed beads
Elvira Lopez del Prado's polymer bangles

Polymer clay simulates nothing better than ivory and bone. Here are three recent examples that caught my eye.

Luann Udell (those are her Lascaux horse sculptures) updates ancient stories with modern artifacts. “I use these modern artifacts to retell ancient stories, stories I feel have much to teach us today,” she says. Her post about telling stories through art is a good Monday read.

Genevieve Williamson’s distressed, faceted, and textured beads seem to have been unearthed from another time as well.

Elvira Lopez del Prado uses fragments of handwritten messages to hint at old stories and past lives on her newest line of bangles.

In the US, it’s Memorial Day…a good day for remembering and retelling stories.

Blackburn’s bangles

Carol Blackburn's polymer bangles

This new page of bangles and necklaces from London’s Carol Blackburn shows lively and colorful designs that are finished to satiny perfection. The closeups of her mobius/color blended strips are inspiring.

Carol’s techniques are thoroughly explained in her Making Polymer Clay Beads book which has been translated into English, French, German and Italian. Her work serves as a gentle Monday reminder about the importance of finishing.

Navarro’s Nurbs

Navarro's polymer clay "Nurbs"

Madrid’s Chama Navarro gives us a break from colors and flowers with her new minimalist line of white, textured polymer clay.

Chama calls the collection her “Nurbs” and says she was inspired by the computer-generated mathematical models of the same name which are commonly used to represent freeform surfaces like aerospace exterior surfaces and car bodies.

Charma’s Nurbs look like organic forms trapped under a blanket begging to be touched. If you need color,  visit the Flickr photos of her 2010 work.

Crisp and starched from France

MissTyc's dots, stripes and textures

These dots, stripes and colors from France’s MissTyc have a crisp, starched, freshness about them and we’ve never featured her before (her real name’s a mystery).

MissTyc’s newest work seems to be on her Facebook album and you can find her on Flickr too. On her website she offers a sweet little spring dotted flower cane tutorial (based on Desiree McCrorey’s Spotted Langloisi).

MissTyc's bangle

Crisp and starched is not my mode this week. I’m waiting for my children to meet up with us for a family spring break. Shifting into vacation mode has been a slow and pleasurable process. Stay tuned.

Tidy Tuesday – Polymer in the news

My desk is littered with notes about polymer clay in the news and it’s time to tidy.

The January Art Jewelry Magazine contains two significant polymer articles, “A conversation with Kathleen Dustin” and Seth Savarick’s “Go Big with Lightweight Polymer Clay.” Kathleen shares how she plans her pieces and says that playing around with small jewelry often gives her ideas for larger works.

The articles, additional photos of Kathleen’s work, and one of Betsy Baker’s in the gallery make polymer prominent in this issue. ArtJewelry also has a terrific online gallery where readers are invited to submit their work. The brooch above is by Jan Geisen.

In her “Getting the Most from a Jewelry Class” article in the winter StepbyStepWire Magazine, Ronna Sarvas Weltman advises students to, “…push your boundaries and test the materials while you have an expert to answer your questions.” It may mean that you won’t end up with a beautiful project but you will learn more. Ronna delves into the minds of eager students and gives them sage advice.

Susan O’Neill (11BoldStreet) has won first place in Interweave’s Bead Star Contest in the plastics category for her faux turquoise choker pictured here. Winners are chosen by readers from around the globe.

These are tidbits that you’ve sent me or that I’ve come across. It’s gratifying to see more polymer articles popping up in a surprising number of publications.

Fago’s polymer bangles

Celie Fago adds carved and textured metal rings, bands, and beads to her mokume gane polymer clay bangles. Can’t you just hear them jangling? Aren’t they exotic and just a little gypsy?

My 103-year-old aunt died recently and left me a beautiful bracelet whose links and charms tinkle and clink. I swear I can smell Aunt Mary’s perfume when I hear it clatter on my arm. Celie’s pieces are rich with sounds and stories.

Monday winners

Congrats to Melanie West whose stunning polymer clay Nudibranch BioBangle has been named a finalist in the 2010 Niche Awards. Check out her new anemone bangle too.

Can’t wait to find out who else is in the running. Any rumors out there? Winners will be announced in February.

Italy’s Ariane Freisleben arranged polymer clay beads that float downward in this comfortable design. Enjoy her work and her Euro Clay Carnival results on Flickr.

Ariane’s necklace reminds me of the colorful leaves floating past my window throughout the lazy weekend. It’s Monday. Time to stretch and head back to the studio.

European bangles

Keeping tabs on the polymer clay bangle trend, I roamed the world to find more examples to start your week. The ones on the left are from Austria’s Gudrun Stolz. The unusual shapes play against the smooth surfaces into which she’s carved and backfilled the designs. She’s only been working with polymer for a year.

Italy’s Laura Bocchi (Verdevescica) created the "Spazio 2" bangles on the right which are embellished with thick slices of cane or extrusions. She’s also been creating unusual flowers from combinations of wire and what looks to be liquid polymer.

It’s good to see how the bangle trend moves and changes around the world.


Polish sites feature polymer and more

The link to Jan Suchodolski’s flickr site is a major inspiration and a time sucker. I went there because Tserenbadam Enkhtsetseg (Enkhe) wrote that Elise Winter’s polymer clay work was featured on this Polish blog about contemporary jewelry.

I found Elise and Ford/Forlano and was stunned by the wealth of visual inspiration on the Zero925 and Panie Przodem sites. If you’re in need of a mid-week jolt to your creative batteries, click on any of these links.